Friday, May 13, 2011

a month ago today

April 13, 2011.

It's hard to even write something after writing out that date. It's so ominous. It's the date our lives changed. Drastically.

It didn't start out like anything but an ordinary day. We all went about our morning like usual and Alif left for work. He called me mid-morning and we made arrangements to meet at the post office to apply for Malachi's passport in hopes that it would be here in time for the upcoming father-son missions trip to Mexico.

As usual, Alif was running late so the kids and I went to Burger King for lunch. Alif and his worker-pal Rudy met us and we enjoyed lunch together. Some Diana Ross 80s song came on and Rudy sang along in perfect pitch, complete with diva-style hand motions. It was nice having lunch with my husband! He's a busy man so we don't often meet for lunch like that.

After lunch we made our way over to the post office, swore with right hands uplifted that Malachi is our son and Alif wrote a check for the passport fee. The clerk informed me that the birth certificate I had was the wrong type, and when I asked in an irritated voice, "what??" Alif kept his cool and said, "No problem, we'll go get the new kind." My feet were hurting in new shoes, but it had to be done so we said goodbye to Alif and Rudy and the kids and I went to get the new birth certificate and return it to the passport clerk.

Finally we went home, late for our daily quiet time. The rest of the afternoon was peaceful, though, and at 5:15pm I was actually relaxing on the couch when Alif came through the front door unexpectedly - much earlier than he normally comes home from work. He didn't look good. At all. You know how you can just look at someone you love and see that something is very wrong? I can still see him clearly in my mind - he came in and stood there a second, just looking sick. His skin looked damp and his energy was gone. I said, "what happened??" He responded that he didn't feel well.

Alif went to his office and took off his jeans and button-up and came back to the couch and laid there in his sweats and t-shirts (yes, more than one LOL). He had a fever of about 100 or so. I thought he must have gotten a really serious flu and we treated it as such, giving him fluids, Tylenol and Motrin and lots of love. There was no way he could make it to Awana that night so I fretted over having to drive his truck to church - Grand Prix was coming up and Alif was supposed to be cutting cars for the kids that night, so he asked me to drive his truck with all the tools in it so that someone else could do the cutting. I did fine with the truck, though a friend from church followed me home and backed it into the driveway so I wouldn't have to attempt that.

After I got the kids into bed I went to check on Alif, who had gotten himself into our bed for the night. He said, "I'm scared that it's staph, Emily." I assured him that it was not staph at all but just a bad flu, but inside a fear started to grow. I went downstairs and started some internet searching. What I found was not reassuring at all: his symptoms matched up with a septic staph infection a little too closely. I called our nurse advice line and once she'd heard his history (he had a staph infection in high school that caused endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve) and his current symptoms, she advised us to stay home and continue our course of treatment - fluids and fever medicine.

I wish I'd listened to my gut - and Alif's - and gone to the emergency room.


  1. Michele Alaniz4:32 PM

    Emily- this is a heart wrenching story with what we all pray will have an amazingly happy ending. It is our human nature to "what if" ourselves and wonder what could have been done different. You are an amazing woman of God and have walked with Him this entire journey and I pray for your peace and strength to not doubt. I am so sorry that you and your family have faced this and continue though, to pray here in Oregon for the Payne family and for Alif's full recovery and wonderful stories of healing he will have to tell.

  2. Oh, Emily. My heart goes out for you and Alif and your kids. I'm praying on my knees for his healing and for your strength through this all. I'm so, so sorry for all the pain... physically, mentally, and emotionally... that you've had to endure through this trial. Praying for a full recovery and SPEEDY recovery for your dear husband. Keep us updated on his progress!

  3. Shannon9:28 PM

    First: I love you, Em. Second: No regrets. You were brave and wise. When you heard from God, you did exactly what you needed to, you got Alif where he needed to be. God had you then, and has you now. God has you all. His strength is completely around your entire family. Continue to stand in Him. Prayer changes everything. There is always HOPE. Hear and speak His Truth.

  4. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Thank you for sharing something so close to your heart, your transparency is an amazing gift that can help others in similar situations. Praying for you all, Kara