On that Friday afternoon it seemed we were leaving with more questions than answers — more of a dilemma than a solution. Strangely, as I look back on the whole sequence of events, it wasn’t necessarily the wisest thing to do—to leave the hospital. But at the time, it seemed like the logical next step — even though we weren’t exactly thinking in or planning for sequential steps of action.
Earlier in the day, when the doc had said bypass surgery was the next step, my husband thought he needed more time in order to plan for and schedule such a surgery. The need for surgery wasn’t in question — we’d seen the images and what the heart cath had revealed. The doc sort of incredulously said he was thinking that surgery ought to be done in the next week. Hmmmm. Next week? I’m not sure either of us had a grasp on the gravity of the situation — you know, hindsight being 20/20 and all, we’d likely have scheduled it then and there. I’m glad we didn’t know.
Even as we were walking out to the car, leaving the hospital, my husband slowed his pace bit, asking me to walk a little slower. At home, settled in a chair in our living room, he rested for a little bit. Maybe it was an adrenaline rush, maybe it was nervousness, I don’t know… but instantly my mind was filled with things I knew needed to be taken care of… a quick tidy here and there, and then there was the cake I’d committed to making — a cake for a baby shower. The cakes needed to be baked and the fondant needed to be made. The ovens were preheating, the mixers were whirling the cake batter and I was working along, filling the pans and planning for the decorating of the cake and I was singing… and, yes, mulling over the surgeon’s comments. As the cakes were baking, I prepared the fondant and made syrup for all the hummingbird feeders. Wes had gone upstairs to copy off a bunch of records and reports that had been requested by the hospital’s business office. Funny how one can do a whole bunch of things in a short amount of time when the mind’s on overload. All the while we’d been praying—affirming that our times are in His hands and that the Lord would surely direct our path. We determined we would wait on Him to make very clear the next step.
With the cakes wrapped and in the freezer, a few batches of fondant all wrapped up, the hummingbird feeders all filled… it felt so good to be home, to have a bath and to sleep in our own bed. So tired, I was asleep before my husband came to bed. That quote, filling my thoughts: “All I know of tomorrow is that Providence will rise before the sun.”
Very clearly, Providence had, indeed, risen before the sun. Roused out of a deep sleep… my husband’s hand on my shoulder and his pained whisper in my ear… I need to call 911.
I watched and prayed as the aid car drove away from our home down our lane. I dressed and gathered things to put in the car — strange what you think is necessary or what you remember in such times. I remembered that when my husband had a heart attack seven years prior, I kept saying to myself: get fully dressed, get fully dressed… you may be there awhile and you cannot wear a nightgown at the hospital, you have to wear clothes. And, it’s strange what you think to tell your children in such times. Like plans for the nautical themed shower cake and what foods are available for everyone when they get up.
Our times are in His hands;
there are things we can’t plan for — things like heart attacks.
I made my way to the emergency room. Again, we waited — it was all very familiar to us — the blood draws, the waiting, the monitors, the pain scale of one to ten. Later, settled into a 7th floor room, more tests, questions and affirmations that surgery was the next step. Our times are in His hands. This theme would guard our thoughts and govern our responses — this theme would be our hope and stay.
As my husband talked with our different children through that day and into the night, he would affirm to them over and over that no matter what the outcome of this whole thing, the Lord is only good, His ways are only good and we can trust Him. Over and over again he would share that all his hopes are in Him and He has a very good plan. After long talks, as the last kids left very late that night, we settled in for a rest — my husband in his bed, tethered to the monitors and I in my chair beside him… the incessant beeping lulled me to sleep.