From Darlene Ruetschle (Steve’s mom). 28 July, 2010. 12:20pm.
On June 17th a little after 6:00PM we received a call that all parents dread. Steve had been in a terrible accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway and was care-flighted to Missions Hospital in Asheville, NC.
When we reflect back on the past six weeks we realize this has been the worst nightmare any parent can imagine. But through it all we can see God’s timing has been perfect and He has supplied our every need.
In God’s perfect timing the accident happened at a place where Steve could be care flighted to a nearby Hospital with an excellent Trauma Center.
In God’s perfect timing the very best neurosurgeon happened to be on call to perform Steve’s emergency surgery and was able to do his second surgery a week later.
In God’s perfect timing Mark and Laura’s family had a trip planned with her family to Hilton Head and graciously offered to take Steve and Michelle’s three boys to the beach for a week. This freed us up to be with Steve and Michelle in Asheville. We lived for those 5 times a day when we could visit with Steve for a brief 30-minutes. We gathered around his bed and each of us would rub an arm or a leg, which brought him so much comfort. How difficult to see our son suffering with such pain, unable to move most of his body and experiencing the hallucinations of the pain medications.
Michelle was so loving and gentle with him that the nurses allowed her to spend the night several times, which had to be by the grace of God. We were so grateful that Michelle’s brother David was able to be there with us along with our other three children and their spouses.
After one week we returned to Ohio with Steve’s 3 sons to care for them and make their life as normal as possible. It was very difficult to leave Steve and Michelle and we told Michelle with tears running down our faces that there was not another woman in the whole world that we would have picked to be our son’s wife. She has been strong, courageous, gentle, devoted and displayed unconditional love for our son. We have all been inspired by her beautiful writings on the website as she keeps us informed of Steve’s progress.
In God’s perfect timing it was made clear that Harborview Medical Center in Seattle ranked among the top three in the nation, was where Steve needed to go for his intensive rehab. Steve had served on the staff at UPC, First Presbyterian of Belleview and Antioch Church in Seattle before going to Union Church of Manila as their Senior Pastor for the past 5 years. Therefore he had a huge network of loving and caring friends to support them.
In God’s perfect timing the house they owned in Seattle was available as they had lost their renters and were planning to sell it this summer. A very dear and generous friend bought brand new furniture for their home and the generous people of UPC Church furnished all the special touches and filled the refrigerator with yummy food. Flowers were planted in the yard and pictures of the family filled up the rooms.
We are grateful to Union Church of Manila for providing airfare so we could return their sons to Seattle to reunite with their Mama and Papa after being with us for two weeks. Even with the distance UCM has been so supportive of Steve and Michelle. Larry Caldwell from the church council was able to spend three days with Steve at the hospital and several other friends from Manila who were vacationing in the States were able to see Steve. The prayers, love and support from his home church have been comforting.
In God’s perfect timing Michelle’s mother Niclaa was able to come over from the Netherlands to be with the children so we could return home for a much-needed rest.
In God’s perfect timing a handicapped accessible house was provided for a year’s lease, truly a miracle from the Lord.
In God’s perfect timing a handicapped accessible van has been given to them.
The list goes on and on.
As Steve’s parents, we are humbled and in awe of how God is using the body of Christ to provide for their every need. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for all these generous gifts of love and to the multitudes of you from every corner of the world who have been praying without ceasing.
We are so grateful that Mike and Heather have been able to be with Steve for three weeks. To watch Mike brush Steve’s teeth, floss his teeth or feed him when he is tired brings tears to our eyes.
How can we ever thank you enough, Sean, for your dedication and unconditional love in caring for Steve and Michelle.
Steve, Michelle, Aidan, Jude and Zephyr… even though our bodies are in Ohio we have left our hearts with all of you in Seattle and look forward to seeing you in September.
Steve, dear son, we are so proud of all you have accomplished and we believe God will restore you fully in His perfect timing.
Your loving Mom and Dad.
Eph. 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”