The Day

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*Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death.

It started off normal enough, however, I did not foresee the tragedy that was heading my way… 

I decided to turn in early because I had planned to surprise my husband by going to look for a new car with him the following morning.  He was barely speaking to me because I disagreed that he needed one.

I was asleep by the time he got off of work, but he made sure to come to our bedroom and ask if Jazmine was awake. He was especially fond of my niece and spent most of his hours at home with her undertow. I replied she was not and dozed back off.

Less than an hour later, he came back in the bedroom and turned on the light. In obvious distress, he told me he did not feel well.  Still drowsy, I halfheartedly asked what was wrong.  He responded that he was having chest pains.  About a year earlier, he asked me to stop making spicy foods because his “heartburn” was getting worse. Therefore I attributed his discomfort to that and asked him if he tried taking an antacid.  He said he had but he would try taking some more.  When I heard him fumbling around in the medicine cabinet, I grew alarmed.

He came back into the bedroom and I noticed he was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.  I asked him if he was having pain in his left arm as well.  He said he was and I thought came to me that he might be having a heart attack. However, it still didn’t register as being a real possibility considering he was only 30 years old. 

I decided to call for an ambulance and while I was on the phone with the operator, he was stretching.  She instructed me to have him to sit down but he said he could not because he was so uncomfortable.  I got off the phone and proceeded to help him to the livingroom to wait for the paramedics to arrive.

Midway there he stumbled and I caught him as best I could.  We finally made it to the sofa and not a second later, he jumped up abruptly and started stumbling about.  He was headed toward the door because he could not breathe and wanted to go outside for air.  He collapsed in the doorway as the ambulance pulled up front.

Ethan heard the noise as well as my panicked voice and came into the livingroom.  I told him to go lay back down because I did not want him to see his father in such a condition. He did.

The paramedics were able to get him conscious by sticking something down his throat that made him vomit.  This was followed by a series of questions that he was able to answer although his speech was slurred and weak. 

During this time they tried to keep me out of the livingroom, but I refused. I was informed by the head paramedic that my husband was “very, very, very, very, very, very, very sick” and that something was definitely going on in the heart region and they needed to take him in right away.  In Indiana, those who are not be transported are not allowed to ride in the ambulance, so I told the paramedic that I would be right behind them. 

His last words to me were “make sure you come” as he squeezed my hand.  I replied “of course!”

Nic was spending the night with a friend and Evan was still in residential treatment. I am ashamed to say that I left Jazmin and Ethan alone at home as I quickly threw something on over my pajamas and sped to the hospital.

I was not allowed in the room, but I walked past several times and say a hoard of medical professionals working on him. I sat in the waiting room for a few hours placing calls to friends and family. Two nurses came and introduced themselves and checked on me periodically.

After a while, the doctor, flanked by a nurse came out to talk to me.  He introduced himself and asked me what happened. I started giving him a recap and as I was talking, there was something about the way that he was listening so intently that made me stop and ask him “Is my husband still alive?” When he replied no, I immediately started screaming and fell to the floor. I never expected to hear that. My mother had died exactly nine months prior for goodness sakes!

The two angels disguised as nurses came to my side praying and holding me. Shortly people started to arrive, his two close childhood friends, a cousin, my bil and his wife, my aunts (all three with spouses), my sister, and cousins. My mil and other sil were in Detroit but I had already called them with the news.

We tried to get a hold of his sister that lived in town to no avail( I was later blamed by her that she did not get to make it to his bedside).  I even held his body for hours in hopes that she would make it to the hospital. I finally got back home around 6am and passed out from sheer exhaustion, disbelief, and distress.

And it was only the beginning of a tumultuous journey and I would need all my energy and sense of equilibrium to help me get through the terror of it all…

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12 responses »

  1. I just can not (nor do I even want to try too) imagine.

    Last week our 30 year old daughter was driving to work (in the far right lane) when a female pedesterian decided she would try to run across SIX LANES of rush hour traffic. The pedesterian ran right into the front (driver’s side) of our daughter’s van. Her head penetrated the windshield before being thrown clear.

    Daughter works in a local hospital. She said she ran to her side to see if her fingers were twitching but there was a thick streak of blood and she wasn’t moving.

    Daughter wasn not charged. She doesn’t even want to drive. “I keep seeing her blonde hair.” “I can’t believe I’m responsible for killing someone.”

    That happened on Monday. Thursday when I called to check on her she told me that the police had released the van and it was at the body shop. Her insurance adjuster called her and let her know that she would have to pay the $500.00 deductible. “Dad, we don’t have $500.00. I don’t know where we’re going to get the money.” I told her that I was glad that her biggest worry that day was money. Then I told her, “Don’t worry about the money. The money will show up when it needs to.”

    The next day she left me a teery voicemail message. “Dad, first of all, everything is okay. You know yesterday when I told you about the $500.00 deductile? And you told me not to worry that the money would show up. Well, this morning I got a nice card from some of my co-works and doctors and inside the card was more than enough money to cover the deductible and then some.”

    I called her back and was able to tell her that in spite of this weeks tragic circumstances God still loves her and will always be there for her.

    That was last week.

    Two evenings ago our 40 year old nephew was racing (legally) at a local drag strip when the driver of the car he was driving lost control. Our nephew was killed.

    God is up to something.

  2. mssc54,

    I received your email and was devastated by the news! I immediatedly said a prayer for daughter S. I can only imagine how she feels! I have been praying for you guys since then. I tried emailing you regarding that as well as your prayer notebook which I love and plan to try the idea.

    I love your attitude of resiliency and faithfulness. I have a ways to go.

    He surely works in mysterious ways. I try to think of my life as a jigsaw puzzle, with missing pieces it doesn’t quite make sense, but when all the pieces are put together, it will make a lovely picture.

    • Thank you Morocco. Once again, I can not imagine going through the loss of my spouse (much less witnessing the life altering event). 😦

      As for as my attitude of “resiliency and faithfulness”, it is very easy to seem resilient and faithful for a few minutes on the internet. But the more often I take one foot and put in front of the other the further down the proverbial road I get.

      I’m sorry I haven’t emailed you back about my prayer notebook yet.

      And as if last week’s tragic events weren’t enough for our little family… three days ago, our 40 year old nephew was (legally) racing at a local drag strip when the driver of the car he was racing against lost control and hit nephew. Our nephew was killed.

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Lord would let us get just a small glimpse over that next hill so we could more easily trust and keep the faith. If there is one thing I have learned these last few years, it’s that the easier life is the lazier I get.

      In ALL things give thanks. That can be pretty difficult… as I am certain you could readily attest to.

      Blessings to you Morocco.

      • How old was your nephew? Yes, I agree, most days I am teetering on the edge. It won’t take much to catapult me to another realm.
        In all things, eh? I’m trying…

        xoxo

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 3 years. I can’t imagine what you went through and what you still may be going through.
    May God continue to keep you and strengthen you.

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