I WON'T BACK DOWN

Sunday, July 7, 2019

LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING



This song sums up the last 38 years with my husband.

When he died the first time in 1978, he had gone into the hospital with a broken thigh bone. The surgeon told me that if no one came to talk to me in 4 hours to tell me everything went fine, they may have to amputate the leg: I cried. Then I prayed. HARD. 8 hours came and went … I thought of gentle ways to break the news to my husband that his leg was gone: I was 21, Bob was 28. BUT, word came to me that the leg had been saved! I thanked Elohim – Bob still had a wild streak in him. He was always a good man, but he was also just a man, he went out with the boys once in a while. And boys will be boys – that was how his leg ended up broken.

The second time he died in 1981, is a mystery – docs’ never did figure that one out: he was working away from home, staying in our travel trailer on our friend’s property and coming home on weekends. One night he went to their son’s football game; they came home and were at Supper table, talking & laughing about the game; when he just killed over on his plate. Literally. Bill jumped up and started CPR, Punkie ran for the phone and called for help. 2 ambulances from 2 counties showed up because their property line was on the boundary line for both counties – Bob had been out for 10 minutes by then, and the EMT’s worked on him for another 15 minutes. Bob was pronounced dead after those 25 minutes of unresponsiveness. The kids were crying, Punkie and Bill were shell-shocked. The EMT’s were gathering up their equipment and arguing over who got the corpse – Bob’s body had to go somewhere, but nobody was clear exactly where. During the bickering and the start of zipping of the body bag, Bob’s body started quivering on the left side, his eyes opened, he sat straight up, and said, “WOW! I think God means business this time!” SCARED EVERYONE HALF TO DEATH when this happened, is what I was later told. Cowlitz county EMT claimed Bob at that point and quickly loaded him into their ambulance and whisked him to St. John’s Hospital in Longview. Punkie called me to tell me what was going on. I did not drive then – there was no need to: we lived in a little town called Cathlamet, 45 minutes out of Longview, and everything I ever needed was only 3 minutes away (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/07/sunday-funday.html)Seriously; so I didn’t drive. I had been praying for Bob’s salvation, so I told Punkie that I was positive Bob would be okay – I just knew in my spirit that he would be saved – physically and spiritually. Long story short: HE WAS. He was saved from the moment Elohei resurrected him in Bill and Punkie’s dining room, and he lived the next 38 years a solid Christian, unashamed to tell everyone he ever met how he got saved and why they need to be saved; he wasn’t pushy about it, but he always told the story of his death which led to real living.

When Bob ended up in ER on August 30th, 2018; on his birthday, he told me on the 5 minute drive to the hospital, “Honey, I don’t think I’ll be coming home this time.” I didn’t want to hear that! How could he possibly KNOW something like that? I said, “Let’s just find out what is happening.” He had thrown up at the house, and it didn’t look right … it scared me – so I pretty much forced him into the car to go to ER, while I quickly stuffed the diaper bag and snatched our grandson up and hustled him into the car too. We don’t run to doctors for every little thing – but THIS was a BIG thing: we had no idea just how big it really was until he was admitted and examined. The first thing we heard as soon as he was looked at, was, “Your husband is dying.” I could not believe my ears! WHY? What on earth??? We just looked at each other, and I burst out bawling. Then I called our daughter and told her that her dad was in the hospital dying and she needed to come get our grandson; her daughter and her fiancé drove up with her. Bob’s body started shutting down and he eventually ended up in ICU – I called his son, Alex, and I called Bob’s family the next day. Everything was happening SO FAST, and everyone wanted answers I did not have: I was as surprised and confused as they were. But I KNEW Bob did not want to be on life support machines, so I told the doctors to remove it all; that Bob wanted to die naturally. THAT UPSET EVERYONE and I was the bitch of the hour. But I turned my ears off and focused all my attention on my husband – HE was the ONE that MATTERED: and I would honor HIS wishes even if it meant getting the death glares from everyone else, and eventually going toe to toe with his mother and sisters, who wanted to grab him and run across the state line with him “to save Bobby from Val.” It was a crazy nightmare. But the doctors stood by me. They removed the life support apparatuses, and I said, “If he rallies through the night, changes his mind, and tells you himself he has changed his mind and wants it all – do what he says.” Well, Bob DID rally through the night (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/09/fall-cleanup-and-forgiveness.html)and he told them that he did not want to be on life support machines & that they were to hear me & DO what I said when he could not tell them himself what they needed to know. But he did agree to the heart monitoring, the nasal oxygen tube, pain shots … and towards the end, the feeding tube (which caused him to vomit, so it really was worthless), and 3 blood transfusions at OHSU. This went on from September to December 2018. I was so alone, and so afraid: there was ONLY Elohei to talk to. So I really wasn’t truly ever alone – but I felt like it when the nights got long and the days got upside down. And I wanted to DO what my husband wanted – I wanted to honor him because I loved him; and I felt that I was dying too. I wanted to die: Bob was my life; how could I live without him? Bob literally put his life in my hands. BUT I only had to make that life or death decision ONCE – those 4 months Bob was dying and refusing to be a medical guinea pig, Elohim was faithful and kept him lucid enough to make the decisions that would affect the outcome of what was unfolding. Bob was able to make his own decision right up to his final breath. THANK YOU YESHUA! The family still thinks I made all the decisions, but they don’t know anything except what they think they know.

This song, from the moment it was released always made me smile. It made me smile because it described how Bob and I have lived our life together since he died, and was returned to us in 1981. We lived life to the fullest, never taking a single second for granted.

And I believe, that because we “lived like we are dying” that when it was time for Bob to let go, there were no regrets. There was no struggle to hang onto life with a death grip “to make it right”. We had a GOOD life together. We did A LOT of things together. We never put off anything, because we knew life was never a guarantee – if we wanted to do something and could do it, then we did it: we didn’t wait until there was more time, more money, more possible enhancement of whatever it was we wanted to do. Because the doctors did not know what had caused him to be dead for 25 minutes in 1981, we couldn’t afford to “wait” things out … we ran with it and never looked back.

That was how it was when death came knocking in August 2018. In November, when Bob looked at me and said we needed to start thinking about his death and cremation, I didn’t want to do that … but I knew I had to do that. For him. For me. For our family & friends. So, I listened and I agreed. And I thought back on all those 38 years that we had been graced with … and it didn’t seem so hard to give back to Elohim what He had been faithful to return to me those 38 years ago. I KNOW that Bob is in Heaven, having the time of his life, enjoying a life I can only imagine until I, too, join him there
(https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/12/widowhood.html).