Friday, November 11, 2005

Losing The Love of Your Life


What do I do now?



I presently work three days a week at a Courtyard Marriott Hotel across the street from UAB Hospital. Over half our daily guests are patients of the hospital or have family members in ICU. Some days you hear great news of family members recovering who get to go home, but then are days when you see family members broken and hear that their family member didn't make it out of ICU. By far the worst experience for me to witness occurred about three weeks ago, but I remember like it was yesterday.

It was another typical morning for me at the front desk. People made their usual trip past my desk to check out or to head over to the hospital. Around 9am one gentleman in his mid-60s came up to me and said, "It is possible for me to extend my room for another night? You see, my wife is over in the ICU and depending how she does will depend on whether I will need the room or not." I went ahead to extend his stay and just told him to keep us informed when he could about his situation. The gentleman left for the ICU and my day continued as usual. It was now 2pm and I was preparing my paperwork for the day's transactions when the gentleman returned from the hospital. He walked slowly and quietly to the front desk. As he came closer I noticed his face was flushed and his eyes seemed to be glazed over with recent tears. In a low voice all he said to me was, "I'm not going to need the room tonight". He proceeded up to his room to collect his things and then left the hotel with a look of confusion because he did not seem sure of what to do next.

You see his wife wasn't able to make it out of ICU and died sometime that afternoon. He didn't tell me this outright, but with the look and tone of his short phrase "I will not need the room". What else can one say after losing the love of their life? What does one do after losing a love that has lasted 40yrs? This man had few words and few answers. I'm not married and even I can't imagine going to sleep with my wife next to me every night for 40yrs and then the next night going to bed alone. Do young married couples ever think about it? Or do they think that such an event is a long way off? Spouses, old or young, please listen to me. If your spouse makes through the day without hearing "I love you", then shame on you. Whether you're on a business trip or taking the kids to soccer practice, PICK UP THE PHONE AND TELL THEM "I love you". With each passing moment is another passing chance to you let your spouse know how you feel.

So this week I encourage all spouses to realize the fragility of life. Old or young, death makes no exceptions. Also spouses, be thinking about of you will handle losing the other. I'm not saying there is a correct way, but you must find a way for the sake of family and friends who love you. Because whether or not you believe it, there is coming a day when you go to bed together, but wake up alone. There is coming a day when you go to the hospital together, but leave alone. Maybe by thinking about it we will not end up like the gentleman at the hospital who was lost with no idea of what to do next. Then again, it maybe the gentleman is teaching us the reality of losing the love of your life.


CJE



Coming Next Week: Music Review

7 comments:

Jodi 8:31 AM  

Hey Chris! I have to tell you it is a hard thing to realize that life can be taken from you so fast. It will be almost three years ago in January that I almost did not make it out of the ICU. It is a daily struggle for me to live for today and not for the future. I have learned to love life and live like it will never end because of the promise that Jesus gave us in life eternal with HIM. Keep being the smile that gives comfort.

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