My grandma, Ocie Adloff, died when I was young so I don’t remember her well, just her sweet fragrance, and how she would kiss me in my ear. I also remember that she was a gentle woman, who exuded almost a “holy disposition” if there is such a thing. And there’s one story about her I have always remembered.
Grandma had her first heart attack when she was in her early 30s. She suffered from congenital heart disease, so she was in and out of hospitals the last years of her life. One time, about four years before she died, she was at the West Union Hospital. There, as she lay on her bed, she had a visitor. Given her quiet temperament, her Jewish agnostic doctor said had it been anyone but Mrs. Adloff, he wouldn’t have believed it….
She had a visitation from Jesus. He stood at her bed and undisturbed, they had a twenty minute conversation. Afterwards, when she told of it, she insisted it wasn’t a vision. He was really there. The incident was so powerful that years later, when Mom ran into one of the nurses who had worked there and asked if she remembered the incident, the nurse didn’t hesitate, “I will never forget it.”
Why? Why would Jesus appear to Grandma like that? Perhaps in part, to reassure her. She had always been a devout woman; she had gone to church regularly and served faithfully in her quiet way. Now, she was confined pretty much to her home. At one point she was on bed rest for a whole year. Grandpa worked on a riverboat. He was home thirty days, and gone thirty days, but Grandma never feared being (or dying) alone. When my aunt insisted on staying with her, Grandma would have none of it. She said, “I won’t be any deader in the morning than at midnight.”
She was at peace in the greatest battle of her life. I believe she could go through all she faced because she had the assurance that Jesus was with her. She was known. She was loved. A place was being prepared for her in eternity. The Word of God incarnate had told her so.
And it was enough.