A little over a year ago, I made the gut wrenching decision to place my dear husband, of almost 35 years, in a nursing home. My friend, Lisa, had spent every spare moment helping me care for him, but he had failed to the point that he took more time and strength that we had. It was a difficult year.
Joe had pretty well lost the ability to speak clearly and was totally bound to his wheel chair. My birthday is November 11 and I knew that the he would not be surprising me this year. He had always made a big deal out of my special day. His love made me feel like a princess.
Birthday morning came, and I went to spend time with Joe and feed him lunch. When I walked in, he was in the middle of the room in his wheel chair, holding the most beautiful bouquet of red roses I have ever seen. He held them up to me with a lively sparkle in his twinkling blue eyes. He smiled as I reached for them. I leaned down and lovingly kissed him. I was surprised and so thankful. I looked up at Lisa and knew she was the source of my blessing.
Joe then handed me a card. Due to the ravages of the Parkinson’s disease, he had scrawled the smallest signature ever on the bottom of a lovely verse. With tears in my eyes, I kissed him again and reached out and squeezed Lisa’s hand. Friends such as Lisa fill the world with God’s amazing love. I will never forget.
Lisa loved Joe. Once she asked him to marry her and he said yes. I asked them what they were going to do about me. They assured me I could stay. It was our special joke. When we would introduce ourselves to people, I would say this is Joe and I am his wife and Lisa is his girl friend. Some people were scandalized, but I knew it was just God’s love that we shared.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Joe left for heaven in January. As my birthday arrives this year, I think back to the best gift I have ever received. The memories are filled with a tinge of sadness and abundant joy as I recall how proud Joe was to be able to bless me with the beautiful flowers. For Joe the blessing didn’t need to be understood, only deeply felt.
I love you Lisa. Thanks for my best birthday ever.