I’ll never forget the last conversation I had with my precious Joel. Those words will both forever bless me and haunt me.
The conversation was beside his bed in the ICU. He drew me in close. We both knew the ventilator would be inserted soon, and we didn’t know how long it would be before we’d be able to exchange precious words again (little did I know then…those would be the last words we’d ever share this side of eternity).
He told me a few housekeeping type things that would be helpful in case he were in the hospital for a few days…little did we know. Then, he started to pray…with tears streaming down his face. I won’t go into the details of his prayer, because that will remain forever between the two of us. However…some of the things he included…(1) asking God to spare his life to be available to me to help parent our newest adopted children, (2) asking for forgiveness of all his sins, and (3) asking God to be ever by my side.
Soon after he prayed with me, one of the surgeons walked into the room – a man he knew from working with him in the same hospital system. I’ll never forget the words spoken between the two of them:
Joel: “Doctor…please do all that you can to save my life. We have four little children back home, in addition to our older children. I need to be here for them and for Leah.”
The doctor: “Hey buddy…keep your chin up. It’ll be okay.”
Very few words were spoken between us after that. The ventilator was inserted. Tubes were run all over his body. Medications were administered as often as they could.
And…a little over twelve hours later…my beloved was gone.