A year ago today, I was called and urged to get to the emergency room. I was told Andrew had collapsed and he didn’t have a pulse. I waited for the phone call back saying they had gotten that pulse back. I waited…I waited…I waited. About twenty minutes later, I screamed out in both anguish and relief; Andrew’s heart began to beat. On the paramedic’s last cleared attempt to shock him back to life, it began to beat. A year ago today, I stood in front of doctor after doctor telling me they weren’t sure he was going to make it. I was told that Andrew wouldn’t be “Andrew” even if he did miraculously wake up. I was preparing to become a widow at the age of twenty-three.
A year has come and gone. It has had its ups and downs. We bought our very own house together and tackled a flooded basement a few months into said home ownership. We traveled to Cabo and I let the sunshine beat down on my face while Andrew covered himself in towels from head to toe to avoid sunburn. We have laughed, we have dreamed, and we have strengthened our marriage. But we have also still encountered hardships. Once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. Checkups, maintenance chemo, scans…it all feels never ending sometimes. We get frustrated. We gawk at the amount of miles and gas spent to and from multiple hospitals. We feel overwhelmed at the longevity and permanency of its place in our lives. But then I think back to where I was one year ago today, where Andrew was a year ago today. I also think back to walking through the halls of the ICU & seeing sick patients and grieving families. Did they all have the same miraculous outcome as we did? No, they didn’t. Did they get to leave one week later, laughing while trying to get the hang of a steering a wheelchair with a loved one in tow? Not all of them. Do they get to look back, one year later, and think of how far they have come? No. But we did get this miraculous second chance at life. Andrew and I did laugh as I clumsily pushed him through the hallways of the ICU, making every nurse in sight nervous to entrust this tiny woman to support this humungous man. And one year later, we are sitting here thinking back to how far we have come in 365 days. Thank You, Jesus.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)