Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Last Words We Shared

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.

This picture was taken looking into the very room where my husband and I last prayed together and where his spirit departed for his Heavenly home. The exact time of this photo was shortly before the failed attempt was made to move him to a larger hospital facility. They were getting him ready, but he coded and was no longer a candidate for transport.

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  1. Kimberly Johnson says:

    Oh Leah, the hurt I feel for you is overwhelming…I can’t imagine the depth of yours. Everyday you spend without Joel, the memories that you cling to, the littles hearts you try to mend to, the loneliness you must feel…… just seems like too much for one to endure that kind of pain. But it’s real, and I it’s raw.
    But like you, I know God knew about this before it even happened, He is still Good, He is still Sovereign. But in our flesh, this side of eternity, we still grieve heavily such an unexpected loss, not just in his life lost, but the loss of your future with him and the children, your hopes and dreams as a new family.
    I continue to bring you to the throne of grace, everyday, to get through as best you can, and in the midst of it all I pray that God would continue to show Himself in your day, to bring a smile, a laughter, a blessing, reminding you of His great love for you, and I pray you will be strengthened by it, day by day. Much love to you ????

  2. Treasures of a lifetime…. we never know when we inneract if this is the last adventure in THIS life. Though these are bitter sweet one day soon they will become so precious and fond and the sting of death will be removed. Oh how I remember being so raw for several years. Others had no idea the depth of pain and suffering one goes through inside. But Leah, God knows the plans He has for you and the wee ones and THEY ARE GOOD. ONE DAY you will make that exchange and count it all joy. Until then you keep writing and pouring out and we listen and gently reach in and touch and loving you through it all. Never would I have dreamed at how we originally met that we would walk nearby again through such pain and suffering. Inside this cocoon such a beautiful queen is being woven back together and in time will sprout forth to soar again. Let Psalm 139 become a dear prayer over you and the family during this time of painful transition. Loving you all the way sis…….

  3. This morning I started, again, to write about the loss of my mother, remembering those last conversations. My heart breaks for you and my prayers are constantly with you. The joy in knowing they are with Jesus does not make our pain any less.

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