What a June that was! My husband was away at his mother’s for a week when I started feeling ill. I decided to keep going as if I wasn’t sick and see if I could get through it with no one knowing – a practice in sacrifice. However, little did I know how sick I would get.
After a few days of fever I developed a full body rash that was unusual enough that I left the oldest in charge of the littles and drove myself to the emergency room of the hospital. I sat apart from people in the waiting room in case the rash was contagious. After being there for several hours while they ran blood work, I went home no wiser than when I first got there.
A few days later I felt worse and was now vomiting. I returned to the hospital. Blood work this time revealed a problem with my liver and kidneys, but I was very disoriented and didn’t understand too much of what they were saying. I didn’t even recognize one of the nurses who stopped by to say hi and she was my kids’ baseball coach! I drove myself home afterwards and crawled into bed.
Needless to say my husband was very concerned but I didn’t want to return to the hospital. I wanted to stay home with my kids and husband. I have never been so sick! I couldn’t even walk unassisted to the bathroom just down the hall from our bedroom. I was really, really sick for over 3 weeks, and the recovery time was slow. My family doctor explained to me afterwards how sick I was with my liver and kidneys heading into failure. I certainly didn’t understand that at the time but felt I was dying. My husband had our priest in to give me the Sacrament of the Sick while he sat crying nearby.
From that point on I gradually got better. While lying there so sick, I thought of death. Being sick and suffering didn’t seem to bother me as much as leaving my young family. My heart was broken that they might grow up without a mother. It didn’t take long though for me to look at them through God’s eyes and know that they would be fine. Things would be different without me for sure, but God would continue to take care of them whether I was there or not. Everything would be okay whether I lived or didn’t because God was in control and He doesn’t make mistakes. I began to look forward to the joy and freedom of living in heaven with God. I was ready.
Then I started to get better. You’d think that I’d be happy, and I truly was, but I also felt cheated. Now I had to face life. Maybe I was just hoping for an easy solution, but heaven and death wasn’t it. Now I had to come to accept being alive. Talk about screwed up! Having finally accepted dying, I then had to accept living and the fact that God had a different plan for me. It didn’t matter if I knew what that plan was, but I had come to trust God in a deeper way than before. He really was in control.
Death doesn’t scare me anymore and I am really looking forward to heaven when I get there. I look at dying as a joyful experience now and not something to fear. I really noticed the change after my dad died and even though I missed him at times, I didn’t mourn his death because I knew he was in a better, happier place, a place where he was whole again.
God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good.