Summary: A personal story of great heartache and pain - overcome by the Love of Jesus -
Updated Sept 2020 -
Throughout the past 50+ years I have walked with the Savior, one lesson continues to prove itself day by day - the more I learn about Jesus, I discover how little I really know and how much more I NEED to know! It never ceases to amaze me that every time I think I have reached a pinnacle of success in my faith walk, or I can now relax a little, something comes along and reminds me how much I still have yet to learn!
The last decade was really rough. One year, in particular, left my family reeling from the financial effects of a stock market crash and a frivolous lawsuit that took way too much time and money defending ourselves. So, we were kind of hoping that things would get better.
In November, prior to that year, my wife was the victim of a malicious virus that lasted two months. Most people would have gotten through it without any major concerns but my wife had kidney problems as a result of the disease known as Lupus. Twenty-five years earlier, while we were engaged to be married, she was given seven years to live and miraculously, to the amazement of the Doctors, her kidneys held out. However, that virus took a heavy toll and both kidneys failed. She became very sick just after Christmas and went to the hospital immediately to start dialysis. She had to go through five peritoneal dialysis sessions a day, seven days a week for a few weeks, then three sessions a week until the end of her life. Needless to say, it totally changed the way we lived, permeating every minute detail of our day-to-day existence.
During those first months of the following year, I had some physical problems that greatly concerned me for fear that cancer had returned after beating it over 15 years previously. It took weeks and weeks of testing and finally a surgery date was set for mid-May. I ultimately had the surgery and was given a clean bill of health.
In between all the testing and doctor visits for the both of us I got into a car accident. I was unharmed but my pristine 21-year-old Italian sports car was totaled. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, my daughter’s life was threatened by a stalker and we lived under that threat for months.
In May of that year, my father was the victim of a terrible accident. My Mom and Dad were visiting friends who lived a few hundred miles from their home in Oregon. My Dad had gone out into the carport to get something out of the car and bring it back into the house. There were three doors in a row on the back wall to choose from, one led to a washroom, another into a downstairs basement, and the last back into the house that was full of laughter, warmth, and love. He somehow chose the door that led into the basement. As he opened the door, he stepped into the darkness and immediately lost his footing due to the first step starting just below the doorsill. He tried desperately to grab onto something to stop his fall but the stairs had no handrail. He fell head-first onto the concrete floor below 10 feet below.
He was flown by Life Flight to a Trauma Hospital 200 miles away. He remained on life support for a few weeks but just a few days before Father’s Day he lost his valiant struggle to regain consciousness and passed on into the next life. He taught me the true meaning of commitment and what it means to be a father, a husband, and a provider, not just in words alone but also by how he lived. Words can’t express how great he is missed.
A month or so later my wife had to have an operation to try and create a good artery for use as a back-up vessel in the event of needing emergency hemodialysis. They opened up her right arm from elbow to wrist and moved a large “good” vessel underneath her arm to the top of her arm, which left a Frankensteinish scar. The “new” vessel stopped working after a few days.
Because dialysis pulls both toxins and nutrients out of the body, my wife had nerve problems and muscle control problems. Her eyes would cross unexpectantly so she couldn't see at times, which made driving very interesting! They gave her different drugs which caused many side effects, one of which caused what appeared to be a stroke accompanied by mental disorientation and sheer terror, similar to what I have seen with Alzheimer patients I have worked with.
The day that happened I received a call from my wife who was extremely upset and almost incoherent. I could sense the confusion in her frightened voice. I rushed out of the office pretty shook up. The last time I felt that way was years before when the hospital called me where my wife was in intensive care and told me to get over there right away as they didn’t think she was going to make it.