Saturday, January 28, 2012

One Stroky’s Journey: My Wise Mate

On Sunday, Dec. 18, the day after my mother’s funeral, I woke up about 6:30 a.m. Oh good. I had 30 more minutes to sleep before I needed to get moving in order to make it to church on time.

My first thought when I woke up the second time was that was a fantastic half hour of sleep. I woke up refreshed, without having to pry my eyes open. Husband Walter was leaning over the bed, asking if I had had a good sleep. He informed me that it was 9 a.m. I had slept more than two and a half hours instead of 30 minutes. Hubby issued the edict that I was staying home while he went to church.

His assignment for me was to rest, relax and do only what I wanted to with the stipulation that I would do nothing that put me at risk of falling. He knows my limitations during this phase of my stroke recovery better than I do.

I needed this downtime after the investment of emotional and physical energy in Mother’s final days, funeral arrangements, and sharing both the grief at the loss of her presence as well as the celebration of her life with family and friends by phone and in person.

The first thing on my list was to catch up on the reading I needed to do to finish reading the Bible through before the close of year 2011. It didn’t take long until my reading in Paul’s letters triggered tears. I can’t say it was entirely grief, but it was certainly a release. I was definitely moved by what I was reading. In the midst of my sobs, thanksgiving started pouring out of me, too.

I was thanking God for his care of Mother in her last days, for Walter’s care of me, for God’s care of Walter, thanks for our children, their wives, our grandchildren and his care for them all, for my brother and his family and Walter’s mother, his siblings and their families, for the love that had surrounded Mother, for the friends and relatives who had made it possible for me to spend time with my mother in her last weeks and final days. And the list rolled on.

After a time I had emptied my mind, my supply of tears and, with some effort, the disturbingly abundant output from my nose.  I marveled that instead I was filled with a lightness of spirit. And for that I also thanked God.

I know from when my father passed away suddenly that the mix of tears and joy will continue to be part of the grieving process: sadness because I miss my mother and joy that I have such wonderful memories and examples for living that she and my father gave me.

Adding to the joy is the fact that many of those memories are shared with dear relatives and friends.

And I appreciate that my wise and caring mate set the stage for a start to recovery of my emotional equilibrium. Thank you, Walter.


  1. This was just beautiful. I understand what you are saying. I think it is marvelous that we can rejoice in our grieving. Isn't that amazing? It is that mix of joy and sorrow that can only come from the Lord.

    I am reminded as I read this that through the Holy Spirit, we have a comforter. He was with you that day. I see a triune God who ministered to you through His word and through His Holy Spirit. Thank you for giving me this picture of who God is and how He comforted you and met you in your need at just the right time without you even having to ask.

  2. We are both so blessed to have wonderful husbands who are good caregivers! Phil has spent a lot of the weekend wheeling me around and never complains. A good cry can be so good for us, My mom passed just a few years ago, so I know the ups and downs and the emotional roller coaster, sometime just a word or a place, a date...

  3. What a wonderful hubby you have and a wise one at that.
    That had to be very healing and I am so glad you are relishing the joy as well as feeling the pain of loss. Too many in grief skip that part and it is the most healing.

  4. i agree with ginny, we are all blessed with husbands that are good caregivers. and release by tears always works, you are truly blessed to have family and friends that are there for you and praising God for our blessings is a relief also

  5. Absolutely wonderful post. When you write from the heart it is touching. You made me cry too. Blessings to you. Dianne

  6. A heart filled with Thanksgiving is both healing and progress in your recovery.
    I praise God for the work he is doing in your life and for the inspiration you are to me.
    You have the most wonderful gift of words. Thank You.
    You also have a fabulous, discerning and tender Caregiver. Your Hubby is one in a million.
    Of course, my Hubby is in that million too.

  7. Very dear post. Sometimes the biggest blessings and lessons are somewhere other than church, aren't they? I think our minds occasionally need to be able to move at their own pace and in their own directions in order to "hear" the best of God's lessons. And I'll bet he whispered in Walter's ear to make sure that happened today. :)

  8. A very moving post. You emptied your heart and laid it at the feet of God.
    Your journey will be easier, tears are a wonderful way of releasing and relieving the strain of the hard times you had.

    Much love and best of luck.

  9. Praise the Lord for helpful, caring mates who seem to know what we need, sometimes even before we do!

    I hope the days ahead will become easier for you ((hugs)). Kathy