Homesick (Part 2) by Bev Schmoyer

Well, now you are thinking what a great ending. But - no -- this does not end here.

How I wish it did. But now I will take you forward many years. I will take you to a hospital room halfway across the country.  In the middle of the Bible belt there is a hospital complex with all the up to date marvels of medicine. One of these rooms on the chemotherapy floor has become home for 10 days each month as my husband battles lung cancer. I sit by his bed each day and night and watch the medication drip into his veins, praying he will be one of the 30% who will respond. Sitting in a hospital room for that length of time can cause madness if you do not find something to occupy your long hours.  During one of the stays of the 18 months, I put the above story on paper and felt a sense of peace. I placed the notebook in which it was written in my backpack and forgot all about it. When we realized that all avenues of therapy had been exhausted and the disease had progressed to both lungs, we said our good byes to the hospital and went home.  Since my husband was still alert and able to move about on his own we created a nest in the family room. The only thing he requested was a note pad to write some notes to our children. I was leaving for the morning and gave him one from my backpack.

Ahh - yes - you are getting ahead of the story.

Upon my return two hours later, I found an agitated husband pacing the floor. My first reaction was the disease or medication had caused this; but then he stopped and said he had invaded my privacy and was so sorry. I was confused and told him there was nothing so private that I could not share with him. After 29 years of marriage he knew all my secrets. As my best friend, I shared everything with him. Well, he handed me the notebook opened to the pages on which I had written my homesickness story. He took me in his arms and told me he knew I loved him but had no idea of the depth. We had a good cry together.

We had discussed a memorial service before and made some plans and during the evening my husband asked that the homesickness story be read at his service. He even chose the person to read it.

Can you imagine how I felt and how I feel every time I think of his words?

This paper I wrote so long ago on something I thought nonexistent had led to this moment in time. It had become a blessing to me. No, it does not end there.

During the course of the same evening this beautiful man turned to me and told me that there were some grammatical errors in my paper. As an engineer my husband was a stickler on grammar and knew how to write technical papers with perfection.

My only defense for that comment was to remark that if he wanted it grammatically correct he would have to correct it himself. And that he did. What would have normally taken him 15 minutes to revise; took him two days. And when he finished, I put it with the other notes for his memorial service.

The memorial service took place on our 29th anniversary.

During our last visit to the hospital, I told him knowing we only had 29 years together; I still would have married him. A love like that is a blessing I was and am so glad I did not miss. His last words to me were "I'll wait for you".

Instead of “we”, “our”, “together off in the sunset” – I grow old with me – the best is yet to come. It is a new chapter. The plans and path we planned together will not be.

Homesick? Every day.

Who thinks of ripples in a pond or the domino effect when growing up?
How could we possible know that one small incident would play an important part in our lives?
At the time of occurrence it bears no importance.
As you live your life it keeps popping up and shaping events.
I still cannot believe the results that have come about over one little homework assignment.
I shake my head in wonderment of the effects it has played in my life and the span it traveled.
Who could have guessed how it would influence in my life.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NRSV)

Reflection Question:
When your plans and life’s experience don’t match, where does your hope and healing come from?

Prayer
God who holds my future,
Guide me in your ways and illuminate the hope for tomorrow.
In Your Holy Name, Amen


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