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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.