I found out a few days before Christmas that my brother is in hospice. He has cancer, which largely has been in remission, but other complications have arisen, and it's not looking good. He is only 56 years old.
I was able to fly down to see him. He was not able to talk, but you could tell he was trying to because he moved his lips. He was able to respond by moving his eyebrows, a hand or a foot. Once when my sister was talking to him, he was able to open one eye.
I can tell he is at great peace. I felt a holy presence when I was near him, a presence of angels. I have felt that presence before when I have been with people near their time.
I am so grateful that I had a chance to see him and talk to him, to tell him that I loved him and that he was a great brother. I know many people miss that opportunity.
I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me that he was able to reach his father's side minutes before he died, though his father lived several states away. He woke up one morning and knew he had to go. I see those promptings as tender mercies from the Lord.
My brother's fiancée is caring for him, along with round-the-clock hospice staff. Rarely have I seen such devotion in a person. He is loved unconditionally by her. It is such a comfort to know that he is in such wonderful hands. Who could ask for any greater gift, especially at a time like this?
Of course, I am rummaging through my regrets. So many things that I could have said and done, sooner, but did not. I wish I could be closer to him now.
So I wait for the call. The dreaded call. But part of me believes he can rally, hope against hope. It would not surprise me, especially given the love that surrounds him now.
I believe, however, that when a person is appointed unto death, there are no miracles forthcoming. Or maybe there are. I have to remind myself that most miracles are beyond my imagination, beyond what I can see in time and space.
So I wait. And pray.