a ventilator tied in his mouth
(he was blistered ear-to-ear from having
constantly been moving his face side-to-side
fighting the vent),
and his hands were tied to the sides of the bed.
his eyes were open but were "fixed".
i laid my head gently on his chest
and sobbed... "please, GOD, please..."
those weren't just words i uttered to God. i was pleading for Him to reveal Himself to me. i couldn't feel His presence and didn't like feeling alone. i wanted to know if i was supposed to tell my mosses it was okay to go or if i was supposed to tell him to keep fighting. i wanted to know if i was supposed to pray for a miracle or if i was supposed to pray for God to take him.
but, there was no answer.
just as the icu physician predicted, mosses' condition continued to deteriorate with each and every visit. the pneumonia had spread to his other lung, his fluid output had come to a near halt, and he had yet to regain consciousness.
the first 36 hours of the 48, which the doctor had given mosses', sped by so quickly. from wednesday night until friday morning i prayed for an answer from my Father.
there was a reason mosses' had told
me just the week prior that he was not
ready to die anytime soon, or so i thought.
still, no answer came.
on friday morning i arrived at the hospital for the 8am visitation. jean and mosses' two nieces were standing at the icu doors waiting to be allowed in to see him.
jean told me she had sent mosses' black suit to the dry cleaners and the eversons (life-long, church friends of the mosses) had begun to prepare a country ham for the bereavement dinner, etc... other arrangements were discussed, but i was too numb to absorb any more information.
the words "country ham" took me back in time to the many Christmases i'd spent with the mosses, which included country ham, grits casserole, greens, green jello with pineapple and nuts, pecan pie... a fire in the fireplace, family, friends, angel ornaments (made by mrs. moss), silver tinsel, and toddies.
automatically, at 8am the doors opened. the 4 of us entered. jean and i stayed behind as only 2 visitors were allowed in his room at a time. a male nurse greeted susie and mosses' other niece. susie turned around to us and motioned for us to join them. as we neared them susie told us the nurse wanted us to all be able to spend the full time with mosses... that the nurse said mosses had had a really bad night.
without coming right out and saying it, the nurse wasn't sure mosses would make it til the next scheduled visit time.
when i walked in his room, i couldn't believe how much worse he looked than the previous night. he was so swollen, his skin was ashen, his eyes were almost completely clouded over, and many of the blisters had burst on his face making it look like he'd been severely burnt
still he flailed fighting the ventilator and the hand restraints. mosses looked like a chained animal. it made me physically ill seeing him that way.
"during the night, we had to tighten everything," the nurse explained, "for his own well being. that's also why the sides of the bed are padded."
i stood back while the three visited. the whole scene was so surreal...
after a bit, they excused themselves. i inched closer to mosses and pulled a chair up next to his bed. then i untied one of his hands and lowered the safety rail. i sat with his hand i mine. it was all i could do to hold on to it as he was fighting my hold too.
"mosses," i said, "i don't know what i'm supposed to do... how i'm supposed to pray. i don't want to lose you, but i don't want you to lie here and suffer any longer either."
mosses was still so strong and moving so much i had to use both of my hands to hold on to his hand. i took his left hand into my left hand whereas our palms were touching, and i locked my thumb around his. i cupped my right hand over-top his hand and held on for dear life. i then pulled his hand in mine down to the bed beside him and lay my head atop.
it was at that very moment that God revealed Himself, and His words came to me.
"God, take him now if he is ready,
but, if he is not ready. leave him,
and leave him whole!"(i had never prayed so boldly in my life.)
i started to cry.
i cried harder.
the harder i cried the more still mosses became. i cried until i could cry no more. mosses fought til he fought no more.
i sat there with my head lying on his still hand,
which was still embraced by both of mine...
both of us were spent.
(to be continued...)
love and God's blessings,
ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)