PRAISE THE LORD!
A bit over one year ago, my dear husband, Max, asked for the second time ever that I stitch a specific design for him. I held my breath upon waiting to hear what he wanted me to do as he had never given up on my stitching a huge eagle for him. I so totally despised having to stitch any animal, particularly an eagle. I love animals, however, just have no desire to stitch them!
Max wanted My Big Toe's design of the "Psalm 23". Max was ill for a number of years and evidently had gotten comfort from this Psalm. Max proved our medical community very wrong as we were told on August 15, 2005 that he had "about six months" to live if he did not receive both a liver and kidney transplant (I can normally not remember what I had for breakfast on a given day, but that date is embedded in my mind). Max not only did not loose his battle, without the donor transplants, but he continued to thrive for a few more years until 2008 when he had to begin his hell on earth with dialysis. Despite my serious handicaps, I was able to care for Max until seven months prior to his death. It was my own doctors that demanded that Max be placed in a nursing home for care as I had no strength left. Max did fairly well in the nursing home until he had a fall which broke his hip on February 19 of last year. This was the beginning of a daily deterioration of him which ultimately led to his passing on March 07. However, I do not think a day went by in these last weeks that he and our Pastor did not recite this Psalm 23 together.
Max very much enjoyed my simply sitting next to him while I would stitch. Max decided he did not want to be at dialysis about six months prior to his fall. He began to just stand in the midst of his dialysis session and shout that the needles be taken out of him or that he would do it himself!! Dialysis did not have the staffing to assign a nurse just to watch over Max and demanded that some one accompany him to every session and stay the entire time with him which was about six hours from leaving to go and finallly returning from the dialysis center. Since we do not have any other family (besides my quite elderly and ill mother) it was then left up to me to go and stay with Max through dialysis. When ever possible, our Pastor would go with Max and allow me the hours to rest. Giving me these hours of rest was the very best gift any one ever gave me!! Thus, I was able to keep Max occupied with watching the progress of Psalm 23 many times during our dialysis hours at the beginning of it. This did not last long though as I soon found that I had to many times struggle to my feet to literally throw my body across Max's dialysis chair to keep him in it!! Nevertheless, Psalm 23 got it's start during dialysis time.
Max was always in management of our local electric generating station. He was told he could not socialize with any of the employees with his position. Max was from out of town and knew few other people. Thus, Max did not make friends well and had very few. After my accident I desperately needed my home made handicap accessible. I had huge medical bills and little finances for much else. A local church group came, had a benefit for me and raised funds to build a handicap ramp on my home and other things that would make life easier in my home.
Through this group I had met an absolutely wonderful Pastor. I had not seen him for awhile to one day I met him while Max was hospitalized. He wanted to know why I was at the hospital and I told him that Max was again having some serious medical problems. This Pastor went immediately to Max's room to visit him and continued to do so. Soon Max was good friends with the Pastor and really looked forward to his coming to see him each day. As Max worsened the Pastor began to recite Psalm 23 to Max and Max joined in many times. When Max realized he was not going to live long enough to see Psalm 23 finished he asked me to promise to finish it. I told him I would certainly do this.
Max continued to deteriorate very rapidly after his surgery to repair his broken hip. One day Max was talking with the Pastor and he announced he had enough pain and struggle. He just wanted the Pastor and my self to get him out of the hospital. Thus, the Pastor and I began one of the longest days and well in to that evening that I ever had last March 01. We did not wait around for the incompetent "hospitalist" doctor to decide to discharge Max or go through any other hassles. We simply called Hospice and arranged for a private ambulance to come and take Max out of that hospital ASAP. The Pastor rode with Max in the ambulance back to the nursing home while I went home to pack my things as I moved in to the nursing home to be with Max round the clock. It was well in to the evening when the Pastor got a phone call which we could not help but to overhear a group of people singing Happy Birthday to him. I could not believe that this Pastor had just spent his entire birthday and evening with us!! I told the Pastor how horrible I felt about this and he simply replied "there was no where else he would rather have been". Both Max and I were so overcome with this Pastor's compassion and care for us.
Much later that night, Max asked me if I would be upset if he wanted me to give this piece to the Pastor on his next birthday from him. I told him I would very much enjoy doing so. Thus, I had an obsession to finish this piece and by March 01 of this year. However, after Max's services were over I found I could not even look at this piece as it simply brought back too many very painful memories. I put it aside and would take it out and have to put in aside again for months. Finally, over the holidays it came to me that I had better get my self in to some serious stitching on Psalm 23!! Thus, I have been stitching almost every waking moment on this piece. I have kept track of my hours, but am just too tired at this moment to tally them up. I will when I show the framed finish.
Thus, my (no, the Pastor's) PSALM 23!!
Love and Hugs!!