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photo: graphic: Martha G. Brady

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net graphic: Martha G. Brady

This week I have been reminded repeatedly of how blessed I am! Looking back to April 22, 2015 when Ron had His stroke, we were surrounded by people from church praying with and for us that day. some were at the hospital with us, others were at a distance, but still were praying particularly for Ron to heal.

I didn’t realize until he was discharged from the rehab hospital that he outdid their hopes for him in rehab. They sounded optimistic so that was what I picked up from them from the beginning. Evidently, they weren’t nearly as optimistic as I thought judging by their comments when he was discharged. I came across some of the notes this week. At his discharge, they commented on how much better he did than they ever expected him to do with his rehab. What a blessing! I’m so glad I wasn’t aware of their concerns.

Then, as we have had to adjust, all the therapists have commented on how high functioning he is. I realized he was, but struggled with the difficulty we have getting ready to leave the house in a timely manner somehow keeps me from being very excited about his high level of functioning! Why does it have to take so long for him to get it together?! Is he ever going to drive again? I was afraid not.

We are jettisoning therapies & are now down to one. Limited driving will be coming soon!

This week’s therapy told me a different story. We went to Physical Therapy and he was discharged. We went to Occupational Therapy and were told that he was done with Speech Therapy as well after their conference on him. He reached all his goals there too.

Then she told us she would recheck Ron’s driving test on the computer. He did well enough on that, that he will take his driving test in a car next Monday! While it is true that he won’t be driving alone yet, I am stunned that he will be driving soon. Of course, he is delighted!

Each daughter has helped in the ways she is able.

And then there has been the help from each of our daughters. Our local daughter Holly, was immensely helpful when Ron was sick.  She came to the ER with me when he got sick, helped at the hospital, came with the kids to visit and generally encouraged me and gave advice when I needed it regarding therapy and which therapists to use after discharge. (She is a physical therapist.)

One daughter, Dawn (a CPA) came and helped me learn a system to pay bills. It isn’t as complex as the one her dad uses but still gets the job done.

This week another out of town daughter, Christy came and she has helped me with lots of decluttering. I also had her help her dad declutter his closet. I wish you could have heard her talking to him!

“Daddy, that isn’t your color. You don’t want to keep that!”

“Daddy, do you want to wear this? No, I don’t think you want this. It is way out of style.”

I had to chuckle as I listened to the conversation.

Of course, then she got to me! It was more of the same for me too!

“But mom, you love color. This just pulls all the color out of that outfit!”  (talking  about scarves.)

We got some serious decluttering, tossing and giving away done. More and more bags to Goodwill.

What a gift to have this kind of help!

My living/dining room looks pleasant. I can see my desk. And we have taken out boxes and bags of stuff to give and throw away! I feel lighter already. I wanted some money from a garage sale…and I have things for that still. I would like some cash to pay for some of the extra furniture pieces we bought for the smaller place. But that is another story. I am glad to have more empty space…more room to breathe!

GOD has used many people in our lives. Family, friends, Church friends… close ones and ones we know from a distance, a small group that has encouraged and prayed for us…and brought us food at times.

More than that, I feel thankful for friends and dear family who have helped us along the way as we lighten our load and adjust to new limitations.

Ron’s schedule is getting implemented. We are developing more order in our lives. We are grateful for the gift of family, friends and church family. Even friends on social media have been encouraging and prayed for us.

GOD has been so good to us.

Where have you seen GOD’s goodness in your life lately?

For InspireMeMonday, I’m adding this note. It doesn’t have an inspirational story of one person, but of the many who have both blessed and helped us during this time of Ron’s illness. There are the countless people behind the scenes who pray for, encourage, support, love on, and help caretakers. Sometimes, they get forgotten but in an acute setting, we think back and see how important they are.

Yesterday, in the worship service, Ron passed out briefly and I was reminded again of how many people encourage and bless and help so no one person has to carry the load alone. He was obviously sick enough that he couldn’t get up and walk out of church (thus causing the least amount of disruption…our preference).

The doctors in the congregation were around us as he was lying on the pew…asking appropriate questions for the EMTs when they would arrive. One doctor who is a friend, while feeling Ron’s pulse, was also speaking comforting words into his ear.

Meanwhile, the pastor leading the worship service was leading the congregational prayer…for the people in Charleston in fact, then for Ron and our family, some singing happened and finally the ambulance arrived and they were able to remove Ron from the church.

But others had thought to take out our grandchildren to the playground to get them away from the scene, someone brought a cold cloth for Ron’s head and of course the man in the next pew called 911. When I looked up, people around me would mouth the words, “We love you.” Elders and doctors nearby would make a point to wrap their arms around me.

By having a mix of gifts in the church, no one was forgotten. Our daughter’s friends watched out for her as well. I can’t remember many times where I have felt the overwhelming love of Christ around us, wrapping us in a bubble. The song that was scheduled to be sung as they were rolling Ron out…and that the congregation sang…was “It is Well with my Soul.” No new tune or arrangement. The old traditional song. It was very meaningful to me. Ron didn’t really hear much of it.

A good friend rode with me to the ER. Holly met me there. As the afternoon went on, it turned out that the cause of his problem was a simple one and not complex…fortunately. We were able to go home.

But our appreciation for the diversity of gifts within the people of GOD stayed with us. What an encouragement!

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