Holding Hands, Holding On…

warner and sandy holding hands 2I see Warner weakening. I feel him slipping away. Sometimes I cannot understand the words he whispers to me, barely making a sound. This makes his brows furrow with frustration. My heart sighs with the same.

Then he looks me straight in the eyes. He clumsily reaches for my hand and he holds it. We sit as he wanders in and out of sleepy consciousness. He kinda’ smiles. I thank God for the moment.

God knows that I need those moments. He is faithful to fill me when I am drained, empty, dry. I could not count the moments when the Spirit alone has carried me through my minutes, my hours, my days. This time at home in hospice care and out of the mainstream medical system is my most challenging to date.

Sometimes feel such a weight of responsibility. Even though I take just one step at a time, completely in the present,  I get weary and overwhelmed. Warner is totally dependent on me for every sip of water, every dose of medication. And here I am, sleep deprived, emotionally drained and physically sore from trying to keep him positioned comfortably and help him sit and stand. (Warner has a catheter, but for some reason he thinks he still must stand to pee, especially late at night and in the early hours of the morning). I am a mess. I ask God what was He thinking when He favored me with this circumstance. Couldn’t He have waited until I was more mature, more sanctified, more prepared?

Grigory comes and comforts me. He urges me to go outside while he watches his dad. We reminisce and talk and cry together. A friend texts me with a scripture that speaks to my soul.  Another calls me with a kind word of encouragement. Others bring delicious meals. Some come by just to give me a hug or to pray for me, with me. Some send amazing cards, flowers, gifts. I know we are covered by the body of Christ. I feel the tender warmth of their love. I am not alone. They strengthen me. They lift me above the circumstance. They lead me to my Father’s arms. I may be a mess but I am also a daughter of the Most High God.  I am full.

Warner is obviously in some degree pain that the medicines cannot totally eliminate. How could he not be? He has been in his hospital bed in the dining room since mid-April. He has tumors on his upper lip, his chin, poking out from his chest, all over his frail body. Although he may look peaceful sleeping in his bed, this isn’t a walk in the park for him. It is hard. He is brave.

When I come to him and tell him I love him, he says “love you big” or just “big.”   He says it clearly so that I can understand. He kisses me back when I kiss him. When he wants water, he says “please.” He thanks me when he is through. He is not angry with the situation. He is kind. I marvel at his character. He is indeed a good man. He is finishing well, with dignity and a peaceful grace. He is ready, eager to lean into his Father’s arms for the rest of his eternity. What an honor to share in this most intimate moment. I am most blessed.  I love him more each day. At the same time that he is slipping away, we are drawing closer together, to that place where joy and sorrow meet.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18



  1. Sandy, my heart breaks for you and Warner yet my spirit is incredibly uplifted by your strength and love for each other and for God. Your faith and trust in God’s plan is a living testament for all to see. I love you, my friend. I pray many, many times each day for both of you.

  2. Sweet Sandy, I love that you see this as FAVOR—you ARE indeed highly favored to be holding the Hand of God in this process. Joy and sorrow and love flow mingled down together.

  3. Dearest cousin Sandy
    I cannot pretend to put myself in your shoes…but a few years ago I went through something similar with my Dad (Tio Willy). By his side through the last portion of his earthly journey. And (I’m not going to lie to you) it was difficult … It was a test of love…. But it changed my life! It was an honor and a blessing to be by his side through it all. I’m so grateful for the experience and the opportunity to serve Him. I was with my dad every step of the way … And this may sound crazy or even deranged …. But (I guess that) when the life has been a good one… At the end of the earthly suffering … The end… Is Beautiful! My brother (cousin Gary) and I were with Tio Willy every step of the way … And with G-d’s enveloping love… It’s all good! May G-d bless you and keep you strong. All our love to you… And your family. Kisses to Tio Jack and Tia Bonnie.

  4. What an incredible gift for both of you. This was sweet and poignant sharing. I am sure Christ is saying to you “well done”😘

  5. Sandy
    I have read your posts as you have gone thru this journey. I can’t say that I know what you are feeling as Warner goes thru this. But I can say that as I watched my mother in law go thru this just a few months ago that it was very hard on my wife being her care giver and tending to her every need. But I know that worth your faith in God he will see you thru it. God bless you and your family and we will keep you in our prayers.

  6. Sandy, you are a beautiful daughter of the King indeed, your words are so powerful, though expressing a deep pain, there a strength, wisdom and inspiration that is incredibly encouraging. Your live for each other and your deep understanding of the father’s love is comforting!
    Praying for you

  7. Sandy, thanks for putting into beautiful words what you are experiencing right now. We continue to cover you in prayer for strength and rest. We share your burden, and are at the same time encouraged by your faithfulness to each other and to the Lord. Love to you, Warner and Grigory

  8. Sandy..Praying for God to continue to carry you and each and every day and just know that you are in our prayers.

  9. Thank you Sandy, for sharing your heart with such beautiful words. Praying The Lord will strengthen and comfort you each day.

  10. Thank you Sandy for sharing with us the intimacy of these moments. Their hardness and their beauty. May the God of all comfort continue to be in the midst of them. We love you and Warner!


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