Sing for the joy that's found in setting up the pins and knocking them down

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Can't Wish Him Back

For a couple of reasons, today I ended up logging into my Caring Bridge account.  There I found the long list of sites I have followed over the years.   It's a rough list.  As I look down the line there are very few who haven't passed on or are on a health road that is far from easy.  Out of nowhere, I decided that I wanted to read the last updates around Eric's surgery which took place well over two years ago.  I don't know that I could have read these six months ago or even six days ago, but today I needed to remember my thoughts and feelings at that season of my life.

Sometimes you have to look backwards to really see how far you've come.  The voice of those entries was really trying to be brave, to put a happy face on the heaviness that was happening within her own four walls.  I could feel the fear of the unknown and the relentless waves of disappointment.  Those were difficult days and my heart breaks for the struggles that Eric endured as he recovered from that last surgery.  I would sleep out on the couch while he tried to find maybe one hour of comfort in the recliner.  I would hear him get up in the night and pray that I wouldn't hear him hit the floor if he passed out.  There was physical pain and there was emotional uncertainty.  I have nothing but respect for the courage he showed in dealing with it all.  Those were incredibly tiring and tedious times in our life.

What would life be like if I were still adding journal entries to his story?  What if there were more entries around a surgery in December or a trip down to Mayo in the spring?  Selfishly, I want him back at my dinner table, behind the wheel driving my kids to their activities and looking at me from his pillow as I prattle on about my day.  That's what I want and when I imagine it, he's healthy and strong. When I look back at those journal entries I know that we were saved pain and suffering.  We were saved a decline in Eric's health that would have no doubt been difficult.  What I'm saying is that God's divine timing is perfect, even when it's perfectly painful,

As I read each entry on his site, I had to admit these words to myself, I wouldn't want him back.  I wouldn't want him to wake up short of breath one more time, I wouldn't want him to have to make one more trip to the ER, to have to pause one more time, winded, at the top of a staircase.  I love him enough not to want that for him even though I can feel his immense love for us in the way he bravely battled the broken heart God gave him. I am glad he fought, but I'm grateful that he can now rest.

I found two different updates that I wanted to share from the journal entries.

From May 2, 2102  "A bruised reed He will not break."  To be very honest, we've felt more bruised in the last several weeks than we ever have in our lives and this promise is one that we cling to.  We are thankful that God never gives us more than we can handle and that he surrounds us with people to hold us up when we go through periods of trial.  This is all part of our story and we thank you for the roles which you play in it.

What I've learned in the past year is that God almost always gives us more than we can handle. That's how he designs it so that we absolutely have to lean into his strong arms for comfort, for guidance and for strength.  He doesn't expect us to go it alone.  He provides his strength through his promises, his hope and through a thousand different people who come alongside you, give you encouraging words or simply warm your day with a smile as you pass in the hallway.  

From March 7, 2012  Part of me thinks that I should write some really mushy stuff but in truth if you like that kind of stuff you probably get 4 emails forwarded to you each week full of that.  I do appreciate your prayers for my health and especially for Dawn and the kids.  They are real troopers and I am very proud of how they manage all of this.  
Thanks again. Eric

The second paragraph is one that was written by Eric on the eve of his last big surgery.  I think it shows his always present sense of humor and his gratitude for the overwhelming support for our family.  I also think it's what he would still say to all of you who have loved us so well over this last year. 

I had completely forgotten about the little note he asked me to post on March 7, 2012.  Maybe I was supposed to forget about it so that I could rediscover it today when I needed to hear his love, his humor and his encouragement to his family.  I'd be lying to you if I said that I don't spend considerable time wondering what Eric would think of how we're doing today.  Now I think I know.  

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