I was tired that morning when we parked the Honda next to Phil’s Jeep in Pamela’s driveway. The record seventy-degree temperatures and bright sunny skies did little to energize me. The previous seven weeks had ground me down with Pamela’s wasting away day by day. Her increased reliance on the morphine pump for pain had caused her body organs to begin shutting down. The end loomed near.
Jane opened her door and stepped out of the car. She walked in front of the bumper and stopped to look through the windshield at me, still sitting behind the steering wheel. She mouthed, “What’s wrong,” at me. I shrugged my shoulders and opened the door.
“Sorry, honey,” I said, stepping outside to walk with her. “I’m just tired today.”
“Me, too,” she said, placing her arm around my waist and leaning her head against my shoulder.
“No one should ever die on sunny days like this, especially seven days before Christmas.”
She nodded her head.
We walked into the house without knocking or ringing the doorbell. Formality had lost its meaning on us.
“We’re out in the kitchen,” shouted Phil.
Faye greeted us with hugs while Phil saluted from the breakfast nook table. The four of us were dressed in our normal garb of jeans and t-shirts with nearby sweatshirts draped over chairs, just in case the weather changed.
“I’ve made some coffee. Help yourself,” said Faye, pointing at the coffee maker on the black tile counter.
We poured ourselves a cup and sat down with them at the table.
“How’s she doing,” asked Jane.
“The hospice gal stopped by and told us that she’s slipped into a shallow coma and probably won’t wake up again. The end may happen today,” said Phil.
We chitchatted a while longer. Faye and Phil then left to do some Christmas shopping.
Jane and I drifted into the great room where I sat down in the recliner. My eyes closed almost immediately. A dreamless sleep engulfed me.
“Dylan, Dylan, wake up.”
I struggled to open my eyes and when I did, Jane’s head was next to my ear. She had whispered to me.
“What happened? What time is it? What’s wrong?” I said in rapid-fire bursts, straining to sit up.
Someone was singing in a cherubic voice.
Jane pointed at me and motioned for me to follow her. We tiptoed down the hallway to Pamela’s room. We peeked around the corner and saw Pamela with her hands in the air, praising the Lord. I winked at Jane, not knowing what else to do.
“Dylan and Jane come in here,” Pamela said. “Don’t make me whistle, okay?”
A quick memory crossed my mind of Pamela putting her two forefingers in her mouth to form a shrill whistle. She had done it many times at our Last Chance meetings, which always made me laugh aloud at the ridiculousness of an eighty-four year old woman doing such a thing.
Jane walked to one side of the bed while I went to the other side. Pamela lay under the sheets, almost nothing left of her. The cancer had exacted its vicious toll on her muscles and fatty tissues. She reached out her blue veined hands to us. We gently held them in our own.
“The Lord is taking me home today,” she said with a big smile on her face, ” and I’m ready to go. I want to see Jesus and my husband Eldon. I’m so excited.”
What can you add to a statement like this? Nothing.
“But the Lord wants me to tell you two something before I leave.”
“Really?” said Jane, her eyes looking straight at me.
“Yes, now listen up.”
We nodded in agreement, turning our attention to her.
“The Lord wants the Last Chance groups, like yours, to spread all along the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle. He wants to use senior citizens as His last chance army to touch millions of people −”
“We don’t know how to do this,” I blurted out, not thinking beforehand.
“Shush! Of course, you don’t, but He knows how to do it. Fast and pray and He will show you.”
“Can you tell us more?” I asked, desperately seeking more details.
She smiled at my words and then gasped. Her eyes stared upward as she stepped into eternity.
We stood there for a few minutes, not saying anything or even moving, until Jane pulled the sheet over Pamela’s head.
“Well, what do you think?” she asked.
“I don’t have any answers,” I said.
“Then, Dylan, it looks like we need to fast and pray, right?”
(Excerpt from Unhinged Geezer by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2015, Amazon eBook)
My prayer today:
Lord, raise up Your army of Simeons and Annas and other senior citizens to bring last chance messages to America. (Based on Luke 2:25-38)
What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?
Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.