This is for Melanie although everyone is welcome to read it.
When Melanie or I would go on a trip and be separated for a few days we used to leave each other notes. Melanie would stick them in my suitcase, tucked inside clothing. I would leave them around the house for her to find in her dresser, in the bathroom towels, in the kitchen, in her Bible. The notes we would leave for each other were all different and all the same. I love you. I am missing you. Here are some extra kisses until I get back. And some hugs to go with it.
Our notes all had lots of X’s and O’s on them. We even adopted a new symbol to represent the little love pinches we would exchange: ^
Our notes got to where they looked like they were in code. XxXxOoOo^^^^ But the message was no secret. I wanted her to know I loved her and couldn’t wait to get back to tell her in person.
This blog post is one of those notes. I have learned how to time-delay the appearance of these posts so I can write them and they don’t get published until later. Today I am having surgery for colon cancer. Melanie has driven me to the hospital this morning (at least that is the plan). I am scheduled for the noon hour. Dear friends are prepared to sit with her in the waiting room until my surgery is over. Then I’ll be a week in the hospital recovering. Melanie plans to spend a lot of that time in my room with me but friends will come every day to allow her time to run home and clean up and change her clothes. I’ll miss her during those hours. I love her. I assume she will find this while she waits this morning. And I wanted her to know I was thinking of her.
The past 10 months since the stroke, my speech has been hindered. It is hard to talk with her. It is hard to kiss her since my lips are numb. I cannot swallow well, so seven times a day (sometimes more) Melanie pours food and water down my feeding tube. The tube is right out of my stomach and makes it difficult for us to hug or cuddle. I have to lie on my back in bed at night. When I wake up during the night I hear Melanie asleep next to me – and she’ll be holding my hand. I love that and I love her.
I wanted to leave her a note to say so. I don’t care who else reads it.
Thank you, Lord, for choosing Melanie to be my wife for 41 years. I ask you to heal me so we can better enjoy these next, latter years together. And thank you for the privilege of serving You together. Her prayers for me are precious. She watches over me almost as closely as You, and I know you sent her to do that for me. Thank you. Bless her, comfort her, grant her peace in these fearful days and hours. Thank you for sending her friends, Your servants, to hold her hand while I cannot.
I am eager to share Forever with her and You in Heaven. Thank you for giving us the first taste of that time together here.
Melanie, I love you. I wanted you to know. I hope we are back together soon. I’ve missed you.