Welcoming in 2009

What did you do to welcome in the New Year?

I was teasing my husband all day about taking me out dining and dancing (mind you I have ni idea how to dance, so he knew it was teasing).  He had a hard day at work and I was just having fun.

Know what we did do? Went to bed…. at 7PM!  We were so tired and had planned on doing something on the 1st so we went to bed. Exciting? Thrilling way to welcome in the New Year? Was to us! We needed it.

On the 1st we had a great time together running around Austin. I saw parts of Austin I had only heard about (I am not a Texan by birth, but a married in transplant, so there is much of this state I do not know).

With all the stresses of life it was fun to just have a nice relaxing day with my husband.  If it was not for a cough it would have been perfect.

The cough!

By that night I was sick. Sicker than I have been in a long time and it is still here with me. Fever, cough, sore throat, ears hurting. I am Vicksed up from feet to throat. Aches, face hurt, what a way to enter the New Year.

I do hope you are having a better beginning than I am.

Handling Sickness

Today my mind is on a subject we do not like to think about in a marriage or in a child. Sickness. I am not talking about the little bugs that come along, or even some bigger bugs, but those illnesses that are life long, life threatening or terminal.

When we marry and say our vows we are saying for better or worse, in sickness and in health.  For me I married with rose colored glasses. I said those words and really thought I would never need the worse or the sickness to be tested. Yet, it did not take long to have them tested. I had our first child a year after we were married. I went in to the hospital had a 7lb 4 oz boy and lost 8 lbs. I should have lost more, and I was pretty upset. However, not nearly as upset as I was when I found out that the time I was in the hospital my husband lost 17 lbs. I was furious. It seemed so unfair and I let God know how upset I was that he could lose that much in 3 days and I had the baby.

He continued to lose weight and soon we found out he was diabetic and had to go on insulin. I found myself feeling scared, disillusioned and worried.  I remember thinking that we were trying to serve the Lord and now this. I thought his death would be just around the corner.

It was tough on both of us. A new lifestyle, a new diet, shots, no sugar it was overwhelming. We got through it and adjusted. As the kids came along I made it a point of keeping us all on his basic diet. For the family, I felt it best if we all kept his diet and not make things seem any different. Our kids grew up without a lot of sugar in the house, eating veggies of all kinds, salads and  as balanced a meal as we could afford.

Why did I make us all eat that way?

  • We are a family and stick together
  • It was easier than making a number of meals
  • My husband did not feel different and “more trouble”. It was a family eating plan

What were the benefits?

  • My kids are not picky eaters and will eat at people’s homes and eat what is put in front of them
  • They grew up with veggies and eating them was enforced
  • they hardly had any sugar growing up, a very healthy thing!

There are more benefits, but these are obvious. We adjusted and accepted it as a family.

Things went along well for years, then, at the age of 46, my husband had a heart attack and was between life and death for 3 weeks.  Another big change in our lives.  Several Dr. errors and a year later we found out that his condition was terminal. We were doing kidney dialysis at home as well as watching all his vitals constantly. Things were a daily care and touch and go.

All this brought more into my life than I ever thought I could handle. However, God was good and helped me adjust all the way. We grew closer and talked over his coming death and what he wanted for his funeral etc. It was precious time because we did accept it together.

A year before he died he told me he was praying for who I would marry after he was gone. He prayed God would bring a man into my life. How blessed I felt, yet was so touched that tears did not stop and I yelled at him for telling me!

When he died God was there and with me the whole time. I could write a book about how God had us on vacation (yes, I tried to keep everything as normal as we could, dialysis and all we went camping in a pop up!) when he died, how he had the driver of the ambulance be a close friend and how he went before me to have the state of NY let me return to ME and release his body without delay. Someday I may tell it, but right now I want to impress the need to let sickness draw you closer.

So many couples let a sick child or spouse separate them. The death of a child brings a divorce. A sick spouse brings resentment and abandonment. It should not be.

Prepare your marriage now. You never know what is around the bend in this life.  Begin now to get closer.

  • pray together, if things happen pray together more!
  • support one another, do not get at each other over things
  • find ways to show love, leave notes etc. Find your way and keep at it
  • If someone is sick, they need to be loved, and not made to feel like a burden.  When my husband was bad, I never felt it was a burden. All I went through was out of love and like that old song, he ain’t heavy he is my brother (husband, son, daughter, wife) Where love is and abounds there is no burden. Tired maybe, drained from not sleeping more than 2 hrs at a time maybe, but it was never a burden, never a regret.
  • Help them feel independent when they can, but be there to help when needed.

We all hope it never happens, but  we need to decide ahead that we will do all to keep the marriage together and learn and live through the best and worst of times.

Sickness and Health

Sickness. It comes to all of us at one time or another. Maybe all minor things, injuries, flu’s, colds etc. but sooner or later there will be something more than the minor. Old age hits and we slow down even more (at least most of us!).

I have been shocked over the years of the number of marriages that broke up over sickness. Someone comes down with something serious and the spouse takes off, has an affair or just walks out on the sick person. Promises were made, but abandoned because the bad came.

For me, I can speak from experience about sickness. One year after I married my husband became diabetic. It was hard to accept, but once we did we worked together. You see, the sickness is not just one person’s problem. Becoming one flesh, means that the spouse’s illness becomes your struggle too. For us, we decided that the family was going to eat one meal. I would make his diet and we would eat his diet. For years I did not use more than 5 lbs of sugar in a year, and that was for cookies at Christmas or kids birthday cakes.

Back then you did not have blood tests at home, so you had to watch your urine. The sugar was slow to register, so ups and downs were more unpredictable. I learned how to tell if he was low and to care for it.

In 1995 he had a heart attack at age 46. He lay in the CCU for 3 weeks not knowing if he will make it or not. Our lives really changed at that point. Doctor errors caused his kidneys to stop and his heart to drop down to hardly working. The next 4 years were filled with care giving and the stress of knowing he could drop dead at any moment.

Sickness. It may not come as it did to me, but I can’t imagine someone having their spouse walk out on them at that time. My heart was so filled with love and compassion on my husband that being there and being all I could be was not just a matter of a vow, even though that was important, but a matter of love.

Health is easy to take, but when you are committed to your vow and your love, sickness is much easier to handle.

Pray for your commitment to deepen and your love to grow.