It's been a week. Although not as closely connected to the deaths these past few days as Belinda has been, they have affected me deeply. Both of them. It has hit home once again how fleeting life is. And what a precious gift. I said to Belinda tonight, "How dare we be discontented? About anything... How dare we?" She nodded her head in agreement.
Earlier this week I was sidelined with a pain in my chest that was severe enough to make me think I should put my affairs in order. A midnight trip to the hospital and a chest xray or two later, accompanied by EKG, bloodwork, a good long ventolin treatment helped the doctor to reach the diagnosis of "pneumonia". "Walking pneumonia". Weird. Well, now I know that particular and distinctive pain which I felt in my chest on Sunday morning was NOT any kind of heart attack, but is the feeling of lungs fighting infection and air capacity diminished. It was weird all right. The doctor said to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. Then he scratched out a prescription on his pad which pretty much guaranteed I would not sleep at all for the next two days and one long night in between. By yesterday I was beside myself with fatigue. And irritable? I would have ripped your face off if you'd come close enough for me to reach. But I'm feeling much better now, thank you for asking. And grateful for the gift of life. And sleep. And effective medication. And the time this week spent in recovery. Time to think, and read and rest and recover.
It was good to go back to work today. It felt a bit early, but it was still really good. I had thought I couldn't possibly afford to take three days off right now, but an amazing thing happened while I was away. The work waited for me! The world didn't come to an end. The program I manage, didn't fall apart. Amazing.
And in the process I learned something. In fact I learned lots of things. Sick and all, it's been such a good week in some ways, even in spite of some horrific news about the young man gunned down on a back road in rural Ontario. The young man who in his mid teens could occasionally be found at our kitchen table of a Sunday afternoon, eating pizza and hanging out with our son Dan.
This morning, sitting in our manager's meeting, I asked for prayer. There have been some pretty significant side-effects to the very powerful antibiotics I've been on and sitting there I felt so weird. High strung. To the snapping point. And irritable. And I wanted to cry. I felt like I'd drunk at least 36 cups of coffee in a very short space of time.
Tonight I am sitting here at peace. No angst. No weird feeling. No irritability. No nervousness. Calm.
And boy, am I grateful. Thank God for answered prayer.
Belinda is traveling to Wingham today (Friday) with Paul, to attend the funeral of Constable Vu Pham. I don't understand why it is that God allowed Vu, a husband and dad to three boys this week to give the supreme sacrifice, while I was restored to health. And Colleen, despite much prayer, to succumb to the damage caused by a heart fibrillation. I don't understand, but I accept it. I trust his goodness and his wisdom. And I'm grateful. Grateful enough to pray that I never waste another breath.
Our prayers are with you today, dear Belinda. May God use you to carry something of His comfort and blessing to the little town of Wingham this day. Godspeed, my friend and keep you safe.