Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Day After Christmas Surprise

“I will praise You with my whole heart;

Before the gods I will sing praises to You.

I will worship toward Your holy temple,

And praise Your name

For Your loving kindness and Your truth;

For You have magnified Your word

Above all Your name.

In the day when I cried out,

You answered me,

And made me bold,

With strength in my soul”

Psalm 138:1-3

T’was the day AFTER Christmas and God gave us a BONUS BLESSING!!!!!

For the first time in quite awhile, Johnny woke up feeling good.

He had made it through Christmas day and my parents visit for dinner but only with great strength and effort. He missed out on the tasty fried turkey a friend had brought over to provide for our meal. All he could eat was a spoonful or two.

I helped him dress in a “Christmas outfit” downstairs because he was too weak to walk upstairs and change. His frail body is getting even frailer. Tear filled my eyes as I helped him pull his pants up his legs. He used to have sexy, muscular legs and a nice “tush” (a result of his championship basketball playing days.) Now his upper leg fits inside a ring I can make with my fingers from both hands pressed together. Now I know what “skin and bones” means.

On Christmas morning I asked him if he would hug me. With great effort he put his arms around me. His arms were there but his heart wasn’t. There was no “bear hug” squeeze like he used to do lifting my feet off the ground. I miss those bear hugs. Our kisses have become pecks on the cheeks. Because we don’t sleep together anymore we don’t have our “spoon moments” in the bed, where we press our bodies together and just become one in silent reverie of the warmth of love.

I’ve tried but it smothers him now. He gets claustrophobic feeling pressed in even if I try to tuck blankets around him for comfort. So the season of our love is taking on new dimensions as are roles change and I love him in new and different ways. I nurse him tenderly. I take on all the responsibilities of business and dealing with orchestrating his new life which revolves around frequent visits to Mayo Clinic and patient care at home.

I can feel his spirit slipping away in a sense………….that was until YESTERDAY!

He got up and had his quick sip of coffee and headed to the bathroom for his morning newspaper reading. I didn’t get to talk much yet because the cable man arrived moments later to fix my computer. Then the phone rang and it was a “blast from the past.” The familiar voice said “Do you know who this is?” It took a few moments to realize it was Johnny’s long lost cousin Yvonne who was my FSU roommate and who had introduced me to Johnny.

We talked a few minutes and I filled her in on the state of Johnny and how frail and weak he was yada yada. Then I took the phone to him when he got out of the bathroom having prepared her for the worst. Then what do I hear? I hear a BOOMING voice full of life and vim and vigor, laughing and joking and carrying on a hearty conversation. I turned around in shock and awe. Was this my Johnny? It was like a ghost from the past.

I walked upstairs to help the cable man and Scarlett was just waking up. She called me into her room and said “you wont believe the dream I just had! I heard the cableman talking and it sounded just like Daddy’s old voice!” I told her that was no dream! Daddy was back!

Later that morning I was finishing up Christmas dishes (yes, I gave myself a break the day before) at the sink washing up the last few pots and pans and Johnny surprised me by walking up behind me and slipped his arms around my waist. He hugged me and kissed the back of my neck like the old days and told me how wonderful a nurse I was to him and what a great Christmas hostess I was. He thanked me for everything I was doing in “running life” for us while he was down.

I turned around in his arms with tears in my eyes and said “Do I know You?” with a smile. We had the sweetest embrace we have had for months. I had my husband back – and I didn’t know for how long, so we made yesterday one big celebration all day long. It was better than Christmas.

He was hungry – yay! He was lighthearted. He was happy. He was mostly painfree. Yippee! He had such a great day that we poured a glass of wine for the three of us as the sun set and toasted all the things we had missed – Johnny’s birthday the week before, Scarlett’s birthday yesterday, and Jesus’s birthday!

We kept on toasting and toasting all the blessings we could think of in our lives. This may have been our best day in 2008. For a frozen moment in time we were back together as a family and as our old selves before we traveled down tragedy lane. We laughed….we sang……we watched Wheel of Fortune and I beat him like a drum!

He even stayed up late past 10:00pm to watch the last of a football game. Woo hoo! Then I tucked him tenderly into bed and kissed him goodnight. I slept good last nite for the first time in awhile.

This morning as I write this I don’t know who Johnny will be today. But I am praying for one more good day and that he feels hungry again. I wrote you that he had rallied with the new pills last week but it only lasted a few days then he was back to down and out…..hardly eating again. So we shall see what God has planned today.

But meanwhile, we thank the Lord for that “manna from heaven” He sent us for a day. Isn’t it wonderful that He gives us just enough light for the step we are on? The Lord is full of surprises as we continue to follow Him in faithfulness and wait upon Him. He never abandons us even when sometimes we get impatient. He simply reminds us to trust Him to always be provided for. Our God is an awesome God and He never ceases to amaze me.

He gives me strength to wake up each morning looking for the miracle and surprises He has in store. Thank you Lord for everything.

Beautiful Blessings,



Jaren said... I read this I had "Somewhere in my Memory" playing from my blog in the background, and I have tears streaming down my face!!! Rene, yours and Johnny's love story is so beautiful! So inspiring...the epitome of true love! Merry Christmas! (posting this two days afterward, I believe, is proof that the spirit is something not just to be reserved for only one certain day out of the year!) Love and prayers,

Rene Williams said...

Thanks Jaren! Also thanks to all the emails of encouragement from others. We were blessed with one more good day since my post. Johnny had a crowning moment of joy at the end of today. Our FSU Seminoles won!

Janice said...

Rene--I got so teary-eyed reading your blog because I have been praying for a miracle in Johnny's life. I know what you are going through when the love of your life is suffering. I pray that Johnny will have MANY, MANY more good days and the new treatment continues to work. My love to all of you..."God's grace never fails"..Janice

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift to think that I, in such a simple way, influenced your day. Johnny is very, very lucky to have you, Rene, and I'm certain he knows it. Your Scarlett is a beauty and so much like you. She obviously inherited your spirit and creativity. I'd love to see you two if/when Johnny feels up to a visitor.
Many more hugs to you--from Johnny!
Love you!

Jen Harris said...

I definitely believe in Christmas miracles! I am so glad that you had a "good" day! God Bless you all! XOXOXO

Memories by Micha said...

Our God is an awesome God and he will be there for your family during this time of need. May He Bless You and Your family! You will all remain in my prayers.