“He kinda likes me.”

“He told me He was going to take me home, and make me one of the angels,” Gam told me at dinner once.

He being God–and I loved how she didn’t preface or explain it–like He was obviously right there with us, at the table, needing no introductions. I remember smiling at the realization that she was right.

Then, without missing a beat, she said, “He kinda likes me.”

#7 – Gotcha!

Friday morning, Gam was swaggerin’ something fierce. She almost bumped into the wall. As I ran to help her, she breathed big, lifted a clenched fist in the air and shouted, “Gotcha!”

“Gam . . . ,” I asked. “Are you OK? . . . who you talkin’ to?”

They told me it might get this way.

They didn’t tell me that Gam talks to God.

She told me that a few days after the diagnosis, she was sitting in her chair by the window, asking Jesus how in the world she was going to make it through this.

She told him she was scared. She told him she was confused. She told him she felt alone. She asked Him not to leave her.

And then, clear as day, the words: “Gotcha!”

She said she felt the Lord grabbing her hand, and it startled her. She’d never heard God talk out loud before. (And if you’ve seen Gam startle, she startles. Limbs flailing, eyes popping, hanging sideways to the chair for dear life.)

“Gotcha?!” She asked. “What did you say, Lord?”

She was so puzzled that she called her pastor–Pastor Mike.

He laughed. “Pat, we always expect the Lord to speak to us in old King James. But He was talking to you in your language.”

Now, when she swaggers, she’s not so afraid. She braces herself, throws a fist in the air and whispers, “Gotcha!” When she gets winded and confused, she shakes her head and breathes it, too.

It’s a good reminder for her.

It’s a good reminder for me.

Just because we feel alone doesn’t mean we are. Just because we’re frightened does not give us reason. And maybe our worst falls are worth the stumble only to feel the strength in His hand.

And to hear Him speak, after 84 years of listening close, in a language all our own.