Wineskins Archive

February 11, 2014

In God’s Arms – Part 5 (Jul-Aug 2002)

Filed under: — @ 5:45 pm and

By Angie Wilhite

In God’s Arms: Part 5

“I think I’m dying”

Sunday morning, the nurse had mistakenly given Greg 10mg of morphine. It was a larger dosage than his body could tolerate. His body began convulsing. His fever shot up to 105 degrees and he felt as if a thousand pounds was lying on top of his frail body. He told us, “I think I’m dying. Bring all of the family in.” His heart began racing up to 160 beats per minute. Everyone in the room was so frightened. Thoughts raced through my head. “Was this it? Was this how he was going to die? Was this really happening?” Greg told us strictly not to touch him. His body hurt intensely. My mom and dad tried to hold his hands and he sternly said, “Get your hands off of me!” He began to verbalize what he though would be his last thoughts. “Mom, you’ve been the perfect mother. Angie, you’ve been the perfect sister. And, Dad, even with all of your aggravations, you’ve still been a great dad. He told my husband, David, “Take care of Angie and the girls for the rest of your life.”

After talking to everyone, his breathing slowly returned to normal. I had been praying, “God, please give Greg just a few more hours to live.” Our cousins were expected to arrive soon. We wanted Greg to be able to see them one last time. God heard my prayer.

Following this ordeal, Greg apologized to the family. He said, “I’m sorry I scared all of you and worried you. I really did think I was dying. The morphine was too strong for my system.” He wanted to be sure everyone understood just what happened. Facing his death, his concern had turned toward all of us.

A few hours later, Greg experienced another scare. He once again called all of the family in. He said, “I really don’t understand what’s happening to me. His temperature had once again risen to 105 degrees and the heaviness was on his body. He told us that he felt different than before. Following what seemed like an eternity, the spell passed and Greg relaxed once more. We were all relieved. I couldn’t help thinking, “What would happen next?”

During both reactions, Greg had requested, “Somebody, please hold my mama.” He loved her so very, very much. His concern was again for her and not for himself.

Every few minutes, Greg would ask what time it was. He knew his cousins were on their way. Close to 4:00 pm, the cousins arrived. We all embraced one another and cried together. My cousins paraded into Greg’s room and surrounded his bed. We had all grown up loving one another. We only saw each other once a year, but it was enough to form a loving bond. We had shared lots of good times and now we were sharing a sorrowful time together.

In January of 1989, my cousin, Mike and Greg had gone on a three week trip to Australia. As Greg put it, “That was the best trip of my life.” Prior to my cousin’s visit, Greg had asked my dad to bring up a sack of pictures from the Australia trip. Greg gave the sack to Mike and said, “I want you to have these. Tears rolled down Mike’s cheeks. Mike said, “Greg, do you remember the streets of Sydney you and I walked? Well, you’re going to walk the streets of gold and they are far better.” Greg nodded confidently and said, “I know.”

Greg thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of our cousins, but he began to tire. He hadn’t slept in two days and two nights. We left the room hoping he would get some rest.

As I reflected on the day, I realized Greg had spent the day visiting with and being with the people he loved the most in this world. He spent the little time he had left the best way he knew how.

That night, the vomiting and diarrhea occurred suddenly and frequently. He needed constant attention and help. My mom cleaned him up most of the time. He would tell my mom, “I’m sorry you have to clean up so much after me. I always loved you. But, you’ll never know how much I love you now.”

My dad stayed the night, too. He hadn’t spent a lot of time at the hospital. I pleaded with him to stay, because Greg wanted him by his side. My dad didn’t really believe Greg was going to die. Dad felt the Lord was going to use Greg’s life mightily. To my dad, this meant “life”. Little did he know, God would use his life mightily through his death.

Next week: “I’m ready to meet Jesus”

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