Prayer, healing, and home.

From Sean. Sept 02, 2010.

When we last had time and space to write an update for this blog, Steve was on the verge of leaving Harborview and coming home to the house in Edmonds. His release date was in fact August 28, 2010. He spent much of that day saying rich, long goodbyes to fellow patients and the wonderful staff at Harborview. Miche had everything packed up by the time I got there, and after the goodbyes we loaded up the van and off they went… headed home after more than two months and two hospitals in two states.

Steve’s sister (Kim) and brother-in-law (Greg) were visiting for the weekend from Ohio, as well as one of Michelle’s dearest friends (Heather) from Colorado. This trio partnered with the three boys and they all worked to organize and decorate the house with streamers, signs, and much love. The boys were particularly excited to have their Papa home.

That evening, over a lovely dinner of Thai food, we raised our glasses to the reality that “home”–real, true, deep home– exists wherever love is most fully expressed; and so we toasted the home that Steve and Michelle’s love for one another has been throughout the years.

It was a sweet moment. But that’s not to say that every moment of the last week has been sweet.

It is hard to adequately articulate the struggle that the Ruetschle’s are in as they are (literally) creating a new way of life… with most every moment filled with so much hope, faith, grief, details, people, and tasks. After having 24/7 hospital care for over two months, the difficulty of learning new ways of being a family, a father, husband, wife, son, mother… well, the edges can perhaps be softened by helpful family and friends, but there’s no way around the sheer struggle.

Many dear, generous people have emailed or called, asking to help. So many want to know the details in order to better offer advice, help, or resources. And these ways of reaching out are greatly valued and appreciated… and over the long haul, needed! It’s just simply the case that, now, in these early days of adjusting to a new way of life, what is needed most is very specific in-home care.

So to that end, we are once again asking for prayer (or applicants) that the right caregiver(s) would surface. Steve and Michelle can certainly hire caregivers from a variety of agencies (and they are currently going this route), but agency help often sees high turnover, and Steve and Michelle want to hire the right person(s) willing to take on this role for the next year.

Please note: For anyone considering applying, we do not necessarily need individuals skilled in physical therapy. We simply need a good, solid, mature person (or persons) who can be trained in the daily routine. So if you know a really exceptional person looking for work, have them email

Also, I’d ask that you all please continue praying for Michelle. As you’ve been able to read through the pages of this blog, she is brave, grace-filled and strong on so many levels, and yet I also know that she is tired. Please pray that the right caregiver(s) will soon be hired in order to create the space that she too needs to heal from the dislocation and disruption of the last months.

Also, for Steve… prayer that the physical gains and healing would continue.

With gratitude. More soon.

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  • baby

    Prayers promised always.

  • Shana

    Praying that just the right person(s) would appear to care for Steve, Michelle, and the boys. Praying that Michelle, who is such a Wonder Woman and inspiration of faith / strength / grace to us all, would receive the deep rest and renewal that she needs.

    With much love, hope, and faith in Manila,
    Shana (& Ky, Layla & Zara)

  • Bsacook

    Blessing to Michelle….she needs the weight lifted from her shoulders…..she must not crack…….may the miracle of good caregivers come soon…….much love from my family and the throng of watchers……

  • Amelita

    Will it be difficult to process visas, etc. if the applicant is a Filipino. Not that we know of anyone yet, but will look if there is a possibility.
    May God guide everyone in this search for a care-giver.

  • Barry

    You can continue to count on the prayer support of the good folks at Christ U.M>C. in Kettering Ohio. Most particularly we will focus our prayers on continued improvement for Steve, the adjustments for all at home, and the need for great caregivers. I am confident God will provide what is required – or the means to get it. Blessings to you. Rev. Barry DeShetler, Senior Pastor

  • Roger and Jerri Oliver

    We certainly cannot appreciate the depths of the adjustments that Steve, Michelle and family (immediate and extended) must be going through. We are inspired by the grace with which Steve and Michelle have handled this situation so far. The complete love and support of their extended family and family of friends is testimony to the kind of relationship they have with each other and others.

    I’m sure you have probably checked into this possibility, but if you have not, here is possibly an avenue to be investigated as far as help for Steve’s physical needs.

    Medical schools and Schools offering degrees in physical and occupational therapy and para- professional degrees in these same curricula require various kinds of internships. This might offer a semi-professional group of possibly 2 or 3 persons on a regular rotation to be established.
    In our experience with exposure to this group of students (Chad Yoakam, our son and his numerous classmates/friends/employees) and others in this field, we have had occasion to interact with in our rehabilitation from more minor conditions, they are without exception, caring individuals with a strong desire to help their patients reach their potential.

    A nursing school might also provide similar care, through internships.

    We are also aware of PROJECT WALK. While we do not have personal experience or expertise with this organization, what we have read is certainly worth investigating.

    Please discuss this in a future message. We are sure there are people out there who can help with the logistics and details of this effort.

    We apologize if we have offended anyone with our suggestions.

    Much love and continued prayers for you from Roger and Jerri Oliver in Ohio

  • Dale and Annie Roth

    We are indeed praying for you: For strength, courage, perseverance, energy, hope, moments of fun!, peace, rest, and a caregiver for Steve. May God grant you all of these things as you wait on him.

  • Deb Meske Thompson

    In dire need, such as what you have just described, the right person may well be someone, anyone, but RIGHT NOW! Any port in a storm, and this family is experiencing a tsunami!

  • Joyvirata

    My nephew has some friends who may have contacts with Filipino home-health companies in Edmonds. Is this
    something you would like him to explore? Joy Virata

  • Metzgar

    Dear ones, the right persons WILL COME! Somewhere they will hear about your needs and will be a good match for your sweet family. You will all bless one another.

    Michelle, rest WILL COME to you! How I wish Dick and I were around the corner to pitch in.

    Love and prayers from the Metzgars in GA.

  • The Guthries (FL)

    May God bless your whole family in all the ways that He knows you need…my heart goes out to you. What a powerful example your lives are to complete trust in Him!

  • Cbsample

    Dear Michelle, When my dear wife Judy recently wrenched her shoulder…in no way comparable to Steve’s injuries!… I thought of you and was so motivated to be a better and more willing caregiver than in the past, and also to pray for you and Steve.

    Chris in Maine, Friend of Sarah Reid Hedberg