Smiling While We Die...

In this dim lit hospital room, she has held his hand for ten hours. The other hand on his shoulder, she watches intently as her husband endures his final hours. The room is silent in the absence of machines. Nothing more can be done.
So we wait.

We mill around, taking turns watching his chest rise and fall. We nap upright in stiff waiting room chairs and gather together in the cafeteria.
But she stays, never releasing his hand.
And she keeps smiling.

Despite morphine, he occasionally rouses from sleep, moaning. She pats his shoulder gently and leans in, lips to ear. “It’s okay…” she whispers. “It’s okay. You can go home now. Go to Jesus…” And she smiles.

His last coherent words had been, “I love you, and I’m ready to go.”
So we wait.
And she keeps smiling.

Then, his breath stops and she leans forward ever so slight, her own breath held. This could be it. Five seconds… fifteen. But he rumbles back, snoring. Her head shakes slightly and she smirks and continues to watch.  

Forty hours pass this way, their hands together. Finally shallow breath gives way to death and it is finished. She raises her eyes to us. “Come – let us give thanks.” And we thank God for his mercy, promises and for the hope of Salvation.

And we cry, smiling.

Thank you Lord, for this heritage of faith, and for the hope of Salvation.
You are my joy, my rock and my hope. I have no other.
You make me cry, smiling.



The Unknowngnome said...

I wish you peace Kim.

Dulcina said...

Touching indeed, Kim.
Your words brought me memories of my father's final hours with my mother always by his side. They lived 60 years together...
Thanks for sharing.

From The Heart Online said...

Thank you both :)