I was reminded by my Grandmother's death why I believe in God. I got a call last Thursday that she was in the hospital due to a burst colon riddled with cancer, and that the surgeon had discovered it had spread throughout her body. Being 90, they cleaned her out, sewed her up, and said if she ever woke up she wouldn't have long to live.
After receiving that call, I headed for Mississippi and my grandmother's hospital room, along with two of my six children, Mary Inger and Irene.
We drove all night and arrived at 3 in the morning. Grandma Toodles was awake, but couldn't speak, the cancer was in her throat. But she could still move her left arm, smile, and sort of move her lips. I let my girls give her a kiss, then my mom took them to my grandmother's house to sleep. In the middle of the night, that left me, Grandma Toodles, and my aunt Martha. I had brought my guitar so I sang songs, told stories, and then waited to watch the sun rise with my Grandma.
Later that morning, the room was filled with our family and together we sang my Grandma's favorite songs and hymns. My girl, Mary Inger, sang her favorite, You are my Sunshine, and my Grandma mouthed the words with her. She smiled and moved her lips when she could, but she was fading fast. That room though was something like I'd never experienced. Our songs reverberated throughout the hospital floor, we held hands, weeped, hugged, and for a moment I felt the purest, truest love I'd ever felt in my life.
After the songs died down, I read my Grandmother her favorite bible verses as everyone else prayed. It was the second half of Psalm 30:5 "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." There wasn't a dry eye in the room.
Finally, Grandma Toodles was discharged from the hospital and returned home to die with her family. Near the end, she didn't move much, but she'd grab your hand and move her lips a little.
Early Sunday morning I got up with my girls to say goodbye, we'd be leaving that day. I whispered her favorite verse in her ear, "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" and told her everything was alright, she could rest now and I'd see her in heaven soon. A few hours later, on a sunny Sunday morning, my Grandma met her joy. God had answered her prayer.
This is why I believe in God. Moments like these.
It is emotional, it is based on personal experience. I can't prove it or make someone believe it's more than the chemical reactions in the brain of a mammal who fears death.
But there was something real in that room, and with that women, that goes beyond this world and to me, points to God and points to Heaven. Whether I'm right and God is real, or I'm just blissfully ignorant, either way, I give thanks for the joy a family of believers experienced together giving thanks to God as Grandma Toodles passed on to the next life.