Written in 2021. I hope this will minister to others facing difficulties.
My husband was hospitalized. Intubated because his lungs weren’t able to pull in enough oxygen. I visited him daily. If you’ve never been to an intensive care, it is for the truly sick. He was given medication to allow his body to battle the raging attack on his system, ‘asleep’ on a ventilator for more than a week.
The hospital was gracious in reducing his medication during my visits so we could interact. However, I soon discovered the downside to this medication was memory loss. At about day nine, they switched his medication to one that allowed him to be cognizant. He was shocked to discover that he had lost weeks of his life. Without recall of our conversations, my visits, or my comfort and support, he awakened to a room with a wall of family photos and several reports on his medical status.
Oh boy, did he have questions… many written notes. When he came to a place of understanding the overwhelming battle that he was facing, I could see discouragement in his eyes. So, I began to search my memory bank of the fun things we had done together. In his isolated room, to the rhythm of the beeping machines, I wove our memories back into the forefront of his brain. No longer battling his frustration at this current turn of events that was beyond his control, he now lingered over the adventures of our history together. And when I paused too long between stories he wrote on his dry erase board, ‘more memories.’
Medically, I was unable to help my husband, but God gave me this gift of time to be with him. I too had to let go of many things. Things out of my control, including my frustration at his inability to remember our interactions of the past month. But as revisiting the good times helped him, it also helped me, to focus on what I did have today. That he could be with me mentally, right now, in this moment. That I had the privilege of being able to transport him away from the swishing noise of his ventilator to places where we had enjoyed life together. We were on family trips, laughing at our children’s antics, and dancing in our kitchen to the music in our heads. And when the day was over, we had shared many smiles, and I got to enjoy his silent laughs.
And as I walked the long, lonely hallway on my way back to my car, I was grateful. Even if he didn’t remember this day, I would. I was learning to count my days and to hold precious memories as the treasure that they are.
Whatever is pure, lovely, praise-worthy-Philippians 4:8
Comfort one another- 1 Thessalonians 4:18
#lettinggo #countingblessings #comfortothers #walkingthelonghallway #truetreasures
Thanks for your writing. We need reminders sometimes to be present and treasure wonderful times.
Sometimes it takes looking a little deeper to see the blessings, but I can usually find some good tucked inside the hard places. Thanks for your encouragement, Mary.