Portrait of a Lady

As I entered her hospital room, my first impression was of all the monitoring equipment around the frail figure.  Then, as she heard my footsteps, her head swiveled and a smile, a glorious smile of joy, drove away the expression of pain.  I smiled back and she exclaimed, “Oh Glory, I knew some of my people would come. I knew they would come!”  I went to hug her as best I could and to kiss her cheek.

Behind me was another friend from our church and my mother in her wheelchair.  We clustered about her, touching her and loving her. “Praise God, some of my people are here. Thank you, Jesus.”  By now, she was radiant.

We found seats and beamed at her.  Mama presented her with a couple of homegrown tomatoes.  To her, they were the crown jewels.  “I’m gonna have that nurse come in and slice me up one of these for my snack after y’all leave and then I’m gonna have the other tomorrow with my tired ol’ breakfast.  Oh my goodness.”  I told her they were special because mama had stolen them from our neighbor’s little garden and as she was escaping over the fence, almost got a load of buckshot in the butt when the neighbor came out of his house and caught her.  She gave a low chuckle and said, “you go on now, you know she can can move faster than that.”  We all roared with laughter.

Our friend presented her with a card in which people in our church had signed greetings.  Because her glasses were someplace noone could find them, Elizabeth read the greetings to her.  Every word was clutched to her heart and brought words of praise and thanksgiving.  And they all had to be read again.

Our lady looked around at all of us and said, “God is so good to me.”  I looked at her and saw her wig, in spite of her uncomfortable position on the pillow, was immaculately styled.  Her nails were done in a glowing coral polish and her skin was still lovely  – rich and pure as coffee with lots of cream.

“Precious, I know you can’t be comfortable all scroonched down in bed like that”, I said, so I went around and raised the head of the bed a bit and then helped her forward and adjusted the pillows behind her.  “How’s that?”  She gave a deep sign and closed her eyes.  “That feels so good. I had gotten all down and that nurse tried, but didn’t know what I wanted.  You know just what a girl needs to feel good in bed….Oops, I didn’t mean it like that.”  I told it was fine and that yes, when it came to hospital beds and pillows, I did know just what a girl needed.

“My feet aren’t as swollen, you know. I can tell.  Look and tell me what you think.”  Elizabeth and I raised the cover over her feet.  I looked at her grossly swollen feet and when I saw matching nail polish on her toes, I had to look away from her so she wouldn’t see my tears that suddenly just sprang in my eyes.  Elizabeth swallowed and said, “Yes they do look better.”  “Celia, don’t you think so?” She asked.  Mama said, “I can’t tell from her but if they say so, then it is true.” We put the covers back down.  Again she said, “God is so good to me.”

The nurse came in then to give her her meds, which included something for pain.  She never once complained about pain while we were there, but when we left and stopped by the nurses’ station and asked, we were told she was in a great deal of pain, but always was gracious and praising God and apologized when they had to do something for her – that she knew there had to be people in there worse off then she and not to tire themselves out on her.

The pain medication began to work and she started to yawn.  We told her it was time we left so she could sleep.  We all gathered around and held hands and prayed with her.  “Glory. Glory, Yes my Jesus.”  and after we said amen, she began to pray for us.  We left feeling we were the ones who were blessed by that visit.  Her Jesus truly was with her and anyone with any sense would have felt it.  I think even doubters would feel that loving presence that was so close to her.

We were silent as we went down the quiet halls and the elevator.  As we stepped out into the summer air, I looked back up at the floor where her room was and said, “Oh glory. Thank you God for letting us get so close to you.”

Thank you for reading! I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: