I was talking to a friend this past week. Her husband has Esophageal Cancer too. We were sharing with each other and I was talking about Doug. I started counting the months. May, June, July...October...WHAT??!! Six months have past and our lives haven't been the same.
Hands tell our story. Sometimes they are smooth and soft. Others times they are rough and dirty, marking the hard physical work. Doug's hands used to be dirty...all the time. He always did rough manual work with his hands. For many years he was an automotive technician. He worked hard fixing cars. Taking them apart and putting them back together. A side note: even as a kid he took every thing apart and put things together. He had to see how things worked. He was so smart at his craft but he didn't want to work in the car dealership world. In fact he hated it.
For many years he was up in the air about what he wanted to do. He drove tow-truck. Hard work with his hands, late hours, dangerous. He worked at Sears as a washer repairman. He hated that job but it was a steady job and he made a decent wage.
The makeup of his hands changed once he stopped doing hard and rough work. They became softer and cleaner. The same happened to his heart. For many of those years he was doing what Doug wanted. Scratching and holding on. Wondering when he would catch a break. So many people prayed for him over these years. But one day his heart also became clean and soft.
He was living life finally the way God intended. Then the diagnosis. Cancer. Stage 4. A new journey. He loved Jesus and his prayer was that if one person came to know the love of the Savior, then this journey would have been worth it.
This picture of my hand touching Doug's is a precious memory for me. The night before I stayed all night with him taking care of whatever need he had. That night he was struggling to quench his thirst so he was having some anxiety. He said, "I need you to pray for peace and calm." I said that I would. He said, "I mean now!" So we prayed that we would experience the peace and calm of Jesus presence. I needed that prayer just as much because I was not at peace. I was so angry that God wanted to take him home when what I needed was for him to stay here with me. Our family needed him more.
This photo tells a story of a sister's love for her brother. How one human being cares for another when they can't take care of them self. It shows soft hands. Fragile hands. Strong hands. It resembles the peace and calm that is ours when we rest in the love of Jesus.
I don't care who reads this. I don't write these very personal memories for likes or comments. I've always kept personal emotions private. Letting others in as far as the wall I have put up. But my life has changed because of my brother's witness. I will never be the same. I think writing as little as it may be, is therapeutic. My heart hurts every day. I miss him every day. I think about him every day. But I want people to know there is a hope.
I still think you were taken away too soon. This past six months has gone by fast and at the same time, time has stood still. I know you are in heaven. You are healed and I know you wouldn't want to leave heaven for this broken world.
I love you Doug...more than words.