April 29, 2013, for me, is one of those days that you “remember where you were when…”
They wheeled my husband back into the hospital room, the back of the bed faced me. I couldn’t see him, but I knew something was wrong. There was something in the air that changed. Something felt off. This was a routine heart catheterization procedure to put a couple stents in. One day in the hospital, a couple days of rest, and bada bing, bada boom life would be back to normal.
But that’s not what happened.
The nurses flitted about getting things ready in his room. His bed was still half in the hall and half in the room. I couldn’t wait another minute for them to push him in, so I went to his side.
“Hey,” I said, hoping for a smile, some sign we were done and we could move on from here. But his face was full of dread and something else I couldn’t quite recognize on him. Fear. He spoke to me through watery eyes, his words a quiet whisper, “I have to have open heart.” I shook my head no, hand in his squeezing tight. The nurses droned on, talking to each other.
“How do you like working in the cath lab?”
“Oh it’s great, I’m learning a ton and it’s neat to see all the procedures and how they are done.”
Everything splintered in that moment.
I wanted the nurses to stop talking, to do their job and leave so we could be alone. The world around us began to fade and spin. All my thoughts were of ribs being opened and separated. I couldn’t bear it. I looked at my husband and wiped the tears from his face. When he spoke there was terror in his voice. He too, was afraid.
I had no words. I couldn’t comfort him, I didn’t know what to do. What would this mean? I could see the process unfold that night as we went from denial to acceptance.
On May 2, 2013, he underwent quadruple bypass.
I have been wanting to write this entry for months. I can say I was too busy, but I wonder if it was too raw. It still feels fresh, like a wound that hasn’t quite healed.
But I learned there is a time and season for everything. It’s ok for some things to die…to come to an end.
Death of shame.
Death of self.
Death of pride.
Death of bad habits.
The end of this blog…
This journey has brought me farther than I ever thought possible. There was a day not too long ago that I said, “When I was post abortive.” That day I realized I will always feel the pain and loss. But I am done carrying the shame and guilt from my abortion. Jesus bore that all on the cross for me. Who am I to continue to carry the penalty, rather than choose to accept the free gift he has given us. Now, I am truly free.
My prayer is that in a way this will live on. I wanted to take others on my journey and see how it’s possible to heal. That they are not alone in their struggles with abortion.
So I leave you with this: Life is beautiful. When the reality of life’s frailty hit me upside the head, it was a wake up call and I learned a lot about myself.
To live beautifully.
To live fully.
To not take things for granted.
To live without regrets.
To love more deeply.
My prayer is that you may do the same.