I told a white lie. I was on a mission and no one would suffer harm. I claimed grace.
She had been admitted earlier in the day and it was after visiting hours. It was the only way to get past the guarded receptionist in the emergency room. So without any hesitation, I lied through my teeth. “I’m her daughter.”
Up the elevators we went, my hubby and I. Her actual daughter, my friend, was three thousand miles away and this was a reconnaissance operation. We were going to be her eyes and ears on the ground, in the zone. Her momma was in the hospital and I was gathering information in order to give my report.
Knowing that sweet Agnes suffered memory loss, we were a little apprehensive as we quietly approached her room. I was also a little anxious because, you know, I lied. Someone was bound to be on to my little charade, and I was sure that the truth would be exposed and someone would stop us at any moment and proclaim “You are NOT the daughter!”
Her eyelids fluttered open as we entered her quiet darkened room. Her beautiful white hair framed her face; her skin was like peaches and cream; she literally glowed with a joy I can’t explain –it was an innocence and sweetness that was childlike. She was lovely even with a hospital blanket tucked under her chin.
In the dim light she recognized us immediately. I’m sure it helped that my hubby “that one that smells good” smelled good as always. She was delighted to see us, and seemed a bit confused as to why she was in that place and not with her precious Tom.
We spoke briefly, assuring her that her beloved would return in the morning; I confessed my lie to her and we giggled. She honored me with the proclamation that she would happily claim me as one of her girls.
With her lovely southern charm, she thanked us for our visit and we were gone. It was August 4th, my daddy’s birthday. It was a sweet coincidence; and it was the last time I got to love on her.
On August 13th the message I didn’t expect arrived with a jolt. “Mom passed away this morning.”
Suddenly, the August 4th mission, that quick pop-in at the hospital was promoted. Every sight and sound of that evening rushed back and I held them close. It was as if I turned each over in my hand like a gem, examining and memorizing the details. They were precious.
Certainly her story belongs first to her family; her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am only one of many who loved this beautiful woman. But these memories are mine.
The glorious truth is that almost every day we are handed golden tickets…opportunities to be cast in the stories of life unfolding all around. The casting call is open and we are invited to fill roles in the epic stories written by God himself.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us? “And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 NIV
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