Sunday, December 11, 2016

Announcement of a Death

God has an interesting way of getting our attention.  It is Sunday and I overslept.  Partially because I did not set the alarm clock and partially because I have been sick and tired all week.  When I awoke, I thought, "Maybe I won't go to church today.....I have so much to do..."  Something whispered, "Get up and go worship.  You have so much to be thankful for.....go praise."

So, I did.  As I walked into church, several people asked me if I knew Jim's wife had died on Friday.  Oh my!  Jim is a man who I have been sitting with at church on Sundays.  His wife has been in critical care in the hospital since January (it is December, folks).  He has slept most nights on the sofa in her room.  I can't imagine what they have been through together after 46 years.  He and I are sort of kindred spirits with two terminal spouses. 

I sat down next to him and gave him a hug.  He is the sweetest man and my heart broke for him.  She knew the Lord and he is comforted to know she is in heaven. Some of us took him to lunch before he left to go home, almost 5 hours from here.  Boy, did her death make me think.

As I sat next to him in church and again at lunch, I could not imagine his sorrow.  I asked him if he is still numb and I received an affirmative response.  I just ask for prayers for him and for all those who will lose those close to them.  Of course, I headed over to visit Gary. 

He had finished lunch and was sitting in the living room next to Nancy, his meal buddy.  She smiled a big smile and I squeezed her hand.  Martha asked for my help.  I squeezed her shoulder as she told me some story that tied to nothing in the room.  I distracted her and got her in a good place before I settled next to Gary.

I had about 40 minutes before the worship service started so I took him to his room for a mini-pedicure.  He seemed to like the attention.  While I clipped his nails, I played some Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Gospel music.  I gave him his bongos and he just sat there.  When my hands were free, I sat across from him and banged both hands on the bongos.  He put his hands on mine and guided my poor rhythm.  When we used to drive long distances, I would ask him to teach me how to drum and he would take my hand and count beats with me.  Even though he looked a thousand miles away, he was fully present sitting in that room today.

Pastor Tim came and brought a soprano angel who played the guitar and sang in a beautiful soprano voice.  She praised and sang Christmas carols.  Gary fell asleep while holding the table next to him.

I have no idea what he thinks during these times.  He seems peaceful.  He awoke as the pastor came over to shake his hand.  Gary repeated "God Bless You."  I left shortly thereafter. 

I can't imagine the day when Gary leaves to go to Heaven.  

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