Hello dear friends and Pundit followers. First I want to thank each and every one of you for your well wishes, prayers and concern as I fought the most awesome battle of my 91 years. In recent years I have struggled with several serious health problems and each one debilitated my body’s strength and, thus, each time a bit of my independence was wrestled away. However, I have always been able to put these losses aside and muster the strength I have in a productive way.
This last bout was fought in a different ring in a unfamiliar venue. I should have known this was going to be a very new kind of bruising battle when the ringmaster held a sign that read, “Enter at your own risk; last fighter standing wins.” Little did I know I was entering the ring of illusions. I could not fight my adversary because I never saw him; I only felt him pummel my body and take me to my knees in pain. Only for brief moments did I realize those figures in white were doctors and nurses who would leave only to be replaced by another.
I looked through the door that lead to the hallway, the hands on the clock stood at twelve and three. I knew it was in the morning. A very gentle voice brought me back into the moment when I heard the words, “Mrs. Key, I know of your written wishes but we must ask you this question—if your condition warrants it do you want to be resuscitated?”
For just a moment I thought I don’t want to answer that. Donna takes care of most everything and she isn’t here. I stammered for a bit and then I knew I had signed those papers that said NO, when I was feeling well and it seemed like what I wanted, but this is reality, this must be round 10 and the count is 9. I said YES do what you can. Then the voice said, “Do you want us to call your daughter?” I said no she is probably on the way here now.
This is the next thing I remember: I am in a house I have passed many times. It sits elevated above the street at the corner of Story Avenue just north of Vernon Bowling Lanes.
I was covered with blankets; I was weighed down—I could hardly breathe. I kept yelling, “You’re going to kill me, I know you are.” I must have said that a hundred times but the nurse laughed and said, “We’re not going to kill you—we just want to keep you warm and yet she turned the air conditioner higher. As I continued to scream, I was staring at an old iron cover that fit over the front of a fireplace. As I looked at the cover I thought of my dear Gramma and how she polished the fire covers with black shoe polish to keep them shiny. All at once, I noticed a red glow around the edge of the cover and I realized it was fire! I screamed, “Nurse get in here—this place is going to burn!”
She came running, grabbed an old poker and pulled the cover off, as flames shot into the room like the tongue of Satan himself. But soon the fire turned into smoke and the smoke into billowing soft aqua blue clouds of beautiful welcoming arms. I got out of my bed, ran to the window to watch the clouds rise in the sky and as I looked upward I saw the hem of a long black dress and the lower part of a pair of black button shoes. As the dress and shoes raised up higher and higher the only thing I heard were the words, “Rest Baby Girl.”
I can only tell you my story as I remember it. Was it my Gramma’s voice? I can’t say yes for I have not heard that voice for 85 years and, yet, I have felt her presence many times and I do believe she has walked through life with me.
One of my reasons for relating this very personal experience is to share my feeling that each one of us has a guiding spirit. A spirit that at those times of our life—the most defining moments; the balancing moments between here and there—will assure us that we will not go on the journey alone. I believe God knows to send an emissary to each of us at that special time of need.
Peace and love to each of you.