49 years is a long time. No matter how you cut it, even when life can change so suddenly. 49 years of marriage today, and this situation epitomizes the two above phrases common to most marriage vows. Mom and Dad are living that out.
I will admit to you, being honest – I am struggling today to be hopeful for Mom. I know I shouldn’t be. It’s just the heaviness of what I see in Dad’s eyes today and what I can’t see in Mom’s and what I can’t imagine he is thinking.
I desperately hope she wakes up. Dad told me this morning he is trying to be hopeful, and that he is trusting and surrendering, no matter what.
When they married at 18, it certainly would be a stretch to say that Dad could have envisioned he would “celebrate” his 49th anniversary in a hospital bed with his wife in another bed, five floors down, and in a coma. I saw it in Dad’s eyes this morning, and when he shook his head and sighed (thinking I didn’t notice).
Your prayers for him and Mom mean so much right now. He especially needs it today.
This morning, Erik and I toured the hospital where Mom and Dad will likely be transferred first. It is here in New Orleans in uptown. Kindred Hospital is a national franchise and listed as Fortune 500’s #1 most admired private hospital (something like that), according to a banner in the cafeteria.
Four out of five physicians recommend it (I have always wanted to say that about something :o). Seriously, every doctor and nurse where Mom and Dad are now listed it as the top hospital for Mom and Dad’s needs at the present time. We will see once Dad is ready for rehab, whether we stay here in New Orleans or transfer them both back to Orlando. Erik and I are not sure what to do there or what we will be able to do. Please pray for wisdom for us on that one. Pray for favor with all the insurance stuff, too.
Mom had surgery on her tongue around midday. It was unexpected for us, even though we knew it would need to be repaired at some point. Glad they went ahead. I’ll let you know tomorrow how that goes. Not sure yet. She had either bitten it in the accident, or it had been eroded by one of her tubes in her mouth in the ICU. Not sure which. They had to take some of it that was damaged beyond repair out and sew it back together. Sorry if that is too graphic for some. Just letting you know what’s going on.
Dad had a great morning of therapy. He has had guests all day and hopefully will take a nap here shortly. He needs that rest. It looks like he will be transfered to that other hospital for long-term care and pre-rehab stuff probably early next week. We hope to see Mom transferred soon there, too.
Erik flew out just a few minutes ago. He is heading home this afternoon. He will be back next Friday. I will fly home next week for a few days. I am pumped that he will get to see my awesome nephews and his sweet wife! I will miss him, though. We’ve been leaning on each other a lot. I am more than blessed with my brother. Not only has he always been one of my best friends, but he has lived out and taught me the ways of Jesus like no other. I love him so much.
How awesome, though, has “the church” been in all of this. You all have loved us more than we could have ever imagined through this. I honestly can’t put into words how grateful we are. And I was blessed this morning again in several ways. With Erik leaving for the first time since the accident, Chris Mayberry (one of my closest friends) flew up from Orlando to be with me for two days. And, he brought several monetary gifts from some very generous and loving folks back home in Orlando as well as from Jackson, TN (they had mailed it to our home). He also brought underwear – pretty important.
To my love, Jen – I was overwhelmed watching my Dad see Mom again for the first time since the accident. I pray we will see 49 years together, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, no matter what. And I hope the same for all of the rest of you who are married. Cherish today. Relish in the blossoming beauty of your marriage. Forgive now if you need to. Reconcile and live in the abundance of the relationship most like what God desires with us. And love, selflessly, no matter what.