This is a true story.
One night, my grandma spoke.
So what, you might say. Grandmas talk every night, all over the world.
My ninety-three year old grandma, Adele, hadn’t spoken in over five years. She had never been a big talker, and as the years wore on, she spoke less and less. One day, she quit speaking completely. There wasn’t an obvious reason, like a stroke, to explain her silence. I think she just ran out of things to say as she got older.
Then, one night, living quietly in a nursing home, she spoke about an angel. As nurses and aides entered and left her room to attend to her very ill roommate, she spoke.
“Do you see the angel? He’s here to take that lady home,” she said over and over.
Before the night ended and morning came, my grandma’s roommate died.
Word spread through the nursing home of the mute woman who had spoken of an angel waiting to take a soul. When the morning shift arrived, the nursing assistants refused to enter my grandma’s room.
When my mother had arrived that morning to visit, my grandma was still in bed, in her nightgown with long braids laying across her shoulders. No one wanted to assist my grandmother. They were spooked by angel talk.
Days later, the daughter of the deceased contacted my mother. She was confident that my grandma’s words were her answer to prayer. She had been praying fervently for a sign that her mama would go to heaven when she died.
Grandma’s words were her sign, she said.
Grandma never spoke again. She died quietly at the age of 98.