Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For days we feel like crying...

Today my heart has been raw again. I have felt like crying almost all day long. My heart is tender. Another layer has been unwrapped. This hope. This nervousness. The anxiety. The gratitude. It is all mixed up together.

This stripping away of what is important and what isn't. I am so thankful for lollipops. He can have lollipops. Flavor in his mouth. A few months ago he was begging just for an ice chip and to go home. He could have neither.

Now, he can have ice chips. Lollipops and popsicles. And he is content. And I am so thankful that he is alive. He is breathing. His mind is with us. It is him. And yet, all he can have is an ice chip here and there. He can't even swallow his own saliva. And I am grateful. And yet, there is nothing easy about that.

I am not ungrateful. He is breathing his own oxygen. He is pushing air out of his lungs and the mark goes up. Two months ago, "it was stuck." But he didn't have the lung strength to even move it.

There was the middle of the night phone call. Being put back on the ventilator. The middle of the night phone call. The light on. Intubated five times. Finally moving from one hospital to the next. Wanting to hope that they could help. But...but...but...it was hard to keep hoping.

Hard to keep hoping when he would improve and then get worse. Hard to keep on hoping. And yet here we are still hoping. He is still here with us. And we are so grateful.

Yet, what a hard road. Intubated five times. MRSA. Pnuemonia. Tracheostomy. Wanting to die. Wanting him to wake up. Wanting him to speak. He speaks. He has woken up. He sends me email. He laughs at our jokes. And tries to do the chicken dance with us.

And today. I feel like crying. And crying. Perhaps it is for all the tears that my husband hasn't cried. We talk about how I cry for him. It is for the days when he thought he was dying. And the day he wanted to die because it was just too much. And it is crying because God has spared his life. And we can talk to him. And he can talk to us. And God has helped him be content. I've watched a man willing submit to what God has for him.

I thought we were submitting and the Lord would take him to his heavenly home. But that has  not been the road. So far. Not yet. As I read in Beowulf, "Death awaits us all." Not exactly comforting words but true. None of us know how many days that we have. And really we don't know how many more days he will have.

My father-in-law would type that he was ready to have coffee with Jesus.

He is improving. He is walking. He is working an exercise bike. He is breathing without oxygen. So why do I want to cry all day? He is moving to the next step of rehab. He is getting closer every day to going home.

Maybe I cry because he spent his birthday and Thanksgiving in the hospital. And Saturday is his 50th wedding anniversary. They were suppose to polka together. He is close. Maybe he will polka again. Maybe it is because he has suffered greatly. Maybe it's because he tells his granddaughter I love you.

I don't know exactly why I cry. Except that God is at work. He is making my heart much more tender. I am not bitter. I am tired. I am thankful for even this trial. God has worked so mightily. And I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed.

So overwhelmed that my heart can barely even comprehend the tragedy in Connecticut. I have a 7 year old boy in the first grade here in TN. And I can't even imagine the grief that is overtaking. My heart was already full right here. In my own world. I just can't even imagine the stunned, overwhelming grief that is being experienced there. My heart aches for them, too.

And so I cry.

* * * 
I wrote this post last December. It is 8 months later today when I post this. My father-in-law was recovering from brain surgery at the time. Three hospitals, one rehab center and four months after the intial surgery (and about a month after I wrote the original post) he went home. He still has trouble swallowing his saliva but he eats on his own! Plus he's been directing an addition that is being put on their home.

I still have days where I struggle with sadness which I believe is left-over from the last few years. Today is one of those days. But this post was much better written than what I can compose today.

* * *
May it encourage someone else that they are not alone. There are days when we all feel like crying. Perhaps it is just left-over sadness. Thanks for letting me share some of it today with you.
Love, Kathleen

Linking with Jen & Emily this week.


  1. Grief comes in layers, my friend. There's no prescribed time table on when the next layer may begin to peel away. It just unexpectedly works its way loose, leaving those raw, exposed emotions. Hugs.

    1. Thanks...that is good insight about grief coming in layers and not knowing when the next layer will peel. At times, it feels so ungrateful....how to walk thankfully in the midst of grief is difficult.
      Thanks for the hug.

  2. I love your perspective on tears: we cry because God breaks our hearts for things that break his. Illness, death, sin. So we bring our sadness to him to share and to bear. And to each other. Beautiful words, Kathleen.

    1. Thank you friend, for reminding me that we cry because God is breaking our hearts for what breaks his. Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your words & your perspective.

  3. It is so good to acknowledge our sadness, I think. So often, I dismiss my own because I cannot find a logical reason for it. But that does no good. Sometimes, we just are and need to sit in it for a moment, feel it, before we can move on.

    1. While I have always been a sensitive person, I, too, have often dismissed my sadness because it seemed like there needed to be a good reason for it. I'm learning that it is okay to be sad at times.

  4. oh Kath. what a lot for you and your family to go through.. and i get it. i've been crying lately too. sometimes i just long so desperately for heaven, i cry. because this world is not our home... yet it's all we know. love to you. e.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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