Here is another tender, personal reflection, written by my dear friend and brother, Dave Dunham. Here’s the link to his previous piece, “Ode to Caregivers.” http://servingandsharing.com/ode-to-caregivers-by-david-dunham/
Dave was already serving as one of the elders in the Keller congregation when Tanya and I came in 2012. After caring for his precious wife Carole through various major, ongoing health issues, he now faces life here without her. His love for her, both before and after her death, is sweet, strong, and touching. Though she died, his love for her lives on and will never die. And, speaking of the future, he knows, as she did, the great hope we have in Jesus Christ. Many of our blog readers will appreciate his words and his heart, due to your own circumstances as caregivers. Please share this with others.
(to begin with a certain amount of disdain)
Is there next? A vision for the future? A plan? You must have some idea. Nope. No idea. No desire. My desire seeks what’s behind. Hoping for the next reminiscence. Sorry, no next.
What next? Why do you ask? There is nothing I want to do next. I have no need for next. Death is hard enough. Who cares about next?
So, what’s next? What does it matter to the lost and wandering? Yes, I know I’m not lost, but I am. And wandering. I’m too lost to think about what’s next.
What next? Sounds so selfish, so all about me. Sorry, don’t have that need. Who needs me? I know they are there. Can’t see them yet. The world is empty. Can’t do next.
What next you ask? I am so worn out I don’t know if I’ll make it through the next hour. I don’t have the strength or the energy to answer what you ask; what’s next.
What’s next? Be patient they say. You’ll get there. Get where? Don’t know but you’ll make it. It is beginning! I’m beginning to see there’s something next. Lord, what’s next?
What next? Maybe a day without tears. Can’t really plan that. Can hope for it though. Just an evening. Or a morning. That’s what is next. Fewer tears.
What next? You need to stop this. Love is what’s next. Love from all around. You may not care but they do. They will care for you. That’s what is next.
What next? To remember she is now in perfect health, requiring no care. To remember to be thankful. That is enough. Does what’s next really matter?
What next? Maybe looking forward to being with people. People who don’t see an elephant in the room. Maybe a chance to visit and maybe even laugh together. Maybe that’s next.
Finally. What’s next doesn’t seem like such an impossibility. Looking forward to tomorrow. A vision: God’s promise: the ultimate next. Tomorrow? Can’t wait. Can’t wait to find out what’s next!
What’s next? The Lord taught me that I don’t need to think about that. He will manage that for me. What wonderful news! The Lord will show me, at the exact right moment, what’s next!
What next? Find a way to thank all those people who have been so patient with me. Their love created a place for me. Took me away from a place of who cares what’s next, to a place of can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you!
Thank you, Lord! I’m excited for you to reveal what’s next!
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and one grandchild.