In this week's episode of This Is the Gospel, Sue faces the grim possibility that her husband will not recover from a vital but dangerous surgery. And to add to her worries, COVID strikes, leaving her without in-person contact to her ailing parents who are in a nursing home in Pennsylvania. But right when it all seems too much to bear, a phone call from Sue's daughter reminds her of her power to call upon heaven to help her family.
An adapted excerpt from the story is below. Listen to the full episode here or read the full transcript here.
Order has been important to me my whole life. Even when I was a young girl, I would clean my mother's kitchen while she was away and surprise her when she came home.
So 2020 found me in a pickle because I was not organized. I wasn't organized because we had been living with my mother-in-law for the past five years caring for her. We had just lost her, and now had to sort through all of her belongings to get the house ready for sale. And it was a very daunting task for one person.
The lion's share of what had to be done fell in my lap. My husband, Mike, still had to work, and his two sisters lived on the West Coast. So I was left with the task.
So, in addition to all of that, we were on a time schedule because my husband had to have major surgery on March 16, and everything had to be done before he had that surgery because it was a very serious surgery. And to be honest, we weren't really sure if he was going to survive it.
The surgery that he was having was a pancreatic surgery, which involved a lot of organs and it was going to take many hours so it was very intense. And adding to my stress was the fact that my parents were in a nursing home in Pennsylvania and we were in South Carolina. I did still visit them but not as often as I wanted because of the distance.
There have been lots of times when I've had to manage a lot of things all at one time. Like raising seven children and running a full-time housekeeping business. And there are very few times in my life when I have felt that I was not capable to handle a situation.
So that's what made coronavirus entering the picture so hard and everything that came with it in my life so hard because I wasn't able to control it. It was controlling me, or it felt like it was controlling me. The first time I heard about coronavirus I didn't think that it was going to be such a worldwide problem.
It seemed like maybe it was played down a little bit and we really didn't think that it was going to affect our lives in the way that it has. So the day that my husband went into the hospital, COVID wasn't a big deal. There were no masks being worn and there were no people being kept out of the hospital. Business was as usual.
The surgery took seven and a half hours. And I was invited to come back to see him afterwards because he made it through the surgery, which I was so grateful for. They told me though that I could only be there for just a very short time. After sitting for seven and a half hours, I wanted to spend more time with him. But he had very high blood pressure and they were trying to get his blood pressure down so that they could administer pain meds, and he was in a lot of pain.
It was very hard for me, in fact, I went to the car, and I wept because I had no control over it. And seldom do things cause me to weep.
So I texted my children and told them that their dad had gotten through the surgery, and that he needed their prayers so that his blood pressure could go down and he could get the much needed pain medicine. And then I got a phone call from my oldest daughter. And we had talked about how I was feeling and what she could do to help me. And then she reminded me that as covenant-keeping women, we have the power to call down blessings from heaven, for ourselves and for those that we love.
When I heard that, and we hung up from the phone, I immediately said a prayer and called down those blessings from heaven.
For more of Sue's story, visit ldsliving.com/thisisthegospel to listen to the full episode or read the transcript.