Some things will be repeated—simply because I wrote them just after experiencing them.
On that Sunday morning, February 10, 2008, as we were on the road to Gainesville, the team of doctors had gathered in Wanda’s room to discuss what was happening in her body.
Her kidneys were shutting down. They were suggesting dialysis. Her breathing was labored. Getting more difficult as the hours passed due to the accumulation of fluid around her heart/lungs. Her heart was enlarging. Had been for quite sometime.
As they began to lay out the facts to Mark and Wanda, they asked her what she wanted to do. They told her that they could put her on the ventilator and it would do the breathing for her and the dialysis would act for her failing kidneys. She lay and thought about all they said. Then firmly, but quietly, she said, “no, I don’t want that.”
She chose to keep her faith in the Lord. She knew what would happen if they put her on the machines. She already knew that she would never come off of the life manipulating machines. And, for her to be on the ventilator, she would have to be kept in an unconscious state.
She made the decision to trust the Lord. As she had for the past almost 44 years of her life. She firmly believed, as we all did, that God could restore her to full life. He had brought her out before…from the very door of death just 4 years previously.
On Saturday night prior to this particular Sunday, as I lay on the floor, prostrate before the Lord in my little study room, I had called out to the Father who had heard and answered….but I didn’t know what to pray. I begged for words. I cried for words. All I could do is cry that it was too hard! That we wanted her healed…but was asking for His divine will. As I continued to cry to the Lord, not having the words, the Holy Spirit came in and interceded for me. Mother had told me that a similar thing happened with her days earlier.
As we left home that morning, she leaving her husband in the pulpit, to preach a message that he couldn’t grip—because his heart was with his wife…who was hurting with the pain of the possibility of losing her sister…and my sweet man drove us down there. We had gotten on the other side of Tallahassee, Florida when Mark called. With tears of pain in his voice, “come now”. “We are on our way” was our reply. We were all choked up with the realization of what the next hours may bring and made several phone calls. All the while calling on the mighty name of Abba Father.
While we were driving down, some very hard words were spoken—hard words heard—reality realized.
As the group of doctors explained things to Wanda and Mark, mother and Grandbuddy walked quietly into the room. Having just come from the motel, they had no idea the things that happened during the long night. Struggled breathing. Knowing, yet not wanting to know.
Mother and Grandbuddy stood by the bedside as Wanda looked up into the faces of the doctors and then Mark. With a quiet question, but firmly spoken, she asked, “am I dying?” Even now, as I typed these words….knowing her soft spoken voice so well, I can hear it reverberating in my ears. The doctors quiet response was simply, without the ventilator and dialysis, yes.
As the tears pooled and poured from every eye in the room it was finally understood. Wanda would soon meet, face to face, the awesome Creator. But unfortunately, when we think of someone who loves God dearly, finally getting to meet Him, we think only of our loss. Not of their gain. I thought that way. Couldn’t really help it. This conversation we didn’t know as we were driving. It was a good thing.
We arrived to find an extremely weakened sister. She didn’t have much strength to speak, but as we each leaned over her to kiss her, she told us all she loved us. As we did her. I don’t handle things like this very well. I stepped out of the room so that no one would see me start squalling like a baby. I DID NOT want to give up my sister. Not my prayer partner! This could not be happening! Not to us. We had always loved and followed the Lord! Or, at least Wanda had. I had my days of rebellion, but Wanda had been the most faithful servant of God that I had ever known.
Nevertheless, we trusted. We believed. I had followed the Lord for many years, had times of extreme testing in my marriage and child rearing…but the Lord had never failed me…and I knew He would be right here, holding my hand and heart. I had never lost someone that I loved as we did/do Wanda. I didn’t know the specifics on how you are supposed to react. I didn’t have instructions, or a map for this one.