This past Thursday night was long. The clock slowly ticked as my dedicated nurse sat across from my hospital room wrestling whether to call the doctor again for the fourth time in the middle of the night. I was admitted earlier that day because my oxygen levels would not stay in the normal range even with additional oxygen support. At this critical point, the nurse and doctors had given me all the oxygen support available in this care setting. The question remained if I should be transferred to ICU.
I had smiled at this good nurse before trying to sleep and said, “Breathe with me tonight.” I had a sense we might be moving into a few difficult hours. I had no idea that she would literally watch over me through the night. Breathe in. Breathe out. Right by my side.
A monument of dedication and care that can never be repaid. It is one of the most tender gifts I have received throughout my cancer journey. As dawn approached, I finally turned the corner and my body found the right rhythm. Heart rate slowed and oxygen levels were maintained. How do I express my gratitude?
Have you ever felt your soul crying out, “Watch with me this night.” “Stay just a little while.” Our Savior, Jesus Christ, felt this deep plea during His last days. When deep despair is bound tightly around your soul, He is there. Watching over you. Angels are also there on both sides of the veil. Of this I testify. I believe we are watched through the night more than we know.
Miracles continue to happen. We have identified a fierce infection that has ravaged my body. The medications are beginning to work. I have turned an important corner. My medical team is highly-skilled and collaborative. Together, we are making the right decisions.
And so I reverently express, “Watch over me through the night.” My cup over flows. My eyes are raised to the heavens. Breathe in. Breathe out. All is well!
Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!
I need thy presence ev’ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!
Text: Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847 Music: William H. Monk, 1823–1889