to someone who has decided they are about to die?
Yesterday afternoon my neighbor knocked at my door. When she sat down at my kitchen table she told me that she wanted to see me before she died.
Alberta has had a rough go of it. She is about my age but looks 20 years older. She has already gone through treatment for cancer and she won that round. She has been experiencing pain and has had all sorts of tests run. The results will be in on Tuesday and she will find out what is wrong.
Alberta's life has been one of hard work and struggles. She spent many years doing farm work with her husband up to the time of his death. She lost a daughter who passed on several years ago. Her grandson is in jail for attempted burglary. She has a couple of other useless adult children, the worst being her son. I have seen him sitting behind the wheel of his car, watching his mother who walks with a cane, struggle up the walk with half a dozen bags of groceries. The only thing preventing him from helping her was a case of lazy.
And now she has made up her mind that she is about to die.
As I was trying to figure out what I could say to her to help, I remembered that she is a very plain spoken woman. You never have to wonder what Alberta thinks. She will tell you straight out.
So I said, "Alberta, you know that you are just plain too mean to die."
And she looked at me and started to laugh. I reminded her that she hadn't seen the test results yet. Maybe things weren't as bad as she thought. I said that she should just wait and see what happened before deciding to die. And she agreed that would be the best course of action.
She left my apartment with a smile on her face and a promise to let me know what happened at her Tuesday appointment.
Maybe Alberta's condition isn't all that bad. Maybe it is worse. Maybe she will die soon. Only God knows. What I do know is sometimes we are required to come up with just the right thing to say or do in a particular situation. I don't know if I am up to that task.
And if you are of a mind to, please remember Alberta in your prayers. She needs all the help she can get.