Today I remember my grandmother, Mary Louise, whose 111th birthday it would have been. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
Although she brought me up, she kept to herself. Towards the end of her life she developed Alzheimer’s, by the grace of God in a happy form, meaning that she did not have to wait until death for respite from the hardship that characterised her adult years. Instead, with the help of an excellent care home she spent her last five years transported back to the happiness of her youth in Chestnut Hill, Boston, surrounded by friends and family and dressing for dinner every night.
Prior to the Alzheimer’s she’d jealously guarded the few personal possessions she’d manage to hold onto. But at the end all that was left was a battered suitcase with odd pieces of linen and clothing. And one page of the bible that she’d kept with her since childhood. Not that she ever went to church, or showed any interest in religion; far from it. But she treasured that bible. The page I found was Psalm 139. Given my own love for that psalm, its presence spoke more far eloquently than we had ever spoken in a more conventional idiom.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.