Posted by: macahajo | April 20, 2012

I held her hand just a little while longer…

Last November, as we looked forward to the upcoming holidays, we thought that it might be our last Christmas in the States for awhile since we planned to move to Cameroon in the fall of 2012. So, Hannah said that if she could ask for anything for Christmas, it would be for Grandma Kato to come home for Christmas. Though she lived near us, Grandma Kato was staying in Colorado with Mark’s sister for a few months. Of course, when Grandma Kato heard that request from her only grand-daughter, she made arrangements to come home for the holidays to spend it with the whole family! We didn’t realize it then, but it would be Grandma Kato’s last Christmas with us.

Grandma Kato went back to Colorado after Christmas, but then came home to Illinois in February because she was having a hard time breathing and she was coughing a lot. The doctor diagnosed her with High Altitude Sickness. But when she didn’t get better, they started to run more tests and found out in March that she had cancer. They found tumors in her liver, esophagus, femur, and lungs.

We saw changes in Mark’s mom quickly – a rapid decline in her health. The time that she needed to rest got longer and longer. And the time that she was awake and engaging in conversations with us, got shorter and shorter.

Then one day, she thought that she was going to die. When we got to her house that afternoon, we also thought that she might die. We had time with her when she was awake that day; to tell her how much we loved her, what a difference she made in our lives, and how much we’d miss her. We talked about Heaven; how there will be no more crying or pain.  Mark’s mom told us how proud she was of us and how much she loved us. And, she asked us to let her go.

We ended up taking her to the hospital that night and she made it through the night and the next few days as well. Mark stayed with her in the hospital and had some special conversations with her. When he shared about the Lord with her and asked her if she believed that Jesus died for her, she said yes. She said that one thing she’s held on to, one thing that she knows, is that Jesus loves her.

I’ll always remember the last night that I was with Mark’s mom while she was still living. She had just been moved into a hospice care facility that afternoon and the family planed to take her home to have hospice care there. She was not doing well and I didn’t want to say good-bye that night. I held her hand just a little while longer.  I didn’t want to let her go.

She passed away that next morning; Friday, April 13th, 2012.

The last picture taken with Grandma Kato & our kidsMarch, 2012

The last picture taken with Grandma Kato & our kids
March, 2012


  1. Hi Cathy and Mark, I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom and the children’s grandma. Even though our heads tell us that we will one day be reunited for eternity, our hearts still break from the loss of all those things you mentioned, Cathy. Looking at the gentleness in her face and her smile, I can tell that she was a very loving woman. May God continue to cover you all with His comfort and peace.

    • Hi Darlene! So good to hear from you. Thank you for your note. Mark’s mom was a very loving woman & made such an amazing impact in our lives. We miss her so much, but the Lord is carrying us through. Thank you so much for your prayers. They make a differnece. Cathy

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