July 14, 1995, at roughly 7pm, I drove my first husband to the hospital for the last time. After almost five years of battling terminal cancer and so many trips to different hospitals & doctors, it's impossible to count them all, this was the last time. He'd been taking pain medication at home and we knew the day was coming soon, when home care wouldn't be enough anymore and he'd need to be admitted to the hospital for more intense pain control. July 14th, twelve years ago, was that day. It was a beautifully warm & sunny summer evening. Children were riding their bikes & swimming in pools, just like any other warm summer evening.
As I helped him pack a small bag, we both knew it but neither one of us said it outloud. We knew it when he'd start to reach for something to put it in the bag and then he'd say "well, I guess I wont be needing that, will I?" and I had to say "no, probably not." We knew that would be the last time he'd be in our house. I knew it would be the last time I heard his sandals on the hardwood floor in the hallway. We knew that would be the last time he'd see the beautiful backyard & in-ground fountain he and I landscaped together, as we walked out the back door to get in the van. We knew it'd be the last time we were in the van together. We knew it, but we didn't say it - we just let it go, or more realistically we pushed it aside so we wouldn't cry. Again.
I remember driving slowly to the hospital, that was only five minutes away. A lifetime of thoughts ran through my mind, in that five minute drive. A chapter in life was closing and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I'd been taking care of him, the kids, the business and the house for so long, but this was something I couldn't take care of. It was time to let go, and I didn't want to. How do you let go of a part of you? I learned firsthand, that you really don't. You simply submit to God, and He carries you through all the pain & all the tears. The only thing that brought any comfort at all was the fact that he was saved, and I knew that when it was finally time, he'd be going home to Jesus. I didn't know that would only be four weeks later.
I know I have a tendency to repeat myself, even in blogging. I know I've written about this before so I wont go into detail again. Truth is, even with the passing of so many years and the abundant and merciful grace of God, some of those memories still bring a lump to my throat and probably always will. Summer can be hard for me at times, because of that summer in 1995.
I don't usually ask for prayer here at my blog, but I'm asking now, if you fine folks would kindly remember me today. I don't like to be lumpy-throated. There are chores to be done & a pool to clean today. The sun is shining and it's a beautiful summer day.