Friday, December 5, 2008

What I Feel

I'm sitting here this morning watching my dear husband sleeping peacefully in his recliner. It's not an unusual occurrence; he does it every day. I am trying to figure why it feels so different today. He's snoring slightly, as always. He's holding the newspaper, half folded and drooping into his lap, as always. He's drooling, just slightly, making a spot on his shirt, as always. Nothing is different or odd, but strangely it feels different.

Have you ever had that feeling? As though the perfectly ordinary is somehow different today? It bothers me when I have that feeling. I am very much a person of 'feelings'. Too much so for my own good, I sometimes think. I feel things deeply. Momma used to tell me all the time I was heart sick. I didn't understand what she was saying. She explained that I feel things too deeply. When someone is hurting around me, I hurt too.

I don't mean I feel bad for them, I mean I physically hurt for and with them. It is not unusual for me to walk into a room with someone who is suffering and develop their symptoms before leaving the room. If someone is deeply depressed, my spirit feels their depression and begins to be sad and forlorn. If they are grieving, I become grieved in my spirit. Older people sometimes called people like me a 'sensitive'.

Well, I am a sensitive person, but a dear elderly woman whom I knew as a child told me that I was aware of a realm most people are not aware of. I experience things in a way most people do not. That was a bit scary to me when I was young, but as I grew older, I began to understand it better and it wasn't so much scary anymore as it was painful. Today, I'm feeling that pain for my husband.

He hasn't been awake much at all and he hasn't told me he's suffering today, but I know he is. I feel it. For those of you who do not already know, my husband is suffering with a terminal liver disease. He is a Type II Diabetic and has had uncontrolled obesity and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides for many years. It has resulted in cirrhosis of the liver.

When he was diagnosed, he was embarrassed by it because he was afraid those around us would think he was an alcoholic and nothing could be farther from the truth. Just as he would never take care of himself before the diagnosis, he refuses to take care of himself now. Not because he doesn't love me or want to be with me, but because he has always had an obsession with food. From the time he awoke in the morning until the time he retired at night, he was always thinking about food. It came to him naturally, as his Mom is so much the same. However, she never developed a weight problem. But, she loved through food. And, that's not a good thing for a person who has a weight problem.

So, here we are and he is dying. It took a long time before I could say that word or think it or write it without breaking down and bawling uncontrollably. It's still not easy. Especially on days like today. Today, I feel that the dying is progressing. That's the only way I know how to describe it. There are days when I know we're in a holding pattern. Things are static. Not today. Today, death is active.

Am I saying today is THE day? No, just that today the march is on. That march each of us will make at some point in our life. I pray that, when my march begins, I have the grace and courage that my husband has shown. From the day we heard the news, he has had so much peace about it. He has never complained that God is being unfair to him. Though he suffers both physically and mentally, he has kept a positive attitude.

I've watched him over the past 13 months. There has been no railing against God. No pounding fists and demanding to know why. No poor, pitiful me. Just a calm, assured peace that, when the Lord is ready, He will call and my dear, sweet husband will answer that call and go home to live with his Saviour. He has told me on so many occasions that he doesn't want to leave me, but that he has such a sweet peace about going.

Today, I am seeking that peace. I feel so safe when I'm here in our home with him. But today, even that safety feels threatened. Death is on the march and I know he's marching toward our house. The Lord has stood guard at our door so many times before. But today my spirit tells me Jesus is preparing me for that one time when He will no longer stand guard, but will greet death and turn him away, only to enter and make that final call for my husband.

We have talked about that on many occasions. I don't want my husband to suffer. I want him to answer the Lord's call when the time comes. We will not say goodbye. We will say "I'll meet you later". We will then await the time when death marches to our house again and when he does, I will make the journey knowing that I go to be with my Saviour and greet my dear husband once again. I rest in the peace of that blessed assurance.

So, march on death. I know you're there, but you have no power over us. Your sting is only temporary. Because of our Saviour, your victory has no sway over us. We rest in Jesus, who has conquered death, hell and the grave so that we may have eternal life. Because of His sacrifice, we are free from the curse of death and have passed from death to life. Though we will experience a physical seperation, our spirits cannot be seperated because our souls are secure in the loving hands of our Saviour.

1 comment:

Raggedy Girl said...

Diane:
I too, as you know, feel things deeply. What you and our other friend are going through is just beyond the understanding I have available to me. I cried all last night while my hubby kept looking at me. I tried to explain I just feel so helpless and so bad about this, please try to understand. Silly that I want him to understand what I cannot. I am so glad to have met you.
Roberta Anne