From Michelle. 9 July, 2010 6:42 p.m.
Dear friends and family,
Today is the three week anniversary of Steve’s accident. It is hard to believe it has been so short a time, as a whole world has closed and another has opened in what feels both like a heartbeat and an eternity.
There is much to be thankful for: 1. Steve is now sleeping better. Despite being moved every two hours, he sleeps well in between and is clearly feeling more refreshed in the morning. 2. Steve’s fevers have subsided. For two days now, Steve has had a relatively stable temperature, an especially great blessing for a spinal cord injury patient, as they are sensitive to temperature changes. 3. Steve’s pain level has improved. He is able to sit up higher in bed for longer periods, and miracle of miracles, he is sitting in his chair for HOURS at a time, something that seemed impossible earlier this week. 4. Steve is able to move several toes at will. He is also building on his current skill set. Today, he managed to shave most of his beard on his own with a simple hand-held contraption. He is also working on balancing his body with his arms while sitting, something that would have been impossible a short time ago. 5. We are also settling into the unit, getting to know our wonderful doctors, nurses and therapists, and generally getting a feel for the place.
The boys come tomorrow. We cannot wait to put our arms around them! While in some ways life will be more complicated, their light and smiles and stories will be a breath of life in these stale hospital corridors. I can already see Zephyr running up and down the hallways, giggling and laughing! Steve has been practicing the Wii with the recreational therapists, and can play a game or two of tennis without too much trouble, as a way to engage the big boys. They will enjoy beating their Dad for a change!
We were suddenly moved to a new room today. While it lacks the waterfront view, it is incredibly spacious and I am picturing plenty of room for my boys to play and sprawl on the floor while family and friends visit with Steve.
Occasionally the reality of our situation hits, but for the most part we navigate a surreal parade of appointments and short term tasks, as well as an avalanche of decisions. Steve is full of kind words for those he sees, and I am so grateful that despite his bodily “absence,” he is so spiritually and soulfully present. We are both constantly filled with immense gratitude at the enormous outpouring of love and prayers. I say it often, but it truly does carry us.
We are narrowing in on a possible home. I will refrain from sharing in any detail until it is fully confirmed, however I ask specifically for prayers that God would continue to clearly lead the way and abundantly bless the owner of the home as she contemplates making it available to us. (For all of you who have served us so bountifully, I receive it with that very same hope!) God has been and continues to be so very faithful in the details!
Today I draw strength from a verse that has often upheld me in my life, Psalm 73:23-26: “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me in glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
Several years ago when I had a blog, I called it “my portion forever” based on these verses. And I feel it even more so now. I am aware that I can see this situation with earthly eyes or with spiritual eyes. With my earthly eyes, there is devastation, mixed with some small amount of human triumph. With my spiritual eyes there is an enormous opportunity to be purified, to grow, to identify with Christ in his suffering and with others in their suffering, to allow love to be expressed in a very special way, and perhaps most importantly, to experience God’s strength in my weakness.
I feel His strength, and His loving eyes. It is indeed the strength of my heart.
With love and gratitude,