Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Radio Silence

A week and a half ago I got a call, one of those calls that shakes your world and in not a good way. Our cousin and beloved friend Marshall was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Friday, July 23rd and there were barely any details of what had happened.

Later that day we found out that Marshall had a massive stroke, one that he would not recover from. He had serious bleeding in his brain and it was inoperable. The family was told he would probably die within a day.

The next day was my sister in-law's bridal shower. As I was busy cutting up roses and putting them into vases for table arrangements Joe called again. This time it was to tell me that Marshall was gone.

It was so incredibly difficult to say goodbye. Marshall was an incredible man, he loved life, loved to laugh and joke and he loved his family deeply.

It came as such a shock when Joe and I had just had Marshall over for dinner on Wednesday night. His request was spaghetti and meatballs. He brought us his favorite bread and we had one of the nicest times together we've ever had talking and laughing about our lives.

Marshall had a very difficult life. One of his first two children (twins) was born stillborn and the other was severely disabled. Then his wife died of breast cancer when their other children were still very young. Despite his past and what he had been through, Marshall found joy in every day.

Marsh practically lived at our new-old house for the first year we lived here. He was an expert plumber and helped us in so many ways. He single-handedly completed the massive amount of work in our double bathroom renovation upstairs. It was so wonderful to have him around as much as he was because he loved Charlie so much. He was a comfort to me. My heart aches now that he is gone, but a beautiful miraculous thing happened to me the Friday night that Marsh was in the hospital. He was on a respirator at this point, holding on until one of his daughters flew in from California to see him.

It was a restless, nearly sleepless night for me. Charlie had already woken up once and I laid in bed thinking about Marshall and praying for him. Then Charlie woke again, around a quarter of 3 o'clock. Instead of trying to get him to settle in his bed I just scooped him up and brought him into our bedroom. He fell back asleep almost instantly, but I continued to lay there thinking about Marsh.

Then at 3:19 am, as I had my head tilted towards Charlie I felt a hand gently laid on my head. The pressure was so light, but it pressed my hair closer to my skin and it was very obvious I was being touched. I turned to look and saw nothing, no one was there, but I just knew in my heart it was Marshall. I even said out loud as it happened, "Someone just touched me on my head." I turned my head to look to Charlie and there he was in his sleep slapping his hands over his head as if someone were touching him. Marsh used to rustle Charlie's hair sometimes when he came to see us. I just knew it was him.

Then I found out from my sister in-law that Marsh had made a visit to her house around 3am that night too. She heard footsteps and like someone had stomped in front of her bedroom door. Her dogs were staring at the hallway as if there was someone there.

Honestly, I feel so blessed and comforted by Marshall's 'visit' because his death was so sudden. I know I will see him again someday and God was compassionate enough to allow us that last goodbye until we meet in heaven.

I'm going to follow up this post with another post about Marshall, things I want to remember always about him so I can share them with Charlie and let him know how much he was loved by Marsh. I know we have another guardian angel watching over our family now.


Anonymous said...

My prayers are with his family and friends. Even though I don't know you in real life, I hope you know that you have a friend out there listening and praying for comfort and rest in Him.
~ Kim

Amanda said...

Kelly, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful person Marshall was...


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