A little more about that prayer request…

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On my social media accounts yesterday I asked for prayers for a very special intention. I kept the details private, really not trying to be cryptic, but rather, I simply wasn’t sure of all the facts of the situation. I know more now and want to share.

Gigi - 88th Birthday

Gigi’s 88th Birthday Bash, June 2013

My lovely Grandma Mary Ann essentially has undiagnosed pancreatic cancer. Undiagnosed because she has denied the full gamut of tests providing detailed information about the severity and spread of the cancer. The reality is she has cancer. But the severity? We just don’t know and she is steadfast in her desires to not treat it.

After visiting Grandma about a month ago, I found her in great spirits, looking beautiful, and as always, sharp as a tack. I left thinking maybe the cancer isn’t as aggressive as the doctors suspect. But her condition took a turn early Monday morning, and Grandma was admitted to the hospital due to complications from an infection. Monday morning was touch and go, but by late in the day, she seemed to be stabilizing. Come Tuesday morning, we all were confused to hear the doctor say “these next 48-hours” are crucial. The doctor advised those hours might be her most coherent and family should consider making special plans to see her. So yesterday the kids and I made the hour-long trek back home to spend some time with Gigi (short for Great Grandma). She was tired and weak, in minimal pain, but again, sharp as a tack and all things considered, in pretty good spirits.

I didn’t get to spend as much time conversing with Grandma as I would have liked (little kids and hospitals … oil and water, huh?), but I’m grateful to have the time I did, not only yesterday but throughout my entire life. I grew up living a mile from her home and have a treasure chest full of glorious memories of and with her. Last June our extended family gathered together to celebrate Grandma’s 88th birthday. In preparation for the birthday bash, one of my cousins asked the grandchildren to write up our special memories of Grandma. The memories were printed on stationery and attached to roses shown here. What a glorious time we had reading aloud and reminiscing about our collective memories. What a gift … for Grandma and for all of us. Looking back, I’m so grateful that we made the time to celebrate big with her this past June.


I’m not sure what today’s health report will bring. But I do know that Grandma has lived a good and holy life and she is at great peace.

If you’ve gotten this far in the blogpost, thank you for reading and allowing me to share a bit about my Grandma with you. And as always, thank you for your continued prayers, friends.


  1. Prayers for Grandma Mary Ann and your family! She seems like the quintessential sweet grandma, and I am sorry for the pain you must be feeling. The more I learn about our faith, though, the more I pray that myself and those I love are gifted with time like Grandma Mary Ann is receiving–to be with family and receive those last graces from the sacraments before making the journey home. May we all be that blessed! I´ll be thinking of you.

  2. Prayers for your grandma and family. My cousin just lost her grandma to cancer on Saturday, and a sweet woman I know is having surgery for cancer tomorrow. Their grace in carrying the cross of cancer has been so inspiring, and it sounds as though your grandma is the same. Prayers for all of you.

  3. Thank you Lisa! Not only did the nurses and doctors help Grandma, seeing all her loving family was the best. This morning she told me she couldn´t get to sleep last night because her mind would not shut down all the excitement and joy she had with her family. :-)

  4. Your story hits close to home as we had a scare like this with my 98-year-old grandmother over the summer, and she finally passed on this week. It’s all that’s on my mind this week. God bless you all.

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