Personal note: I apologize for the long time between blogs. Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to become a Christlike caregiver for my wife.
“… To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
I was working on a different blog subject. However, given the events of the last couple of days, I think I need to write.
As an effect of my wife’s cancer, she fractured her hip bone sometime Sunday morning. The pain kept getting worst. We did share the sacrament, but she couldn’t do much more. By early afternoon, she described the pain as 10+. The fire department came and with great skill, they got her up and to the hospital.
The firefighters told me due to new COVID-19 restrictions, I was not allowed to go with her or be with her in the hospital. As they pushed her out of our apartment and I was left alone, my heart broke and my eyes flooded with tears.
The reality of COVID-19 was now affecting my life in a very personal way.
Later, she called to say they were wrong, and I could come for that day only. The no visitor restrictions would go into effect the next day.
A wonderful tender mercy as I was there for the diagnosis and to give her a blessing for her upcoming hip replacement surgery.
I realize there are many people who weren’t given such a chance. Loved ones’ last goodbye was through the glass or worst they died alone.
I also realize that my wife will come home soon, which is much more manageable situation. Even so, I have learned at least three lessons.
Lesson #1: Be Faithful. As the scripture above reminds us, “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6). It is critical that we stay spiritually minded during the circumstances of life.
This experience tried my faith. Under inspiration I gave her blessings. When she was in pain on Sunday, we prayed that she could stand up. The prayer wasn’t answered in our terms. The pain continued and she couldn’t stand. In my heart, I wondered if my faith wasn’t strong enough. I felt like the father who cried to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24). But he did answer our prayers. He did fulfill the blessings. He opened the way before us. Because by keeping the pain, we were led to medical care which led to greater discovery of cancer, which led to additional plans to fight it. Sometimes we only see 1+1. God sees 1+1+1+1+1.
Lesson #2 Be Grateful. The Lord has blessed with great technology. Not only can my wife and I talk, but we can also see each other (like on Star Trek). By applying some additional technology, we can open our conversation to family and friends. In many real ways, we can be together without being together.
I am grateful for the medical staff who is taking care of her and their expertise given by a loving God. I believe every medical advancement is a blessing from above.
Lesson #3 Be Creative. Psychologists might not agree with this one, but it works for me. I decided to re-image the situation in my mind. Rather than focusing on the fact I can’t be with her; I am imaging her on a business trip and that she will return some day. This coping strategy helps me because in our work life, we survived such separation and now we can do the same.
Do you have other lessons I should learn?
For those who are experiencing what I am, how are you coping?
(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)