Saturday February 2 2019 my grandmother’s doctor phoned to tell me that she was in the hospital with Pneumonia and that she was asking for him to phone me. Immediately, I called her room to hear her tell me that she was dying and that she wanted me to retrieve her ring before her step son, Gerry could take it. “It’s locked in my closet,” she said in an anxious voice. “I was going to sell it to his wife for a thousand dollars because I needed a hearing aid, but now that I wont be around much longer I want you to have it.”
“You’re going to get better, grandma!” I replied, hoping that my words were true. After all, the doctor told me she would only be in the hospital for a few days. That prognosis made her angry, insisting that her time was near she bellowed into my ear. “I don’t want to get better. I want to go home!” she protested in that stubborn manner that always made me feel like a child in her presence.
Tears filled my eyes and I told her that because she had a viral infection I would check with my oncologist to see if I could visit her. I could hear a nurse trying to insert a catheter into her and we both agreed to speak soon. My mind reeled back over the recent years when grandmother’s falls had left her with a broken femur, a shattered pelvis, a broken arm and several bruises over the tumbles tallying her tales of woe. She had always recovered stronger than ever and danced to tell about each triumph at our family gatherings. Now, at 97 years of age, she wanted to die; unwilling to suffer any more scrapes, bumps and broken bones in this life. She had made up her mind and that was that!
Monday afternoon I went to the Cancer Center for treatment and my oncologist said I could visit her since I am no longer on chemo. “Just be certain to wash everything you wear when you’ve returned home.” he advised. My nurse gave me gloves and a mask so as not to compromise my immune system and I headed over to see grandma.
Walking down the long corridor, I felt anxiously nervous as if something was very wrong. My sights scanning the doors, 401, 403, 404 then finally I stopped with my husband in front of room 408 wherein a clamor of chattering people obscured the room, her bed. I took a step forward and something stopped me. I cannot explain this only to say that I felt the presence of great evil and I knew that God did not want me to enter. A social worker mumbling emerged with books pressed against her chest. I looked at her and she shook her head. “Are you a part of that family?” she asked incredulously.
“My grandmother, Betty M. Baker,” I said, feeling worried. “Is this her room? Can you tell her that I am here?”
Her expression softened momentarily and she returned to the crowd around grandmother’s bed. I heard grandmother say my name, then voices. I looked in to see a large man with a mustache sitting on a chair, he was holding a big binder. He looked up suddenly and stared at me with a coldness that gave me the shivers. That must be the stepson in his 80’s who my grandmother spoke of several times over the years as “Butting Heads” with her was the way she described their relationship. A few moments later the social worker and a male nurse came out saying that my grandmother didn’t want to see me. I was DEVASTATED! I insisted, that she would never say that in a thousand years! I told them she must be confused, tell her that I am here, but my protests were waved on with try back tomorrow when she is rested. As I walked away, my heart breaking I could hear that Gerry-her stepson’s grouchy voice flare, “We’re trying to get you back home with Hospice,” he snapped.
That night, I called the hospital repeatedly until finally someone put the phone to her ear. “Grandma!” I cried, confused and needing to hear her tell me what was happening. “I’m dying,” she said in struggling breaths. “I love you, let me be in peace,” she whispered and our call disconnected. I felt crushed thinking that she didn’t want me wishing her to wellness and making it harder for her to die.
The next day her step son, Gerry phoned to tell me that she had made him Power Of Durable Attorney having removed my name from her bank account. Then, it all made sense to me why I couldn’t go into the hospital room. That evil man was in there with my weak grandmother making her sign papers in the presence of an attorney or some witness to see to it that he could take everything she had, owned and wanted to give. He didn’t want me in there to know what he was doing, scheming. Poor grandma, she would have been so desperate to die at home in her own bed that in her weakened state she was vulnerable, helpless without any real family there who loved her, but me and my husband forbidden to enter. Now I understood why the social worker walked out of that room with such disdain for the “family” inside keeping me out.
“Your grandmother said you can have her bed,” he continued as I listened in utter shock. Grandma isn’t even dead and this rude, evil man is daring to dictate to me what I know to be lies. When I told him that my grandmother’s wishes had always been for me to keep all of her things, he replied, “That’s not happening and what’s left in her bank is not even worth squabbling over.” I was stunned at his audacity and shocked to learn that my grandmother had been transferred back into her tiny apartment. Hospice would come in 3 days a week to see to her otherwise, she was in a hospital bed with a necklace to ring for staff if she needed anything was the way he put it before bidding me the chance to see her the following morning.
“Bring her URN and leave it on the table when you leave,” he ordered, adding that the hospice people would take care of everything and that “all we had to do is show up at her funeral” was how he ended our call.
As soon as I arrived the following morning to the living facility where grandmother resided, the secretary at the front desk informed me that Gerry wanted her to retrieve my keys for the apartment. Everything felt so unreal to me as I stood outside of grandma’s door waiting for someone to let me inside. All I could think was that she was in that tiny room alone, unable to walk or help herself while I was forced to stand on the other side of a locked door, helpless.
Of course, as I knew it must have been, grandma didn’t recall anything that happened at the hospital. I told her that Gerry had forbade me her wishes and what he had said, done. I recorded our visit because I knew in my heart that grandmother was being disrespected, dishonored. She told me that she was with our Lord Jesus Christ the day before and that she didn’t know why she was back again, but I knew the reason… “Lord, please take care of my children when I am gone,” she said, while holding our hands and then she looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about anything. Not a single thing!” I kissed grandma and wept thinking how beautiful she looks, happy and ready to return home to Heaven where we all aspire to be and I knew in my heart that God allowed her to remain alive long enough for us to pray together, to love each other and say goodbye…
I am weeping as I write this as that was the last time I looked at my beautiful grandmother whose wisdom from our Lord instructed me not to worry about a thing. She passed away during the early morning hours soon after and I miss her terribly. She died February 6 2019 My only comfort is knowing she is with our Father, Christ Jesus. Gerry has not told me where her funeral is or the whereabouts of her remains. When asked, he has refused to “talk about it-her, saying that he is putting it behind him to go on” and all I could think is, “You do not know who my Father is surely God will make right this horrible wrong!”
As for what her stepson has done in stealing from the sick, the sad and the dying there are no words to describe such a person other than pure evil. I have looked to God to take care of him. I have no monies to seek a lawyer nor do I wish to haggle over what rightfully belongs to me. I loved my grandmother not her things and although she wanted me to have them, it’s her that I cherish. He stole precious time she and I could have had together before she died and I’ve been praying for his rotten soul as a good christian should believing that God reins.
I’m sharing this because my grandmother was a beautiful woman, strong, loving and deserves to be honored. There is much evil in this world. Jesus says in John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Romans 12:19 King James Version (KJV)
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Deuteronomy 32:35 New King James Version (NKJV)
35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’