An Odd Longing

It’s actually an odd thing to want. For some reason, I find myself longing to be back in the hospital more often than any other point in my marriage. I can only guess that I’m too much of a realist to imagine earlier times. My time in the hospital isn’t all that different of a reality than now.

But I think back to that time every few days. I remember how comfortable I got there, as if it were a 10-day sleepover. I can’t imagine what it must be like for others who endure much longer battles. I spent every night either on a couch in the waiting room or in a chair next to Stephanie’s bed.

I began to know the nurses, and I’m sad that I don’t get to see them any more. They were so wonderful, taking care not only of Stephanie, but of me and my entire family. How many times have they done the same for others? I wish I could have thanked them more while I was there.

I learned how to read all the monitors. I was so proud of her for breathing “above the machine” – she took more breaths than the machine made sure she took. And then she stopped doing that at the same time God stopped telling me to “just wait” and I knew she was gone, even if her death certificate says it was two days later. I could read the EKG and knew when she was having seizures. I remember sliding up next to her during those times, holding her hand and touching her face, trying to calm her down. I can still hear myself saying, “Oh, honey. You gotta stop.”

How many nights did I beg her to fight? How many times did I remind her that she refused God to take her once before and needed to do it again? How many hours did I spend holding her hand and stroking her hair?

I know it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense because she wasn’t talking to me at all, but I miss my time with her in the hospital. What part of that longing is because of the hope I still had that she might be okay? I miss spending every moment with her, even if she wasn’t exactly “with” me during those moments.

14 thoughts on “An Odd Longing”

  1. Hello Brad,
    You don’t know me, and I only know you through your blog. I started reading them when Stephanie was in the hospital, and I have accompanied you in prayer since then. You have a wonderful talent for expressing your feelings and I appreciate your testimony of faith. Thank you for being so transparent. I’d like to see your journal in print, because it is such an encouragement to Christians and a testimony of God’s amazing grace. Anyway, I’m writing today to share another young man’s journey of grace with you. Please check out this blogsite : jessicacouncil.blogspot.com
    You and Clint have so much in common. May the Lord continue to strengthen both of you in His love.
    – Linda Baughman, missionary in France

  2. i understand this completely. i went through the very same thing with my dad – and i find myself longing for those days in the hospital. the time "with" him, being proud of him for breathing "above the machine", the nurses – all of the same things you mentioned. i can't explain it, but i can certainly understand it. you are not alone in feeling this way.

  3. Thx for sharing, Brad. I think I have some idea of what this "odd longing" can be like, but (in my opinion) from an infinitely more tolerable outcome :-( I think part of this for me was how "refreshing" (odd word for hospital…) it was to rid myself of all the cares that we get caught up in every day that just don't matter! In the least, they fade into the distance. Those are some of the things that can be hard to come back to… I long to "not care" abut all the mundane, pointless stuff again sometimes! We continue to pray for you and your precious children every night!

  4. Your tender heart is such a blessing, Brad. I love to hear you share your struggle. It's somehow so refreshing to hear that you still grieve over Stephanie, rather than just burying the pain and moving on. I guess some would think that wasn't so healthy. But to me, it's such a testimony to the love the two of you shared. Thank you for loving my friend.

  5. “As Humans when things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always be worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better" ~~~ Brad you are amazingly human, your writing inspires me to write about my own sorrow. As always I am grateful for the blog and it is amazing how each person's life touches another. Stay stong

  6. Thx for sharing, Brad. I think I have some idea of what this "odd longing" can be like, but (in my opinion) from an infinitely more tolerable outcome :-( I think part of this for me was how "refreshing" (odd word for hospital…) it was to rid myself of all the cares that we get caught up in every day that just don't matter! In the least, they fade into the distance. Those are some of the things that can be hard to come back to… I long to "not care" abut all the mundane, pointless stuff again sometimes! We continue to pray for you and your precious children every night!

  7. Your tender heart is such a blessing, Brad. I love to hear you share your struggle. It's somehow so refreshing to hear that you still grieve over Stephanie, rather than just burying the pain and moving on. I guess some would think that wasn't so healthy. But to me, it's such a testimony to the love the two of you shared. Thank you for loving my friend.

  8. i understand this completely. i went through the very same thing with my dad – and i find myself longing for those days in the hospital. the time "with" him, being proud of him for breathing "above the machine", the nurses – all of the same things you mentioned. i can't explain it, but i can certainly understand it. you are not alone in feeling this way.

  9. Brad,
    As I read your blog(s), I still cry almost everytime and want to still just say “Thanks”. I continue to pray for you and the kids every day. God Bless YOU.
    With love and prayers
    Angie

  10. I’m not sure of the source of this letter. A friend from church shared this with me, and I felt lead to pass it on to you. I hope that you find this to be comforting.

    A love letter from your heavenly father:

    My Dear Child,

    You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Ps. 139:1)
    I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Ps. 139:2)
    I am familiar with all your ways. (Ps 139:3)
    Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matt 10:29-30)
    For you were made in my image. (Gen 1:27)
    in me you live and move and have your being. For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)
    I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jer 1:4-5)
    I chose you when I planned creation. (Eph 1:11-12)
    You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. (Ps 139:15-16)
    i determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26)
    You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps 139:14)
    I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139:13)
    And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Ps 71:6)
    I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44)
    I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. (1John 4:16)
    And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1John 3:1)
    Simply because you are my child and i am your father. (1John 3-7)
    I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matt 6:31-33)
    For i am the perfect father. (Matt 5:48)
    Every good gift you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17)
    For I am your provider and I meet your needs. (Matt 6:31-33)
    My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jer 29:11)
    Because i love you with an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3)
    My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Ps 139:17-18)
    And i rejoice over you with singing. (Zeph 3:17)
    I will never stop doing good to you. (jer 32:40) for you are my treasured possession. (ex 19:5)
    I desire to eastablish you with all my heart and all my soul. (Jer 32:41)
    And i want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jer 33:33)
    For if you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deut 4:29)
    So, delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps 37:4)
    for it is I who gave you those desires. (Phillip 2:13)
    I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Eph 3:20)
    For I am your greatest encourager. (2Thess 2:16-17)
    I am also the father who cmoforts you in all your troubles. (2Cor 1:3-4)
    When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Ps 34:18)
    As a shepherd carries a lamg, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isa 40:11)
    One day I will wipte away every tear from your eyes. And I will take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (rev 21:3-4)
    I am your father, and I love you even as i love my son, Y’shua. (Jn 17:23)
    For in Y’shua, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26)
    And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. Y’shua died so that you and i could be reconciled. (2Cor 5:18-19)
    His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. (1John 2:23)
    And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. (Rom 8:38-39)
    When it’s time for you to come home I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Lk 15:7)
    I have always been your Father, and will always be your Father. (Eph 3:14-15)
    My question is… Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)
    I am waiting for you. (Lk 15:11-32)

    With Love,
    Your Father

  11. The week at the hospital feels like a lifetime ago. I feel like I have aged ten years in the last five months. Finally got to the point where I told God that I understand enough eternally to know that this was a good thing but that I was still slightly mad at Him about taking her away from us. Simply because I didn’t have anyone else to blame for it. Found thinking about her in any form to be difficult, like my memory wouldn’t allow me any memories as a defense mechanism. Started reading old emails and links she shared with me (especially the stupid ones) and it felt like she was alive and talking to me at least in her words. Basically, been telling God that I’m going to love him anyway even in what can be an awful world.

Leave a Reply