I have spent the day thinking, reflecting, remembering.
A year ago, Dave's health was really declining. We didn't know for sure if it was the cancer spreading or the affects of the experimental drugs he was taking. But he had changed. I saw it by November. My gut said that would be his last birthday. My heart hoped otherwise.
I had decided to throw Dave a surprise birthday party. I invited several of our friends and their families. Dave had to work that day, so I had all day to prepare for the surprise. I was so excited about this chance to celebrate him and make sure he knew he was loved! Our house was packed...friends and family filled it...and we waited on him to get home.
When he walked through the door, he was truly surprised! I had pulled it off. But what he didn't know was that some friends of ours had given us 2 nights at a hotel by the Polaris Mall for a get away! My gift was a piece of paper stating that our bags were packed and when church let out the next morning, we were headed to Columbus for 2 nights away. His health had declined and I knew there was a chance that we would sit around the hotel and not be able to get out and do much...but I didn't care. I wanted some quality time, some hopefully, good memories, with my husband. I asked people to pray that Dave would have good days while we were gone.
Dave and I had 2 "favorite" restaurants...The Japanese Steakhouse and The Cheesecake Factory. Both of those were in that area and we had hoped to have some good meals out. We also hoped to do a little shopping, something Dave and I enjoyed doing together. And hoped to catch a couple of movies. It was a BIG agenda with the way he had been feeling and the affects cancer was taking on his body.
We left after church and checked into our hotel...we were upgraded to a suite! It was a spacious room, very nice! We got settled in and then decided to venture out for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory! Dave felt ok and was able to eat his meal!
The next day, we got up and ventured out for the day. We ate lunch at the Japanese Steakhouse and went to 2 movies! We walked around the mall a little and ended the day at Texas Roadhouse. I took a picture of Dave that evening with his steak. (I LOVE that picture of him!) We had a great time of what almost felt like a "normal" time away. It was a miracle and a gift from God for us. Dave had a good appetite and felt well enough to enjoy our time together.
We got up and got ready to head home the next day. Dave went down to breakfast while I got our stuff packed up. He came back and I had everything ready to go. He sat down on the couch in our room and looked so sad...I asked him what was wrong. His response, "I just don't want this to end..." Such a bittersweet moment for me. God had granted some fun time away as a couple. Our last time out and having fun together. But we still faced cancer. We still faced a year of unknowns. In my heart, I knew. I believe in his heart, he knew.
One year ago.
177 days ago, his life here ended.
177 days ago, his suffering ended.
177 days ago, he saw the face of his Savior.
This year, he is gone. Life is a vapor...
We went to church this morning and the Lord knew what I needed to hear. Songs of hope. As I worshiped, I imagined worshiping with Dave today...