One week ago today I arrived at work to find that the lady I cared for, Miss Inez, had passed away an hour before I arrived. She had been in failing health since a little before her birthday, and over the past week had gotten much worse. She'd been off liquids for several days.
It was an honor to sit with Miss Inez and be a part of her life. I was her companion for nearly 3 years, and we had some pretty good times together. When I first started working I always brought my laptop along and would type out the stories she told me. Miss Inez never really understood what I was doing (sometimes she'd complain to her daughter that I wasn't doing anything but playing on my computer all day!), but that Christmas we were able to present to her family an illustrated book of her memories. It was 50 pages long, specially bound, and each of her children got a copy.
As Miss Inez drew closer to her 100th birthday she told fewer and fewer stories. Her health declined, and within a year of when I started sitting with her she had broken two bones and had to move from her daughters house to a skilled nursing unit. My hours were increased, and after about a year her daughter, Linda, moved back to Texas from Tennessee. Linda began staying with her mother in the afternoons and weekends after that, so for those last few months Miss Inez had someone with her nearly the entire day.
While I do miss her, I don't grieve for her. She is leaving a legacy of children and grand children, and great-grand children to be proud of. I know she loved the lord, and she served Him faithfully all her life. The last year has been a difficult one for her physically, and she spoke often of her two children who hadn't survived childhood. I know she wanted to see them again. I imagine she has already met my own little one, who I never met in this world.
Miss Inez loved to sing, though her singing voice wasn't what it used to be. On rare occasions she'd treat us all to a ditty. On her birthday, for example, she sang the kids song about a duck with a feather over his back who lead the others with a "Quack, quack, quack." She remembered three verses--more than any of us did!
She also enjoyed it when I sang to her. Amazing Grace was a favorite, but the one she consistently asked for was When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. When I sang that one to her she'd almost always join in on the chorus--even that last week she was with us. I know that when the roll is called up yonder she'll be there--she is there right now, singing with a new voice as loud and pretty as anyone.