Saying Goodbye to My Husband

They hand me his clothes in a bag. 

Shoes, too. Wallet and eyeglasses.

The wedding ring's last, and I thread it on my necklace. The golden band symbolizing a love that never ends encircles the silver cross that testifies of my faith.

"I'm not afraid to die," he says, his eyelids struggling against the medication that makes them heavy.

"God's been good to me." 

"You're the best wifey ever."

I brush the hair from his forehead. It was brown when I first fell in love with him so many years ago. Time and trials have turned it gray

The lines at the corners of his eyes testify that for every tear there was an equal opportunity smile. And every smile reached his eyes.

Kind helpers in scrubs join me at his bedside, and their patient presence tell me it's time to say goodbye.

"I love you, sweetie," I say as I lean over to kiss his lips one more time, but gravity and sedatives close his eyes before he can respond.

"I'll see you soon," I whisper. "Be brave."

Today it's only an operation, but someday I may say goodbye for real.

What will my regrets be?

That we fought over silly, selfish nothings?

That we didn't say "I love you" enough?

That we took each other for granted?

That we worked too much and played too little?

That we were were quick to condemn and slow to forgive?

That we played it safe instead of playing it transparent?

That we settled for okay when a little more effort would have made it great?

That we put more energy into our parenting than into our marriage?

That we died on hills not worth fighting over? 

"Ma'am? Your husband did great. You can see him now."

Thank you, Lord, for reminders that life is but a vapor while there's still life to be lived. 

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  1. DittoAshley9:02 PM

    Oh the tears that are coming down my face, this is so heartfelt and so hard to read because I can't even imagine how hard it is to say goodbye to your husband. Bless you today.

    Ashley from

  2. Beautiful, Lori! My husband and I were just talking last night about how many of our high school friends have already lost their spouses...and how quickly it could happen to one of us. Your list of regrets are echoed in my heart. Oh, that I could take back those selfish, silly comments, those worthless arguments, those days when it was all about me.

    But praise God, He has done a work in my heart and in the heart of my dear hubby. What was so important before carries little meaning today as we seek together to serve Him and each other.

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

  3. I have had two friends lose their spouses to a car accident. One of the friends lost her 15 year old daughter in the same accident. She was a fellow pastor's wife (and my old roommate). My other friend is a bloggy friend and her husband was killed six months ago.

    When you hear about something like that, it really makes you stop and take stock. But then it's so easy to get into the same old bad habits of rushing around and taking care of responsibilities and not making enough time for each other!

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder today, my friend!

  4. lorihatcher10:02 AM

    Vonda, isn't God sweet to grow us into a deep and satisfying "oneness" with both him and our husbands? I love the thought that God is using my husband to perfect me. . . "Keep rubbing that sandpaper, honey, I'm gonna be shiny one day!"

  5. lorihatcher10:02 AM

    It is sobering to realize that we're not guaranteed anything but this moment. And though we shouldn't live each day in fear, we certainly should also not take any day for granted. Like our sweet little ones grew up before our very eyes, so the years of our marriage fly, fly, fly. Hug that hubby while we've got 'em!

  6. A very eye-opener. Enjoy life to the fullest coz life is too short.
    Never sleep angry and always say "sorry" b4 you sleep. This are some of the things I always bear in mind.

    Very touching post.

    Happy w/end & God bless to you both,

    Greetings from Stockholm,
    /CC girl

  7. GreatPeaceAcademy12:28 AM

    Wow, really good post. Thanks for writing such heartfelt words.
    hopiing in from Jolene Engle....

  8. Oh Lori!! You had me on pins and needles and feeling very sad for you!! I couldn't understand how you had kept up with your blog...and then as I read was an operation!! I am so thankful. This was so well written and gets the point across so well!!

    I am linked up right after you on MYHSM today :-)

  9. GailBP9:17 AM

    I'm so glad David's surgery went well. This is an excellent reminder. Just this morning God showed me an area of my marriage where I will have regrets if I don't change some of my attitudes. So this post was a good confirmation. Thanks!

  10. Cornerstone Confessions9:59 AM

    Wow! This is a powerful post. A possible-life-changing post. I'd love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there.


  11. Cornerstone Confessions9:59 AM

    If you haven't already. ;)

  12. Oh, wow, you really had me going, there! But it is true that we will have to say good bye sometime, and it may be sooner rather than later. Oh, how good it is to remember this and make the most of our days!

  13. I thought for sure I had posted a comment on this entry, but I didn't see it. Just from the title, I was going to a whole different train of thought. Going to bed mad, going off to work mad or whatever the situation happens to be just isn't worth it. Beautifully written.

  14. Beth Manago11:30 PM

    This made me cry and hug my dear husband a little tighter. How precious and brief life is.

  15. Rachael DeBruin11:44 PM

    Wow...such a great reminder of the brevity of our lives. We do need to cherish the loved ones around us.

  16. So sweet! I've learned over the last year to cherish every day. I pray God gives my husband and I many years, since we wasted the first 12 1/2, but each day I thank God for what he keeps giving to us and how he has/is restoring our marriage.

  17. lorihatcher3:48 PM

    I love the promise of God that he can restore the years the locust have eaten. He can do that in your marriage too. I said a special prayer with you in mind today. Press on to bring him glory!

  18. lorihatcher3:54 PM

    Rachel, I was convicted how we bumble through out days as if we have a thousand of them, only to realize how easily they could be snatched away. . .

  19. lorihatcher4:00 PM

    Me too, Beth, me too :)

  20. lorihatcher4:01 PM

    You're right, LuAnn. One of the best questions I learned to ask (but still don't always practice) is, "Will this matter 5 years from now?" Usually, if I'm truthful, it won't even matter 5 DAYS from now, so it certainly isn't worth fighting over. Discussing maybe. . . but not fighting :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You're right on the money.

  21. lorihatcher4:02 PM

    Oh, that life that's but a vapor. May God bless us all with many more years in which to love our husbands. . .

  22. Chills and tears. Thank you for this! My husband should be home any minute now---I can't wait. I hope I remember this post when I'm tempted to waste time on trivial things. I'm featuring this today in this week's linkup.

  23. I forgot to tell you there's a "featured" button on my sidebar if you're interested. :)

  24. So true. Thank-you for this beautiful reminder of being thankful for each day and moment with our loved ones.

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  26. I'm glad it wasn't the kind of post I was thinking it was going to be. Hope your husband's doing very well and I'm glad you're both still here. It really changes things when health issues threaten ... they have been working their way into our lives. Rough territory. But God is Faithful!

    Visiting by way of Sarah's Homemaking Linkup where she mentioned/featured your post. Glad I stopped by. (I'm link #27 on her recent linkup...)

  27. lorihatcher11:30 PM

    He's coming along nicely, Jenn, thanks so much for asking. And yes, the health we take for granted as younger couples becomes more and more precious as time goes by :)

  28. Really sitting here pondering this post- the reality is either myself or my spouse will actually face this day

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