“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.

So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”

Romans 14:8

I gotta tell you — this has been one rugged week, which is why I am late with this Jot. As I write this, I am sitting in a hospital room with my precious Aunt Julie who has literally been on a roller-coaster with death since late Wednesday night when she went to the emergency room, unable to keep food down.

She looked awful when we arrived in the ER—pale, breathing rapidly and eyes glazed. As the responsible party, let me tell you that I quaked in my sandals when the ER doctor told me our only option might be a feeding tube inserted in her stomach, something my aunt most adamantly specified in her end-of-life dictates that she did NOT want. They finally settled her in a room at 2:00 AM, and my husband and I left exhausted, weighed down by the decision that loomed before us.

The next day, AJ was sitting up in bed comfortably and looked like a million bucks, bolting down breakfast and most of her lunch like a college football player. I exhaled a HUGE sigh of relief and felt almost giddy when the doc said she should be able to go home in a day or two.

And then her heart rate went crazy and her blood pressure plummeted, and two different doctors and two different nurses told us to prepare for the end because her organs were shutting down.

Frantic, I called my cousin in Kansas City and told her to come, then notified the rest of the family. The next day, doctors’ jaws were dropping (literally!!) when they stared at Aunt Julie while she plowed through huge mounds of pureed lunch like a farmer after a hunger strike. One doc just shook his head and said he didn’t know what to say. But I did—PRAISE GOD!!!

The next morning, she took a turn for the worse, and they feared she would die in hours. That was yesterday. Today, she is still chowing down tons of food and the kidney failure is reversing and she looks like a million bucks again.

That’s my Aunt Julie—resilient, stubborn, spunky and never say die!  Sounds like the perfect romance heroine, doesn’t it???

I gotta tell you—I have NEVER liked roller-coasters, EVER, because a CDQ like me just doesn’t handle the ups and downs all that well, which is a good thing I guess, because it means I cling to God all the more. Whether I am rejoicing during the giddy highs or careening down at breakneck speed to what I am sure will be my sudden death, HE is the only thing that brings stability and peace and hope, no matter the highs or lows, no matter the laughing or the mourning. Because the bottom line in life or death is the truth of the Scripture above. “Whether we live or whether we die … we are the Lord’s,” and never have I been happier to know that than now.

Your prayers for my Aunt Julie and me and my family are greatly appreciated, no matter where God takes this, no matter what His decision may be. I cannot thank you enough for your friendship … and she and I can’t thank you enough for your prayers!




THREE CHANCES TO WIN!!! Win your choice of any of my books INCLUDING A Love Surrendered or A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story (e-book only) at INKSPIRATIONAL MESSAGES BLOG. Hope to see you there! Here’s the link: