So, I was just thinking about a few things today. It’s really amazing how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. I was explaining to someone today how I can talk about and do things today that I could not do months ago. There is no doubt in my mind that Ann’s death was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. With that being said, I want to tell you about the cloth, the floor, and the stone.
A few months ago Kudzie called me by video to see what I was doing and to make sure I was okay. I was lying on the floor at the time. She asked what I did that day. I can’t quite remember my reasoning for lying on the floor but I do recall telling her that I was changing my status from married on my social media sites. You see, I spent most of that day making phone calls and explaining to different businesses and doctors that my wife passed about two months ago.
After hearing this, Kudzie began to explain to me that I did not need to change my social media status or anything else in my life until I was absolutely ready. She began to share with me the things she went through when she lost someone close to her. I truly thank God for sending her because I believe I would still be in a state of brokenness today.
Although notifying businesses of Ann’s death and changing my status was not a problem for me, there were certain things I realized that was. Earlier this year, I think Ann and mom had a conversation about towels and washcloths for some reason. Those two women were always talking about this and that, and then fill me in on an as-needed basis, Lol. So, mom ordered some towels and washcloths for us and I had to pick them up. Ann loved those washcloths.
During the three days Ann was on the breathing machine I stayed in the hospital. They gave me a room the docs used for sleeping and I slept on the sofa. I would stay in the room with Ann until late and night and would be right back in the room early in the morning. The hospitality of the doctors and nurses was very moving.
I brought one of the washcloths with me that she liked and I would use it to wipe her face whenever I would see sweat. This went on for three days. When she passed I remember holding her hand with one hand and her thigh with the other. The room was packed full of hospital staff. Everyone was taking turns doing CPR on her. I recall looking into one of the nurse’s face and she couldn’t even look me directly in the eyes. Not because they were doing anything wrong, but because she knew the pain I was about to face. After she passed there were many hospital staff crying.
My mom was the first person in the room. I remember Ann’s nurse coming back in the room and mom asked if Ann could be cleaned up a little because there was blood coming from her mouth. I told the nurse I would clean her. It was my job to take care of Ann. Looking back on things, I took care of Ann in her life but she definitely took care of me in her death. Well, that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, the same cloth used to wipe her sweat was then used to wipe the blood around her mouth. It was one of the same cloths my mom got her and that she loved so much. I rode around with this cloth in the car for months and could not bring myself to take it out. I knew that was completely normal and I understood that it was part of the grieving process.
Do you recall when Kudzie called and I was lying in the floor? I didn’t recognize it at that time but it took a while for me to make the transition from not sleeping on the floor. I’m quite sure I mentioned before that I slept on the floor for a whole year prior to Ann’s passing. She needed to sleep on the sofa to prop her swollen arm up against the back of the chair so I slept on the floor beside her. She absolutely hated me sleeping on the floor but I told her that was not negotiable. Even as I’m writing this I laugh to myself because Kudzie had to tell me many of the same things I told Ann. For instance, when she hung the phone up on me because I would not eat, her exact words to me were, “there are no negotiations for this.”
Let’s get back to the floor. I was sleeping on the floor for months after Ann’s death. Again, I didn’t realize it at first. My mind was so conditioned to doing it. As healing began to take place in my soul I was able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. Two of those things were removing the cloth from the car and removing myself from that floor. I thank God for His healing power and the peace that He has given me that went beyond what my pain could understand. Though I had help, my pain could not understand why I was still getting up every morning or why I was still trusting in God.God is always good, even when our circumstances are not. #HusbandRules #WifeyActs. Click To Tweet
I was sitting at home one day thinking about the goodness of God. I was marveling at how far He has brought me in such a short amount of time. This day was one that I will never forget. I was gathering some things of Ann’s and remember asking God a very important question. I asked Him how I am able to do the things that I was able to do at that time. As I continued to gather Ann’s, things I found a stone in my window sill that I never knew was there. Ann had to place it there because I sure didn’t. On the stone was the word strength.
Tears began to roll down my face when I read what was on the stone. These were not tears of pain but tears of joy. Talking about the word of God is good but there is no substitute for experiencing it. It was at this moment that I understood that God’s strength showed up at the time in my life when I was the weakest. My mind also went back to one of the scriptures I loved to quote during youth bible study taught by my mom. During the most difficult time in my life, I trusted in the Lord with ALL (100%) of my heart and I leaned not unto (did not put my weight on) my own understanding (point of view). Sometimes we have to go through something to grow through something.