Nobody here recognized me this morning when I appeared in normal clothes, clean hair and a touch of makeup on. We were blessed to meet a couple when we were here earlier in the year that unfortunately have been dealing with the same type of issues as us. A precious couple, Tracey and I have become good friends, although they reside in Tennessee. They also have a place close to this hospital that they graciously offered to let me use once I could no longer stay in the room with Tim. Lastnight brought me an amazing night of solitude and sleep. Sam will be returning in January for more surgery...we will be here until late January at least, so we will be able to be with each other.
Mr. J arrived yesterday...Tim's new roommate. Same level of injury and also a skin flap. I was in my vulnerable human form yesterday and began dreading it pretty early on. TV blaring, phone ringing constantly, call light every 90 seconds...I was already thinking the worst. I left lastnight in tears having to leave him facedown in obvious pain. Unable to move, sad to see me go...it was the first time I have ever had to see him like that and it killed me. When I returned this morning he was back on his side and looking better than when I left him. Mr. J had no water and was calling for some. Who am I...able bodied...to make him wait for the nurse? I took his cup for some water and gave him a drink. His aged, dark eyes met mine and the smile that appeared was precious. His words of thanks...real thanks...not fake thanks...reminded me that God has a job here that only Tim and I can do. I repented for the selfishness that filled me the day before. And as we talked, I learned of his injury only one year ago, his many years as a minister prior to that, an elderly black man that praises God despite his circumstances. He filled me with joy. But just when I thought I could not be humbled enough, his daughter and grandson entered the room pushing his wife who is completely blind. She stood next to her beloved husband, staring in the darkness, with both hands stroking his face as they both smiled at one another.
That is how it is here. Aside from dodging a wheelchair every fifteen feet or so...there is a connection here. As you walk past people in the hallway, you know who is here with family. Our faces are all the same. Our eyes meet with an unspoken embrace. It could always be worse.
Worse like the man I met telling me of his wife stricken with Guillan Barre syndrome from a flu shot just 6 short weeks ago. She is completely paralyzed and on a ventilator with a trach. They have a 4 month old and a 2 year old and no family. Or the cries and screams from the room next to us early in the morning of the family who lost their husband and father in the wee hours and had to be told when they arrived. Who am I to complain? Who am I to have self pity? I am the daughter of royalty...my father is the King of Kings. I have my health, my husband, my children, my family, a home, a job...the list goes on and on. Tim may not have the use of his body from the chest down, but his heart and love for Jesus, me and our family surpases any yardwork that does not get done because he is in a wheelchair. I hope you all take a step back this holiday...and every day...be thankful, and serve our Mighty God.