Death Defier

Some of my readers know that my husband had back surgery a month ago today to relieve pressure on a nerve that was causing him tremendous pain.  He had been declining rapidly after a fall in June, and besides the pain, was not doing well overall.  The surgery present a risk in two respects.  One, there is never a guarantee with back surgery that you will get the desired result.  But the greater risk was to his weak heart.  Both his primary doctor and cardiologist were grave in their warnings that surgery might not be a good idea.  The deciding factor for my husband as he questioned whether to proceed was an “Aha” moment when he related to me and my son: “I’d rather be dead and with the Lord than alive and in such pain.”  There was the answer, and off to surgery he went.

The surgery was a success…in fact it was a HUGE success!  Immediately upon awakening post-op, my husband was completely pain-free…no nerve pain, no pain even from the surgery itself.  Over the past month I have been accompanying him to his myriad of post-op appointments, where he has been stunning his doctors with his incredible recovery.  His cardiologist looked at him slack-jawed.  His primary doctor, a lively Hawaiian, laughed, slapped his leg and said, “You’re a death defier, that’s what you are!”

There is some whimsical truth to this.  My husband has now faced three very significant health “events” in his life, and like Thomasina the tabby cat in Disney’s 1964 classic movie (“The Three Lives of Thomasina,” based on the fable by Paul Gallico), he keeps beating the odds.

But the real truth is that there is a Death Defier who is responsible for my husband’s tremendously successful surgery and miraculous recovery.  Jesus Christ—the Creator-Word and miracle worker who proved his deity by raising Lazarus from the dead.  The omnipotent Alpha and Omega, who by virtue of his divine heritage, being of one essence with God the Father, played a role in his own resurrection from the dead.  When Jesus speaks, his voice is heard from one end of the cosmos to the other, and the universe obeys.  The word a month ago – October 27, 2013 – was that my husband would not die, but thrive.

Do I really believe this?  Yes, I absolutely do.

Over this past month, I have seen my dear, sweet man “come back from the dead” in numerous ways.  His body is slowly rejuvenating.  His humor and feistiness are no longer in retreat.  The light is returning to his eyes.  Last week we went to a restaurant for lunch, our first trip out for a meal in months.  He entered with his walker, but set it aside and walked gingerly to our assigned table.  Then, after we ordered and the server departed, he locked eyes with me and raised his arm in a challenge that goes back to our first date.  I grasped his hand—decidedly weaker than in days past but still filled with the electricity that cinched me way back then.

For however long this beautiful history lasts…the wrestling match is still on.