April 13

Written by Bill Grandi on April 13th, 2021


That’s the word which crosses my mind this morning.

Today would have been my mother’s 89th birthday.  She never made it to 72. After being diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer which (at the time) mainly struck woman who were non-smokers in December of 2003, she was given a drug concoction called Iressa (spelling in question). The doctor said it should either arrest the growth of cancer or at least slow it down. She received her first treatment in January.  It sped up the cancer growth. So rather than prolonging her life, it shortened it. Dramatically. I spent the last 6 weeks of her life driving back and forth from Sandusky, OH-where I was pastoring a church at the time- to her home in West Mifflin, PA, a drive by turnpike of about 5 hours one way.

He gave her 2-4 weeks to live. At the two week mark she was put in the hospital when her breathing took a bad turn. Come to find out the oxygen machine was faulty.  She was not expected to leave the hospital. Jo and I even made a one day trip to see her.  Yeah, that was a very long day. She came home after two weeks and spent the rest of her time alive and in her home.  She lived a total of six weeks after his diagnosis and the drug treatment. I would drive to take care of her for a couple of days, then head back to Ohio to take care of church duties, then head back. I am so thankful for my Uncle Bob and Aunt Dee who left their home in Texas to take care of her during that time. We made a great tag team.

Mom would wake up from her “nap” and would say, “Oh, I’m still here.” The disappointment was on her face and in her demeanor. But eventually one evening she went home to be with Jesus. She joined her parents and others doing what she loved to do-praise the Father around the throne.

My mother was anything but perfect. Far from it. She could be obnoxiously persistent. She could be a “harper.” But she loved Jesus. She made sure I was in church the first opportunity I had. She made sure I was dedicated to God one Sunday morning when Pastor Graybill laid his hands on me and prayed a blessing over me.  (No, I wasn’t sprinkled since we didn’t practice that).  She taught me the importance of praying and reading the Bible. I can remember her getting up and meeting with me before school to read our devotions and pray together.  There was only one other person who had more influence on me as I was growing up than my mom-my grandfather…her dad.

Influence. I know someday I will be reunited with my mother and grandparents and in-laws. But in some way, I am reunited with her today as I remember her.  I love you mom and T.H.A.N.K.S. for the memories.

“And I thank You Father for the memories. May my life be an influence upon others.”


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oh, Bill…

    First of all, you ARE an influence upon others including those of us who read your blogs.

    What an example of honoring your mother you are. Not in words only but in deeds. I’m sorry you lost her. Thanks for sharing this memory of her last days. “Oh, I’m still here”….how she must have longed to be with Jesus.

    God bless you.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thank you, Diane, for your kind words. And I love to tell that story about her words. She was anxious to see Jesus and her mom and dad.

  2. Glynn says:

    My own mother lived to almost 91. In her last years, we were able to spend time together and simply talk. She told me things about her life that I never knew/ It the process, she became something far more than my mother. She became a whole person, with a life, and hoopes and dreams and disappointments. She was still my mother, having more influence over the young and future me than any other person. Good post, Bill.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You said it so well Glynn. She became a whole person. That leaves you with good memories.

  3. Ryan S says:

    Great tribute Bill!

  4. Such a beautiful and touching tribute to your mother, Bill. I know I’m blessed to still have my mom with us, although she is really beginning to slide downhill. We are going to be seeing her as much as possible while she’s still here.

  5. Ed says:

    My Mom always used to say: “I won’t be around much longer!” And that was like 20 years before she died.
    The ONE thing that people understand about cancer is that if you have a loved one that is going through the illness you suffer along right with them.. right up to the end.. where there is a great lifting of the burden of it all.
    I remember the many nights I stood watch over my Mom when she started her treatment… the many trips to the hospital when she fell two times within a year of each other. Both hips broken. I can remember how my own spirit was broken over her.
    But I never once shed a tear, not even after her funeral.

    I don’t care what the doctors say, you simply can’t treat cancer.. you can’t abate it, you can’t even slow it down.

    We really do have to cherish the time we have with each other.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right about cancer Ed. But I will admit to shedding some tears. My mom and I had a bond no matter how annoying she could be (but never me) and no matter how long I was gone. I even did her funeral. That was hard but God got me through it. I do not think it is bad to shed a tear.