I concluded my last blog post, Remedial Lesson Prompted by Facebook and Lent, dated March 10, 2020, by asking for prayers for my best friend and the man I dearly love, my husband, Ron. At that time, he was having some very worrisome health issues. We had some data but were waiting on more conclusive medical testing.
Long time friends and first-time readers of my blog responded beautifully to my requests. Ron and I received word that many people were praying for us. We received encouragement, love, prayers for healing, and kind offerings of friendship conveyed via snail mail, telephone, email, and text messages. Most importantly, there were many prayers for healing. The United States, and indeed the entire world, was getting increasingly worried about a horrible pandemic. Yet, many people took time out of their busy lives to pray for us.
I have not written on my usual Tuesday/Friday blog schedule since that time because life intervened. Death intervened as well.
After visits to specialists and increasingly debilitating pain, Ron’s Doctor ordered us to go to our nearest Emergency Room. There, after examination of Ron, the doctor arranged for him to be taken by ambulance to a hospital that treats veterans, about an hour away.
We learned there of the gravity of Ron’s illness. The surgery they performed made clear that Ron did not have long to live. Due to the coronavirus, the hospital was no longer allowing visitors. I wanted to take Ron home where I could be with him. With the caring and professional help of our local Hospice, Ron was released from the hospital and brought home. Finally, we were able to be together. As I learned the ropes regarding his care, I leaned heavily on Hospice staff. I was overcome by their professionalism, thoughtfulness, care, and concern, both for Ron and for me.
He wasn’t able to speak much, but when the Hospice worker left, and it was just the two of us he whispered, that he loved me.
I just sat with him and talked to him and held his hand. We sat that way for maybe an hour. I had to go to the kitchen for just a moment, and when I came back, I discovered that my dear husband had died. It was about 1:30 in the morning.
Ron and I got what we both wanted. Days earlier, after they had drained fluid from his lung, Ronnie was his old self. We spoke by telephone, and I was amazed at what a little oxygen will do! At a very brisk clip, the first words out of his mouth were: “So when are you gonna spring me from this joint?”
So finally, we were able to spring him from that joint! We got what we wanted. I got him out of the hospital, and when he was home, and it was just the two of us, he died. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. He has gone home to the kingdom. One of my first thoughts was that he has finally been able to meet my parents.
Despite the optimism of these lines, I confess that these weeks, since my husband’s death, have been harder than any trial I have ever faced.
But now, we are again in Holy Week. The week spoken about in holy scripture, which began with Palm Sunday and the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Tomorrow will be Maundy Thursday, the day that commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. Then on to Good Friday, when our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and laid in a tomb.
But the tomb wasn’t the end of the story of Jesus. On the third day, as Easter morning dawns, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.
The Gospel of John, 11:25:
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
This is what I believe. This is what Ron believed.
Thanks be to God!