A dear friend of the Press Gazette has been in the hospital for what seems like more than a month. She had major surgery and is experiencing a lot of ups and downs. She was our typesetter for years. She is one of the nicest and most gentle souls Iíve ever known. She has spent most of her life caring for her brother, who has a host of medical issues. 

She and I were working one late night together a long time ago. She told me about her husband and how he drowned in a diving accident when they had not been married for very long. I believe that was more than 20 years ago.

She seemed to have such a peace about it and I found my thoughts wandering to her apparent confidence in Godís outcome for all of us.

When she and I worked together at the Press Gazette, my desk used to be located by the front door. I was in a vantage point to see her greet customers and answer questions with a smile. Everyone seemed to know her, including her church family - always important to her. She has always been a soft-spoken woman, smiling and not wanting to bother anyone.

Sheís lying in a hospital bed now and Iíve been praying for her, but Iím not sure what to pray for exactly. Do I pray that she makes a full recovery and continues to live her life as she did before she fell ill, even though she is going to continue to have physical challenges?

Or do I pray for God to end her suffering?

Iím glad God has this one because I would not want to be responsible for such a decision.

A mutual friend saw her today and said she is lying in her bed at Sacred Heart, whispering, ďheaven, heaven, heavenĒ over and over - so I think I know what she is praying to happen.

I was home and alone a lot a couple of years ago. I spent much time thinking about the value we place on life and the great pain we suffer when we lose someone to death. If it were not for the immense love we have for another person, we would not suffer nearly as much.

It made me think of my grandmother and how she lived alone when I was in my late twenties. She always wanted to talk with me and show me her flowers, her sketches, and share her ice cream or roast with me. I had two small boys and I was preoccupied with my own life, but I made time for her when I could.

Now that Iím much older, I would have no problem sitting with her to learn what she wanted to share. And I did spend time with her. She told me a lot about our family and the history and where I got my blue eyes.

So during my own time alone recently, I imagined I was an old person, at the end of my life and wanting to share things with the younger people in our family. I have to admit I wonder if I will become a burden and will the young grandsons who adore me now, have time for me in twenty years?

Of course I have no idea what will happen by the time twenty more years pass.

But I do know what I want for my friend.

I pray for her to have peace.

Where ever she is.