I found the little book on her beside table while she was at National Health Care for several weeks of rehab. Someone from my wife’s school must have stopped by and left it as an encouragement. I had the room to myself for a few minutes so I opened the little journal and began to read the handwritten notes on the once empty pages.
Five weeks ago today I received a 6:52AM call from my wife’s neurosurgeon telling me my sweetheart was gone. Her seven-month long battle for survival was over, but my world crashed and is still smoldering. Two words came to mind that morning, but I have waited until now to put “Love Is” into the blogosphere.
My wife loved that I loved her. She loved our simple date nights, our romantic get-a-ways, and the occasional bouquets of flowers at the end of a long day at school or for no reason at all. Every day ended with us sitting on the sofa next to each other holding hands, and once in bed we would fall asleep snuggling.
God, You and I have talked a lot during the last seven months of my bride’s life. Many times I thought she wasn’t going to survive. Many times it hurt so much to see her suffering that I prayed over and over again, asking you to heal her. As if you needed my permission, I even left the definition of healing up to you, knowing that you might choose to ultimately heal her and take her to be with you. Ten days ago you did just that.
Life can be like a game of checkers. I haven’t played checkers in many, many years, but I remember well a few I played decades ago. My maternal grandfather had a farm in western Kentucky. Although he never learned to read or write, he had one of the best business minds I have ever known. I often find myself reflecting on the lessons learned from his example.
I am reminded of the well known line Clint Eastwood spoke in the Dirty Harry movies, “Are you feeling lucky today, punk?” Lucky is not in my normal vocabulary. Honestly, I can’t remember how long it has been since I have even used the word. I accept that some people appear to be lucky, but I have never considered myself to be a member of that elite club.
An important introductory note: I met Sam today while visiting my wife in rehab. Tomorrow marks the end of the 5th month since my wife’s brain trauma began. A stubborn aneurysm that burst twice was only the beginning. You can scan some earlier blogs for more details. She is now in a local care facility for rehab. Today is Saturday 2/24/17.
In my last blog I voiced concern over our increasingly divided nation. Our news outlets seem to enjoy fanning the flames that destroy hope. When hope is lost, a nation, a society, a government, a people, a marriage, a family… will perish! Unfortunately, heartwarming stories don’t drive ratings like sensational stories do.
I grew up in a small mid-western community. Most of the people I knew were either employed in local factories or in farming. My dad was a schoolteacher and my mother stayed home working hard for her husband and her four children. As a young child I was always the first one on up on Christmas day. I remember one year, my dad in an effort to get a little more sleep required that we be dressed before we opened gifts. No problem, I just put my pajamas on over my clothes.