This time of year always sends me reflecting over the past years in my life. From April 17th until the 27th I relive Jeff’s last 10 days on this earth and the changes that came after. I can’t help but think about what each of those days held and exactly what happened each day. I can remember them perfectly yet I can’t remember what I did last week. The most profound of those days was that I finally gave in to God and accepted his will for Jeff’s life and mine.
On April 17th Jeff had a stroke caused by the chemotherapy most likely. I remember just not “getting” it and being frantic that the doctor give him TPA to stop it, not realizing that it was not an option because of the tumor and chemo. By the time he was transported to Baptist Central it was dawning on me that this was the beginning of the end. He had lost ALL movement on his left side in a short 30 minute span and the resident who came in said the tumor site looked “bad”. It had looked “bad” for years so I still wasn’t totally getting it.
I lay in bed that night feeling so totally alone, Jeff could not speak and had fallen asleep. I lay there in a sterile room feeling homesick like never before. The picture of Christ came to mind of him asking His Father to “let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will but as you will”. I prayed and prayed this verse as I did not want him to die yet I had to trust in God; I begged him to pass the cup from me.
The aftermath of loss changes us forever. I had already grieved the life that Jeff and I lost over the years that he was sick. There was not a time that if the kids and I were alone somewhere, it flitted across my mind that “this is the way it will be”. I guess somewhere along the way I became willing to follow God no matter what. I learned to not be so afraid of the unknown and know that God would be there and that He does whatever He wants. I learned that through suffering we grow and change. As hard as it is, suffering is the only way we can truly relate to God. It usually takes suffering for us to have that intense NEED for Him. We can’t understand His ways but He knows what He is doing all the time. We just have to accept and embrace what He has for us. I finally did.