Friday, July 20, 2012

Part 3: Dealing with the pain, loneliness... and hope!

It was a very difficult time to be so far away from our kids and unable to hold them, cry with them, and love on them.  We were able to Skype which at least allowed us to talk and cry together.  We encouraged them to grieve, but to also keep their hope in the Lord.  He had done great things for us all those years ago when after our first loss came a beautiful baby girl named Lindsey Joy!

You know, it's only God that can remind you in the midst of sorrow and pain that there will be, "... beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:3)  After a long and rough week where Lindsey was down in bed with a throat infection we began to see hope arise.  Although pain was still present for all of us, we could feel that God had allowed that ray of hope to rise up within our hearts.

It gave me great joy to hear our kids talk about the future and the hope of another pregnancy.  Once again my thoughts went back all those years ago when Dave and I walked this very road and in His timing we were able to look ahead hanging onto the reality that we had once been blessed with a pregnancy and now there was hope, real hope that it would happen again.  I prayed daily for our children and the hope of a new life for them.

Time passed.  Lindsey healed.  Hearts hoped.  As for me, I was in pain and just plain lonely.  I wished each and every day away just waiting to walk again.  I fought guilt for not relishing this time that so many had encouraged me to look forward to before surgery.  Many friends reminded me of this precious time to seek the Lord and just rest in Him.  I felt a sense of guilt for not wanting to spend every waking moment seeking the Lord.  Don't get me wrong, I needed the Lord daily, at times minute by minute, but I just wanted to find this rich place of dwelling in Him and instead found myself tired and just so alone.  I knew the Lord was there with me the entire time.  He made himself known in ways too many to number.  I just needed to look hard to see them and to let go of the self imposed guilt brought on by my own disappointment of not having a "spiritual" experience that was extraordinary while being laid up.

The recovery from my surgery went as well as could be expected.  I had a few set back such as a nerve issue in my leg and pulled back muscle, but the foot seemed to be healing.  Boy, I didn't have a clue pre-surgery that it would be such a long haul.  Each day was the same.  I woke up, struggled to get through a shower and breakfast, rested, struggling to get through lunch and cleaning up the house a bit and more rest only to be watching the clock until Dave came home.  What a HUGE blessing to have a husband who was totally and completely selfless and made me feel loved when I cried, cared for when I couldn't care for myself, and reminded that if he needed to care for me like this for the rest of his life HE WOULD!

I was blessed beyond measure by friends who brought meals and made visits.  If you ever feel the tug on your heart to go visit someone who is house bound, DO IT!  What a blessing a short visit from a friend made in my 9 1/2 weeks at home.  Those of you that took the time, I have no doubt that the Lord has bless you for your willingness to minister to me with your time and love.  (A special thanks to Jan B, Millie H, and Shelly H for all of your visits and the huge blessing of food which helped me to relax knowing David was fed well!  The biggest thanks of all goes to my niece, Heather, who saw me through from the beginning and was there through the good and the bad of this whole experience.)

After 6 1/2 weeks in an expandable cast and then a fiberglass cast I was transitioned into a boot, but still no weight bearing.  Just about that time Mother's Day rolled around.  Beto and Lindsey would be flying home to photograph a wedding here in Michigan and Alicia was coming in from Chicago for the weekend.  I was still not quite up to much, but was thrilled that at last there would be a break in my boring routine and I would have family around me for a few days.  Oh, and the walking could slowly begin little by little.

It was Alicia's birthday that week and she arrived late at night by train on her birthday.  We did a bit of eating out and shopping, a real chore for me at this point, but still good to get out of the house.  I made the best of it and looked forward to Sunday when my girls were going to take over in the kitchen and I could just soak up the blessing of my family being together, well most of us anyway.  Oh how I missed Jenna and a family time is never complete without Alfred!

Mother's day morning arrived and Lindsey and Beto gave me a mother's day card.  I read it thanking them for their thoughtfulness.  Lindsey asked if I had read it.  Of course I had.  She told me to read it again, every word.  I reopened it and saw she had addressed it to "Grandma".  What???  Seriously???

Once again my precious girl was carrying a baby.  It was very early on and Lindsey had just, I mean just found out.  She privately shared with us and her sister once again swearing us to secrecy.

(Deep sigh)


Tears, oh yes tears

Heart bursting, bursting, bursting so that I thought there could never ever be room for more joy.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Part 2: Surgery day arrived and a whole lot more.

March 1st quickly arrived and off to the surgical center we went.  The couch was made up with sheets and pillows.  The little basket of necessities was full and next to the couch.  The bathroom was now complete with the raised toilet seat (oh Lord, really?  Yes, really!)  The tub had a new shower hand held sprayer and a tub seat.  The walker and crutches were all set to be used.

Surgery went well, really well.  I came out of it with little pain and was ready to get home and get well.

The first couple of days Dave was able to be with me, but his vacation was all used up and I was dreading being alone and helpless.  Lindsey called and offered to come care for me for a few days.  She would fly in on Sunday afternoon and stay until Thursday giving her time to get back to Texas to photograph a wedding on Saturday.

By the time Linds arrived Dave and I had figured out a good plan of getting me from one room to the other and making sure I was well cared for.  I was so thankful to have Lindsey with me once Dave headed back to work.  The pain had set in and I was helpless.

Lindsey and I spend our time talking and sleeping.  I was on strong pain meds and she was now pregnant.  I relished each moment with my daughter and knew the Lord had shed his goodness upon me by having Lindsey home.

During the few days Linds was home she was able to share their exciting news with family and friends here in Michigan.  It was fun to let the cat out of the bag and start telling my friends and family as well.  I'm a talker and it was hard to keep my mouth shut for a month.

Thursday came all too quickly and it was time for Lindsey to fly back to Beto in Texas.  Dave loaded me in the back seat of the car and off we went to the airport.  I was still on heavy meds so the trip was not a big deal and it was good to get out for a short ride.

Lindsey made it home and by the weekend they had pretty much shared with family and friends about the news of the baby.  They had the wedding to photograph on Saturday and then on Monday would post their news on Facebook for the rest of the world to know.

I knew something was wrong when she called me Saturday late morning asking questions.  Wow, I can't even write this without reliving the moments, hours and days that followed.

She called her doctor, rested until she had to leave and then headed off to photograph the wedding.  What a day it was for her. Alfred and Alicia had come home to be with me for the weekend and we waited, prayed, and hoped. We talked on the phone with Lindsey off and on and by Sunday morning she shared that she had lost the baby.


After walking this road in my own life twice I knew just what she was going through.  I knew the feelings of loss, disappointment and sorrow.  I knew the dreams that had begun to bud were trampled on and destroyed.  What I didn't know is that it hurt me more to watch my children walk this road than it did for me to walk it out in my own life all those years ago.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The new year arrived and so did a bucket load of emotions

It's hard to imagine all that has happened around here over the last 5 months. Although I have not been blogging I've decided to try to record the events so that I can remember them and cherish each part for how it impacted out lives.

Part I: Pure Joy

It seems like the new year had just arrived and all too soon I was looking at foot surgery.  Alfred and Alicia invited us to come visit for a weekend in February and we hopped at the chance knowing I would be laid up for quite some time and the opportunity to head their way would be out of the question for at least awhile.

We hit the road first thing in the morning on a Saturday.  Our 3 hour trip was uneventful.  Just before we were ready to exit off the highway to the kids neighborhood I got a text from Alicia asking us to let them know when we hit the exit.  I didn't think anything about this since it was getting close to the lunch hour and I figured she was getting lunch going and maybe had something to put in the oven.

I sent her a text back just a few minutes later and before we knew it we were at their condo.  We were excited to see them and they quickly ushered us inside and said that Jenna was on Skype so we could all chat.  We sat down and started talking when out from the bedroom popped Beto and Lindsey yelling, "Surprise!"  Huh?  What in the world were they doing there?

I turned around and saw Lindsey holding a little photo of a sonogram and smiling from ear to ear as she told me I was going to be a grandma.  We all hugged, cried, laughed and shared this precious moment together, even Jen was able to see the excitement on Skype.

The weekend was filled with lots of baby talk.  We laughed about all the options for grandparent names.  We all looked ahead to the fall when our first little one would arrive.  I don't think I could have been happier in that moment.

Dave and I love babies!  We both talked during the drive back to Michigan about how hard it would be to have our first grandchild in Texas.  We talked about how excited we were and no matter what we would be in this child's life.  We had a secret to keep for awhile, but it was fun and thrilling.

We had no idea what would lay in store for all of us just around the corner.

To be continued...