The rain just refused to stop! As I lay still on my very hard and comfortable bed with my eyes shut firmly, I felt that strong, muscular palm on my head. It was so warm. It felt so warm that I never wanted it to be taken away from me. I wanted it to touch every parts of my body- my face, my arms, my big belly, my legs…even my heart if possible! It felt so good to have my husband back. It felt really good!
“The Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His light to shine upon you…” My husband prayed on and on.
Should I just pretend like this while he prayed on? Or should I open my eyes and smile at him saying that I heard and felt his touch?
“Oh my God! Oh no my Lord!” he cried out still. What was that about? Was he moaning? Was he crying or lamenting? What was the matter? Should I open my eyes? I feared that he was seeing a vision and that opening my eyes would disrupt the flow so I kept mute , praying silently.
“I shall never lose my wife…ah no Lord! Oh God!” he labored on in prayer and my heart started beating fast. What was the problem? God was speaking to him? A week had already passed from the two weeks ultimatum I had given him before the ‘divorce’…and he was doing prettily well in his remedial efforts. I wished something could extend the years I would live on earth. I had stopped all medicine and even chemo had been placed on a halt. He was changing- he held my hands while we prayed; he prepared food for me, he looked into my eyes so deeply as if to read my thought (the part I loved most)and he allowed me to fall asleep in his arm while we watched the new MZFM TV station on CONSAT(I wondered if he never realized how light I felt). Of a truth, a man does not know the value of a thing until he loses it! If nothing, – if I was going to die, I wanted it to be in the arms of the first lover of mine because that would be the greatest joy of my life. The rashes on my body had increased and I felt very pained. When am I going to be healed from this Leukemia oh Lord? Is there no longer any balm in Gilead? Heal me oh Lord and I promise to be a better wife- a better mother! As his hands moved over my face, I felt life surge through my veins- the hands were trembling seriously. What was happening to him? Was he crying?
“Lord Jesus, I have really been a bad husband and father. I have missed it. Forgive me Lord” I felt tears drop to my body and I was tempted to really open my eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked in a husky tone. He was holding my hand prayerfully and I sighed His eyes were really teary and his eyes were red!
“I suddenly realized that you are growing old and I am pained!” he cried the more and tears ran down my face. What a realization!
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked again and he cried louder the more. He covered his face with his hands and wept bitterly I cried uncontrollably too. If my frame alone could make him cry this much, what would the revelation of my present health state do to him? What?…exactly what?! But why must he come to his senses just now oh dear Redeemer?
“You look so lean. Your skin looks so rough and what are these spots? Your bald head has little stands of grey hair and they even look weak! When did you become this old? When did I become this insensitive? I never knew! Oh my goodness!” he cried further, sitting on the ground with a great thump.
I tried to laugh in order to console him but cries were my portion! Why was life being unfair to me oh Lord? “Are you sick? Is there anything I don’t know? Anything at all? Please tell me. I really do want to know. Please” He looked into my face intently and my heart shattered into pieces.
“Oh my husband” I exclaimed as hot tears ran down my suddenly hot face. This was just too late!
“Tell me please. Please do” he said again, squeezing my shoulders softly.
“Yes, I am dying” I dropped the words and he shut his eyes firmly while tears streamed down his cheeks. There was no retort of any kind! Where was the man who always preached faith at any slightest headache of mine?
“Oh my God! Oh my God!! Oh my God!!! Why was I busy tending to your flock without…oh my God! Who am I to question you Lord? Of course I failed you!” his anguish continued. That was so true! My husband’s major spiritual gifts were knowledge and discernment but he never for once knew nor did he discern what his heartthrob was going through. He never did!
“Oh God! Why? Why? Oh why?” he lamented, sitting on the bed and banging his legs on the floor forcefully. I smiled bitterly. He turned abruptly and held my hands.
“Is it cancer?” he asked and I looked deep at him.
“Your spiritual antenna is sharp again.” I said as my head asked for lack of tears to shed. My veins thumped almost loudly.
“My father! Cancer?” he exclaimed
“Cancer!” I mimicked him and he looked at me intently again.
“Blood Cancer?” he asked assuredly and I nodded bitterly. Why was it now that his gift of knowledge is at work? Why could he not sight this earlier on? How could he not foresee?
Why my Lord? “I was sharp-eyed to the matters of my church members but I was blind…I was insensitive…I was totally dead to my… oh Lord! My wife! My beautiful, supportive wife…the wife of my youth! Oh my God!” he broke down into another fit of tears. He was totally broken! “And I have watched ‘Busy but Guilty’ but the Mount Zion Ministry oooo….how did I fail? How on earth did I fail? What unguarded moment of mine did the devil use against me oh Lord?” he cried bitterly.
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I sat up from my sleeping position and looked across the room at the wall clock.
“Dearie, it’s still very early in the morning. It’s just two o’clock. Let’s sleep please.” I tried to say. There were no other words in my mouth to utter. He was crying – his hefty, muscular frame shook to the extent that it scared me. I hope he wasn’t going to break.
“My dear, the two weeks ultimatum you gave me for the divorce was the time given to you by the doctor to live right?” he asked, his eyes looking fierce. I looked at him as he spoke on.
That’s my husband! The one that sees what an ordinary man cannot! But it’s too late!
“Yes. So, by the doctor’s dictate, I have just few more days to go” I said again and he stood up.
“The doctor’s dictate is not the Lord’s dictate!” he almost screamed. He walked to the wardrobe and checked through. He moved to the shelves, then to the table. He picked up his Bible…tears ran down still. “My God is never late!” he repeated as if he was singing- his voice shaking really bad! I looked on at him. I wished he was there when I was battling with this illness at the inception. Probably I would have clung to his faith and fought this cancer with all the breath in me. But….it’s too late…just too late!
“My God still has spare parts” he said as he wore his slippers. His words reiterated in my ears but I had great doubts. I was supposed to have the bone marrow transplant and much radiation with chemo but I didn’t do it. I had heard that it would effect, real, noticeable changes in my body and I didn’t want him to notice- or the members of the church either! He came close to me, held my face gently but firmly. I lost my stance and flashed back That was how he used to hold me then our love still burnt…and I really loved it. But instead of a passion-driven husband, I could see a desperately compassionate father and pastor on a mission. He planted a quick peck on my lips —-it was nice!
“I will be back in the next 21 days. Prepare for me Pounded yam, Egusi soup with assorted stuffs and freshly squeezed squash juice by you.” He said as he clutched his bible to his chest.
“21 days? After 3 weeks?” I asked him Did he know what he was saying? I have few days left He was leaving me again Why oh Lord? I need him best this time and he was leaving again.Tears rolled down my face and he bent down beside me. He held my knees.
“We will go to the USA to visit the kids thereafter. You hear?” he asked again and stood up. He turned his back at me and cleared his throat.
“Forgive me for my past insensitivity” he said and my head got swollen the more and I started real, loud, dry cry.
“I will go and I will meet you safely. Pull yourself together and be of good cheer. I love you” he said as he walked towards the door. Was he crying again? The door opened and then, it was slammed loudly! He didn’t even take any cloth with him. Where was he going to? Didn’t he know that this case was a very difficult one? I knew it wasn’t difficult for God but I still feel it was difficult! Blood cancer! Acute one at that! But as the door slammed when he went out, something like a screw fell from my chest and I wondered what it was. I looked around for the screw but it was nowhere to be found! I felt somehow…indescribable! Was it peace like a river? Was it the love that emanated from a long-gone husband? Was it sadness? Was it the brokenness of my heart that he left me again? I feel different! – I felt like shouting these three words to the air so that everyone could hear me.
>>>>It Continues still<<<<
The Candle In The Wind~Episode 13