I ventured up the highways of northern Missouri today to hug my grandma for what may, I fear, be the last time. We will see, as she is still hanging in there. But as Parkinson’s takes its toll and she regresses more and more, I know one of these days I visit, these hugs I cherish will be the last. She knows it too. She can’t tell me, we are lucky if she can string two or three words together these days. But her eyes that still well with tears when I bring up old memories — they show it. And she is sad. Sad it’s going down this way. Sad that she is having to daily give up control. Sad that independence and strength are a thing of the past. Even with a firm faith in hand and years of a relationship with Jesus under her belt, she is mourning. Maybe a little scared. Perhaps what lies ahead is painful. Or perhaps not. Maybe it’s the inability to tell us exactly how she feels and more importantly, just how much she loves.

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