“I can’t wait to see Pansy,” my Mother said right after we exchanged hellos.

Moments earlier, as I dialed the phone that early May evening, I had dreaded talking with Mother. Her opening comment caught me off guard.

Mom had breast cancer surgery nearly six years earlier and had been cancer-free ever since.  Then during the past September, her doctor delivered a colon cancer diagnosis. It shocked and surprised all of us. Mom underwent colon surgery, but the doctor said he was uncertain if they had removed it all.

The colon cancer roared back with a vengeance the following March and Mom’s health immediately began to deteriorate.  For Dad and our family, it was incredibly difficult to see the changes occurring over very short periods of time.

Mom and Dad had refused to consider moving to skilled care, but a variety of issues from which both suffered increasingly showed its necessity. This all came to a head early one morning when Mom fell.  Dad tried to help her stand up, but he also fell and neither of them could get back on their feet.  In consultation with the Village nurse, we all agreed the time had come to make the move.

God had wonderfully provided a room in skilled care with two beds. The room sat right across the hall from the nurses’ station.  Dad, who would not admit his health was also deteriorating, agreed to make the move with Mom.  Our daughter graciously set aside the moving day to assist my folks in the transition.  Even as they began making the move, Mom and Dad continued to express strong reservations about it, though they knew it needed to happen.

Mom had recently spent time in the skilled nursing community and had met a cat.  The cat reminded her of Pansy, the family cat she had enjoyed as a child. Pansy had lived a very long life.  So, as they began the move, Mother eagerly looked forward to spending time with “Pansy.”

Pansy’s regular visits with my Mom during her short stay in skilled care brought her great joy. These visits continued right up to the time Mom transitioned to breathing new air.  I watched Pansy’s visits and saw how much Mom loved her “reunion” with the cat. The connection between them was beautiful and brought tremendous comfort to Mom.

Thank you, Lord, for unexpectedly sending “Pansy” as Your special gift of love to my Mom.  I’ve always had a love for dogs but for the first time in my life, I actually felt grateful and thankful for this unexpected encounter with this unforgettable cat.