There was a knock at my door a few moments ago. The deliveryman for the hospice pharmacy brought medication for my husband. He asked me how my husband was doing. I told him he was much better than a few days ago. This kind man smiled and said, “God answers prayer.”
“Yes, he does,” I replied. He went on to tell me that he was at the door last week when my husband was in great distress. He told me he prayed for him that day. He wanted to know that his prayers were answered. I told him that his prayers indeed were heard.
Also answered were the prayers of many others. I do not stand alone praying for my husband’s health and well-being. There are many believers that stand in the gap praying for us. We Christians pray for one another. Fittingly, we rejoice together when our prayers are answered. Rejoice, my friends, today. Johannes’ condition has improved a lot. Tomorrow is another day, grace for which we still stand in need of your prayers.
Here is how it went: Johannes’ condition had deteriorated, appearing to match the description I’d received from nurses as the beginning of the end, the time when the Alzheimer’s patient no longer can swallow food without choking and fighting for breath. Continuous aspiration of food into the lungs causes aspiration pneumonia, so if choking isn’t fatal, the ensuing pneumonia is. If neither of these fates causes death, starvation finally causes the patient to succumb. If I have misstated the facts in this paragraph, feel free to correct me. This is how I understand what I’ve been told by nurses.
My poem tells about the moments of desperation for me as I watched Johannes choking continuously until his face turned an ugly color. Any longer with an obstructed airway I feel certainly would have rendered him unconscious. At last he breathed, and, exhausted, he fell asleep for many hours. My tears began to flow as soon as he stopped choking. My prayer for Johannes to experience abundant life while he is with me went up to Heaven. I want him to be comforatable enough to enjoy his waking moments. Miraculously, it seemed to me, he woke up the next day almost a different person. His strength had returned. He could swallow. He could eat and had a good appetite. He even spoke with some clarity, and made a few comments reminiscent of his former unique style of wit. My praises rose to the Lord, and a smile curled all the laugh lines in my face the entire day.