Some things you measure in months and some thongs you measure in years. And then some you start off measuring in months and then change to years. Take a baby for example. You start off measuring their age in weeks, and then you graduate to months and then to years. That’s pretty well defined. It’s months until they are two years old, and then it magically seems to change over to years. You don’t normally say that a three-year old is 36 months old. However I have heard a two year old called 24 months old. So two seems to be the changing point. That’s good. It has some definition. But what about other things? How long do you continue to remember events and give them some sort of legitimacy by calling it a four-month anniversary? Well this is not an anniversary. But four months ago tonight Julia died. How long will I be chained to the calendar knowing that as the 8th approaches another month without her has passed by? Will I be thinking like this the rest of my life? These are questions that have no answers except with the passing of time. However I can’t imagine myself letting the 8th of the month pass without thinking about it. So I guess only time will tell. So anyway, it was four months ago tonight that we were around her bed at Kennestone Hospital. Up until now, I haven’t wanted or felt like reflecting back to that day in the hospital. But I think the time is right, so tonight that’s what I am going to do. Why now? I don’t know except I think I need to do this for me. To release it all so we can all move into the next phase, whatever that is. Also until a couple of weeks ago we hadn’t gotten the autopsy report or death certificate back. Everything happened so fast, the hospital, and all of us, wanted to find out why and what. So they called in the GBI to do an autopsy. That delayed the death certificate and everything else. So this is the night when I reflect back to that snowy cold Friday in January.
As you recall if you have read my blog, I talked about the day before and the events leading up to taking her to the Emergency Room. I drove down in the snow, not really as concerned about how she was doing during the ride as I was about getting there without sliding into a ditch. We made it sometime between 11:30 and 12 midnight on that Thursday Evening. I got her checked into the ER and then had to go move the car to the parking lot. When I got back, she was just about to be taken back to a room, so we went together. She seemed to be getting worse, and was having a hard time breathing by now. She was given Oxygen, and that seemed to help, but not much. They came in and gave her x-rays, and then wanted to do some other test. They were moving her around, and they sent me to a private waiting room. It seemed like I was there forever, and it was actually over an hour. I still thought everything was going to be fine. I was praying for a quick recovery so she could get down to Mobile before the baby was born. The ER doctor cam in with an announcement: he said that she needed to be put on a ventilator. That she was working too hard to breath and wouldn’t last unless we did this. I guess I was in shock because I just thought they would do that to get her stabilized and then she would be OK. It still wasn’t registering with me how sick she really was. I said yes, then went back into her room gave her a quick hug and a kiss and they took her off. She really didn’t even know that I was there, and had I known that was the last time I would ever see her conscious I would have made it mean something more than it did at the time.
I went back to the waiting room, and it began to hit me that things were not going good. I was praying for her healing, and for the doctors. I did have a sense of peace. I really felt that she would be OK. It was still too early to call anyone. I was there for a long time. I prayed and probably dozed off for just a few minutes. When I thought it was a decent hour, I think I remember calling John and Biddie and had them alert others. Then the Lung specialist came in and we talked. He wanted to know the history, and I told him how fast everything had taken place. He told me they were taking her up to ICU and that she was very sick. I went up to the ICU waiting room to stay until they moved her. She was in a drug-induced state of unconsciousness to keep her stabilized with the ventilator. When she got into ICU, I went in and stayed with her until around 8:30AM. I just prayed and sang to myself. I knew that the intercessors and others were praying. I knew that everything would be all right. After talking to the doctor, I went home to shower and change clothes. I also brought Julia some things that I knew that she had wanted. It was a quick trip and I was back in ICU before 11AM. By then word had gotten out, and people were coming to pray and see us. We had a constant traffic of people in, and prayers going up. Great prayers that were full of faith. I knew that she was going to be OK.
But things were not getting better. I could see concern in the nurses’ faces. I was telling one of them that Jennifer was an nurse in Miami in PICU. They asked me if she was coming. I said no, I haven’t even talked to her yet. The said that I should, and that if Jennifer knew what they were doing, she would want to come. That’s the first time I really thought that I might need to get both girls here. I did’t know if Lisa could even come. She was due in less than a week, and I knew that she couldn’t fly. It was a 6-hour drive. I just wasn’t sure. Many of my friends and pastors had come and gone when the doctor told me the shocking news. He said that all of Julia’s organs were shutting down, and that her chances of survival were less than 20%. The fluid in the lungs was making all of her body work extremely hard, and it was failing. I accepted the fact of what was happening. I think I said to the nurse. You guys do all you can on the medical end, and we will do all we can on the spiritual end. I called the pastors and some friende, I din’t even emember who now, and we redoubled our prayers and declerations. We were declaring that her body function properly. We were declaring healing and release of the Kingdom of God. We did everything we knew to do and then some. I had talked to Lisa and Jennifer. Jemnifer was flying up from Ft Lauderdale, and Lisa started driving with a friend and Anna Roan. Of course, Jennifer got here first.
By the time Jnnifer arrived, Julia was going down fast. I had already talked with the doctor who said that unless we had a miracle, it was just a short time until she would be dead. Tom. Melissa, Mark and I think Terry were all in the room. We were still praying for healing. We were calling Lisa to see where she was, wanting her to get here before Julia passed away if she wasn’t healed. Lisa arrived and rushed into the room just as we were realizing that Julia was passing away. We were all broken and in shock. It all happened so fast. We were all there. I wasn’t ready to give up. Not yet. So we all spent a little while, I don’t know how long, asking God to raise her up. We wanted to see her raised from the dead. We went for it, but nothing happened. We could have gone longer I guess, but I had faith that if God wanted to do it, He would do it then. But she was still lying there. As we talked around the bed I knew that we had to give thanks to God in the midst of this grief. We all knew that it was so important to set the proper frame of reference. God is Good. Even in the middle of sorrow, He is Good. So we sang raises to Him around the bed. Although we didn’t see her raised then, I didn’t give up. We prayed at least twice more, once at the funeral home. Then I thought I could feel something move in her body. Then we prayed again before we buried her. At that time I felt that she said for ne to leave her alone. She was fine, and we would be OK.
So that was how it was four months ago today. All during that day, I never doubted God and His love and goodness. I haven’t doubted since then. To the contrary, I know more about His love and goodness now than I ever knew before. Am I lonely? Yes. Am I alone? Never! Even tonight as I was driving home from the airport, I was thinking about tonight and being alone in the house. Holy Spirit reminded me that I am not alone. He reminded me that He, Papa, and Jesus were all there with me. And they are. So there, I’ve told the story. Oh by the way, the cause of Julia’s death was officially bronchial pneumonia complicating an upper respiratory viral infection. It all happened so quickly. Since her death I have talked with others who lost loved ones in similar fashion. But I close tonight with this. There is such a peace here in this house right now. I can almost touch God’s presence, and Julia is right there.