Am I Still Here?

It’s taken me a few years to be able to write about this event. A precious young lady, not even 25 years old lay dying in the Intensive Care Unit. She had been unconscious for a few days following serious surgery. You see, Lilly (name has been changed) had battled Cancer for well over a year. She was like another daughter to me, and part of our family since she was 11 years old. She had her own loving family but was here in our home so often, one could have wondered which was her home. We had been through the usual teenage drama with her and my youngest daughter loving and hating each other on an almost daily basis. (not unusual).

Lilly had had so many different kinds of chemo that she was like a human sponge. Still the cancer kept growing. She was valiant and a real trooper but a girl can only take so much. She kept active most of the time she was battling this cursed malady and in fact, she had spent her last day before being hospitalized here with us. She and my daughters and some friends spent the afternoon by the pool, swimming and playing and having a terrific time. But just before they went down to the pool, Lilly came to me and asked me to pray with her.  We went into the den and closed the door. I turned to her and asked her, “Lilly, are you ready to die?” We both cried and I talked again (we had had many such conversations over the years) about the Saving Power of Jesus Christ.  Though she actually seemed quite well that day, I sensed an urgency about her. Her family found it too difficult to talk about her imminent death but she needed to prepare herself, she told me . I was there for her. We finished praying and then I joined them at the pool for awhile. It was a lovely afternoon; we took lots of photos and had a wonderful time.

We received a phone later that evening.

All Lilly’s family and closest friends were gathered around that hospital bed a week or so later. The doctors reduced medication so that she was now waking up. Her big brown eyes opened and she said in a clear voice,  “I need Momma Helen.” My husband and I flew to that hospital as fast as we could when her mother called us.  Lilly gripped my hand and said to me, “I want to go and be with Jesus now. Can I go?” I turned to her parents and asked them, “Do you give permission for Lilly to go now?” With tears pouring down their faces, they said Yes.  I was praying quietly now.  Her eyes would close for a time and her breathing was labored. At one point, she seemed to have been startled awake. She looked right at me with shock and surprise and said, “Oh, am I still HERE? I saw Jesus and I want to go with Him….” Several moments later, she closed her eyes and died. She died in the arms of Jesus. This I know. I thank God for Lilly. And I especially thank Him that she became a big part of my family. She learned about Jesus and His love and mercy. She learned that He was there for her through all her pain and suffering and though she was certainly not always an easy or perfect girl, she was most definitely His child and I know she walks today in Glory.

No, Lilly, you are not here anymore and for that we rejoice. One day we shall meet again and will have such wonderful times together.
Bet your “Mansion” is FAB! Just like you, Lilly!

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