It Is What It is

October 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

All things for a reason… A quote I have said for more years than I can remember. A quote that I honestly always believed in. 

But now I don’t. Because if that was true then why? Why didn’t my trio of saints answer my prayers? Saint Rita, all things are possible, Saint Anthony, all things can be found, Saint Jude, all things will glorify God’s name. I prayed to them every morning, asking that through the intercession of their prayers and God’s perfect will, my prayers would be answered. But when I prayed the hardest I had ever prayed in my life, they weren’t answered. Or were they?

In March 2006 we thought my husband had a cold. The EKG showed several silent heart attacks. Stents were put in and life didn’t change; for him or for me. Or so we thought.

January 7, 2008. I left for work at 7AM. A few hours later I get a message to call my daughter. “Call her now. It’s important”. Somehow I knew, even before I ever heard her voice. “He’s been trying to reach you. He drove himself to the hospital. Not to worry though, he says he’s fine”. But I knew he wasn’t, or he wouldn’t have gone to the hospital and then life changed for both of us; an open heart surgery had taken place.

For the next 3 months our lives did not include an alarm clock. We went for daily walks and slowly he rebuilt his strength. Short walks became longer ones. He told me he wished I was retired too, so this could be our life. I did wish it too. We slept late and took naps. We spent 24 hours a day together. Our world had been rocked hard and we now realized just how fragile life was and how fragile his heart was.

September 2008. My husband listed for a heart transplant. It helped that he always took care of his health. Complete physicals, eyes, teeth, flu shots, each year and every year. We ate healthy; wheat not white, pepper not salt, grilled not fried. A window had been opened with the opportunity of a new heart. We had renewed hope. 

But is this really happening? What if I just pretended we were living in the Truman Show? If I unzip the sky, could we escape from this world spinning out of control?

I had never experienced such a deep paralyzing fear.  I thought to myself; can I kiss him goodbye and let them take him, knowing they are going to take out his heart and put in a new one from a donor? He always taught me quality over quantity, always. So asking for a new heart for him, were we really then asking for quantity of his life over quality?

But I never had to make that decision… In 2 months while waiting of a donor his heart had become too weak. There was only one decision left to make, return to the hospital or call Hospice. I didn’t have to ask my husband. I knew his answer. I told his doctor I was taking him home.

I am eternally thankful for the time we had and that he didn’t have pain and his dignity to the very end. Never showing sadness or fear, he humbled me with his strength. He never lived like he was dying. He held on to my knee as I sat beside him on the bed. I knew he didn’t want to leave me. December 19 at 4:00 AM while I held his hands he left. No longer would he walk beside me in this life.

So really, how can all things be for a reason? For what reason wasn’t a donor found in time? For what reason was our world torn apart? Why during the most devastating situation I have ever faced, was the person who loved me more than anyone not by my side? How could all that we went through be for a reason?

Gone are the days of playing make-believe. Situations will enter our world that we have no control over. No matter how much we try, we can never run fast enough to avoid them. We will have questions yet never receive answers. Maybe the reality is that all things are not for a reason. Maybe the real truth is simply, it is what it is.