She answered the phone by saying, "Yep. I'm gonna die soon." And then laughed and laughed like she had shared an old joke and not a sad statement. So I changed the subject and asked her about her life.
About her love life:
Me: "Grandma, do you have a boyfriend?"
Her: "I will NOT get into bed with another man, do you hear me? I haven't been in bed with a man since my husband passed and I plan on keeping it that way."
Me: "Grandma, I don't think anyone is trying to make you get in bed with them. You can just go out for coffee. Maybe dinner."
Her: "Ha! No thank you." Pause. "But you listen: I could if I wanted to. It's not like nobody wants to be my boyfriend, because they do. They definitely do."
"Do good. Read your Bible. Listen to that feeling in your stomach. And never, no matter what, smoke one single cigarette, ever. It's when you smoke your first cigarette that the devil comes in."
It was so precious to me, because one, I'm twenty-two. The days of feeling pressured to smoke my first cigarette ever are pretty far behind me. And two, she's such a beautiful soul and truly sees things in that simple light: If you do good and don't smoke cigarettes, life will be pretty good for you.
"I never knew I had so many friends until this year. You won't know who your real friends are until you get really old. At my age, all the glitz and glamor is gone and you can't really do much for other people except be their friend. So if your friends call and come see you and invite you over, it's because they really are your friend. They want to be around you because they love you, not because they love what you can do for them."
She wrapped up the conversation in the same way she started it:
"Yeah, I'm gonna die soon. But don't you be sad for me. I've lived for a really long time and had a really good life. God has been so good to me. I don't want anyone to be sad for me, because when you get to be my age, death isn't so scary, it's friendly. Because so many of my friends have died, I know I'll have some great company when I get up there. I haven't seen my parents in so many years, and I know they'll be waiting on me. And did you know it's been over 30 years since my husband died? So don't you be sad for me, because I know he's up there. He maybe just barely made it in, (he smokes cigarettes, you see) but I know he's there. He'll be waiting to see me again."
My grandma has spent the past 30+ years loving the same man that she married. Avoiding "the bed" (or even just coffee) with other men. She has been devoted to him long after death did them part.
"Don't be sad when I die. I won't be sad. I'll get to see that man again. Oh, what a beautiful day it's gonna be. Right Chelsea? Don't you think so?"
Yeah, Grandma. I think so.