I know what that feels like. And it has CHANGED ME.The man God gave me almost 27 years ago means SO much more to me than I realized. And I am ashamed to admit that I have taken him for granted too often.
Just over two weeks ago, he was whisked out of recovery from a simple & successful sinus surgery into what looked to me like an emergency type room on an upper floor inside the hospital. I did not know anything except that they thought it might be a heart attack. The most confusing part was that his blood pressure and cholesterol levels were all in the healthy range....even at that moment!
I have to admit, RUNNING through the halls behind the nurses who were rushing him to the cath lab to have a balloon and stent put in, was something I do not EVER want to do again. The weight of the matter hits hard when previosuly calm medical professionals are yelling at each other to open the doors ahead of them....."NOW!!"
And in the chaos, one nurse tells another that she better let his wife give him a quick kiss. My heart sunk at her tone.
I kissed him on the cheek and simply said: I love you. (One last time.....??)
He was quickly wheeled away...and they put me on a bed behind a little curtain in an area outside the cath lab....to wait. I had no phone with me to call anyone. Honestly, I had nothing to put into words anyway. I could PRAY....and that was about it at that moment. So I grabbed a towel, curled up and cried and prayed and felt so incredibly small and helpless.
I had no idea what God's plans were in that moment. I prayed He would take us through this as a family, no matter what the outcome. Thoughts of raising my kids alone raced through my head, but I crowded them out with prayers that God's will be done...and that I would be held strong through whatever that was going to look like. And then...a weird sense of peace.
It turns out they call this a silent MI (heart attack) or - more ominously: The Widow Maker...because it can come on fast and with few warning signs...or just symptoms you dismiss as related to other minor issues - LIKE INDIGESTION! Well...there is a reason for the blood circulation things they routinely put on your legs before, during and after surgery....it's to try to prevent BLOOD CLOTS. Apparently, one formed anyway and went to a large artery right where it comes out of the heart...not a great place for a golf-ball-sized clot to form.
Nurses & doctors acted so quickly that only 62 minutes passed before his artery was unblocked. The cardiologist said that is excellent...and means he will likely have no permanent heart damage. Apparently, even if there is some damage to the muscle right now, the heart is amazing....the undamaged parts give the hurt part a chance to lay low and heal itself and then it can bounce back....in cases like this.
The HUGE BLESSING? We were in the hospital and Pete was all hooked up to monitors WHEN this started. Who else does that but GOD?! Earlier this summer, Pete almost rescheduled this sinus surgery for more than one reason, but got tired of not being able to smell...and it would have been scheduled at least one month LATER. I know what that COULD have meant. And I am in awe of a God who loves us enough to deal with us so graciously.
My kids still have their dad. I was not thrown into funeral arrangements and facing the task of figuring out what on earth single parenting looks like for an unemployed woman with too many kids. I am not curled up on my bed at home in the fetal position missing my husband desperately and hating him at the same time for leaving me so suddenly and too soon. I am not being suffocated by the little things all around me that remind me of him....they now serve to remind me to be THANKFUL I still have him.
God protected us in a way I still do not believe we have grasped yet. The ENT said it could have started much later...like while I was driving him home....or while he was with all the kids??!?! Something I cannot think about. So, instead, I will look forward to this new lease on life as a WHOLE family and what our changes will be and what God will do with this story. We don't want to waste ANY of it.
Once again, a seemingly awful experience has become a GIFT from God. It is something I would NEVER, ever....EVER!....choose....but, now? I would not trade it. I have a renewed sense of appreciation for my husband, a greater depth of love for him than I ever thought possible and a trust in my God that is not dependent on "happiness" or worldly provision. God cares about my family enough to grant us a much better, refined perspective...and a priceless appreciation for God's gifts to us in each other.
I got to kiss my husband and tell him, "I love you," one.last.time. And God chose - in His undeserved grace to me - to grant me MORE chances to do that. I am continually thanking Him for that unfathomable gift - and each time, I try to remember to pray for my dear friends who - for reasons I do not understand - walk a much harder road...one that is requiring them to wait until they see their husbands in heaven.
If you want to use this story to NOT waste any of your last kisses, any of your chances to say, "I love you," one more time....please do!
Lori (847) 650-7144
Pete (847) 650-8022
Our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are an ordinary family simply trying to follow where He leads. We want YOU to see the amazing things HE is doing...