All I can say is WOW, what a week it has been! As I look back over the last week I am really grateful this morning for so many things. Today is starting out so much better than the same time last week and I want to praise God for that right now! This time last week I woke up around 7:00 as I normally do, had my coffee and a very mild headache, nothing major, coffee usually takes care of it. As I drank my coffee going over in my mind all the things I wanted to do that day, I started feeling worse, a little nauseated actually. I decided to eat some toast to settle my stomach and take my morning medicine. I take a lot of medicine for this weird disease I have called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and in the near future will do a blog on the joys of living with a genetically acquired auto-immune disease. Well after two bites of toast I felt worse. I will spare everyone the details here, but ended up going back to bed after getting sicker and slept for five hours, something I RARELY do, sleep for five hours straight. I awoke feeling worse. My headache and nausea were much worse, I was confused, my breathing was difficult and I was very agitated. After a short period of time Brenda decided to call 911, which I totally agreed with. Finally the EMT’s showed up (they always seem to take forever when it is you or a loved one involved don’t they?), they put me on oxygen & rushed me to the hospital. Not even close to what we had planned for the day! Also at this point let me say that I had been on new medicine to help control pain and the last few days I was feeling the best I had in a very long time and had been pleased to be productive and getting many things done, especially around the house, that I had been wanting to do for a long time and was looking forward to getting much more done that day.
Brenda had followed with Jessica and called Pastor Andy who met us at the hospital. Actually he had beat everyone there and was waiting on us. I remember seeing him as they wheeled me out of the ambulance and into the ER. I know this was not what Brenda, Jessica or Andy had planned for the day either. Family does what is necessary though, especially when a close member of your family is hurting, sick or being rushed to the hospital. As a side note here, Andy and his family are considered more than our Pastor and his family, they are family to us, so he was there as family/Pastor. I am not going to bore you with the details about my short stay at the hospital. I will say that it was not a very pleasant experience and may end up in another blog about the insanity of hospital proceedures, mistakes and such. What I want to focus on is the positive that came from all of this.
As I lay in my room at the ER, I was aware of a lot of things, but kind of out of it at the same time. My breathing was better and I was drifting in and out from whatever it was they gave me. I recall seeing my wife and daughter in the room looking not quite as scared, but worried and Andy being there talking with them (and me I think…lol) and praying and also looking somewhat concerned himself. As I stated earlier, I was drifting in and out so some of this is distorted and foggy in my recollection and the order of events is real foggy, so please forgive me if this is not very accurate or I leave some things out here. I do remember seeing Justin & Rachel walk by the door. I also think I saw Mitch go by, but I am not sure, I do know he was in the waiting room too. Tony, Gloria & Tyler (Brenda’s sister, husband and son) were in the room at one point looking worried and talking. They then left and went to the waiting room, I do remember Tyler telling Brenda to tell me that he loved me. At this point I drifted away for awhile. Then after some time had passed I remember waking up and my wife telling me that there were a lot of people in the waiting room, Devin I think was in the room at one point and Andy a few other times. If I remember correctly I think Andy had said there were like fifteen (or eleven, still pretty foggy about much of this) in the waiting room praying & worried for me and my family and that there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am very much loved by people.
As I type this I will readily admit I am tearing up a little. Just remembering all the people who showed up that day, called and checked up on me and my family, offered help, support and prayers, giving up a portion of their Saturday, a day that everyone usually cherishes and reserves for much needed family time, work around the house, play time or just to relax. They most certainly did not plan on being at the hospital that day either or having their day disrupted like this, yet they chose to stop what they had planned and either come wait & pray or if they could not be there, they took time to pray and call and check up on what was going on. Let me also say that I know and understand that many people would have been there if they could have been. There were so many calls, emails, messages on Face Book and text messages to myself, Brenda and Jessica that day and the week following . More than I ever imagined and really showed me how much I am loved by so many people.
I am one of those people that really believe that God truly is in control of ALL things. Nothing happens without God’s knowledge and approval. So God allowed for me to be in the hospital last week. He had a purpose for that and I will not say that I know all of what His plan may have been in that because I do know that God works and does so much on so many levels it is really impossible for me or anyone else to fully understand the impact or extent of God’s plan in something like this. I can tell you what I have learned from this. God has shown me how loved I am by so many people in so many age groups. What is truly amazing about this is that the people I have mentioned in this blog, either by name or inference and not related to me, are people that I go to church with. My church family. At New Point Church I am probably about the oldest person there right now. The vast majority of people at our church are in the age group that would normally put me in the category as their father or grandfather and treat me as such. With this age difference usually you have acquaintances or friendships and are “liked” if you are lucky. God allowed me to find out through this that I am blessed to have much more than that with these people. I must admit that there has been times I really wondered about my relationship with many of the people at our church. We are all so busy, the “generation gap”, the preconceived or ingrained feelings people in younger age groups sometimes may have because of their parents or parents generation and the way my generation has treated them as far as showing lack of respect or understanding to them. These things can be very hard to overcome for all involved, yet with God, through God and the very real showing and outpouring of love shown to me by my church family this last week. I have realized that despite all the barriers and obstacles, God has truly given me an extended family.
I want to thank each and everyone of you for your concern, prayers, offers of help, but most importantly, for your love. Words can not explain what you showed me over the last week has really meant to me or my family. Thank you all, I am truly blessed to have each of you in my life and consider you family! To Andy, thank you. I feel as though we have known each other forever. You and your family are family to us and I can not express my feelings or gratitude to you guys for all the things you have done and continue to do. To those family members that are related to me by blood, thank you for always being there for me, for your help and love. Brenda and Jessica, you two have seen me at my worst and still love me. All I can say is I love you both more than you will ever know!!!
I love each and everyone of you and you are all so special to me. I thank God for bringing us all together and I pray blessings from God into your lives and hope I can someday repay you for love and kindness!