Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thoughts on Invictus...

Invictus - William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

( In 1875 one of Henley's legs required amputation due to complications arising from tuberculosis. Immediately after the amputation he was told that his other leg would require a similar procedure. He chose instead to enlist the services of the distinguished surgeon Joseph Lister, who was able to save Henley's remaining leg after multiple surgical interventions on the foot.

While recovering in the infirmary, he was moved to write the verses that became "Invictus". This period of his life, coupled with recollections of an impoverished childhood, were primary inspirations for the poem, and play a major role in its meaning. (From Poetry Foundation's biography of the poet).

As much as I want to lay down and let it all be over with, say "Screw this fight!" and just lay in the dirt, I, too have been equipped with an unconquerable soul. But I don't blindly thank "whatever gods may be" because I intimately know the One True God who made me more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).

God gave me free will, so yes indeed, I am the captain of my soul. As captain, I choose to fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." I can't help myself, no matter how much I want to give up and forget moving on, I'm destined to be an overcomer. I'm destined to be held in the arms of my God.  You see, the word says "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22) That means I'm going to stand because He means for me to be upright.

Widow. Just say it. You are a widow.

Widow. You've lost your spouse of 33 years and you are widowed. Part of a vulnerable class of women and feeling it more and more every day. Once a part of a "Mr. & Mrs." you find yourself suddenly bereft of that companionship and all the intricate ways that the partnership worked. He took out the trash, you did the dishes. He did the home repairs, you kept the beds made and the laundry clean. All those years of working out a system of give and take, push and pull, supplement and complement - and suddenly it is all gone. Not only are you missing a chunk of your heart but you are now also feeling the lack in every other area where the two of you had worked out a system of living. He's been your conscience and you've been his, your checks and balances, the strong one or the weak one depending upon the situation. You've held each other up and sometimes brought each other low. The unthinkable happens, (yes, the inevitable but perhaps unthinkably soon?) and suddenly there is a rip in the very fabric of who you are.

Two became one. One flesh. One existence. Bound together by name, by love, by struggles, by every intricacy of life. People try to be helpful and encourage you through their grief by identifying with their own losses. The loss of the spouse is not the same as the loss of a parent, as the loss of a child, or as a divorce. This is not at all to reduce the gravity of those horrible catastrophes nor to disrespect or diminish them; they are simply not the same. I've lost both of my parents, my sister, my nephew who I once raised like a son. I know very well the pain of those agonies, as well as the loss of two mother-in-laws, two father-in-laws (my husband was adopted, we found his birth parents), a brother-in-law, and a dear friend. These were all extremely painful, they were all difficult and terrible in their own right.  Becoming a widow is simply a different beast entirely. This is a losing a part of one's own flesh because God made you one entity.

 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22).

In a barren land...with who knows what lurking in the shadows

I love this woman's description "the grey mud flats."
"It’s when the drama is over and you face the grey mudflats of the future that the real widowhood begins... You don’t ‘get over’ the man, though you do after a year or two get over the death; but you have to learn to live in another country in which you’re an unwilling refugee.” ~Writer and agony aunt Katharine Whitehorn, who lost her husband in 2003 after 45 years of marriage.
It really does feel like being in some barren, alien landscape. The instinct that propels you forward is survival, but without a map I wonder about the many points where you just want to lay down, refuse to go further and be consumed by tentacled beasts just to get out of there. If you know the distance from point A (the land of Used-to-Be) and Point B (land of Adjusted-to-New-Normal) is a certain distance, you at least have a clue as to how many sleepless nights, how many days of struggle. This is like being conscripted to the crew of Columbus' first voyage and having no idea how big that flipping ocean is and what monsters lurk in it.

Psalm 119:50 says:
"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." Comforting, but I'm wondering how long the "How long, Lord?"phase is going to be. There is *no* map. David did plenty of the "how long Lord-ing."

27 days since we last spoke, 15 days buried. Might as well be "days adrift at sea" and I am *not* a fan of the ocean.

1 Peter 1:3-9 is a good reminder this morning of the living hope we have in Him. Then there is 1 Chronicles 29:15, "We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace." At least I can say I will wind up with greater understanding of how the Israelites felt wandering in the desert or being carted off to Babylon against their will. 😐

Friday, July 29, 2016

Amputated but not injured?

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.” C.S. Lewis wrote this after losing his wife, Joy. Living in the symbiotic relationship of husband and wife, when suddenly SNAP that person is gone, it really does feel like a huge chunk of "you" is missing. You've been sharing the same air, the same chores, the same joys and sorrows and then, presto, are alone. 

I was having one of "those" mornings when I saw a post with a video of a Crossfit competition with amputees who were killing it. I was reading an article about this and Jason Sturm, Rubicon coach & vice-chairman says to new athletes, "Stand up, you’re not injured. Yeah, you are missing a limb, but you’re not injured. You're completely fine. Get up, do work.” He told himself, "Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” So, how do I apply this to my situation? I know that "my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19. I guess right now I'm just finding out what all those needs are.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Evening thoughts...

It has been sixteen days since Pat passed away. Twenty-four days since this ordeal began. The clock has continued to tick, the dates on the calendar have continued to begin and end. I've washed laundry, swept and vacuumed floors, and cleaned toilets - as usual. I've also taken out the trash, the recycling, tried to un-green the pool and many of the jobs that were "his." Five o'clock rolls around and Sasha, "his" dog, and I both expectantly listen for the car pulling in the driveway that never comes. She knows it isn't coming and she sighs as she lays her head between her big paws. We breathe in, we breathe out. I try to remember to eat. Funny how the dogs aren't seeming to have too much trouble with that.

I had brought Sasha to the funeral home to see his body. Until I did that she was racing out to every car that arrived, circling, sniffing the tires, the doors, wondering where he was and why.  The day before the funeral when I brought her to the private family viewing she raced across the room to the coffin and jumped up on it. She was wagging and she stuck her face in with him and sniffed; puzzled, she turned away hopped down and circled the room, sniffing. That was it, no more going to the coffin. She sensed that it was his body but that "he" was no longer there. From that night on the circling of the visiting cars stopped.

And so time plods by and I try to fill it. Aching moments of loneliness roll in like waves and then go pull back from my attempts at busy-ness. Acceptance blurs with surreality. I picked out the gravestone today. Do I put my name on it as well? I'm fine, really I am; I'm a fine pretender, that is. Sixteen. Twenty-four. Before I know it, there will be birthdays and holidays, tick-tick-tick-tock, without him. Without "us."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Woe! Woe! What's to become of me? Well...

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I was having a conversation with a friend about the way things were "supposed to be" and now they aren't going to be that way at all. I was wallowing in the enormity of it, gearing up for another Eliza Doolittle bawling session, "What's to become of me? What's to become of me?" He reminded me to take one day at a time, that there were many things to see, many things to do, and that things will turn out alright. While it is hard to let go, I'm beginning to accept the concept that just because it isn't the future I planned, it doesn't mean there won't be good.

Proverbs 16:9 NLT says, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."
Proverbs 19:22 says, "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails."

These make it pretty clear - we can plan all we want, but God is going to determine the steps. His Word tells us that He plans good for us, but as Lewis said elsewhere, we don't doubt that but we do worry how painful that good will be. That is where I am - in the thick of the pain, reeling from how painful it has been and wondering how painful it is yet to be.  Of course, I don't like pain. I had a pretty comfortable path planned out and suddenly I'm facing the Unknown. For someone like me who likes the "i's" dotted and the "t's" crossed, I'm faced with an unfinished cursive sentence and since the pen is still traveling the i's and t's remain incomplete.

Scottish Poet Robert Burns was plowing up his field in the fall and plowed right through a nest that a poor mouse had made for the coming months of chill and lack. In one unexpected moment, man inadvertently had laid waste to the mouse's hope and security for winter.  You will recognize a famous line in this poem used to title a very popular novel:

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, 
An' weary winter comin fast, 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast, 
Thou thought to dwell- 
Till crash! the cruel coulter past 
Out thro' thy cell. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, 
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! 
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble, 
But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble, 
An' cranreuch cauld! 

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain; 
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men 
Gang aft agley, 
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, 
For promis'd joy! 

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me 
The present only toucheth thee: 
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e. 
On prospects drear! 
An' forward, tho' I canna see, 
I guess an' fear!

I can choose to look at the future differently than I am right now. Fear does not have to be my adjective of choice.  I must discard that if I truly believe God's promises. In Psalm 37 a portion has been turned into a song that I always sing, "Rejoice for the steps/of a righteous man/they are ordered of God, they are ordered of God/And in the time of trouble/He will sustain you/He will uphold you/He will lift you up/And in the time of trouble/God will carry you/So rejoice your steps are ordered of God." In Jeremiah 29:11, He tells us, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Hope. Future. Both of these words are progressive, they are not words of stagnation. They are not words of wallowing. Like my friend said when we spoke, there might be time left for adventure, for doing interesting things, thinking about those is not a bad thing.

Am I sad? Heck, yes. Grief has physical effects that have hit me a hitherto unknown levels. Am I shaken? To the very core. I'm still in the midst of a raging storm BUT I do know the Guy with the power of that storm. My friend reminded me of Someone who suffered greater pain for my sake and how much more important than the material world that sacrifice is. The Author and Finisher of my faith has unwritten pages, the storyline wasn't mine to write and now it's perhaps a bit more of a cliffhanger than I imagined but...the pen is still writing, the page will turn...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The blessing of dog hair...

Today I am thankful for dog hair. The abundance of dog hair that I fight daily, the embarrassment I feel when it wins the battle, the stray pieces always accompanying me in spite of best efforts with lint rollers --- it is not a negative to me this morning. Today it reminds me that I have two very sensitive, very loving furry friends who share in my grief. They sense my vulnerability and they desperately want to show me they are right here, that we are in this together. They aren't judging me, they aren't criticizing me, they aren't pointing out all my faults, they aren't setting high expectations for my behavior. Instead they are tenderly and sweetly doing their best to show me there is strength in the pack, there is safety in the pack, there is love in the pack.

Right now I am covered in dog hair because I woke up crying. One dog was already stretched out against my side - on Pat's side - which helped me to sleep. The other dog, who had been on my feet moved up on top of me, paws on both of my shoulders, face in my face. They nuzzled me, kissed me, rolled on me, surrounded me with their genuine concern. I'm covered, coated, consumed by dog hair and, yes, I am very, very thankful.

"O Lord, You preserve both man and beast." Psalm 36:6

"A righteous man regards the life of his animal." Proverbs 12:10

Friday, July 22, 2016

Step here.

“Certainly we struggle as victims of other people’s unkindness. We have been sinned against. But we cannot excuse our sinful responses to others on the grounds of their mistreatment of us. We are responsible for what we do. We are both strugglers and sinners, victims and agents, people who hurt and people who harm.” ― Larry Crabb, Inside Out

This quote. I'm going through something - I have the hard, physical (digital) evidence in front of me that shows exactly what I'm dealing with, the twisting, the meanness, the graceless, merciless whole enchilada. It vindicates me, but it doesn't matter.  I cried a billion tears, as if I'm not in a state where I don't already have enough to cry about. And yet - this is the kind of quote that means something to me. We're all just raggamuffins fussing it out in a scarred and sinful land.

I discussed it with a therapist today, shared the gory details - intact so that my response, unaltered could be judged. Without going into details, I was told that for my own protection during an intensely painful time that I needed to exercise some "tough love" and not be responsive to it.  That I was allowing myself to be targeted, that I appeared to be a "servant" and why was I putting myself in that place.  I find it very hard to put myself in a different place because of the verses below.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  Matthew 5:43-44

"But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well..." Luke 6:27-28

So how do you "set boundaries" to protect yourself when you feel that it is your duty as a believer to not have boundaries? Is it being a doormat?

Time and tide stop for no man

Seventeen days since I last heard his voice. Nine days dead. Five days in the ground. One by one the days go marching forward relentlessly; the clock tick-tocking as if it didn't have a care. Things still need to be done. The pool turned green and I've tried numerous things to return it to normal - to no avail.
Mark Heard wrote:

Time marches away like a lost platoon
We gracefully age as we feel the weight
Of loving too late and leaving too soon

We can laugh and we can cry
And never see the strong hand of love hidden in the shadows
We can dance and we can sigh
And never see the strong hand of love hidden in the shadows

Mark Heard also died an early death and also of a heart attack.

Seventeen days since I last heard his voice. Nine days dead.

Seventeen days since I last heard his voice. Nine days dead. Five days in the ground. One by one the days go marching forward relentlessly; the clock tick-tocking as if it didn't have a care. Things still need to be done. The pool turned green and I've tried numerous things to return it to normal - to no avail.
Mark Heard wrote:

Time marches away like a lost platoon
We gracefully age as we feel the weight
Of loving too late and leaving too soon

We can laugh and we can cry
And never see the strong hand of love hidden in the shadows
We can dance and we can sigh
And never see the strong hand of love hidden in the shadows

He also died an early death.

No quarter asked, none given

No quarter asked, none given - this military term came into use meaning that the victor would not be merciful. Prisoners would not be taken, the victor guaranteed death as the only option.  So "no quarter" may also mean to refuse to enter into an agreement (relations) with an enemy attempting to surrender. The "quarter" seems to have originally come from the ransom of an officer, a quarter of his pay. 

No mercy. This is what it means. A fight to the death. No possibility of truce. The intention being to win and to annihilate the foe.  Such a contrast to a Christian walk, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

I found this at Discover the Word that explained the difference between mercy and grace. "Grace is a loving response to people who don’t deserve it, while mercy is a loving response prompted by the misery and helplessness of the person to whom it is shown."  The Bible spends a lot of time talking about God's grace towards us as in 1 Peter 4:10, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."  And how we can minister it, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29

What do you do when you are on the receiving end in a situation where you find yourself under attack by an opponent who "takes no prisoners"? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Reasons for...

~Reason for a meltdown: Filling out a paper and getting to the box "Emergency Contact Person." It was like - whoa! My emergency contact for decades is...gone.

~Reason to hesitate, choke back a tear: Entering places where he always held my hand as we approached the entrance and then held the door.

~Reason to be frustrated: My jar opener is not here. I will likely not be opening any jars.

~Reason to laugh: Why does my husband have so many weird bags in weird places filled with weird stuff? More than one "bug out" bag. Pouched tuna that expired in 2014. Clif bars that expired long before that. MY favorite water bottle that disappeared. Plus all the bug out essentials. Seems that (in many ways, I am discovering) my husband was just shy of being a Doomsday Prepper.

~Reason to be amazed: Why are there so many open jars of pickled things in my fridge??? I don't eat these.

~Reason to appreciate the innocence of children: Quinn says, "Hey, Grammy, this is your car now. Can I have that lantern in the back?"

~Reasons to hope:
My master's degree is done next month.
My new job starts next month. I've got lesson planning to do and a class of 6th graders that I can't wait to meet.
 I've got a change of workout scenery planned.
Two new babies, one hopefully in the next 24-48 hours.

Psalm 30:5b "Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Posts from hell week Part VI

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. -- C. S. Lewis

Glynis Elizabeth added a collage: Sunrise.
Rushed back to the hospital in the wee hours. This beauty greets us as we hover in these shadowlands. (link to sunrise)

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.” ~ C.S. Lewis
In the wee hours, Pat went into cardiac arrhythmia, CPR was performed, the paddle was used four times. So far God blessed us with the ability to get here and be by his side and he is having another procedure right now. We wait. Whether he makes it or not is a crap shoot. We gathered around, we prayed, I sang to him. Whatever happens isn't out of God's control and He is more than able to keep us. If Pat goes to be with Jesus, that is his gain. To open his eyes in glory could not be anything but wonderful for Pat because he is a child of the King. If the Lord chooses that Pat somehow stays with us, He can get us through the rough seas and treacherous wilderness. I can see how much of His infinite mercy He has chosen to pour out over me - us - and it is palatable. We're swimming in grace, enveloped in love, and strengthened by that mighty Hand. If I didn't know it before, or thought I knew it and wasn't quite sold, I am now more than ever certain.
Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts
When sink the beams of light.
There is an arm that never tires
When human strength gives way;
There is a love that never fails
When earthly loves decay.
That eye is fixed on seraph throngs;
That arm upholds the sky;
That ear is filled with angel songs;
That love is throned on high.
But there’s a power which man can wield
When mortal aid is vain,
That eye, that arm, that love to reach,
That listening ear to gain.
That power is prayer, which soars on high,
Through Jesus, to the throne,
And moves the hand which moves the world,
To bring salvation down.

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” ~C. S. Lewis
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Update: Amazingly, I write this and Pat is still with us. When I tore out of the house at the 3am-ish hour of the morning to get to him after being resuscitated once again (CPR and paddle 4X), I thought I was driving to say a final good-bye. And yet, he is still here, hanging in that balance - in the limbo we are coming to know qutie well. One scary procedure and another "should've been fairly simple but wasn't" bloody ordeal, Pat is yet in the twilight of the land of the living. The girls & Ed all got there, Wendy, talked to him on speaker phone by his ear. We prayed over him, we prayed together. We got to be with each other and support each other through this really tough morning. Everyone got to spend some private moments with him. I read to him from Revelations and from The Last Battle, first time I have ever made it through the last chapter and didn't cry and make it unintelligible. We sat in conference with the head doctors, talked to others at his bedside. BethJoAnn came and gave us strength. He's stable and we had to come home and sleep. What the night or tomorrow will bring is unknown.
On the way home we saw this license plate: Deut 30:6. That reads "“Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live."
1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
"They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” ~ Williams Penn
"He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave.” ~ Matthew Henry
“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Glynis Elizabeth added a collage — with Rhianna Sweet and 3 others.
Farewell, my lover, my husband, my friend, father of our children, loving Poppy, king of our castle, man who could fix everything. You are in the arms of Jesus, but I'll miss you so very much. I love you.
Patrick 1961 -2016 (link to photos)

I found this doodle of Pat as the big heart man and me the curly haired heart man in Patrick's pocket Bible. What a beautiful message to leave me. (After arriving home, devastated, I found the picture at the link sitting in his Bible, recently doodled). 

Posts from hell week Part V

This place reminds Rhianna of Inception. To get to coffee, according to her, one must go from upper Inception down the spiral stair through lower Inception through the Tunnel of Light into the White Hall to the Atrium (guarded by plastic owls).

Surgery #??? complete: The next leg of the journey has begun. He is now on the VV (veno-veno) support so that his lungs can heal. Still deeply critical condition, still in the thick of the forest but the trees may have thinned just a bit.
Praise God the man next door is verbal now - expressing pain but loud & clear - so hope will spring for that family.
"Rejoice for the steps of the righteous man are ordered by God. In the time of trouble, He will sustain you, He will uphold you, He will lift you up. In the time of trouble, God will carry you, so rejoice your steps are ordered of God"
Taken from Psalm 37:23-24
The morning of the end of a week of this and I feel as if I just spent some quality time in the ring with Laila Ali. Things are sore & hurt that surprise me; I even had a severe Charlie horse in the middle of the night and that has not happened since my last pregnancy. Yet while I feel beat up I also feel taut like a bow strung ready to be released. I would love to find a blog documenting someone else's ordeal with this. I think I'm going to have to do it so that somewhere down the road there will be a wife in my shoes who can Google and find something to relate to.

You are the Bread of Life oh Lord
Broken to set us free
So how could there be any hunger in me
If You are the Bread of Life
You are the Bread of Life
You've overcome the world oh Lord
And given us victory
So how could I fear when trouble is near
If You've overcome the world
You've overcome the world
Wipe every tear away oh Lord
And teach us the song of the Lamb
The promise is true but it's still up to You
To wipe every tear away
Wipe every tear away
Wipe every tear away

These tubes are actually made of clear material. The red coursing through is Pat's blood on the veno to veno Ecmo. (Picture of ecmo, click link)

I had a crisis of hope this afternoon after asking some very scary questions and getting the dark, fearsome answers. Still in the realm of "what if" rather than "this is." Anyhow, Karen shared this with me and it was exactly what I needed:
"While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn't surrendered His authority." A.W. Tozer
Pat is making slow progress but there are also some realities. If he doesn't make better progress, within days the intubation has to be removed from his mouth and he has to be given a tracheotomy. He has been intubated since July 5th & that throat tube can cause lots of damage. His poor tongue is so cut up & swollen. This is also tricky because there would be a flash of time when one was out and nothing was in. Also, if things don't get much better then conversations will have to begin to happen about the "what if" he is still requiring all this support by the two week mark. He had the first Ecmo surgery on July 6 (I had to look back at posts because I know longer no the day, the time, the week. Time is a blur). The initial stats said 50/50 survival; I had thought we had moved to 60/40, but apparently we are still pretty close to 50/50.
Today he did at least turn his head toward Jenna and me when we were speaking to him about all the grandchildren and how much they want to see him. Since the doctors don't want him moving around at all now & want the lungs to be completely on machine, they gave him a paralytic after this to keep him still. He's getting blood transfusions. He's just a guy who is seriously sick whose body is being run by machines. Basically, he's a cyborg at the moment and that is a very, very painful thing to see.
But, as Karen's quote said, God hasn't surrendered control. If He so wills it, those stats could change to 60/40, 70/30, all the way up to healing and home. It is in His hands and in His authority. I pray that we have a showering of grace and strength to bow to that authority regardless. Please keep praying. Thank you.
Psalms 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.