Grace For The Terminally Ill

Cemetary statueA month ago I wrote about Visiting The Dying.  The gal’s name is, Mary. She’s double Virgo and we’ve become friends.

I met her a few days after they told her she has cancer. She also has COPD.  She’s on oxygen but other than that, you’d never know it she was as sick as she is. 

She eats, she drinks, she has a glass of wine and most of all she loves to talk.  If you wonder about that, check out her gigantic stellium in Virgo.

Mary saw the oncologist two days ago.  She thought she was going to have radiation but she learned that she is riddled with cancer.  It’s hopeless. The cancer is all through her lungs, lymph nodes and as a matter of fact, she’s even got cancerous toenails and fingernails!

You might have heard, I bake a lot of scones. It turns out that Mary’s mother made raisin scones. I’ve just taken a batch the oven, with the intention to deliver them tomorrow. I think this is remarkable.  But it’s not the reason I am writing this.

I’m writing this, because here’s the gal; she might be dying alone. She’s in her 80’s, so her parents are dead. She was an only child and she never had children of her own.  Then, now, at the end of her life, these new people arrive.   Who would think this would happen? Not me!

I think of all the people I’ve known over all these years.   A person might be divorced at fifty and think that’s it for them!  Nothing good will ever come into their life. I’ve thought things like that myself!

But now that this has happened, I will never think that again. Amazing grace is real!

I am not the only one who is tending to, Mary, but I get to be the one who bakes and makes her laugh so hard, her teeth go flying from her mouth.

She called me, as I was writing this. “I’m so tired. I don’t know why.,” she said.

“I know why, Mary,” I said.


“You have cancer!” I said, gleefully, sending us both into hysterics. I swear, she snorted.

If you’re out there thinking you’ll never smile or laugh again… you may just be wrong about that.

29 thoughts on “Grace For The Terminally Ill”

  1. Oh God….I love this story and needed to read it right this very minute. Nothing makes me happier than knowing there are people willing to give time, heart and laughs to an elderly person. They are my favorite people!!!! That laughter will get her through….and so will good company and scones 🙂

    1. There’s something else I forgot to mention. Mary is indigent. She doesn’t have any money at all.

      When she leaves her little home, she intends to have Habitat For Humanity come get everything. What little she has. Her Queen Anne chair, lol. Her place is uncluttered. She says she’s always been, “neat as a pin”.

      She is donating her body to science. She says they cut you up for about six months and then bury you. She’s good with that. 🙂

  2. Oh damn….what a story. I (selfishly) need this today because I’ve been feeling very alone lately. I’m not, just feeling that way. But this story is real. It breaks my heart but you gave hope and friendship and companionship to this woman. She sounds amazing. You are, too.

  3. Mary is lucky to have you there to share her passing with humor, lots of laughter and true grace. Thank you for sharing her story. I’ll always remember her and you both laughing together. Truly Grace in action!

  4. “Come over between noon and three, so you can meet, Carrie,” she said. “You’ll love her.”

    “Well I will if I can, but I tend to doubt it,” I said.

    “Why, Liza? Why?” she asked. She calls me, Liza or Eliza.

    “Because I may be having a Bachelor party here tomorrow, I’m not sure.”

    “A bachelor party? A BACHELOR party?”

    “I know. It’s not like it’s my idea or anything. I just might be having one anyway and if so, I can’t be there at 3, because I will have to be cleaning the house…. because, I, Mary, unlike you, are not as neat as a pin…”

    She roars.

    “That does not mean that I am a pig. I am not a pig, but you know. If bachelors are coming, I will need to clean the house. I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen but it may, so be warned.”

    “I’m warned, Liza. I am warned!”

  5. Oh Elsa, I truly needed to read this, the love of my life passed away on Monday. We were just starting out (3 1/2 years into the relationship) I was and am devastated! I’ve been wondering why he was put into my life, then removed so suddenly, wasn’t thinking about smiling again until I read this, you’re a Godsend!

  6. This is an important read for all if us, no matter what we are going through. Mary seems far from indigent. Her humor and warmth are so rich.

  7. I just dropped the raisin scones off with Mary, along with some dark chocolate and toffee scones for another gal who helps her. She tried them and tried to buy some from me but I don’t bake for pay!

    In whatever case, she was real happy and her place looked Christmas-y. Matter of fact, there were two other women… one of them was clipping her toenails. It looked like a Girl Party so I mentioned that and they all laughed.

    It really heartening to see. I don’t know that Mary has ever been happier… she’s just this kind of person. She’s truly young at heart and favored by God, if you ask me.

    There is a strong lesson here, to try to be of good cheer. The people would come around so much, if she bit their heads off. As it is, you knock on the door and she yells, “Come in! Come in!” And when you do, you’re greeted by a very happy smile. 🙂

  8. Avatar
    the laughing goat

    “… be a blessing to someone else.” (Libra noir)

    “… to try to be of good cheer.” (Elsa)

    Beautiful. Incorporating these into my daily life – thanks for being wonderful examples of Grace.

  9. Great post! A perspective that I needed to hear. May Mary remind us all of the importance of living in the moment, as it is truly all we have. Thanks, Elsa, for your insightful writings. Truly, a gift.

  10. Oh wow! What an uplifting story about what could be so sad for many others! Thank goodness for kind and strong people like you Elsa! I have thought things like you mentioned too as I am divorced and have had Cancer and am an only child as well with both parents gone. I shall be so lucky to have a living person care about me like you do for Mary when I get old and perhaps ailing with something besides old age.

    @Elsa, how did you and Mary connect if you can share that?

    1. @Elsa, how did you and Mary connect if you can share that?

      Woman A and woman B were talking about Mary. Woman A told B, she thought that Mary and I would get along. Woman B told A, she had ny number and would give me a call.

      Woman B hung up and the phone rang in her hand… it was me, calling. So yeah… this whole thing is providence.

      I guess I should add, I do have a history / interest in visiting the sick. I used to bring communion to people in the hospital when I lived in Denver. So this is a sort of, known, interest of mine.

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