My husband Bruce and I met when my family moved to Fellsmere, Florida, where Bruce lived his entire life. We became high school sweethearts, and got married after I graduated. Like so many newlyweds, money was very tight, but both of us were raised to do the best with what we had. Our marriage had its fair share of ups and downs, but I loved how Bruce always pushed me to learn something outside my comfort zone. As I look back on my life and on our marriage, I know that God used Bruce to push me to learn new and hard things and God so beautifully used me to lead Bruce to the Lord. The pushing experienced before death proved to be preparation needed after death–God went before and also goes behind us.
Our love grew as we had two sons. Bruce loved his sons. He’d even say that he didn’t know it was possible, but he loved them even more than he loved me! He always loved sports and the outdoors. He was healthy and so strong – I loved that he could lift and carry things by himself that would normally take two people to move!
About five years before he passed, he had a strange thing happen to his foot. At the doctor’s office he found that his foot was seriously infected, this began our nightmarish journey! Shortly after, they had to amputate part of his foot and because they thought he could be in danger of losing his life they even called in four infectious disease doctors. The end diagnosis, Type 2 Diabetes and boy had it taken a big toll on his body.
The Monday before his death, his brother John called him to check in. While on the phone, Bruce told John that he would find out very soon how much God loved him–if God loved him, He’d let him die at home with me and me with him. Friday of that week Bruce died at home with me and me with him. I know that Bruce was ready, but it felt like I wasn’t. What I can say, even from the first second after Bruce died is that God has been a blessing to me and has been my strength. One big way He showed up early on was at the funeral. Bruce wanted us (myself and our 2 sons) to lead his service, and we were able to lead by the prayers of our family and God’s grace alone. Daily since then I can see that God is protecting me. My hope as I continue on this journey is that I always feel God’s presence.