All of us have experienced many "FIRST'S in our lives. Our first love, our first kiss, the list can go on and on.
When I found the Love of my Life I had many of theses FIRST'S. Our first kiss, our first date, and yes, our first I love you. Time moved along and as Love would have it, we were married and sealed with a kiss our commitment to one another. At our reception we had our first dance. We would never again have a moment like that.
One year later Bob held his baby boy for the FIRST time. Children, what a blessing from God. Joy, happiness and love were a big part of our lives as we grew in our love for Jesus and one another. We dreamed of growing old together and watching our children have children
Alex made Bob a grandpa to three beautiful girls. I watched as my husband softened toward his little princeses. This was a side of my husband I had never seen. He would have tea with his angels, and would pray for them to grow up into beautiful women who would love God.
Soon though, those dreams were shattered with the news that Bob had cancer. A FIRST I did not want to experience. During this time we had our last dance, holding each other close, our hearts beating as one as we enjoyed our love for each other.
WE had our first trip to the hospital, then the first tests, then his stay at the hospital as they put the feeding tube in his stumach. I stayed at night at the hospital and my husband had ordered the last meal I would have with him. He was so proud as he showed me the sandwich, coffee and desert he had picked out on the hospital menue. As I ate I held tears back because my husband would never eat a meal with me again. What a loveing gesture. It was good to see him without pain. To have him loveingly look at me as we shared the hospital room. Soon he would be comeing home. Hospice was now involved. His room looked like a hospital as the bed and equipment to take care of him arrived. I brought him home and soon learned(A First) how to take care of the feeding tube and when to administer the pain medicine.
Mixed with all these FIRST"S were all the last things too. My last I love you. My last kiss and then my last goodby as I watched my husband slip from this life into the arms of Jusus. In this I want to share with you Bob's last prayer. It was written down because he could not speak.
"DEAR JUSUS, I HAVE SET MYSELF TO SEEK YOU O LORD, I THOUGHT YOU WERE ANGRY WITH ME. BUT YOU HAVE OPENED UP MY UNDERSTANDING BY LOOKING AT A PEARL AND UNDERSTANDING ITS BEAUTY. BUT IT STARTED OUT AS A PIECE OF SAND STUCK IN THE OSTER, A IRRITANT IN HIS BODY. AND THE PEARL FORMS AROUND THE GRAIN OF SAND. IF YOU ASK THE OSTER ABOUT THE PEARL HE'S NOT TO HAPPY ABOUT IT. IT'S PAINFULL, BUT THE END RESULT IS A BEAUTIFUL PEARL. ITS ONE THING TO SAY I TRUST IN YOU LORD WHEN THINGS ARE GOING GOOD. ITS ANOTHER WHEN ALL HELL IS BREAKING LOOSE AROUND YOU AND YOU ARE TORMENTED WITH PAIN, THE DEVIL ATTACKS AT WILL AND THEN LIES TO YOU, AND ACCUSES GOD OF LEAVEING YOU IN PAIN AND SUFFERING, IN SICKNESS AND CANCER. BUT IN THIS TIME I PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD AND STAND AGAINST PAIN, SICKNESS AND CANCER. I DON'T LOOK AT THE THINGS THAT ARE SEEN! I LOOK TO JESUS THE AUTHER AND FINISHER OF MY FAITH. THE THINGS I AM GOING THROUGH ARE NOT COMFORTABLE, ITS A REAL IRRITANT. BUT IN THE END ITS GOING TO COME OUT A PEARL. I AM UNABLE TO PRAISE YOU WITH MY MOUTH BECAUSE I CAN'T SPEAK, INSTEAD I PUT IN A PRAISE TAPE AND DANCE WITH JOY BEFORE YOU JESUS. AND AS LONG AS I HAVE STRENGTH TO DO SO I WILL DANCE WITH JOY BEFORY MY GOD AND WORSHIP HIM. "
Now my boys and I find ourselves experienceing the FIRSTS all over again. My 15 year ols's first birthday without his dad. Our FIRST holidays, and many more in the comming year. All FIRSTS wrapped around grief.
But, as I reflect on my husbands last prayer ,I pray and ask God to take this pain that is inside us and wrap his love around it. Hopefully when time has had its way we can look back with a smile and say " JESUS TOOK THE PAIN WE FELT AND TURNED IT INTO A PEARL. We miss you Bob, Your loving family Alex; Bobby;John; and Tracy.