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God’s Faithfulness During the Death of My Husband

A Letter From Betty Talbert

My husband of 42 years, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and he consented to by-pass surgery. He had the surgery on Tuesday, Feb. 27th, 2001. The day after surgery he went into cardiac arrest and had to be rushed back into surgery. His chest was opened up again, mainly to be sure there was no problem from the surgery. A heart pump was installed to assist his heart in hopes that his heart would get stronger. It only proved how weak his heart really was. For six weeks the surgeon and his staff worked around the clock to get Frank back on his feet. I believe they would have saved him if it had been possible, but it was not to be. Not only was Frank’s heart weak, but all the other organs began to fail also -- the last was his kidneys. When the surgeon told us he could do no more for Frank, we knew we had to let him go to his maker.

We were told we must say our goodbyes before they started giving him morphine. All the family who lived nearby was called. We gathered in Frank’s room to hold vigil over him until he passed. Aaron, my grandson who lived with us, was brought from school to say his goodbye. He was so brave. It almost broke my heart when he began to sing “Peace in the Valley” to Frank. That was a song Frank sung often and Aaron would sing along. All of us in the room fought to hold back our emotions. If Aaron could be strong, so could we. They began the morphine about 3:00 p.m. Two of my Christian friends from church had come to be with us. I asked them to come into Frank’s room with the family. We played a church tape in the room while we watched the monitors begin coming down. I began to listen to the tape and sing along with each song. The words began to minister to me -- having special meaning in our present situation. One song was “The Old Rugged Cross made the Difference.” Another one was “Know That I am God.” Some of those words that meant so much were, “When you’re broken and all alone...Remember I gave my only Son that you might know.... Lift your eyes and know that I am God.” I was so moved by the words of those songs that I was able to praise God, even to lift my hands to Him and worship Him. The others in the room seemed to be worshiping God and singing along with the music also. Two hours later when the door opened and a doctor came in, we all just looked at her as if she was interrupting us. Someone said, “Is it over?” My friends, can you see from this the great God of mercy visited us in that room? We were able to forget that Frank was dying. I believe when the angels came for Frank, they took time to minister to us. That is why we had liberty to praise God in our unique circumstance. God is truly a comfort in time of our greatest need.

The presence of God continued with me through signing papers at the hospital, and all the duties you go through after the death of a member. I was calm and so was the family. The doctors and nurses were all sobbing. Somehow I could see what God was saying. “I am God. Beside me there is no other.” Though I loved my husband very much I would not cheat him of his reward. Though he loved me and his family very much, he would not now choose to return to this earth. Not after a taste of heaven and seeing our wonderful Lord.

Now I have to continue to seek God and stay in his will until my time comes. These are the last days, the midnight hour, and He is coming soon to receive his bride. I want to be where He wants me to be. He is worthy to be loved. I believe I love Him more now than ever. He is everything I need.

Thank you all for your telephone calls, get well and sympathy cards, for the food, flowers, and for being there when I needed you. The funeral service at the church was just wonderful. Most of all thank you for the prayers that went up and are still being offered on our behalf. I love you all and am so proud to be one of your number. God is so good.

Betty Talbert

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