-Written by Katy (and edited by Anna) –
Where to begin? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I would have to agree with Dickens when he states this paradox that life is rarely all good or all bad. This side of heaven the two seem to go together, at least this has been my experience. But while life can bring you deep pain and loss, I am so thankful that God never offers quick fixes or clichéd answers to our pain. In fact He has a lot to say about suffering and loss and allows us the freedom to express our own thoughts and feelings as well. Just read the book of Lamentations or any of the Psalms. Yet even in our suffering we know the promise “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”(Romans 8:28)
Easter is a blessed reminder that even in the worst of times, like the crucifixion, resurrection follows!
While I will never be able to call the bad things that happened to me, good, these experiences of loss and pain have not been void of comforts and even joys.
Allow me the privilege of sharing with you some of these comforts/joys.
- When I found my heart grieving the loss of missing Christmas with my family while in the Neuro ICU; my joy was great as I sat in my living room on Easter watching children and grandchildren hunting for Easter baskets and celebrating together the empty tomb!
- When I would feel abandoned by God or would question how a good God could allow such hard realities to filter through His hands, He would show up through the gentle hands and kind hearts of nurses, aides, therapists, friends and family.
- While I certainly don’t enjoy not being able to walk I have never enjoyed more hugging my husband and daughter as they lift me to and from my wheelchair.
- While my children live far from me (MI, IL and Germany). All of them have been able to come be with me off and on during this time. My oldest, Anna, who lives in Germany, came home for the first surgery on December 14, and is still with us, providing daily care for the last four months.
- When I couldn’t provide meals for my family, others did!
- While I grieve the loss of no longer being able to type with both hands, and the labor that is now involved in things that used to come easily like reading or writing (this blog for example); I am very grateful that my speech and memory have remained intact. And for dear friends who have provided such tools as an iPad to help make things a bit easier!
- While pain is still a part of my journey, I am so grateful to report that the nausea is completely gone!
- While this journey at times feels endless and is far from over, I am so thankful to be home and for the therapists who come weekly and help me continue to make progress one small step at a time.
While suffering is a very lonely experience, I was never alone as I felt the presence and love of so many of you through visits, flowers, cards, meals, texts, calls, gifts, etc.
Yes, we have been amply blessed by family,friends, neighbors and church family who have come alongside us during these months. Including members of our little country church,Mt. Zion, whose pastors’ wife called the chaplain of the hospital to pray over the room where my surgery occurred. A pastor from our previous church in Albany, NY, flew down on our darkest day to be with Stan and family in the Neuro ICU waiting room. Another friend and his wife and two of their children drove from Chicago bringing their keyboard to hold church for us in rehab one Sunday morning. These are only a few of the stories we have to tell!
We have felt supported and strengthened by people God used to lift our heads and hearts during these ‘worst of times’ and for that I just want to say thank you! Please don’t stop praying for me as I continue the long road to recovery.