Jana died. She has died… The combination of these two words was, arguably, the worst two words one could have put together. I felt this brief sentence to my very core. Days, months, and, now, a year, I have considered these two words and what they mean. I still do not fully understand…
And if I’d known that dance was gonna be our last dance
I’d asked that band to play
On and on
On and on…
“A Lot of Things Different”, Kenny Chesney
Today, I reviewed my private group social media writings from the time we spent in the hospital while Jana received her chemo treatment. I started with the first notes from late July 2019 and read, in chronological order, through to the last note I wrote, the night Jana died, thanking friends and family for their love. As I read each hope and fear-filled note my pulse picked up. I knew where the messages ended. The tears fell as I read my pleas for prayer for Jana as she fought the pain her final night.
The pictures from the hospital, now, show a hopeful, faithful woman who was very intentional in her recovery. I see her smiling face and overlay the ugly truth of what was about to happen in just a few short days. She didn’t know…neither did I, nobody did. When is the last dance? When is the last kiss? The last sharing of a sweet smile?
I haven’t gone back to that hospital, I don’t want to. I have faced so many things in the last year, but I have not had need to go, nor do I have any desire. Someday…I will. Inevitably, as I pass by on the highway, I will look over at the window to the room we were in. Sixth floor, far left window. We decorated it hoping people could see her window from the highway and remember to pray for her.
My dear reader, I don’t want to take you back to that place, to those hours, or to the horror I witnessed in that hospital room. Those moments are quickly becoming something of just my memory, haunting me alone… Struggles, images, and pain that do not need to be shared. Occasionally, I will speak of these things, if asked, but, just like many of my memories of Jana, they are secured up safely in my heart.
Those days were painful…so very painful. And, it got exponentially worse after August 7th. I never dreamed I could hurt that much. My darkest night won’t be forgotten. I hurt for her, in her trial that day, and I grieve for myself and others… None of which could I, myself, have taken away or lessened. My burdens are taken by Christ alone. His power conquers death! He gives us hope!
It’s a spiritual walk. When does God stop us and truly get our attention? When do we pause long enough to dwell on what He is doing in our lives, or what He would like to do in our lives? Sometimes it requires being torn down to see where God is leading. We have all been in that lowly position at one time or another in our lives. The sorrow, fear, and anxiousness can be overwhelming and consuming. Ok, but what is God doing with me in this time? His purposes move beyond just “getting through” or having a good day – although these practical things are definitely a blessing. He is working in our lives toward His purposes for the moment, and the future. There is beauty in that. God can take situations in our lives that we would otherwise want to throw out or bypass altogether, and use it for His glory. It’s a spiritual walk with Jesus. (My written words 5 days before Jana died, Aug 2nd, 2019.)