I haven’t mentioned our friend Steve in my posts since around July 4 with the article our local newspaper did about him. That was such a tribute to him, and I know that really blessed him! Steve was diagnosed in January with inoperable brain cancer.
I worked at Mission of Hope for a couple hours yesterday afternoon to help fill in since Phyllis is gone all week. Pastor Barb came in for a few minutes and we got to talking about Steve. She went to see him Tuesday afternoon. He is at a nursing home not far from the Mission. I decided after our conversation that I would stop by to see him for a few minutes after my work was done there.
When I got to the nursing home and walked into his room, he was sleeping and his mom was there lying on the couch. It had been awhile since I had seen her. She took me back out in the hallway and began to fill me in on what’s been going on. Steve has gotten progressively worse in the last couple weeks. He’s on thirteen different medications and is now having a hard time swallowing them, and really seems to be suffering more than ever before. She said they were going to begin taking him off of all of his medicines, except his seizure medicine…that means his blood pressure medicine and everything else they’ve been using to keep his condition as stablized as possible.
She began to cry. Hugging her in the hallway was the only thing I felt I could do to comfort her. At first it didn’t register with me what all she was saying would mean, but after seeing her cry, I began to understand. Steve probably doesn’t have much time left on this earth.
I asked her if it would be ok if I would try to wake Steve. She said he probably wouldn’t respond, but I could try. Walking to his bedside, I touched his foot and and said something like, “Hey Stranger!” He opened one eye, then the other and smiled. My heart melted. He mumbled out, “Hey Julie…what’s going on. How are the kids?” Smiling I filled him in on Ali and Zach. He perked right up and began to converse with me as much as he could. He asked me about Bill. He asked about our summer. We talked about the article about him in the paper. We talked about the nice weather. We talked about his family.
In the meantime, his two sisters, Barb and Pam came into the room. It was nice to seem them too. I asked Steve if I could pray with him, and he said he’d like that. I was so glad to be able to do that with him. The entire time, though, he was experiencing pain in his head which he described as a headache that would come and go. I found out later that they would be increasing his pain medicine to keep him pain-free and comfortable as needed.
I stayed for about an hour. I am so glad I went to visit Steve. His sister Barb walked me out and with tears in her eyes she said, “Julie, you are an answer to prayer!” She explained that just yesterday morning she was wondering how they could get a hold of me to come visit Steve. 🙂 I knew at that point too that God had prompted me to go see Steve that afternoon after his sister had prayed for that in the morning.
I left with such a peaceful feeling of being there, yet with such a heaviness of losing Steve soon. I will be going in to see him today as well. I don’t know how responsive he’ll be as he’s on his pain medicine, but I want to do all I can for him and his family in his last days. I will keep you posted. Please pray for him and his family…that God will give them all peace, comfort and strength.
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