Drawing of Ashley's & Paula's Engagement Photo, 1975 ©Ashley M. Calhoun 2014

Drawing of Ashley’s & Paula’s Engagement Photo, 1975
©Ashley M. Calhoun 2014

Thirty-nine years. That’s nine years of gravy. On top of all the deliciousness of the thirty years that lie beneath it.

In February of 2005 I was in a coma, very near death, my kidneys had shut down, and my liver was beginning to fail. I was on a ventilator, too weak to breathe on my own. This lasted for about one week. The doctor had told Ashley to prepare for my funeral, and he had made some calls in preparation. It was a time way harder on my family and friends than on me. I had no near-death experience (at least that I remember!) But as I slowly came up out of the NOWHERE and in to the here, I had a very strange sensation.

In the ICU where I was, there were all sorts of resuscitation bells and whistles around. Though still unconscious, I remember hearing an alarm and sensing red light flashing above me. I was evidently in some sort of major distress, but that is not what I recall. When I tell this story to others there is, understandably a certain amount of amusement, because at the same time the alarm sounded, a very clear thought came to my mind: I had been abducted by aliens. But it was OK, because I knew that God created all that is, I knew that God created them too, and I was going to be all right. I came out of the coma a day or two later, and after recovering from pneumonia, I was moved to a regular room.

I had been recovering fairly well for several days when an infection reinstated itself into my bloodstream, and I became critically ill again. Back to the ICU, but at least this time I remained conscious and alert enough to dwell on the idea that this October of 2005 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. And so I prayed:

“Loving father, my Abba, I know I am in your care, and that I am safe. I ask that you give the same assurance to all of my family and friends. If it is possible, I ask that you help me with the strength to recover and live long enough to celebrate with my beloved Ashley, our milestone 30th anniversary. Whatever happens, I know all will be well, but I have this deep desire to be with him for as long as I can. And don’t get me wrong, Lord, it’s not my desire that it all end then; I want us to continue together beyond that time as well. My gratitude will not diminish, but only grows each day I am alive, and every moment after those 30 years will be pure gravy!”

So, you see that God’s unfathomable goodness has continued to “ladle on the gravy.” Not a day goes by that I do not feel within and offer thanks to the Creator of all things, including me, for the overwhelming abundance of love and Grace that has been showered upon me. As all my regular readers know, my tag line has been, almost from the beginning, “enough. . .” I use it in various ways, sometimes as irony, sometimes as humor, but most often as blessing. So I close this post, in honor of the 39 years of abundant love I have received, and endeavoured to give. My wish for all of you, my Gentle Readers, is the same as always. But at the close of this momentous day, I save this extra special blessing of grace, joy, and love for Ashley, and that it always be around and within him overflowing in the abundance of enough. . .