Rainbow of Memories
Written by Betty Weaver
Nine years ago, on April 21st, our lives changed forever. My husband, Jack, had a doctor’s visit for what we thought was a minor problem. However, the doctor determined that Jack needed an MRI, because he could not properly diagnose the situation. The MRI was scheduled the following week…on April 21st. After the procedure, we decided to run some errands and have breakfast together. As I was getting out of the car at the post office, Jack’s cell phone rang. After returning to the car, Jack shared, “The doctor wants us to come to his office immediately.” We both simply looked at each other and drove to the doctor’s office in silence. As I walked through the door, I saw it! The brain scan on the computer had a visible circle drawn on the screen. I knew something terrible was wrong! I looked at Jack, and he actually looked calm. As we sat down, the doctor said, “We have some bad news. You have a tumor sitting on the brain stem, and we need you to see a specialist right away”. My mind screamed, God is this for real? Are we hearing this correctly?
On the way home, silence was broken as Jack recalled a movie we recently attended. My mind simply had no room for that, as I just wanted to cry out, “No God, please tell me this is not real!” I reached over, patted him on the leg and said, “We will get through this.” He agreed and reminded me we just need to stay focused on God getting us through. Neither of us wanted Jack to die. He wanted to see his grandkids grow up and talked about that so much.
In the short time Jack dealt with his brain tumor, his conversation was always about family…never about all that he was going through. Jack’s mind seemed to stay focused on God and how He was going to see us through. My mind seemed to just say, “No, God please don’t let this be happening!” I prayed for Jack to give His heart to Christ for a long time, and God answered that prayer. Could I possibly lose him during the best years of our life together?
The next four weeks were very difficult. Jack was so reassuring that he was going to be ok. He said he wanted to go through this honoring the cross and giving the glory to Christ. He repeated over and over, “I know that I will be healed…either here or there.” I knew only God could lead me through his difficult time.
We were scheduled for Jack to be admitted to Duke for a needle biopsy. It was a great drive down…dinner and our time together was wonderful. I realized quickly, however, things were changing fast, as more symptoms indicated the seriousness of the situation. Those were difficult days at Duke, but it was amazing how I felt God’s presence in the room.
The doctors met with us after the biopsy, explaining the situation. It was confirmed. The tumor was an aggressive form of cancer that would soon take Jack from me. How could I hold my composure? Only God could help me! We went to his room where he was waiting to see us. His first words were, “Hey hon, I told you not to worry, we were going to get through this.” He told me and our granddaughter, who was with me at that time, how much he loved us. Within ten minutes he was in a coma from an aneurysm. They rushed him back to surgery, and he was soon in ICU on life support no with hope of coming home with me. Several hours later, God reached down and called Jack home. I felt like a part of me was gone as well. The numbness was overwhelming.
The kids and I went outside the hospital and sat on the bench. I looked up in the sky and saw the most beautiful rainbow. It almost looked like two rainbows together. I felt like God was saying that Jack was okay. However, I could not grasp heading home without the man of my life for forty-two years. Several hours later, as we pulled up in our driveway, it was hard to believe what we saw…another big beautiful rainbow hovering over our house! Another sign…God was with us!
The days ahead were tough and I spent hours thinking about how Jesus looked beyond the suffering, shame and death he knew was to come and focused on the joy ahead. I think that’s what Jack was thinking of too.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2
Jack trusted God to heal him or use this for His glory. I’ve had many sad days since Jack went home, but God has helped me make it through each one. God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and His grace is sufficient. When we learn to walk in the awareness of the presence of God, I think we see just how faithful He is. I know, first-hand, because He is continues to see me through each day.