Hope For Tomorrow
Oct 3, 2021 | by The Fellowship
Though we would prefer immediate, positive answers to our prayers during the trials and times of crisis in this life, God does not always respond as we wish. But He has promised to never leave or forsake us, and even in the worst of circumstances, He gives us hope for tomorrow!
I was married to my first husband, Don, for 39 years. As a young couple, we struggled with finances while I was balancing a career as a State Farm Agent with being a good wife and mother. Whenever a challenge came, Don and I would put our heads together and figure out how to “fix it.” We enjoyed our two girls and were grateful for the love we shared.
When Don got a brain tumor, I became his caregiver. Even with a “successful operation” followed by radiation and chemotherapy, he was gone in six months. I was stunned! Don and I could not “fix dead.” But the Lord was clearly with me every step of the way, guiding and providing and comforting me!
I decided to move from North Carolina to Texas to be with my youngest daughter and help with grandchildren. The beautiful home Don and I had renovated received two full-price offers despite a terrible downturn in real estate. Members of my church helped me with an estate sale, and my brother flew in from Michigan to pack my precious heirlooms for the trip to Texas. Once here, I was led to a group to learn how to manage grief.
Eventually, I met my Texas cowboy – Clyde. He was 66 and I was 67. I loved to jokingly introduce us to new friends with: “Hi, we are Lani and Clyde. Kind of like Bonnie and Clyde, but we do not carry machine guns and rob banks!”
We were married September 1, 2012, and bought a home in Bellville, Texas, a 45-minute drive to Clyde’s work with an oil company in Katy. One afternoon on his way home, Clyde had a roll-over accident and was life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in downtown Houston. He was in a coma for a month, had internal injuries, and multiple fractures of his spine. He wore a “turtle shell” brace from his chin to his hips. A tracheotomy was necessary, and he was fed by a feeding tube. I lived in his room at the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) for three months while he healed and learned to function again.
I called Clyde my “Miracle Man.” He came home from TIRR in a wheelchair with a feeding tube and started out-patient rehab. The first week he transitioned to a walker; the second and third weeks, he learned to walk with a cane and by the 4th week, he went back to working 40 hours a week!
During the next three years, he had a heart valve replaced and a Watchman procedure -- plus three operations to repair the damage done from the faulty tracheotomy. With each surgery, he was back at work the next Monday.
We loved gardening together. Even with his difficulty walking, Clyde figured out ways to get a project done. He would sit in a lawn chair and swing an ax to chop roots out of the soil we were preparing. Using a riding lawnmower, he moved cinder blocks for the raised garden we made. For relaxation, we bought an old pontoon. It was put to great use as we fished and tubed on Lake Somerville.
Two years ago, we moved from Bellville to Katy to be closer to Clyde’s work … we thought!
But now, I see it was for us to become Pastor Robert Jackman’s neighbors. Pastor Robert reached out to Clyde in a way only Robert can -- and he connected with Clyde! My husband carried a wound that had never healed -- the death of his beautiful daughter in 1988. She was working her way through college at Texas A&M as a night auditor at a hotel in Galveston. Early one morning, she was abducted, and despite a huge investigation, her body was never found. Pastor Robert helped him work through that unresolved grief, and then again in March of this year when Clyde lost his son to Covid. In a very real way, Robert helped Clyde reconnect with his Heavenly Father!
In August, I got Covid. So very sick, I quarantined to our guest bedroom and did not realize when Clyde got Covid, too. He asked me to call 911, and an ambulance took him to the hospital. Clyde had kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure -- underlying health issues that combined with Covid to end his life.
The Hospice nurse called near the end to say Clyde wanted to hear my voice. I was able to tell Clyde how much I loved him, hoping he could feel my love wrapping around him with a big hug. I told him how grateful I was we met and he chose me to be his wife. His love was so special because he not only loved me, but also my children and grandchildren. Loving all of us was the greatest gift he gave me! “I am so glad for the last nine years we had together, truly our ‘happily ever after’!” -- these final words to him came from the depth of my heart!
When Clyde passed to heaven on August 31, I know his daughter and son grabbed him with a big Texas hug and welcomed him home! Clyde is no longer in pain struggling with a broken body. He is whole and strong and perfect!
And I have nothing to fear! God will walk with me through the grief of losing Clyde and meet every need. His presence surrounds me; He listens to every prayer and fills me with hope because He has promised to be with me always.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.