It is the night before Eric's memorial service. It still does not seem real but the flowers that are arriving and the preparations for tomorrow are making it harder for me to ignore what is the new reality of our lives. My husband will no longer walk through the front door and give me a kiss. My children's father will no longer tuck them in bed each night and pray over them.
The rubber is definately hitting the road right now. You can say all you want that you believe in God's sovereignty but when you face devistating circumstances like these you realize that all that hope and faith in your theology is real. As real as the air I breath. God IS sovereign.
And, His promise to be my husband and the father to my children is truth. I have seen His mighty hand throughout this whole week. It was only a week ago that God took Eric home to be with him.
Eric was doing some work down in Merced (about a half hour south of us) with Daisy, our youngest bio child. When his breathing became too difficult he told Daisy to call 911. She did but the cell phone did not get through right away. A customer came out and realized something was wrong and called 911. This time she got through but I believe it was probably too late at this point. The ambulance arrived and they intubated him. On the way to the hospital he went into cardiac arrest and then went through cardiac arrest five more times.
I arrived at the hospital and met up with Daisy and a Detective who had taken Daisy from the scene. They brought out the Dr. and a chaplan. Ummmm...I will say at this point it became pretty clear to me that something was very wrong. They let me go back and see him. I asked if I could hold his hand while they were doing compressions on his chest. I kissed his hand and told him I loved him. The Dr. asked if I would give him permission to stop life saving measures. I asked him to explain what he was asking of me but before I could answer they whisked me out of the room. At this point I knew I had just said good-bye to my husband and I felt sooooo alone. I can not tell you the deep sobs that were coming from me.
The chaplan came back out and said that they had gotten his heart to beat again. I was amazed by this. Was God giving us a miracle? They took him up to ICU where they stablized him. The first blessing of many was the nurse shutting the door behind her and praying over Eric and I.
The next few days were sleepless as I kept hoping and praying and making plans forEric to come home. I figured that he would have sustained life long damage that would change our lives forever.
On Sunday his white blood count dropped dramatically from 20,000 to 1,600. His liver enzymes were skyrocketing meaning that he was still have muscle breakdown. We donned the masks and gowns to protect Eric from infection and continued to pray. But, my prayers started to change to asking for either a complete healing on earth or in heaven. His body was limp and even with the dropping sedation levels he was not flinching.
Monday was Boo's 19th birthday. We decided to have a birthday party for her at the hotel where our church had gotten me a room. She was surprised to see all of her friends and family there. We tried to focus on her and not on what was going on at the hospital a few blocks away.
When I went back to the hospital I found that they had unbound him. He no longer needed the restraints. Bad sign! I asked the nurse to please tell me the truth. She said that when they had tested him by inflicting pain to his body he didn't furrow his brow or flinch at all. When they tried to get mucos up through his tube he did not have a gag reflex. These were tell tale signs that his brain was dead.
The next blessing was our pastor and his wife coming back down to the hospital to be with me. Wendy sat with me all night, prayed with me, sang with me, and read to me while I kissed and held Eric's hand. She took me back to the hotel so I could get ready for the next day...telling the children that their father was dead.
Another blessing manifested itself when we went back up to talk to the attending Physician about declaring Eric brain dead. The chaplan said that this man was a godly man. It was wonderful to know that the man who was helping us understood our faith. He was kind and gentle with me during this very rough time.
In the end there were other blessings that I felt come directly from my new husband, my heavently Father. The fact that they did not declare him dead in the ER meant that I was able to spend a few days mourning the loss of my husband. The children were also able to go and say good-bye to their daddy.
I also happen to know the coroner of our county. She recognized the name and called the hospital back to find out if I was there. I talked to her for a long time and went away with a lot of info and help.
Eric's legacy is great. He lived three lifetimes in this one life. I could not have asked for a better husband, soulmate, best friend, lover. I am sure at a later date I will gush more about Eric but for now I will finish up by saying that it would be Eric's greatest wish for many to come to the Savior through his death. He would be thrilled if he knew that his life helped others to live a full life for Christ by taking care of the poor, the sick, the elderly, the lonely, the orphans. That was his passion...living out his faith.