The Mourning Dove

Posted in Eternal Love | 19 comments

The Morning Dove

 

Christmas with all of its magic, poinsettias, and the scent of pine greenery passed bringing us into a new year at the Florist.

Friday, January 24, 1997, was a beautiful day. The air was crisp and refreshing, and there was lots of sunshine. Frank and I were at the Florist in Bay City, Texas.  He was in the office, inputting information into the computer files. The floral designers and I were busy cutting flowers, filling and delivering called in orders, and getting things ready for Valentine’s Day. 

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for all florists. As new owners of a Florist, Frank and I wanted to be ready for our first most important love day of the year. The designers and I planned to get prepared as much as we could. That morning, Frank and I decided to let all the designers off early that afternoon so that we could have an all-hands-on-deck for a workday the next day. Typically, the Florist was open half a day on Saturday, with only one person working, and having all the designers there all day would give us an uninterrupted afternoon of work. 

After the designers left that Friday afternoon, things were relatively quiet for the rest of the evening. There were only three floral orders called in, which I designed then put into the cooler. The customers agreed that the arrangements could be delivered after we closed the Florist. 

Frank’s sister and brother-in-law had come in from out of town to spend the weekend, so Frank and I had plans to stop by his folk’s house for supper on our way home.  After Frank and I loaded the floral van with the delivery orders, I told Frank to drive on ahead to his folk’s home while I made the three floral deliveries, but he told me he wanted to follow me.  Not wanting to drive on to his folk’s home, seemed strange, so I asked Frank if he was feeling okay, but he said his head just ached. 

When we arrived at Frank’s folk’s home, everybody was joking around and cooking, so Frank and I joined in the fun. After supper, we all went into Frank’s folk’s den.  The conversation was lively about the upcoming Super Bowl game, which we would all watch together on Sunday.  Even though Frank looked very tired, he joined in the conversations, but I knew he wasn’t himself. I asked him privately if he was okay, but he just recanted that he had a little bit of a headache.   After saying goodnight to everyone, I asked Frank if he wanted to leave his truck at his folk’s house and ride to our home with me in the business van, but he said no, then followed me in his vehicle to our home. 

Early the next morning, Saturday, January 25, 1997, Frank and I left our home in our separate vehicles to drive to the Florist.   Since it was another beautiful clear, crisp day, we opened all the doors and windows of the Florist.  At lunchtime, Frank and I ordered hamburgers and fries for everyone.  It was absolutely a fun day with lots of laughter. 

At about 4:00 p.m., one of the designers came running into the design room, extremely upset.  She told me as she walked into the storeroom, she saw a man’s legs lying in front of the open door.  I ran to the storeroom door then saw Frank lying there on the ground.  Immediately, I sat down beside Frank and cradled his head in my lap as I yelled for someone to call an ambulance.  While waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive, Frank started having seizures and was in and out of consciousness. When Frank was awake, he would say he was sorry over and over for scaring us.  The ambulance and crew arrived quickly, then took Frank and me to the local hospital. 

The ER Doctor ran an MRI scan on Frank’s head, revealing his brain was swelling, which was causing him to have Grand Mal seizures.  In less than an hour, Frank was life-flighted to Herman Hospital in Houston, Texas. Our son, Scott, with me by his side, drove the sixty-five miles frantically to get to the hospital in Houston.  When we arrived at the ER, they sent Scott and me to a trauma room where Frank was. 

The Neurosurgeon did Frank’s first surgery, at 3:00 a.m. Sunday, January 26, 1997. The operation was to drill a burr-hole in Frank’s skull to monitor and release the pressure building in his brain. After the surgery, Frank was put into a chemical coma to keep his brain from swelling and life support to keep him breathing. Frank would never be conscious again. Over the next two days, there were many more operations: frontal lobe removal, bone flap removal, brain tissue samples taken by the Infection Team, Stroke Team going in searching for hidden blood clots. 

My son and I never left the hospital; neither of us would leave him.  The nurse liaison brought me a gadget that they could buzz me, so I would go to the lunchroom to eat, but I would not leave Frank.  Everything happened so suddenly with Frank then he would become critical, and the nurses and doctors would rush him to the operating room over and over, trying to stabilize him. 

Tuesday night, January 28, the nurses offered me a place to sleep in a room with lounge chairs, but as I dosed off, fear overcame me, and I felt lost.  Immediately, I got out of the chair, then went back to the Neuro ICU to sit by Frank’s bed and hold his hand.  Frantically, the nurse, assigned to Frank, worked trying to adjust Frank’s blood pressure, but during the middle of the night, they rushed Frank to surgery again.   Deep inside my heart, I knew he was dying. 

God sends us messages through His beautiful creatures. Sometimes the news is comforting, and sometimes it is a forewarning to help prepare us. It is not by accident that we notice the unusual behavior of one of His glorious life forms.   

Early Wednesday morning, standing by the large plate-glass windows in the waiting room of the third floor of Herman Hospital, I saw five Doves sitting on the outside ledge.  They all looked at me, and then four flew away.  The remaining Dove stared at me, turned its head to look at the other Doves in flight, then turned looking back at me. I knew the Dove was Frank telling me goodbye, so I said to the Dove, “I understand Frank, I love you, and it’s okay. Go with your friends.”  

Knowing Frank was leaving, I left the window and quickly walked back to the Neuro ICU room. Once at Frank’s bed, I kissed his cheek then the nurse asked me if I wanted to see his eyes. Frank’s eyes were lifeless, and I knew his soul was gone, and his body was living by machine.  My heart shattered, but God held me in His arms, giving me the strength to do what I had to do next.  After talking with the Doctor, he decided to run a Blood Flow Test on Frank’s brain. 

In the early morning hours of Thursday, January 30, 1997, after insisting on being in the room, I watched in the Neuro ICU as the technician ran the Blood Flow Test on my husband’s brain.  After watching the test on the imaging screen, I knew the results.  Within thirty minutes, the nurse liaison called the Neurosurgeon, who was in surgery, and asked him if he had received the results of Frank’s blood flow test. The Doctor asked to speak to me then confirmed what I already knew. Frank did not have blood flow to his brain and was brain dead. Even knowing in my mind that Frank was already gone, my pieced together heart shattered again, but God held me in His arms, giving me strength. 

After twenty-nine years of marriage to my soulmate, Frank, I made the lone decision to remove his life support. The Doctor called a family meeting to talk to everyone and give the test results, but not to help with the decision. Everyone got to go into the room with Frank to say their goodbyes and pray.  After everyone left, my son sat on one side of Frank’s bed, holding his hand, and I sat on the other side doing the same. Frank’s mother returned to the room, then stood quiet and motionless at the end of his bed. Within moments the nurse removed the life support from Frank, and he never took a breath. His soul, a Mourning Dove, was already gone and flying high in the sky up to Heaven.

The Mourning Dove is symbolic of God’s divine providence, and His guidance and care. When you see this, Dove, know God heard your prayers, and Angels are watching over you and protecting you.

The moment Frank’s soul left this earth for his new home in Heaven, his death left profound grief and loss for all who knew and loved him.

Although Frank is physically not present in my life, our soulmate love continues to grow each day as his spirit and energy surround me, protecting and comforting me through all things.

God is real. He loves us very much and allows our loved ones to surround us with their love.  Take a moment to be still and feel their presence.

I have no doubts about the reality of God or Heaven, and God has proven this to me time and time again.  When my purpose on earth finishes, I will reunite with Frank, and our love will continue to grow through all eternity.

 

Frank Flying

Do Not Stand At My Grave & Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush,

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there; I did not die.

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 Comments

  1. Sitting here, quietly reflecting on what I just read.. the loss, the faith, the strength….so much love….

    • Thank you, Kim. Without good friends like you and God, I do not think I would have made it through this chapter. Praying, I finished this chapter with strength, faith, and helping others realize that our physical bodies are only a vessel for our souls on earth, and our eternal life goes on through eternity.
      God Bless You, My Friend.
      Love,
      Nancy

    • Precious friend,
      My heart bounded with your pain and grief as I read your account of praising God in Frank’s passing, I could feel the strong bond of love between you two.
      As Ecclesiastes 1 states, “there is a time to live and a time to die.” We must each endure God’s plan of returning those who are His children. Thanks be to the Lord for the 29 years you shared together and for the wonderful son God have you.
      The Bible instructs is,
      “ Whatever you do, do all for the glory for God.”

    • Thank you so much for commenting, Jan. God has always protected us and He has remained by my side.
      God Bless You,
      Love Nancy

    • Thank you so much, Jan.

  2. I felt the strong emotion as I read and it brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for you to experience, but knowing the Lord was with you must have helped tremendously. I felt your pain, yet I also felt your hope. God bless you Nancy.

    • Diane thank you so much. I am glad that you came away with the hope. This chapter took me a long time to finish and I wanted to end these books with hope.
      God Bless You,
      Love Nancy

  3. That brought tears to my eyes too, Nancy.
    You wrote about such a painful experience so vividly while still giving hope and letting your love shine through your grief.

    Your faith, love, and fortitude are an example to us all.

    • Peter, thank you. I want to let others know that our physical earthly body is not our real existence but only houses our soul. Our soul is our eternal life and the love we possess. God gives us a choice as to being good or evil, but He remains faithful in His love and compassion, waiting for us to come back to the goodness He has put in our hearts.
      God gave me an incredible purpose in writing this Memoir, and I pray in some way that I have honored His purpose. Without God by my side, I could not have written this chapter.
      God Bless You, My Friend,
      Love,
      Nancy
      .

  4. Nancy, I just wish I could have known him.A special love like you two had is so inspiring to others. Your story and faith and the gift to tell about it in such a way that makes a heart skip a beat is a true blessing.Love you Nancy

    • Thank you so much Peggy. I love you very much and I know Frank would have loved you too. Think you for being my best friend through all of these years.
      God Bless You,
      Love,
      Nancy

  5. Oh, what a heartfelt final chapter, Nancy. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. You are an incredible individual as well as a survivor who not only has made the most of a potentially crushing situation, but you have been able to share that experience so others can learn and grow from it. It an honor to read not only this but all the rest of your writing. Keep up the wonderful work.

    • Thank you so much, Jim. Your comment humbles me. I did not want to end our love story with Frank’s sudden illness and death, but it was only his physical body that left me. His love, spirit, and energy still surround me every day.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy

  6. Such a beautiful chapter. I never got the chance to meet Frank but love that I have these books & stories to pass down to his great grandchildren.

    • Brittany, he would have loved you so much. He is around you watching you love Matt and babies knowing you are his Granddaughter now.
      God Bless You and I Love You.
      Love Meme

  7. Oh, my, dear Nancy. Thank you for having the courage to put these beautiful words to paper. They have me feeling the pain it must have been for you. Thank you for being the living example of soulmate love and sharing that experience with us through your writing. It’s such a gift. I love you, my friend and am grateful for our paths crossing. Love and blessings.

    • Brianna, thank you so much. I am thankful that we are friends, too. We are kindred souls who believe in God and love.
      God Bless You,
      Love,
      Nancy

  8. PS: I’ve been enjoying two doves for a few months now. I live on a 2nd story and can see them outside my kitchen window on the roof of the dwelling next door. It’s a stone cabin the landlords are refurbishing. In that effort, they’ve been sealing the area under the roof along the building walls. I asked them if they could find a way to build around a particular area where the doves hang out. They did and built them a wood house too! After reading your story, I’ll look at them differently. They are God’s messengers that all is right and that God is protecting me and answering all my prayers.

    • Brianna, this is so special. I have a Mourning Dove that has stayed around my house every since Frank passed. I know it is him protecting me and letting me know he is still here. You are such a Beautiful Person. I am so glad that you are in my life.
      God Bless You,
      Love,
      Nancy

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