Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Dearest Steven, I'm So Sad

My dearest Steven, I am so sad I can't hardly stand it. Can I wake up please God? I want this to be some kind of mistake, but time and a funeral tell me this is no mistake.

I wear your robe all the time. I'm sure you don't mind. I haven't been able to open your wallet, such a personal thing. I found a beautiful necklace in your closet. It was still in the case. I thought since you never gave it to me, it must be for someone else. But the receipt shows it was purchased the same day as my wedding ring. Who keeps a necklace for 20 years and doesn't give it to their wife? Maybe you were saving it for when I had our child. Sorry I miscarried.

You are with our child now. I said a girl and you said a boy. Now you know who was right. Oh Steven, come home to me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Live

It's hard to believe 10 days have gone by since Steven passed away. I have experienced so many emotions. A lot of the time I feel nauseated. I could sleep at any time but still feel tired and lethargic. One of the many things that surprised me was my need to be home. I thought after having to be here and not able to leave when Steve was so sick, that I would fly out the door everyday. I'd take back the returns I have and get some much needed shopping done. But, I'll be out and have an overwhelming desire to be home. I'll have to leave immediately and feel comfort as soon as I walk in the door.

My obsession with having my cell phone on my person at all times has changed. Oh heck, my whole life and way of thinking have changed. Life is askew. I've been told there is a shock period after something like this before reality sets in. I can't wait to see what today brings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hi God, It's Me Again

For so long Lord, it's been me asking for stuff. Healing, patience, precious time, peace and on the list goes. I have an ongoing conversation with you all day, but it's been seeking. Yet, here I am once more reaching out, seeking, needing You. I feel I need to praise you more than I do. I'm not balancing the prayer request vs praise quota. It's been hard because I'm just not real pleased with the last 12 months.

I eventually came to the conclusion your outcome and my outcome were going to be different. The song All is Well With My Soul was not sung with total abandon by me during church.

You took a strong man and brought him to his knees. Both of us to our knees, I should say. We could accept a bad prognosis. But to be struck by infirmities, one after another, until all dignity was stripped away... I saw what was left. I saw how much he took before he finally gave in.

Why are there so many angry people in the world? Don't they realize what they have? How dare they piss away a life with a healthy body, and bad attitude.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Dearest Steven

My Dearest Steven,

Today as we join for your funeral I can't help wondering what you are doing. When you saw the beauty of heaven were you speechless with awe? Did you think for a moment, "She was right!" You know how I always like to be right.

I envy you as I live each moment without you. It doesn't seem possible anything can be as fulfilling or funny again. Can you see us? Can you hear my heartfelt prayers for you?

We gathered at your folks last night and as a storm blew in and chased us away from the campfire, I thought of you. You would have weathered it out. We all threw logs on our chairs and headed for the garage but you would have stayed sitting looking at the sky...waiting.

Steven, it is only day 3 and I miss you so much. Can you ask God if I can have you to hold me just one more night? See you then.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Casual Attire Please

Heritage Church, where the service is being held is a casual attire church. Wear jeans. It's one of the many things I love about it.

I usually love a blank page to type on, but I have few words to describe how I'm doing. Two mornings I have opened my eyes to an empty spot next to me. I took my coffee out to the back stoop and sat crying. I'm not capable of hard decisions, yet so many to make at a time like this. I'm numb, overcome with sadness and in shock.

I mourn. The word even sounds sad. I moooouuuuurn.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Steve's Obituary

 
Steven Lane
EAST MOLINE — Memorial services for Steven L. Lane, 53, of East Moline, will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Heritage Wesleyan Church, Rock Island. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Monday at the Van Hoe Funeral Home Ltd., East Moline. Mr. Lane died Saturday, July 20, 2013, at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer. Memorials may be made to the family.
Steven was born Dec. 6, 1959, in Moline, the son of Freddie and Betty Albright Lane. He married Denice Long Sept. 4, 1993, in Moline. He owned and operated Lane Auto Body in Davenport for 35 years. He loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially fishing and camping.
Survivors include his wife, Denice Lane, East Moline; sons, Joshua DeCrane, Moline, and Brandon DeCrane, Rock Island; a grandson, Parker DeCrane; parents, Freddie and Betty Lane, Osbourn, Ill.; brothers, Robert (Tena) Lane, Warsaw, Mo., William Lane, Chicago, Ernest Lane (Scott Biniak), Lake of the Hills, Ill., and Michael Lane (Stephen Wolfe), Columbus, Wis.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.vanhoe.com.
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

With Heavy Heart

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today.  Steve passed in the night.  As with every step along this journey, he did not walk alone.  He was in the company of family and continues to be surrounded by your thoughts and prayers.  The light provided by every single person has helped immensely and I am humble in knowing that the same light will become brighter, to help us all find the way as we move ahead.  

Steve forged a life with passion and determination.  We all need to take his example of steadfast courage and begin to face the following days to pay honor and to learn to live anew.  It won’t be easy, we know this, but the love in our hearts will not let us waiver.  

I task upon you to continue your support for Denice.  The story of the Lanes might have been more solitary had she not taken the time to let us in.  It was unmistakably difficult to read at times, with tears in my eyes, but I'm grateful she did.   

Josh

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last Leg of Our Journey

We are pretty certain Steve in in the last leg of his life journey here. He is resting comfortably and is sleeping for the most part all day. It is so good to see his face relax now. What a fighter I married.

I sought prayer yesterday but wanted a verse to meditate on. I haven't been able to read much, so as a favorite pastor of mine said, I read until something grabbed me.

My preference in time of need is Psalm. It covers a range of emotions. I opened to Psalm 27 and came to this verse.


Psalm 27:13-14
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

So I WILL see goodness from this. I just have to stay strong, take heart and wait.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Steve continues to lose weight. He is not eating or drinking much. The pain meds he requests are a minimum but I don't push him about it. I need to let him be in control of this choice because it is about all he has control of. So I continue being weepy and he continues grimacing.

One morning, about a week ago, before I even had the coffee going, I heard the clunk, then the high pitch squeak. I saw from my kitchen window a male cardinal fly away. Oh good, I thought, he made it after hitting our glass door. But the squeak continued. I went out and there by the back door was the female cardinal, flaying about, with more than a broken wing.

It was then the rain began, each drop becoming harder and louder. I was drenched in no time. I looked up at the sky and said, "Really?" Then I saw the male cardinal again and in that moment we were related in more ways than just two broken hearts.

Matthew 10:29

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Take This Cup

You would think time would drag by when there is no where to go, but it flies for me. Seems it's time to get lunch right after breakfast is cleaned up. One nap runs into another. Sleep is disturbed all night. Last night when he woke to use the bathroom, he took so long I cleaned out the refrigerator. Then 2 hours later when he needed the bathroom I changed the sheets and cleaned up the bedroom. Maybe my business isn't the problem; it's that he takes a long time in the bathroom.

He did get kind of over the top mushy with me yesterday. There was a window of time where he felt good enough to talk and even joke a little bit. It was a blessing because I knew he needed this time to go over some things he had been dragging his feet about. Two hours later he was back to feeling sick, mumbling and irritable. It was definetely an answer to prayer that he had this coherent period.

So I am to be Christ-like. I wonder where I am now, how that looks. Then I see Him, on his knees, in the Garden of Gethsemane. And I know now how that looks. It is me on my knees saying, "Take this cup, not for me, but for Steve."

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another Day Closer To...

Another day. I can do this. I'm weepy today. Can't seem to stop being weepy. Earlier, during our pillow talk, he asked me what I was up to today. I said I didn't have anything big, what did he have planned? Then I immediately burst into tears.

I told him I really thought he would go by car accident. He wouldn't be wearing a seat belt of course. I would hate him for dying like that. At least that's not going to happen.

Psalm 119:50

My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My True Purpose

If I am to follow Him, who suffered and bled for me, I must be on the right path if I am suffering for someone else. Short of a life dedicated to it, there is nothing bigger I am capable of. My tears at his pain and holding him as he slowly disappears each day is laying down my net and taking up my cross.

I'm not on the outside looking in, or feeling guilty over all the things I should be doing. I've been awakened to what a servant truly is. This is a privilege because I'm not longer wondering what MY PURPOSE is. The me from before is long gone.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our Cocoon

We are in a cocoon. People come to bring groceries or bathe Steven, but we hardly leave. Somewhere, someone is driving with the window down, hair blowing in the wind. Someone else walks, holding a little ones hand, trying not to step on a crack. Girls giggle at the mall, and parents wish the home side was in the shade for the game. Another is thankful the gym is open late as he heads there after work.

The room is dark; the only noise is the oxygen machine as I spoon behind him in bed. I can't rest any part of me on him or touch his spine. But I can put my forehead by his neck and it is there we whisper as I silently cry. He doesn't stop me, but joins me.

Somewhere, she says the water is too cold to swim, but she really doesn't want to get her hair and makeup wet. A man slides up to the bar where his draft has already been poured. Elsewhere, as a woman stands in line, she wonders why everyone wants ice cream the same time as her. He marks the calendar, one day closer to that vacation.

Lips swollen, mouth with sores, eating is very hard for Steve. We've tried oatmeal, mashed potatoes, bland and blander. It all burns. Ice cream burns. We both know he has to eat. His lungs do not have enough capacity to cough now so it sounds fake then after several attempts is productive. There is no laughter or jokes, just pain and discomfort. I may just die of a broken heart before he does. Only God knows when this beautiful man will break free of his cocoon and fly.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Dearest Steven

My Dearest Steven,

I know you don't read the blog. That used to bother me, but then freed me to put feelings down that I might not have.

I know I don't know what you're going through. I would take your pain upon myself if I could. We have switched roles you and I. I am now the stronger, decision making one. I hold you at night rather than you hold me.

Your courage is to be admired. Your anxiety remains your own. I know you are praying so maybe it is between you and God. I do know your life and declining health have impacted a few to make life changing decisions. While that doesn't make things different for you, there are a few babies in this world who may have their daddies a while longer because they quit smoking.

Steven, you touch so many without even realizing it. Especially me. I wish I knew how to word it all to you. To tell you it's okay to let go...and go. You told me that when you were in ICU, you saw my face and heard me say I wasn't ready to let you go yet, and that you decided then you would live. And you pulled through miraculously. But it has been more pain than anything since you came home and I feel bad for that.

As much as I will...fall apart when you go, I think I'm to the point where I'd rather have you in heaven than in pain anymore. There, I wrote it. Maybe I need to say it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

People Want To Help

Our friends feel helpless that they can't make this suffering go away for us. They ask what they can do, and then voice they wish they could do more.

What each of them needs to know is, they are one flower in a huge bouquet. When you take the sweet things people are doing and add them all up, the generosity is truly amazing.

The most precious gift of all is the prayers...but of course the desserts are really good too.

And I've grown in my sacrifice to Steven. It's like, the more I give for him, (time, tears, sleep) the more I am blessed.
In my brokenheartedness, I find compassion and walk away with the experience of mercy. This all takes me out of my comfort zone and selfcenteredness. I'm one who likes routine, neatness and predictability. But at the same time this pain I feel makes me realize I'm alive. Nothing is mediocre or simple. Life is slipping away...for all of us.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Getting Through The Day

Today is somewhat better for Steve. I can see the disease is progressing but he is on the morphine and dopey is better then in pain. Bless his heart.

I had my first bad headache since my working from home began. Not wanting to lessen my senses, I hesitated taking my migraine meds but finally gave in. I'm so glad I did.

I seem to cope better if I commune with God as often as possible. I carry scripture on index cards to meditate on. I have Pandora on my phone with my favorite Christian artists, and can listen to them anywhere. I listen to Heritage's sermons online. I keep the car radio on K-Love.

These things make me weepy, but only because they remind me of the importance of getting Steve and I through this. Most impacting is, I'm not alone because God loves me so very much.

None of this is His fault. We are not promised a life of ease. That will come later. But, He does promise to be with us as we go through these things. God is big. He can heal Steve, but maybe that's not His plan. I can't see the big picture, I can only live this day moment by moment knowing I'm not alone.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Day For Sleeping

Today Steven has not been able to get out of bed. He is weak and very tired. The hospice nurse, who is now a friend to both of us, said she has noticed a decline since last week. He is paler and thinner.

I'm pretty sure he will shake this off and be better tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

His Eyes

His eyes tell me everything I need to know about how he is feeling. I see in them exhaustion and pain and know he needs to lay down. I know when the pain is especially bad, and I should lay down with him. There is not much sparkle anymore, but when there is, I'm ready for his humor and wit with some of my own. I see the disappointment when he wants to run and now can barely walk. I see the fear when he holds out a hand that shakes, and frustration over his body defying him as his limbs grow weaker.

There are things he wants to say too me, but can't. Blessedly, his touch speaks louder than words. And again after this many years, I can read him.

What I don't see is anxiety about the future. I'm not sure I'm anxious either. My energy is spent on this hour, this minute. I don't have any strength for tomorrow. I don't need any...until tomorrow.


THE LORD'S LEADING

Thus far the Lord has led us,
the waters have been high,
But yet in passing through them
we felt that He was nigh.

A very present helper
in trouble we have found
His comforts most abounded
When our sorrows did abound.

Calmly we look before us;
we fear no future ills;
Enough for safety and for peace
If Thou art with us still.


Author unknown

Monday, July 1, 2013

The 'I Love You' Note

I keep telling myself he is angry, but not at me. Then I came across a note he had left me on the counter long ago that just said 'I love you'. I put it on the frig and each time I pass it I hear his voice tell me just that.

I'm telling God this is too hard. I don't like this life and was wondering if I could trade it in. I want to tell Steve he will get better soon, but instead, if anything, could only say, "Babe, don't worry, this will be over soon". How sad is that?