Hope and Perspective What a difference a few months can make! It has been a long haul of illness for my husband since he retired in 2020. He had to undergo cancer treatments at first, then the Covid Pandemic hit and in his weakened condition, that was all he needed, but of course he got it. He was hospitalized for 4 ½ months, but after many prayers and miracles, he was able to come home just before Thanksgiving. We were very thankful, indeed! When he came home, he was still on oxygen and using a walker to get around. A far cry from the robust, healthy man he had been before. He was 50 pounds lighter and had many side issues to deal with now that the Covid was gone. It had left a mark, that’s for sure. I am so proud of the hard work he is putting in to regain health and strength. It has truly been a huge effort for him and many times it has seemed like he was taking 2 steps forward and one step back, as the saying goes. But he didn’t give up and he continues to work hard.
Here we are, 6 months almost since he was released from the hospital. He is walking on his own, off oxygen unless he is really overexerting and he goes on daily walks that are a good stretch of the legs for anyone. Sometimes, in the day to day, I still can get discouraged at the way his illnesses have aged him. But, when I look back on how he was in the hospital as we literally fought for him to live, I am amazed at where he is today.
My message to everyone is that when things seem bleak, there are some things you can do.
● Pray hard and keep having hope and faith. Not everyone will have the outcome they desire, but believe that God knows what he is doing.
● Be an advocate for your loved one. Whether in sickness, when you need to advocate for their medical care, or in a school where you can advocate for your children, or just in cheering someone on and helping them know that they are not alone. So many people had to die alone during the pandemic. One of the miracles that we saw during that time was that my son was allowed to see his dad when that wasn’t happening anywhere! It was such a boost to his morale. Later, he was in a hospital where I could stay with him all day and be his advocate and ask questions about his care. I’ve learned to watch for miracles, even the smallest ones.
● Count your blessings and keep an attitude of gratitude. Some of the tenderest moments my husband and I experienced through all of this were the ones when we shed tears of gratitude for the blessings we had seen in our lives and for our marriage which is filled with love. No matter what the outcome, we knew that our love and family are eternal. That gratitude kept us sane and comforted.
● Do let fear or discouragement get you down. I had my alone moments when I would come home and kneel at the side of my bed and sob, pleading with my Heavenly Father to help my husband. While I know that many other people prayed these same prayers, for some reason my answers came in the way I had desired. So, I tell my husband that God must have a purpose for him to continue on in this life and we have taken that as an inspiration to work as hard as we can to get him totally recovered and to serve others more. Let your faith, not your fear, drive you to act on the things you learn from difficulty in life.
Going through this hasn’t been easy and we have had other family difficulties to go through at the same time. But, we trust in God and have faith in his plan for us. I know that He knows me and is mindful of me. More than anything, I have learned that as we have gone through the past couple of years and especially the past few months. One thing I know for sure is that everyone will go through hard things in life and the best thing we can do is learn from them and become a stronger person. I know that I have changed, I believe for the better, because of the trials we have had. I am grateful for that and I know that when difficult times come again, I will have more inner tools to use to help myself and my family cope with them