Lydia took as deep of a breath as she could muster these days and blew out the candles. It seemed like a lot of candles to celebrate the occasion. The people around her cheered--many people she didn’t even know. She recognized her son, John, and his son, Jake. But those younger ones--she knew she was related to most of them, but she just couldn’t match the names and faces.
All those toddlers and little kids running around. The confusion was mixing everything up inside her head. And the people who worked in this place--they were clapping and smiling as though this was something wonderful.
She was very tired, and finally everyone went home. Quiet, oh the blessed quiet. She looked around the room, smiling slightly at the brightly colored balloons that were left behind. It looked like the remnants of a kid’s birthday party. She looked through each card and smiled at the kind words expressed by each giver. Thank goodness, there were no gifts. What did anyone need in this place?
As the caregiver helped her into bed and gave her the nightly dose of pills, Lydia wondered how it had come to this.
One hundred years. Was it something to celebrate? A century of living. She thought that might depend on if you were the one turning one hundred or not. She couldn’t take care of herself anymore. A day in a wheelchair was what she had to look forward to. It hurt to get out of bed in the morning. Thank God her memory was still good, most of the time. Her sight was good enough that with strong glasses and large print books, she could still read.
Time for her nightly chat with God. She thanked Him for the blessings He had bestowed on her. The years hadn’t always been easy, but the rewards had been many. Topping her list of blessings were her children. Sadly, she had outlived two of them, and tonight she missed them more than usual.
She opened the pages of her well-worn Bible to Proverbs 17:6, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are a pride of their children.”
She also read Psalm 127:3, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring are a reward to him.”
Her children. If she had done nothing else, she had raised them to know about God. They had to test the things she had tried to teach them, and some of their choices weren’t the ones she would have made, but she believed they all knew God. And she was happy about that.
Her eyes grew heavy and the caregiver came in to check on her again. She saw the Bible in Lydia’s hands and smiled. “God’s blessings on you tonight. Sleep well, and we‘ll see you tomorrow,” she said.
“Thank you,” replied Lydia. “And then she laughed, “And maybe I won’t see you tomorrow, Good Lord willing.”
As she drifted off to sleep her last thoughts were about the day. Would she see tomorrow? She hoped she might be spared that occurrence but, if not, she would make the best of it.
Only God knew when she would be leaving this earth. She had lived her life by placing the day in His hands. Tomorrow would not be any different.
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