Just Me

Saturday, April 6, 2013

An Overwhelming Week...

This week has been overwhelming for so many reasons...Tuesday, as I shared earlier was a turning point for us. Dave stopped his treatments and decided to keep his eyes on the prize! Hospice was called in and started handling his care. We have now had them here on 3 separate occasions since Tuesday and our house is making some changes. 

I know his condition is worsening, and since I see him day in and day out, I don't notice it so much. But when I think back over a week, two weeks, or a month, then it becomes evident. Two weeks ago, his mom, sister, and brother came down from Michigan to visit. He sat in the recliner in our living room for the 4 hours or so that they were here. Today when they visited for about 2 hours, he stayed in bed. Both visits equally wore him out. It is very sobering to see the difference that 2 short weeks have made. He is getting weaker, sleeping more, and eating less. Today we got him a seat to use in the shower. When he showers now, it wipes him out for the day. Tomorrow, a hospital bed will be delivered and set up. We are hoping this will prevent bed sores, since he is only able to stay in one position comfortably and it will also allow him more ease in sitting up. The reality hits. It is heart breaking. 

But I am thankful I can be by his side in this journey. I love my husband. 

He was getting into bed one night this week and he stood and hugged me. My thoughts "How many more hugs like this will there be?" I embraced him for as long as I could and savored the moment. I am beginning to discuss funeral planning. A friend asked if I needed any repairs done, her husband was willing. I responded with "Dave was always so handy! He could fix anything."  WAS...the reality of where we are hit again and I cried. I was driving home Friday evening after a "normal" night out, and then I thought of what was waiting at home. Waves a grief...

This week though, was overwhelming in other ways. Wednesday, I shared about our "stranger friend" and the gift of the word the Lord gave her for Dave. It was a moment I will never forget and I know it has brought a peace to Dave's heart that he did not have before. SO thankful!! ONLY GOD! On Thursday, God really began pouring his love over me. I had about 10 people from my church contact me. They asked how we were, what we needed, can they help?? I have had offers from a few men to do yard work, but I have passed on it. I have a "brown thumb" and having a beautiful lawn is not high on the priority list at all right now. My thoughts have been, keep it mowed when that needs done, the rest can wait. If it looks like that all summer, oh well! BUT, God had other plans for me! Thursday evening, a gentleman from my church that I had never met, showed up and cleaned out all the winter gunk, cut down leftover flowers and bushes, and it made SUCH a difference. He said he is not done and will be back to finish. My thought was, you're kidding?? This looks awesome! But ok I will gladly accept. Then to top it off, some dear friends went and bought me a new flower garden! BEAUTIFUL flowers! Tulips (my favorite), miniature daffodils (ADORABLE!!!), Hyacinths, Calla Lilly, Lilly, and a Snap Dragon hanging basket and shepherds hook! I am SO excited to get these beautiful flowers in the ground and remember that he gives beauty for the ashes! And the same gentleman is coming back to plant them all! ONLY GOD!

Wednesday, we had a friend of Dave's visit him. Sometimes I sit in on those visits and sometimes I don't. I have since talked to this friend and he shared with me, some of the things that Dave has asked him to help with after he is gone. It felt good to know my husband is taking care of some things for me, even in the condition he is in. Then I get a call on Thursday that he wants to fix our bathroom door in the basement. The door we had was flimsy and cheap. It broke a few years back, Dave repaired it, but it finally fell apart. So the girls have been using a sheet as a door! Again, the bathroom is in the basement, they are pretty much the only ones who use it, so not high on my priority list. But it WAS on Dave's. So while I attended the fundraiser dinner for the missions trips the girls are going on this summer, he came out and put in a new door! And can I say, as everything is with God- it is more beautiful than the one we had before! I can not believe the difference in the way our hallway looks! God is so good! When he redeems-He always gives more than we lost! Even with a bathroom door! ONLY GOD!

So, as all this has happened this week, and I am thinking about the entire events of the week, I am overwhelmed at God's goodness! Things that I thought didn't matter have given me beauty and something to look forward to! A door is a reminder for me that God gives back more than we lost! But there is more...

I told you this week was overwhelming...

One of my contacts this week was a friend that asked me to make a "wish list". Things I need done, financial needs, whatever I would "wish" to get accomplished. I told her I would need to think about it...the very first thing I thought of was, I would love to purchase my kids new outfits for the funeral. I do not have extra $$ for things like this. So, as of right now, there are 2 things on my big wish list! (this is hard for an independent person!) 

In the meantime, a friend of mine shared my blog Tuesday on her facebook page. She contacted me and said she needed my address. So I sent it to her and then she says, "When you get something in the mail from ______ call me." I told her ok and that was that. 

Today, I got an envelope in the mail...I opened it and there was a letter in it. Here is some of what it said: "I read your story on facebook and wanted to help in some way. We had a loss of a close family member a few years ago and at the time we couldn't afford to buy the things that we needed to attend the services. Enclosed are gift cards for all of your kids and yourself to Kohl's..." 
I couldn't finish reading the letter because I was crying so hard! She had no clue that my #1 wish was to have a new outfit for my kids for the funeral! God is so OVERWHELMINGLY good! ONLY GOD!

I hope no one takes this the wrong way, and I honestly have a hard time finding the words to best express my thoughts and feelings in this. The truth is, this week (the week that I had to call my husband's dr and say "He is done" and then call hospice and say, "we are ready") I have cried more tears over how good, and faithful, and loving my God is, than over where we are in Dave's journey. I go back to this verse:
Phil 4:7
"And the peace of God,
Which transcends ALL understanding,
Will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

This is a peace that DOES NOT make sense to the world! Honestly, there are times, it does not even make sense to me! It is ONLY possible through my loving Jesus! I am blown away at God's goodness. And I haven't shared every little thing (and not so little thing) he has done for me this week! It is more than my heart can take, I am over flowing in his love! 



  1. I am crying my eyes out in utter joy for you & at the same time my heart breaks with you. I am delighted for you, dear sis!!! God is so faithful!!' Love you and we continue to raise our shields....your fellow sister princess warrior, Rachel Meisner

  2. Thank you dear friend! You are such a gift! Love you too!

  3. Oh my! Your words flowed over me like warm oil. My heart grieves with yours but I rejoice with you in all God is doing. You and your family are in my prayers as always

  4. Through your grief and heartache you are an encouragement. To read of how God is supplying your needs and even your wants has been such a blessing to me. I know that I may have to go through what you are going through someday and it is so good of you to share how God is taking care of every aspect of your life and your family's. I read this because someone I know(Maryann Martin) knows you and has asked for prayer for you. I will be praying for you, your husband , and your girls. Praying that God's grace and peace will flood your heart and soul.
    Because of Christ,
    Kelly Garrett
    Evansville, In

  5. Thank you all so much! Your words encourage me in this journey...isn't that just like Jesus?? He is a continuous cycle of blessing!

  6. Like the others have said, your words are truly an encouragement to those of us who read your blog. Thank you for sharing your journey with others. I was not aware of your situation until Mindy shared the request for prayer for your family and Rick and I have been praying for you ever since. Stephanie, you have matured into such a beautiful woman and daughter of our Heavenly Father. You are truly blessed with the gift of communication and your love for Jesus is the obvious motivator. We will continue to pray for you in the difficult days that lie ahead. God's grace is truly sufficient. May He continue to bless you and your family.

    Our love,
    Debbie Cole