I 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