Drifting Into Eternity
It snowed the night my grandma died.
I remember watching the snowflakes drifting in the wind outside the hospital room window, and later barraging my face as I trekked back to the parking garage. Silent snowflakes slipped through the vents in the covered walkway, clinging to my wool coat and remaining in their crystalline form, the air just cold enough to keep them from melting.
I stared at the perfectly designed crystal in the crook of my right elbow as I walked, admiring the delicate fractals formed by the freezing water droplets. For a moment I forgot the purpose of the night, to say one last goodbye before she passed from this world into eternity.
My lips stung in the frosty air, still wet from placing a kiss upon my grandmother's damp forehead as she slept. I did not, nor could not, remain until the final hour. My purpose fulfilled, there only to pray for her soul, I wanted to remember her in that place of peace.
Hours before, we few of faith in our family had gathered around her bed, held hands, and prayed out loud. The woman who previously had rolled her eyes at the mention of anything remotely religious, at that moment facing her imminent death, gripped our hands and bowed her head, receiving every prayer as her certain last hope. Even now, my vision blurs with tears as I recall her spirit so open to truth.
"I love you, Grandma," I had said.
"You'll have to write me," she replied. "Tell me all about your new boyfriend."
But she still listened to my prayer about Jesus, the only hope of the world, His purpose on this earth to die for her as much as for me.
When all the goodbyes had been spoken, she retreated under the covers, removing the oxygen tube from her nose which would only prolong those last moments. I sat in the room talking quietly with my grandfather and my aunts as she slept. At three in the morning, the snow began to fall and I knew my time there had ended.
Snow on the roads slowed my return. Perhaps I had left too late, allowing too much time to lapse before venturing out on the icy streets. But I am sure that my prayers, and the truth I had spoken to my family, could not have simply passed the time.
God was there.
The One Who is fully merciful and still fully just has done right regarding her soul. Perhaps I will see her in heaven. If I do, I will celebrate for the joy of seeing her again.
As the snow drifts downward today and settles on the roof and trees and roads and everything else, I will yet remember that night - how it fell, and that reflective moment: through Jesus alone we find true life and peace.
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