Sunday, November 12, 2006

Christus Consolator

"Come unto Me
All Ye That Are Weary and Heavy Laden
And I Will Give You Rest"

When I was younger, my parents were involved in the Eucumenical Institute, now known as Institute of Cultural Affairs. We would be hauled off to Fifth City in Chicago at some awful hour for a weekend of (at that time) torture. We would complain, moan, and complain some more, yet it provided a foundation for my life and some of my beliefs now. We used to sing that verse to the tune of "Bye Bye Love". In our many trips to Johns Hopkins so far, I have only been to visit Him in person once(this year), for this photo. Yet I know He is there, so I hum "Bye Bye Love" singing to myself "Come to Me, all who are weary and a heavy laden, and I will give you rest, and I will give you rest." My FIL claims to be an atheist. His older son has been a patient, on and off, of JHH for over 30 years. The last one was a close call and afterwards, he bought a replica of the statue for his home. It's not spoken of but is prominently displayed. Comfort comes in many ways.

The surgery went as expected. The nodule was metastatic, from his bone tumor of almost 15 years ago. No other treatment is expected. Hopefully, this was it. As a friend wrote me, a slight detour, not the path.

Relief flooded me after the surgeon spoke to us. My Father and Father in Law (named Big Dad by Audrey - the youngest grandchild) stayed with me that afternoon. I had trouble maintaining my calm (okay, I tried not to cry) as I called each of my children to tell them the good news. My Dad left and Big Dad stayed, he was taking me home. Finally we were able to see My Handsome Prince in ICU.

When we walked in, the nurse kept the small talk up, commenting on how well he was doing, wanting to know what I was making (I had knitting in my hand), yada, yada. Poor baby, grimaced and groaned with every breath he took, yet managed to sweep his hand towards me and tell the nurse "She is beautiful". I did not want to cry. He kept talking about it hurt to lift, as he lifted his head. I kept telling him, don't do it. Finally, he said "No, it hurts to live." I've never been a queasy person, but at this point, I was sweating, cold and naseaous and had to sit down. I didn't want them to mop me off the floor. This was my husband, in a state like I had never seen before. If I felt like this, I can't even imagine the helplessness my Father in Law felt that evening. Finally, a good dosage was set on the morphine pump that he could administer every 5 minutes. He snoozed, woke, assured us he was fine, snoozed, wanted to watch Walker, Texas Ranger (a private joke - check out the Chuck Norris page), and wanted us to leave. We made him anxious and he could rest if we left. We did and it was probably the hardest thing either one of us had done in a while.

Friday, 6:30 AM, phone rings. Shit! Panic. It was My Handsome Prince, saying he has his own private room, he was out of ICU. Amazing guy, thinking of me.

Todays visit was very subdued. He slept. I knit. My Mom read. My Dad came and a friend from church came. Later, after I arrived home, Big Dad called, MHP had been up walking and was sitting up in a chair. He is battling the naseau from anesthesia, but the morphine has been cut off, and he is doing well. His color is good, his breathing is good, he's doing what he's supposed to do. He is such an excellent patient.

This husband of mine is the bravest soul, the most thoughtful man, and the most amazing man. He has had many battles and has come through with faith. I am a lucky woman.

Emma is coming home tonight. All three of us will visit tomorrow. I will show them the statue. I hope it will bring them comfort. I will call my sister and get all the words to the song and teach it to my children. And we will sing.

Post note: Saturday, we brought him home. It's tough, but he's here and we can take care of him. Through his fog of pain and meds, he hears the girls laughing and I think that brings him comfort.
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autum said...

Dana, what wonderful news! I hope your prince's recovery is speedy.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Dana, hugs to all. Take the best care of yourself you've got what you need when you need it.

mamachelly said...


Come to me, all you who labor, and are heavy laden,
And I will give you rest, and I will give you rest.

You are invited to be set free. Be not offended, attend to me.
Lay down your burden, pick up your life, the one solution for all your strife.

The call comes daily, confronting me: all former patterns are shaken free.
The man exalted, the God brought low: behind this offense, my death I know.

I'm at the crossroads, I must decide to live offended or faith confide.
There is no reason, the cross to choose: it's my election, my life to lose.

The Church triumphant is yet to be, always becoming in history.
The one salvation, severity: the Church's task is to set men free.

Lisa D. said...

I hope your sweet prince has a speedy recovery. Sounds like he has a great team at home to help his recovery along.

Rabbit Stitchings said...

You hang on to that foundation! This will pull you thru, its what always pulls us thru!! :O)

I am soooooooooooo happy you got to bring your dh home and that this has gone as well as it could thus far... I will continue to send the best of thoughts you guys way... for a complete and non eventful recovery!

Angie said...

Get-well wishes and prayers are being sent for your Prince, as well as all of you. :D It always seems easier to deal with at home in our own nests. Hope his recovery is speedy, and his "detour" short. :D

Anonymous said...

Hey, I got dragged off to fifth city to, lived there for a year. Lived in Uptown too.
Seems like we may know each other.

Peter Whitney
in Vermont.

Peter J said...

I was in Framingham (with Peter Whitney) 5th City, Global Centrum and Peoria. Summers in Chicago at the academy and at Camp New Day Nation and Geneva Crossroads.

In the world of spirit, radically contingent, trustful expectation, intense thought. Life's impacted by the mystery, and it's all a cloud of awe...

Anyone else?

Peter Johnston in Boston

Dana said...

Interesting. How did you guys find me? My family was involved during the 70's. We might know some of the same people. It's a small world.

I remember that song!

Anonymous said...

I did a blogger search for the Ecumenical Institute, or something similar & reference it in the post I commented on. Peter J found me through your page.

Who do you remember?

Feel free to take this offline to share more.


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