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As God by creation made two of one,
so again by marriage He made one of two.


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Words…

teacupYou know how you hear words over and over and they are so common you don’t even really stop to consider their profound meaning? I mean, I recall for many years my mother in law or my father in law would comment about their cardiologist or my mom mentioned her surgeon or my dad mentioned his oncologist… words. Merely common words.

I was talking on the telephone last evening with a friend of mine… the friend whose husband just died and she was asking me for the specifics of what has happened around here this week. So I sort of rattled off statements that were interspersed with old vocabulary words that have now become part of my every day speech. She said… wait, can you believe you said, “Wes’s cardiologist?” And I laughed.  It was nervous laughter that became this morning’s tears. I was hugging my husband, my head resting on his heart, and I cried at the events of the week. There’s time for crying now. There’s no time for tears when the activities call for action and attention. There’s no time for crying when the responsibilities call for attention and clear thought. But this morning called for neither—nothing but hugs and praise.   And the words that have been so easily rolling off my tongue sort of all got caught in my throat today and my mind was sort of in a blur and I gasped as I realized: what the heck? my *husband* has a cardiologist?

I have this little shelf beside my sink above the bathroom counter. It’s become my habit every night to set my glasses on the shelf, to put my bracelet on the hook and my hair clips next to my glasses. That little shelf is now lined with bottles… not pretty perfume bottles, but amber coloured bottles with with my husband’s name and… c-a-r-d-i-o-l-o-g-i-s-t-‘s name on them. More words. As probable as it was for my husband to travel this path and hit this part of the road, I was completely unprepared for personal use of words that I was fairly accustomed to hearing… in other’s lives. Other husband’s lives. Other’s homes.

My husband(!) carries nitroglycerin now. Nitro’s… you know, little pills old people carry with them to relieve the symptoms of angina. Angina!?! When did that word become part of my husband’s lingo? It’s so bizarre to even consider let alone realize that we’ve entered the world of statins, ACE inhibitors, Beta blockers, blood thinners; the segment of the population for whom all sorts of acronyms and initials describe their own personal medical conditions and history. MI and CA stents now appear on my husband’s medical records and that he now carries a card in his wallet that has a bar code on it… id-ing him as a cardiology patient – a card that can be referenced the next time… I blink. The next time?

Those words… myocardial infarction… still ring in my ears. I still marvel that I sat in that waiting room and talked with the doctor and answered his questions. How long had my husband had heart disease? A myocardial infarct was his first sign. For too many people those words are their first sign of heart disease, too.

How I praise the Lord I was able to talk with the cardiologist after the successful procedure was completed. I sobered up real fast when he said that if Wes hadn’t come in when he did and hadn’t begun that heparin and nitroglycerin that he may well have suffered a massive heart attack and the outcome might not have been favourable. I read just today of yet another man whose first sign of cardiovascular disease was a fatal MI.

The warning signs were all around. We read them… the were common words. Those words became sirens… we’re so listening now.

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  • Dear Pamela,
    I know these days must be so difficult for you but at the same time I know (from personal experience) that God’s grace will be an ever present help. Eleven years ago my husband had a heart attack. I thank God that he is with us today. He has several health challenges but God gives him strength to continue working. We are trying to sell our home and downsize so that he doesn’t have to work so hard.

    I pray the Lord will bring you comfort as only He can. One thing this experience has brought is the reality that we have no guarantees of our next breath and to redeem the days and moments for God’s glory. The reality of this has had it’s good fruit in us as I trust it will in you and your husband.

    Many blessings to you,
    Georgene

  • I totally understand what you’re saying. I have been asking that same thing: Lord, what changes do You want me to make? What should I do this day? etc., etc.

    Thank you for your prayers. Things really are going well. The heart issues we are dealing with are now heart to heart issues. What do we want to do today? Love your husband today and all the days you wake up. He needs you – you need him! Like my friend Kelli says… do one thing, make one change… then do another thing, make another change. I’m more convinced than ever that that’s all we can do. if we think we are going to make colossal changes, we will be so overwhelmed that we will not actually make any change at all! So… love and thanks to you!! and thanks for your prayers. I will let Wes know. God bless you and your family!!!

  • Oh, Pamela,
    Oh, Pamela, what a special lady. You have encouraged me again, even through your pain and hard time, you’ve done it! I will be savoring each moment I have with my husband. Ohhh, I don’t know what I feel right now, but I need to make some changes. Not just in cooking etc., but attitude, heart. Oh, Pamela!!
    God bless you. I will put you on our family’s prayer board today!
    Blessings to you & Wes & Family! With much Love, Melissa,
    Mrs. HoneyBee xoxoxo

  • Thank you Glenys and Lanita… I am honoured that you two wrote and am humbled. Thank you for your loving and gracious encouragement.

    As I said in a letter to you, Glenys, O——- I was choked up as I read your letter… and I am aching that I don’t even have a way to see you personally. I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing and facing. I do and will pray for you and do praise the LORD for the great gift of your life – the blessing you are to me and to so many, many women around the world. That’s an awesome thing, isn’t it!!!

    And, Lanita… I keep thinking that we just so need to love our husbands and to leave off with small things and make each day memorable and delight in the days we have and have had.

    So, to you both… thank you from my heart and thank you from Wes for your prayers. We so depend on the love of the Lord to carry us through and to guide the path ahead. He is only good. We are trusting in that! Thank you again for your sweetness! -pamela

  • Lanita

    Pam,
    I was stunned when I read about your week. You and Wes are in my prayers. My dad had his first heart attack when he was 49, since then he has had 4 more. I keep thinking that God must have something great instore for him to allow him to live through so many heart attacks. I pray that a life style change for Wes will prevent anymore attacks. I know my husband turned 49 this year so it makes me look at life differently too. Life flies by, but I pray that we will not let it fly by so fast that we don’t take stock of where we are spiritually, as well as, physically. Thank you so much for sharing something so life changing and personal. You are loved!
    Lanita

  • Glenys Hicks

    Dear Pam, I would send Wes a card but unfortunately I too have been added to the list of those who now have a cardiologist. I face an angiogram on Friday 5th and possibly stents or bypass. I am too ill to write much, let alone go out- in fact I am not allowed to walk much, drive or get stressed! I have pleaded with God that should He heal me through surgery, which terrifies me by the way- that I will faithfully count cholesterol, sugars (I am diabetic) and I will exercise this old Temple that is close to toppling over. I have not as yet had a myocardial infarction- but it is just a matter of time. Blood thinners, beta-blockers nitroglycerin sublingual spray adorn my bedside table too, and I have a spray in my bag in case I get an angina attack when on the way to the cardiologist. 000 or for you- 911 is the number on the tip of everyone who knows me’s tongue. I am so afraid, Pam! But it is heartening that Wes is feeling better. Perhaps I can avoid a heart attack until the angiogram and stent/bypass is accomplished-please God! Loving thoughts go out to you and Wes and the children. I am praying for him and I know you will be praying for me too- I thank you in advance for that, for I know you are a loving friend who would pray for me without hestitation. Love to you all, Glenys Hicks

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.