Monday, December 23, 2013

Hospital Bed and Love

There is a hospital bed….IN MY HOUSE.  This is real.  Like the baldness made us realize the effects chemo was having throughout Tim’s body even on the non-hospital weeks.  This bed slaps me in the face with the rapidly approaching end-of- life reality.  It was no fun in the hospital; it is less fun in my home.

Cannot think of a better use for the quilt my mom made
me last Christmas out of Tim's shirts!

“Awkward” and “out of place” don’t even sum up the appearance of this contraption in my bedroom.  Tim wasn’t even able to gain consciousness as the bed was being constructed a mere 3 feet from him.  I stood there watching, with my dad by my side (as he has been throughout this entire journey).  I may have had a minor emotional moment as the bed was being assembled.  I may have let a tear slip down my cheek and may have had to bite my lip and take a deep breath to stave off the ugly cry, all while internally begging God to calm me so I could maintain composure. 

He did, because He is good like that...and He LOVES me. 

I know I have said it before, but this hospice stage is difficult.  We have spent nearly two years fighting hard every single day to not end up right where we are at.  And it stinks.  And it is weird to be expected to suddenly change brain gears into one where we aren’t fighting to survive anymore.  Our minds know that there is nothing more to be done, but our hearts still hold out hope that someone will step in with a solution. 
Somehow, seeing this hospital bed within the sacred space of our master bedroom feels like another failure…another inability to conquer…another realm of giving up. 
It hurts.  It hurts in a way that takes my breath away and pierces my heart.  It hurts in a way that courses hot tears down my face in the privacy of my home office while my children play upstairs.  Silent sobs rack my body. 
I tell God that I want to yell “It’s not fair!  Take someone else.  Take someone who isn’t good.  Take someone who doesn’t love his family so well; someone whose presence won’t be missed every second of every day in a crushing way.  Don’t take this man!  Don’t rip apart THIS family.  We work so well together.  We have such joy.  We truly cherish each other’s company.  We aren’t perfect, but we were doing life well, serving You.  Please, don’t take him!  Take someone who has lived their life, not this 45 year old man who has made plans with me to travel in retirement and spoil our grandbabies together and host big holidays.”  And then after I blow my nose for what feels like the thousandth time, and I dry my eyes and sit in the stillness of my Lord’s presence,

He reminds me.

This earth is not our home.  This life is not what we were created for.  He is here.  He is Immanuel, “God with us”.  He will never leave us.  He is faithful and He is true.  He is big enough for me to lean into; He is strong enough and patient enough to listen to my rants and to calm my aching heart.  God loves me with a love the depths of which I cannot understand.  It is unconditional, it is un-overwhelmable, it is non-fluctuating, and it is indispensable.

His love for me….

               is patient and kind.

               does not envy, nor does it boast.

               is not prideful, it does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking.

               is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.

God’s perfect love for me…

does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.

always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

never fails.

So, in this moment, on this eve of Christmas Eve, and yes, even with this hospital bed in my home…I choose to remember that I AM LOVED.  I am loved by a God who is Himself Love.  I am loved by the Great I Am. 

And that is enough.

HE is enough!


  1. Prayers are with you and All of the family, I remember my dad wrapping in a Red Quilt very similar to the one on the bed..Your faith through this is Amazing

  2. Laurie Norman GilbertDecember 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Lori, even though I haven't had the pleasure to meet you, I know Tim from high school, your faith has touched me in ways I can't explain. My prayers and thoughts are with you all during this time. God bless you!

  3. Lori, I think of you all often and pray so much for comfort and peace during this most difficult time. Merry Christmas and God Bless. - Jennifer Dillard

  4. I have lived your life. I have done everything. I feel all your emotions. Seven months ago yesterday I lost the love of my life. He was everything to me. I have been thinking of you and your struggle everyday. I keep up with you through our friend, Janie Peterson. Please know you are not alone. I felt like I was the only one in the world to have walked this walk, even though in reality I knew I wasn't alone. Your faith has influenced me. I read your posts and I am encouraged. May God Bless your family in the coming days, weeks and years. My heart hurts and loves for ya'll. -- Lisa Duke