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TITLE: Margie's Ready
By Constance Bronson

A profile of and elderly woman in a group home setting. She is in the process of dying, which is sad, but we will rejoice when she is free of her diseased body, and present with the Lord.
Margie’s Ready

Margie has always been restless, frequently pacing the house and wanting to go somewhere and do something. She liked to do jigsaw puzzles and she liked to play dominoes with a few of the other ladies. When she was frustrated about being confined, she frequently went outdoors and walked about the property with her walker.

She loved to sit on the deck and watch the birds and squirrels, and the neighbors coming and going. She often had visitors who would take her for a ride. They’d go to the North Shore County Park and watch the waves or swimmers in Lake Michigan or children playing on the swings and slides on the sand. She had a friend pick her up on Thursdays and take her to the church so she could help with the bulletins. They served her cookies then, but she was very well-disciplined about her blood-sugar levels.

Margie grew up in the family’s celery farm, working hard with her hands. She also worked many years in a local factory, from which she retired more than a decade ago. When she was moved to Providence House, she had a difficult time accepting that she couldn’t live alone anymore. She remained quite upset over having to sell her car and her furniture. She had a tough adjustment in attitude to make. But once she had made the transition, she was a vibrant participant in life at our group home.

Now she lies in her bed, not talking, not eating, barely moving. She is more than ready to go home with the Lord. Her body remains with us still, but she doesn’t communicate anymore. She’s tired of being sick. She can’t enjoy the fellowship, or the hound dogs, or the wildlife outside her bedroom window. She sleeps most of the time. She doesn’t call out for help anymore. She just lies there, while the soft music plays. She remembers the words to most of the old hymns but she can’t sing anymore.

She stopped eating adequately more than a month ago, right after Thanksgiving. She sometimes would attempt it, but she has had no appetite and she is often nauseous. Tillie and Max wander into Margie’s room and sometimes they lie near her bed. She doesn’t even know they are there. They are her friends. She called them Tillie Willie and Maxy Waxy. She often welcomed them to share the sofa with her, where she stroked them continually. It was good for them too.

We know that Margie is one of God’s children. She doesn’t have a family of her own. She never married. But she was very dedicated to her friends and to her church. She’s a child of the King and she’s waiting for Him to take her to her heavenly home. We will miss her dearly and it will be an entire house full of people who love her, grieving because she will be absent from us. Some of the other ladies are aware that Margie is dying. They have stopped asking whether Margie is coming to the dining room at mealtime. A few of them may want to go to her room, just to say ’good-bye’.

Today I stopped into her room to put more music on for Margie. I put my hand on her bony hand and just patted her. She is looking so frightened, her face appearing a bit yellow, her hair combed back. When someone speaks to her, her breathing speeds up a little and that’s just about the only sign that she is still with us. When she takes her leave, we will rejoice that she will no longer suffer and that she will be watching for us to join her one day. We will all feel blessed that she came into our lives for a season. And God will give us His grace to go on with the business of living.
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