It Was Just An Ordinary Day

by ~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) on March 28, 2013

It was just an ordinary day.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened at all.  Blood pressure check, breakfast, chores, chats, hugs, lunch, dinner, devotions.   Just an ordinary day.


The Patriarch and I were getting ready for bed.   I had already given him his night-time medications and had let him know all I had done to prepare for the following day.   I was going to testify against a bill in our state capitol. We had already discussed our plans for the afternoon after our trip to the capitol.

He laughed.   He made some remark about me being organized.

I smiled.   I knew he liked it when I was organized.   He was very patient with my dis-organization.

I finished getting ready for bed & lay down to get some much needed rest.

He called out my name & said, “come immediately”.

I could tell he was in the hallway.  They were to be the very last words I would ever hear my beloved husband utter.

As I was getting up I heard him fall to the floor.   I was only seconds away and he was making little choking sounds.   His face was all red.   He was bleeding on his cheek.   He didn’t respond to my calling out to him.   He was now making no noise at all.

Arrow was awakened by The Patriarch’s fall.  I had him call 9-1-1.  They had us start CPR.   How did all my decades ago training come back to my mind?

Is he breathing?  NO! The two of us administered CPR together.  His lips were turning blue.  His eyes were closed.  His face was bleeding.

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.

How in the midst of all this I can think of details?  He would have told me to get out of the detail bucket.

Arrow, go unlock the door so the paramedics don’t have to wait.

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  Why are they taking so long?

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  I am only a mile away!

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  Are they here yet?

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  What is taking so long!!

They have arrived!!  Oh PLEASE save my husband!  I was utterly winded and exhausted.

They worked.  Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  They had monitors to tell them to push deeper, and an air bag to give my beloved oxygen.

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.  There were upwards of 9 different paramedics, rotating working on my beloved.   Oh Please Lord, help us. Oh, please… oh please.

What happened?  What is his name?  How old is he?  What does he weigh?  Is he on any medication?

Do you want us to take all measures?  YES!  Oh please, yes.

Push.  Push.  Push.  Breathe.

Do you have a pastor you can call?

Push.  Push.  Push. Breathe.  Again, and again and again.

The Fire Chief tells me they have given my beloved 2 shots of adrenalin. There is to be an interval of a few minutes between shots and they can only administer three.  “We just gave him the second shot and I need you to call your pastor”, he says.  “It doesn’t look good does it” I ask.

“I need you to call.”

11:30 PM and I am dialing the phone… Hello?  I tell them what has happened.  We pray.

“Can’t you use the defibrillator?”  “No, we have to have a pulse in order to use that.”

No pulse.  Still no pulse.  No breath.  How long has it been now that my beloved hasn’t taken a breath or that his heart hasn’t beaten?  We pray some more.

They have done all they can.  My husband is dead.

I am so sorry for your loss.

He had an air bubble in the arteries leading to his lungs and he died from a pulmonary embolism.  What is that I ask?  It is a blockage in the arteries of the lungs.  Did you see how he was mottled from the mid-chest upwards, he says?  That is characteristic of a pulmonary embolism.  He was on blood thinners, his was the uncommon variety.

The police arrive to take pictures.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I am sorry I have to do this.  It is an unexpected death.  I hear the Fire Chief discussing the details of my beloved’s condition with the paramedics and talking to the coroner.  Thankfully no autopsy needed.

It is an unexpected death.

Oh, my back is aching from the strain of administering CPR to my beloved.  I sit next to the shell of my beloved.  They have covered his body with a thin, white blanket and have left his face exposed.  I can see his face.  The face of the one I love.  He is gone.  How can he be gone?  We spoke together less than an hour ago.  How can he be dead?  He has a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.

I tough his arm.  It is so cold.  I don’t like to feel the coldness so I rub his arm through the blanket as I answer more questions.

My mind was filled with the singing of these lyrics…

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see.

The paramedics are packing up their gear to leave.  “You did everything right and everything that you could.”  They made sure to tell Arrow and me each, “You did everything right and everything that you could.”  Thank you Lord for this blessing.  What a blessing to not question what we did or if we did enough or did it right or…

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

You did everything right and you did all that you could.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

The Chaplain with the fire department arrives.  He asks a few questions.  No, it is only his shell.  My beloved is in heaven.  They are amazed.  They must see so many who don’t have this assurance.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

My beloved is in heaven.  I don’t want him in heaven right now.  Later would be alright.  Not now Lord.  Oh, he is dead.  He is already there.  My husband is dead.  How could I ask him to leave heaven?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

Do you have a preference in a mortuary?

Over the years we had discussed various aspects of funerals and of dying and death… but we had not once given a single thought to a mortuary preference!  I had no idea.  We chatted… I must have said something about my newly found dire financial situation and the Fire Chaplain changed the mortuary he was going to send us to.

We continue to chat about a wide variety of things.  He tells me the basic process of what happens now.  Arrow is talking with a dear friend from church.  The Patriarch lay in the hallway, dead.

He is dead.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

The young men from the funeral home arrive.  They explain all that they will be doing.  They hand me a card.  They need to put my beloved in a plastic bag.  I will hear plastic bag noises.  The Fire Chaplain and I chat… I can hear the plastic bag noises.  They are done loading his body in the bag and on the gurney.  I get up. “Do you want to say good-bye?”

They have covered my beloved with a simple quilt.  A very kind touch. They will take good care of my beloved.  “No.”  He is not there. It is only his shell.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see…..

The Patriarch is gone.  He is dead.

It was just an ordinary day.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Lee Ellis March 28, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I know words can be so insufficient sometimes, but I am truly sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family!


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) March 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Thank you for your comment Amy. Each and every comment of care and sympathy has been a source of comfort to me. Your commitment to pray for us is deeply appreciated. Thank you!


Kimberly March 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM


I was mentioning to Susan recently that milking the goats each morning has turned out to be a good prayer time, oddly . . . I lift your day in prayer each morning as I milk. Miss you. <3


Terra W March 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. Thank you for sharing this story. I am SO glad that you had the peaceful reassurance from the only One that was able to give it during that ordeal! I pray that He still gives you that peace daily!


Janet March 30, 2013 at 5:27 AM

I am crying as I read this. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your confidence in the Lord is a blessing to me. I will pray for you and your family. God is with you. I know.


Lisa @ Me & My House March 30, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Thank you for sharing your story Mae. Prayers continue for you and Arrow.


Mommaof10 March 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

It was an ordinary day, but because of the mercy of God, your husband, you and your Arrow are no ordinary family. Our prayers and love are with you. As is our God, a very present help in time of trouble. Love you.


Jill Jachim April 1, 2013 at 5:15 AM

Crying, crying, crying.
I continue to pray for you–your comfort, help for all that you need.
I am so, so sorry you lost your beloved. So sorry.
Praise God for the hope you have in Christ. In His great mercy, you will be with him and Him for all eternity in heaven–where there will be no more tears, no more sorrow.


Kristen (Smithspirations) April 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Precious Mae,

This is so touching and so beautifully written. I’m crying with you and am blessed to read your testimony of faith while in the middle of such heartache. God bless you. We pray for you.


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Thank you. I found it comforting in a strange way to write down how my beloved died. I know Arrow does not like to hear that story, but in some strange way it was comforting to talk about it and then write about it.

May my simple words show forth only the beauty, love an strength of my Lord Jesus Christ.


Theresa April 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM

This is my first visit to your blog, I came via June at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I am so sorry for your sudden loss and am praying for your family. May God continue to give you comfort and peace through His promises.


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 4, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Theresa, I am so glad you stopped by for a visit. Thank you for your words of sympathy and your prayers for us.


Jill's Home Remedies April 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Have prayed for you many times, Mae. Your faith in the Lord is an outstanding example. God continue to be near you.


Beth T. April 7, 2013 at 11:51 PM

I found my way here from A Simple Homemaker. I can see how you inspire such devotion from your friends.

If it helps to know that a stranger will be thinking of you and Arrow and praying for you, please add my name to what I am sure is a long list.

It was touching to read how you recognized the kindness of those called to help you at such a heartbreaking time. I imagine that they often wonder if their efforts are noticed by people who are awash in sudden loss. Their small, thoughtful gestures are tender mercies, aren’t they?


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 8, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Hello Beth,
Oh my, I am humbled by your sweet words about my simple blog.

It’s kind of funny, but yes, it is VERY encouraging to know that people I don’t know at all pray for us. I am honored to have you as a part of that group of faithful Christians who pray for us.

It was these small gestures of kindness to us in the immediate aftermath of our crisis that were tender mercies, sent directly for the Lord. Each one means so much.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come for another visit soon!


Michele April 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I pray for you often! I think about you every day! I’m so excited to see the Giveaway on so many blogs! I’ve been spreading the word about your soap, and I will be purchasing more in the future. I’m still working on some that I ordered before Christmas. May God bless your family. He has truly blessed me as I’ve watched you keep your Faith in Him through this difficult time!


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Oh Michele,
Thank you SO much for your continued prayers for us! This is such a blessing and comfort to know.

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support through this ‘Big Blog Bash’. It all bring tears to my eyes to know there are so many people who care so deeply for us.

I am glad you like your previous soap purchase enough to come back for more. I knew I had a good product when my bar-soap-hating husband said he liked it. You could have knocked me down with a feather when he said that!

The Lord is blessing our family in so many ways through this whole ‘light and momentary affliction’. My prayer is that the Lord would use our situation for His glory and to help other women see the preciousness of the husband she has. Life is so short. Truly, man knows not his time.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


Michele April 9, 2013 at 8:05 AM

That’s funny because my husband has NEVER liked any of the “homemade” soap I’ve brought home. But I haven’t bought soap from the store in months! He loves yours! Have a blessed day!


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 9, 2013 at 3:37 PM

That IS funny! I am glad he loves my soaps. That puts a smile on my face. :-D


aprilp April 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. My prayers are with you and your son. I pray that you feel the Everlasting Arms carry you and feel His presence as you go through your “ordinary days”
This is my first time to your blog. I’m a homeschool mom of a son.
you are in our prayers…


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 8, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Welcome to my blog April!
Thank you for your words of comfort at my loss. One of my favorite hymns is ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’! Oh, to tell the whole truth, I have LOTS of favorite hymns, but I do really like THIS one! The Lord has been gracious to me and I can feel His presence as we establish our new ‘ordinary’ days.

Thank you for your prayers!


Kim/Garden Tenders April 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Your story brought anew the death of my daddy to mind and how hard it was for my mom. My prayers are with you and your family. When we feel so weak we can’t even mouth the words to pray God still listens. Its when the prayers of those brothers and sisters in Christ help to lift you. May God comfort you as only he knows best. May you find peace beneath the shelter of his protecting wings.

Love and prayers to you.


~Aunt Mae (~Mrs. R) April 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Thank you Kim. It has been hard in some ways and not hard in others. Keeping busy has been a blessing. I am so thankful for the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ!


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