The hospital was bustling today, having awakened from it’s drowsy holiday weekend. My mother took up residence on a chair next to my father. She held his hand and talked to him, giving him sips of water when he would accept them. This is what forty one years of marriage looks like, both heart wrenching and beautiful. As children, we grow up believing our parents are invincible, but as we get older we can’t deny that they are getting older too. And one day you look up and you realize life’s terms have changed, the ground has shifted beneath you, and the hard decisions and the sleepless nights now belong to you.
Two doors down from my father’s room, the patient coded. There were alarms and an announcement as the hallway was flooded with doctors and nurses rushing toward that room. They were too late. The patient was gone. The wails of anguish from the family filtered down the hall and into dad’s room. The sounds of their grief lingered the rest of the day. Life is a delicate business.
Big E asked me this morning if GP was going to die. It was a hard question to hear, and a harder one to answer. “I don’t know,” I replied. “This time, he might.” The tears welled up in Big E’s eyes as he stared at me. “What if he does die?” I continued. “What happens to him then?” Big E thought for a moment and said, “He will get to go to heaven and be with Jesus.” “That’s right,” I answered. “He will go to be with Jesus, and that’s a pretty amazing thing. Now if that happens, I’m still going to cry because I’ll miss my daddy, but since I know he will be in heaven with Jesus, it will be ok.” Big E smiled through his tears.
Over the course of the afternoon, my father seemed to perk up a bit. He talked more than he has for the past week and that was an encouraging thing to see, but he’s not out of the woods. We have to take it day by day, prayerfully each moment, knowing we can trust the will of the God we love. This isn’t easy. It’s unbelievably hard. But His grace is sufficient for me.
To Christ be all glory.