Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On a Day Like Today......PUSH, BABY, PUSH!

On a day like today -- November 16th, 2010 -- birds singing, fish jumping in the lake and a gentle breeze blowing into our bedroom window -- the greatest of all sweet celebrations was about to begin! I don't rehash the memories for my sake -- they are forever with me. But, if one word, one phrase, one spark ignites someone's faith from my experiences, it will have been worth the journey.

What started as an idea to get our bodies moving, actually created excitement about the upcoming weekend for our whole family. We had a plan, and we were setting the plan into motion. We would all be together for an early Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 20th. We'd get as many as possible in the bedroom with Ron and enjoy our traditional Thanksgiving meal together with him. Then, when it would get dark outside, we would have the "lighting of the Christmas lights" that had been hung by a crew of family members. We knew Ron would love this night of celebration. Everything was planned to the finest of details. Strategically, beautiful lights were strung on an artificial tree just outside my Honey's bedroom window, as well as on the neighbor's fence and on all the trees at the back of our property. We knew he would love the family being together for such an intimate, sweet family time together. Then the plan was for all of us to run in the "Movement of Gratitude" aka "Run for Ron" in the Route 66 Marathon on Sunday. It was a masterful, brilliant plan!

But, God and my Honey usurped our plan and the "The Master's Plan aka The Perfect Plan" took over. As the days passed toward our big weekend, my Honey seemed to sleep more and talk and eat less. He had always given into my usual "drill sergeant" techniques to get him to eat more. I opened the windows wide and exclaimed "It's a beautiful day!" This morning was different than the days before. This day, he shook his head "no", when I tried to give him just one more bite of his favorite, oatmeal and brown sugar. His mom and sister came by for their usual daily visit. He raised his head and said, "Hi, Mom!", then closed his eyes again. After they left, I tried to give him his lunch -- another favorite -- chicken and dumplings, but this time, nothing doing.

Though I had been hustling around to get the house all ready for our arriving family that weekend, I suddenly knew that heaven was closing in on us and the house and this earth no longer mattered. Peace resonated from his being. Peace overcame me as I resigned myself to "let go, and let God" take over. With all the standing in faith for his healing on this earth before -- today, there was a sense of knowing that heaven was opening its portals for another soldier to come home. Not just his wife, but I knew it was time to be his midwife. It was as though heaven touched earth when I whispered to him, "Sweetheart, I think the 'Welcome Home' sign is up for you in heaven. Go ahead and go there. I'll be okay. I'll catch up with you later. Now, it's time to push, Baby, push! Go home! Push, Baby, Push!" Peace enveloped our room.

My Honey was not leaving home -- he was going home. I knew God loved him so much -- it was time for him to receive the grandest rewards that he so deserved. With all the love I had and have for him, how could I possibly keep him here one minute longer? He earned this. He deserved this. Within just an hour, he breathed his last breath, and ever so peacefully, I saw the most beautiful man I have ever encountered -- both outside and inside -- push through to the other side. Yes, there were tears, as with any close family member or friend who is leaving our presence for a while, yet also tears of joy, knowing pain is over and that we'll be together again one day. I gave him words that I knew the Father was saying to him right now: "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter now into the joy of the Lord!" Matthew 25:23. How sweet it was -- all pain was gone as my dashing, beautiful husband was free at last from that weary and broken earth suit.

Did we "lose" him? No, we know where he is! He is not lost. Did we lose our fight? No, we fought the good fight of faith. As St. Paul said, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, and finally a crown of righteousness awaits me (2 Timothy 4:7,8).

By the way, we still had our family Thanksgiving on Saturday, the 20th, and we celebrated this bright light that had been in our lives for so many years. We lit up our back yard and all of us watched from Honey's bedroom window -- except, not quite as planned, for Honey had graduated from that hospital bed. We like to think that he was watching from his "room with a view" from heaven itself. He did push through and now he is cheering us on and pushing us to OUR finish line -- where we'll meet up for a grand reunion some day! So, let's PUSH, BABY, PUSH to live life to its fullest, share and be a witness of God's love, and be on purpose to finish strong so that we hear those words "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter now into the joy of the Lord!"