By Del Starr, a pseudonym, all rights reserved. Posted Nov. 11, 2015

[Editor’s Note: This is a factual memoir written by the woman to whom it happened. She chose the pseudonym and before she died, entrusted her manuscript to a pastor, asking that it be published. The only things that are happening to it are proofreading and slight edits for clarity. DLK]

Through Sunshine and Through Rain

“Hi Brian, we made it.” Dianne spoke into the telephone shortly after she and Peter had settled into their motel room in Seattle.

“Oh, hi, Mom,” Brian answered. “We were getting a little worried about you so I’m glad you called. Tell me the address of your motel and we’ll come right over.”

“Oh Brian, I really appreciate that but I am so tired. Would you mind terribly if we got together tomorrow instead of tonight?” The trip had been hard on Dianne. She had lost so much weight and strength that even the trips to Missoula were hard. This one had taken hours and all she wanted now was to lie on the bed and rest.

“Of course not Mom, that’s fine, I understand,” Brian encouraged.

“Hey, Mom, how about we meet at the place where I used to go deep sea diving? You can tell Grandma that I want you to take some pictures of it and then we’ll pull up and surprise her, okay?”

Grace had not been told that Brian, her favorite grandchild, would be in town. She had often told Dianne that when she was pregnant she had longed for a brown-eyed boy and had actually been disappointed when the baby was a blue-eyed girl. Brian now stood in the place of that missing brown-eyed son. They anticipated springing the surprise of his arrival on his grandmother.

The following morning Peter and Dianne picked up Grace. “Do you remember where Brian used to deep sea dive, Mother?” Dianne asked

“Of course I do,” Grace replied

“Would you show us where it is? Brian asked if we could get some pictures of it while we were here.”

When they arrived at the meeting place, Peter, Dianne and Grace found heavy fog. It was impossible to take pictures but Grace and Dianne wandered about, Grace pointing out first one spot and then another that brought memories to her of Brian’s scuba diving days.

As they walked toward Peter and Dianne’s vehicle a string of cars entered the parking lot. Dianne recognized one of the cars as belonging to Janelle and her husband. Grace glanced that way, but Dianne didn’t want to spoil the surprise yet. “Mother,” she said quickly, “look out there. Are those dark spots in the water divers? Or are they something else?”

Grace assured Dianne that they were indeed, divers and then said, “You know, if I didn’t know better…there was a car came through here and I would have sworn it was Janelle. It even looked like their car.”

Dianne brushed the remark aside with a slight laugh and continued talking about the divers and the fog.

It was chilly and Grace decided that she should get her heavier coat from the vehicle. She opened the back door and was rifling in her bags when Brian approached, his finger on his lips.

Grace stood up, facing the water as she struggled into her heavier coat. A young diver appeared at her side and said softly to her, “Have you seen any divers around here that you recognize?”

Grace started at the familiar voice but…oh, it couldn’t be! She turned, and looked into the face of her grandson. Her face was a moving picture of emotions as she recognized him, realized he was truly there, and then threw her arms around him as she cried.

“It is good,” Dianne thought to herself.

It turned out, all but one of Grace’s nine grandchildren were there. Even Tina and Chad had come over from Montana to join the fun. The rest of the day passed in great joy. As a family they took Grace to lunch, sat in the park talking, poked around in the little shops and did ever so many other things. As darkness began to descend, Dianne was tired but it was a good tired. She had made Grace happy for the day. She had one more day with her son before she would have to enter the hospital for more tests.

Another procedure, more anesthesia, and Dianne lay on the operating table once more. It had struck her again how calm she was about the anesthetic. She joked with the anesthesiologist saying, “I am putting my life in your hands, you know.” In her heart though, she knew that no matter what the anesthesiologist did, her life was truly in the hands of God. He alone would make the decision as to whether or not she survived.

Dianne leaned back in the lounger in the recovery room as the doctor entered.

“Dianne, good news for you today. There is no sign of the cancer.”

Relief flooded over Dianne. The long ordeal was over. Now once again, she could begin to recover. It would still be several hours before she was allowed to leave the hospital. She had been through so much that her blood pressure would not rise back up to normal levels. She felt fine, though, and since she seemed to have rallied in every other way and she had assured them that she had experienced low blood pressure all of her life, she was finally allowed to head for home.

Montana was still a long ways away and they would spend the night in Spokane once more, but Dianne was truly on her way. It seemed that there was no end of her offering up her praises of thanksgiving to the One Who most definitely sustained her. Every day her dependence upon Him grew stronger and stronger. There was no place else to turn. Family, friends, church; they had all disappointed her in one way or another. Her only true trust and allegiance was in Jesus Christ. He was her Friend, her Brother, her Father and most of all, her Savior.