I painted my nails for the first time in several months.
As I looked at my hands, wrinkles and all, I was reminded of my maternal grandmother, Grandma Fannie.
She always had the most lovely nails. When I was a little girl, I use to spend the night with her. We would watch Lawerence Welk while eating popcorn, then paint our nails. She spent several years in a nursing home, and when I arrived she did not remember me, but she knew I could paint her fingernails. And that is what we always did.
These hands remind me of the love my grandmother had for me, and the love I have for my granddaughter.
These hands remind me of the first time I held Norah.
These hands remind of life…the good, the bad and the ugly.
These hands have wrinkles and show I have lived.
These hands have been enveloped in the love of my husband’s hands and cradled my sons.
These hands have clapped at games and been thrown up in exasperation!
These hands have been cold, warm, and tense.
These hands have been burned, and hurt.
These hands have been raised in prayer and praise…to the one who loves me most.
Biblical definitions of Hope in the Hebrew and Greek=To trust in, wait for, look for or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future. Anticipation and the absolute certainty of God’s promises, confident expectation.
I was in Arizona, visiting my one and only grandchild and her parents. About a week before I was to come home, I developed a dry cough and thought I was reacting to the dry air and fires. I became very fatigued and attributed it to my Fibromyalgia and overdoing it.
I was wrong.
Fast forward to October. By October 1st I was very ill and had to go to the ER on October 13, upon the insistence of my husband and neighbor. I ended up being transferred to Barnes Jewish and spent eleven total days there. I was very ill, and they did a lot of testing; I was in isolation and it was a time that the Father showed Himself over and over.
They transferred me by ambulance one evening from my local hospital, arriving at Barnes at 3:30am. Suffice it to say, I would not recommend a two-hour ambulance ride on a bucket list! I put it on so I could check it off!
I was very ill and alone. I was peaceful, and I knew the Father was with me. We arrived on the 14th floor and the charge nurse introduced me to my nurse for that night and the next night.
Here is where the Father affirmed his presence, and that He was my hope.
“This is your nurse. His name is Alphonse.”
“No, that cannot be,” I muttered quietly.
I am sure they thought I was one of “those” patients.
“Yes, ma’am, he will be your nurse.”
“But that is my husband’s name!!”
No one could believe it!
Who has that name? We all know of Alphonse Capone. But other than the Capone fellow and my husband, I knew of no others.
This nurse, Alphonse from Kenya, was such a blessing to me. His name alone was a comfort since my husband was not allowed to be there. Peace came over me. He was a believer, and we prayed for one another through those nights.
He had a burden that he had been carrying for years, and I prayed over him. Night was the worse for my pain, so he prayed for me.
All the nurses heard the story and each time they came in my room, “Shang ra La” as I called it, I told them it could be a place of rest. The Lord let me love on every one of them and encourage them in their profession.
“Alphonse” never got to meet my “Alphonse”. In fact, he was not on duty with me after that second night. I told him we were adopting him, after all he was 35 and just a year older than our eldest. He was married, with two precious girls.
I told our sons that they had an older brother, who just happened to be named after their dad. How “coincidental” is that? I don’t believe in coincidence. It was a “God thing” and will always be.
The doctors continued to test me for all kinds of diseases through that first week. I was in isolation, but with the Father’s continued presence, hope and support… we finally got some answers.
The Father will always be with you in your journey, no matter what it is. He is who I always knew He was. The journey may not be easy, but He will never leave you alone.