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He Answered My Prayer, But!

      It has been twelve years since my wife, Pat, died on Father's Day, 1987, from a cancerious brain turmor that was inoperable.  She left behind fine memories for everyone and was beautiful on the outside and so very caring on the inside.

      Pat loved people, her family and her profession as a teacher.  She was a real teacher.  She didn't leave her work in her classroom, she brought it home.  Included in her homework were her "kids," as she called her students.  If one of them wasn't doing well she would speak to them and their parents.  She took the time to say, "I care."  Because of her dedication and love of teaching, many of her "kids" have grown and gone on to lead very productive lives and have received many blessings.  During her teaching career, she helped over 27of her "kids" to stop using drugs; 2 were stopped from suicide simply because she cared enough to take the time.

      We all, including Pat, had time to prepare for her leaving us, but often many don't.  Last evening I was given the opportunity to help a friend prepare.  This is the reason for this page... for you to use and know we Care.

      We all are selfish and want our loved ones to always be with us.  We don't want them to die and leave so many things unsaid or unfinished.  We dream together, play together, and we don't want it all to end.  If they get sick, we help them to get better in any way we can.  We give them their medication, take them to the doctors; what ever it takes.  But God's plan sometimes doesn't meet ours.  We get upset and don't know which way to turn when the doctors tell us, "I'm sorry, they'll only be here for a little longer."  We cry, we call, we run everywhere, but we cannot find the answer as to "why."  But God has a plan.  He let's us enjoy our days here and knows when we have done our job.

      Guess what?  All we have to do is ask and He will answer.  Put your trust in Him and do the best you can.  Go and see your friend or family to tell them the things that you want to say.  I know this because he answered my prayer.  Read the following and you, too, will know.  He answered my prayer, but it wasn't what I wanted to happen.

      Pat had been diagnosed for about nine months, hospitalized for tests and exploratroy surgerys, and at times she was quite ill.

      One late night after I had returned home from visiting her in the hospital and had put our kids to bed, I went to my study to read the bible and learn how God answered prayers.  My goal was to find the tools to chase this devilish cancer from Pat's body.  There I read, "all we have to do is ask."  I knelt down in front of the window, bowed my head and crossed my hands tightly.  First I asked the devil to leave Pat and take the cancer with him.  Then I asked God for a sign that she would be okay.  I was specific, too.  I asked that He give me a rose on one of the two new climbing rose bushes I had planted earlier in the spring.  It was fall and as the roses were new, I knew it would be His sign if a rose should appear.

      I went out each day and checked the rose bushes for my sign for two weeks; nothing.  Things got busy and I forgot to check.  Then one day I was home and it began to rain heavily.  All of a sudden water was running off the front of the eaves and down the side of the house; something had plugged the downspouts.  So out in the rain I went.  I got my ladder and began the task of removing the leaves and twigs that were clogging the eaves toward the downspouts.  Then, I moved to the end of the house and did the same thing.  Finally the water rushed down the downspouts and into the drains.  As I was coming back down the ladder I noticed something different about one of the rose vines.  It just wasn't normal and looked like a bug had built a nest in the side of it.  A great big knot was on the middle of the vine.  As I was about to snip that runner off and let the rest of the vine grow stronger, I remembered my request for a sign.

      Each night after the neighbors turned their lights off -- so they wouldn't think I was crazy and because it was fall and the nights were getting cold -- out I went with a hand towel to wrap the special vine.  In the morning before everyone got up, I would take the towel off.  This went on for a couple of weeks.

      One day I was so tired that I slept late and forgot to take the towel off of the vine.  That night when I was about to go to bed, I remembered and went outside to check the vine.  As I was leaving to go back into the house, something made my eyes turn back and up to pray for Pat.  The wind had picked up again and it was cold.  I noticed the towel on the vine had shifted from the wind, so I rewrapped it... but it just wouldn't wrap the right way.  Tenderly I began to unwrap the towel to start over again when I noticed something really different.  To see what the heck was going on with that knot, I got my flashlight and looked closer.  There they were!!  Little pink stripes, a rose bud and the answer to my prayer that Pat would be okay.  I thanked God and was so excited I could barley sleep that night.

      Things still were not going well for Pat and she was getting weaker.  Her body had changed because of all the pain medicine she was taking for the headaches caused by the tumor; she was going down hill.

      One morning I received a call at work to come home.  Pat had slipped into a comma and it didn't look good; I really hesitated, because I didn't want to face what was about to happen.  I got in my car and drove to be with her.  She was breathing, but it wasn't good, her breathing was so labored.  That night I slept on the floor next to her and listened.

      The next morning I woke up earlier than normal and so did her mother and father.  We were at her side when the nurse came to check her vitals.  The nurse was early, too, because it was Father's Day.  Pat's breathing was really hard and we prepared for the last.  The nurse was explaining how Pat's system was shutting down and then it happened.  Her body took a deep breath of air and it came out.  Then her breathing stopped... She had gone to Heaven.

      What most of us fail to understand or remember is that with God time is not the same.  Even though Pat has been gone for twelve years, we are with her.  Even though you and I are reading these words, time has slipped by and we, too, are with Him.  To God time has no meaning like we use it daily.  God does not use pain as a tool to remind us, He loves us.  Even though I cannot see Pat today, I know she is okay.

      I still have that rose that God gave me.  It's as beautiful as the day I picked it from the vine.  It has it's own little glass house.  It's for my children as a reminder that their mother, my wife, is okay!

Terry Nitz


~A Prayer for Mankind~     ~A Love Story~

~G's Circles (Image  1998 Majeed Images)

You are Kindred Spirit

July 21, 1998