The months are marching on. Gary is sleeping through them. He wakes a few times a day, and I tend to his physical needs. His senses and strength are minimized to almost nothing. I wonder that he is still living. But he is living, and the other day, I cried just at the thought of him not being here. I must confess mixed emotions and am not sure how to pace my life and thoughts, hoping that God will take him home to heaven where he can have a perfect mind, but joyful that he is still my earthly companion. I’m so grateful that I’m not the one to decide Gary’s ultimate, and final departure from our marriage and this life. I leave that to his Creator.
Meanwhile, I still love him, and am finding joy in the littlest things. Years ago I was the typical wife, full of expectations. If Gary didn’t give me the attention I wanted, I was tempted to complain. Things are different now. Because those more obvious acts of love are missing, I am learning to appreciate more subtle “connections.”
When Gary's eyes open, sometimes for as long as 30 seconds, I spring into action, to get in front of his gaze hoping for a look of recognition, or I place one of his orchids on his tray table in front of him. The funny thing is, by the time I have the plant in place, he’s asleep again, but I like to try anyway.
Occasionally I give him his favorite…Coffee ice cream. Only a few bites, but I think he still likes it based on how he eagerly takes it off the spoon. It makes me smile because it reminds me of his nightly ritual bowl of ice cream for many, many years.
When he makes a monotone, humming sound I try to discern if he needs something, or is trying to sing, or speak. I ask him to tell me more, and find myself praying that I will understand if I need to.
I come across an underline in a book he’s read. I read it to see what was important to him. What did he want to remember? It helps me continue to follow his lead, even now.
In past years, we talked and laughed and loved. Currently our interactions are few and far between as I grasp at the straws of what’s left of Gary’s abilities. I don’t have too many regrets over the years, but it's good to remember that we can always be more appreciative and encouraging in our relationships. I share these little incidents with you in the hopes that you will make the most of every opportunity to love your spouse, (or anyone in your life). We are not promised next year or even tomorrow. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given with your loved one.
Redeem the Time
"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is , through the living and enduring word of God. For, ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." (1 Peter 1:22-25)