I put off making a quilt for a person who became very dear to us.........and today he passed away.
When hubby entered the nursing home to recover from his hip replacement last February, a roommate arrived the same day. Jack was a man that hubby had known when they both were in their 20's, and of course, we had moved away for over 30 years. Jack suffered a stroke in January of this year and had been in Nashville for a little while.
I didn't know Jack, but when his sister and her husband came to visit in the little room that my husband shared with Jack, it turned out that they went to the same Church as us and we had never even met. We 'clicked' immediately, such a blessing when sharing a small space like that, and we came to enjoy each other's time while visiting the men.
Jack's sister asked me to pray that Jack would accept the Lord as his personal saviour, and so, when hubby and I had our morning Bible reading, I feel like the Holy Spirit led me to make sure that Jack could 'eavesdrop'.......in the evenings at home, when I prayed for my husband's recovery, I joined what I knew were many prayers going up for Jack. Hubby was very blessed, and recovered quickly, getting to go home after a month. Jack remained and didn't seem to be improving, but seemed no worse either.
Well, when hubby and I decided to go back and see some of the friends that we had made at the nursing home, Jack was at the top of the list. He loved Reese"s peanut-butter cups and Hubby made sure he always had that or some other candy to take to Jack on our weekly visits.
Sometime this summer, Jack's sister shared with me at Church one night that she had good news and bad news. The bad news was that they had discovered that the reason Jack wasn't improving was because he had cancer in his lungs that had spread to his brain. I was pretty much shocked and devastated........he's become such a friend ! The good news, she hurried to tell me, was that Jack had prayed with the family and given his heart to the LORD. Oh, joyful news ! Prayers answered, ............more prayers for health, and strength, and comfort and peace........
I was making the aprons for everyone at the time, and gave Jack one, too. But when I had pretty much 'covered' all of our friends.....quite literally....I started getting an inclination to make a quilt for one or two of them. I just didn't know, since I hadn't known him that long.
But he's been having a rough time for the last couple of months now, going into pneumonia, and I felt that I just really wanted to make him a quilt for Christmas. I asked hubby if he thought it was a good idea, and he said, "I'm just not sure he'll make it that long." I said , "I know, I'm going to start one now. "
Sunday, I heard that he had taken a turn for the worse, and my brother said that he'd go with me on Monday night to visit, since hubby and I had missed a week due to colds. When he didn't get to go Monday night, I woke up this morning just knowing that I had to go today, even if it was by myself.
When I went with candy in hand, I found his door closed. The tech out in the hall asked if that candy was for Jack and when I answered, "yes", she said that he wasn't able to eat anything. I had no idea he was that badly sick. I gave the candy to another friend and was about to leave when I saw Jack's sister-in-law. When I asked after him, she said that the family was with him, and that I could go in.
It was hard.
I love them all now, and it was hard.
After visiting a bit, I told his sister that I'm making him a quilt and that if I can't give it to him, I'll give it to her.
So, I guess I just had to get this out of my head, and remind all of us, self included, that if you want to do something for someone, do it today. We are not promised tomorrow, but our hope is in the Lord's mercy and resurrection. I know that Jack will KNOW when his quilt is finished, and he will smile again. Hey, he's smiling now !
" Do you not know?
Have you not heard???
The LORD is the everlasting GOD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary,
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31
"The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Isaish 50:4