Oh Mama… are you watching from heaven? Your sweetheart, your husband of 61 years, isn’t doing very well. He got so sick. And he was refusing to go to the doctor. We were so scared. Then finally he agreed to go the emergency room. It was just in the nick of time. They said he would have died that night if he hadn’t gone to the hospital.
Yesterday he was moved to rehab. But he’s still so weak. He was strong for you, Mama. Just a few years ago he was still helping you walk down the hall. He was still cleaning you up and bringing you food and helping you eat.
He was still cuddling you and telling you how much he loved you. He was still singing “You are My Sweetheart” to the tune of “You are My Sunshine.” He was so strong, Mama.
Now he is weak. He has a hard time feeding himself. He has a hard time sitting up. He has a hard time being alive.
He told me last night he wished he had died when he got so sick. Then he could be with you again. Then he wouldn’t have to go through all this. Then he could be in Heaven with his sweetheart. He loves you so. He told me not to be selfish, wanting to keep him here.
I guess I am selfish, Mama. I’m not ready to have you both gone. His mind is still strong, even though his eyesight, and hearing and body have become so weak.
But he still knows me. And he knows the memories we’ve made over a lifetime together. The memories that melted away from you in your last years with us.
I know you will both be together someday again. I’m so thankful you both knew and trusted Jesus, so we have no doubts about this. I don’t fear Daddy passing. I’m just not ready for it yet.
And maybe I don’t have to be. God numbers our days. He is in control. And Daddy was a strong man. If he’s willing to live he can get strong again, with God’s help.
I want more time with him, so I can make sure he knows how loved he is. For so many years we were focused on you, Mama. Daddy was too. We were all concentrating our energies on taking care of you. And I’m so glad we did. And we have many precious memories because of it.
But then you passed on and we’ve all been mourning you, Mama. And I still haven’t given Dad as much time as I’d wish, because I’ve been grieving and weak.
Now he needs me. And I want to bring him comfort and strength. And I want him to know how very loved he is. But this whole thing is so hard, Mama. It breaks my heart to see him suffering and weak and struggling.
Yet, I feel your love with us. Your sister has been calling from across the country, to check on Dad. And Uncle Walter too. And something about hearing their sweet southern accents brings you close, and it’s like a soft mama hug.
Their calls remind me of all the love you gave for years. I think of all the evenings you spent making long-distant phone calls, checking in on your people. And now they are checking in on us. And it almost feels like a call from you, Mama. The love you gave out so generously is returning to us. And it is a gentle comfort.
And so many people are praying for us, Mama. And God is sending tender mercies. He blesses us with something every day it seems… a card of encouragement, a home baked treat, a meal, flowers, some messages, help with caring for my mother-in-law, a friendly visit, kind doctors and nurses…
And God blessed me with the most amazing husband. When I was too emotionally and physically exhausted, Jeff had me stay home and spent the day at the hospital with Dad himself! He does so much to help!
I’m trying to notice the little daily mercies and thank God for them. They don’t solve the crisis, but they remind me of God’s presence and love. And since God is with us, and His grace holds us up, I know we will be okay.
Are you watching from Heaven, Mama? We are doing our best to take care of your sweetheart. Until he holds you in his arms again.