Last week’s eighty-sixth birthday caught me within a frothy flurry of greeting cards and notes, two floral arrangements, a creamy-pink poinsettia plant, phone calls, emails, and daily visits from my dear sister who lives out of state. Only now can I begin to sort through this experience that exhausted and tickled me at the same time.

Nursing and chaplain visits, deep breathing and stretching exercises, short walks through November’s zestiness, with my helper, also filled the more-than-full days.

Awareness of my long-deceased parents, their difficulties birthing me and their powerlessness over my chronic illness and pain, also led to even deeper love for them as I move through my end-time; theirs was rough. 

Only now can I fully appreciate this outpouring of love that mirrors Precious God’s embrace: its intensity left scarring upon my psyche, such that I would always remember and grow in gratitude.  

Indeed, it’s all about relatedness, about communion, about intimacy.