by Diana Richardson
I n January of 2008 I lost one of the people I love more than anything in the world, my Grandma Farley. She was 99 years young and was one of the hardest working, kindest, gentle and loving people I’ve ever known. She loved to tell us stories about her and grandpa in their younger years and she’d remember every single detail right down to what they were both wearing and we all loved listen to her. On that cold wintry January evening as she lay in the hospital bed nearing the end, I stayed by her as the family went to get something to eat. I found myself not quite knowing what to do while I sat there alone with her. Although I’d been Catholic for almost 25 years, I was at the beginning of a newly formed relationship with our Lord as a result of my husband’s bout with cancer a few years earlier. At that point, I’d never prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy and was just being introduced to many of the beautiful prayers I now know. I went up and crawled in beside my grandma on the hospital bed, wanting to snuggle up to her one last time. Earlier in the day I’d brought my bible into the room with me, wanting to read it, but with all the chatter and commotion of family coming in and out of the room I hadn’t had a chance.
I decided that now was the time, so I crossed the room and grabbed my bible and snuggled back up to her and sat there holding it for a moment thinking “I’m not quite sure what to read to her”. Now most people would have probably gone right to Psalms, but for some reason that night it never crossed my mind. So I decided to just open the bible and read whatever verse I opened it to. I opened to Matthew 4:1 and started reading. As I read I remember thinking “Lord, I hope what I’m reading isn’t totally inappropriate”, as it was about the temptations of the devil, and not about walking through the valley of the shadow of death and the rewards of heaven. But for some reason I just kept reading, thinking “this is God’s word, please Lord, let it be soothing to her sweet soul.” At the end of the passage it closed with “Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.”. I thought “ Grandma, if there are any evil ones tempting you in these last hours, let them leave also and let the angels minister to you here at this moment and for eternity.”
I closed my bible and set it on the bed and later that evening my sweet Grandmother left this world for her new life. I was so happy to know we had been blessed to have her here with us so long, but rejoiced also in the fact that I was confident that she would someday be basking in the eternal light of Christ.
I know how efficacious it is for a soul to have masses said for them. Last October I went to our parish center to book a mass for my grandma. I really want it to be a Sunday mass and they told me the first Sunday mass they had open wasn’t until March 9th. I really wanted Mother’s Day weekend, but it wasn’t available, nor were any of the Sunday’s around it. So I took the 9th of March.
“I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Today I went to mass, excited to be celebrating it for my precious Grandma Farley. I was holding her up in prayer before mass and excited for this special day. The lector read through the first two readings and when it came time for Father Ivan to read the gospels I was following along intently. When he got to the part that said “He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” I suddenly realized he was reading the same gospel reading I read to grandma on that last night in the hospital. I got goose bumps on the back of my next and I flashed back to that moment in 2008 when I lay next to her on the hospital bed reading this exact scripture to her. The tears started to flow and I was just filled with utter amazement realizing that this moment could not have been orchestrated by any other than our loving Father in heaven. I thought to myself “yes, you ARE with me always until the end of time, aren’t you my sweet Lord”. How good and kind and loving is our Lord that he reveals himself to us in such beautiful ways and when we least expect it.
Now Grandma has given me yet another story of hers to tell.
I could write a book on the “God Moments” that my life has been blessed with. Not only do these moments inspire me greatly, but hearing how he’s working in the lives of others does as well. How has God revealed himself to you? Send us your story of faith in your life.