Today I went to visit Miss Jane.
Let me introduce this wonderful woman. She’s been a teacher and principal years ago, and when the school closed doors and she lost her job, she started babysitting. Upon the recommendation of the daycare center, my daughter hired Miss Jane as a nanny. She’s a gregarious person, bursting with energy, who talks loud and laughs a lot, mingles with people easily and befriends adults and kids alike. My granddaughters adored her right away. She acted more like a grandmother than a babysitter.
At the time of the 2010 RWA National Conference in Orlando, my granddaughters were spending a month with me but I badly wanted to attend the conference. The complex hosting the event was splendid with several pools and outdoor activities for the children. I decided to take the girls and invited Miss Jane to come along and watched them while I was busy attending seminars.
Not only did Miss Jane supervise the children, she appointed herself my marketing manager. She distributed my bookmarkers, boasted of my talents and managed to sell several of my novels to people sitting around the pool.
Last year Miss Jane told me she had stomach problems. We compared notes and I suggested she saw a gastroenterologist. All her tests, procedures, and MRI came negative. Yet she kept losing weight. A doctor, more thorough than the others, asked for MRI of the head. That’s when they discovered she had a tumor the size of a tennis ball sitting on her cerebrum. She was stunned. No pain, no fatigue, just a loss of weight that she welcomed at the beginning.
Any surgery would be dangerous. A surgeon finally agreed to cut part of the tumor. Miss Jane improved right away. After therapy she was able to go home. At fifty-five she wanted to go back to work, but six months later, the symptoms returned. The tumor has doubled in size and engulfed the cerebrum. Nothing can be done to save her now.
Last week they moved her to the hospice, with the bleak prognosis of two to three weeks left for her. My daughter took her girls to visit. They found Miss Jane sitting in her bed, watching funny oldies. She chatted, laughed, and played card with them.
She read most of my books. Today I printed a pfd copy of Her Christmas Cruise and took it to her. For almost an hour, she talked about many things, never mentioned her condition, and asked me to bring her more novels. Next time I visit, I will bring her my Holiday Babies Series.
I was sad and worried about this visit. Yet this wonderful woman managed to lift my spirits. She keeps busy with games, reading, TV and friends’ visits, and enjoys life one day at a time. I left the hospice relaxed and pledging never to complain again about meaningless frustration.
May I ask for your prayers for Miss Jane as the girls call her?
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