Jul 25, 2015

Surgery Ponderings

Thoughts about my recent surgery...

1. Having family be at the hospital with you before surgery brings peace. Having your pastor come to pray with you and your family, even better.

2. Having family support has been such a huge blessing. The first knee surgery I had in 2008 was just as intense with a much longer recovery. My parents were able to be there to help with our kids and are again through this one. Knowing the kids were in good hands gave me so much peace.

3.Having your surgeon pray with you before and after surgery, hand you a New Testament Bible, having your anesthetist ask if your doctor had prayed with you yet and then be told he prays with each patient and with his team every surgery is amazing! Specially when you had NO idea he too is a believer in Christ Jesus!  Having that same doctor visit you during his morning rounds, seeing you are in severe pain and having him pray before leaving your room, BLESSED!

4. Pain meds are no joke! Seriously, they help when in extreme pain but man they really mess with your head! Craziest, loopy conversations with MYSELF!

5. TKR (total knee replacements) may seem like an every day surgery to some but let me tell ya something, they're intense, painful and should never be approached halfheartedly.

6.  Anesthesia makes you dream and say the craziest things; example- telling the nurse "I don't want to wake up, I'm marrying John Stamos," you know, Jessie from Full House.

7. I'm still just a little girl who needs her Mommy when in extreme pain, even if I won't admit it.

8. Having someone stay with you in the hospital really helps!!! Sean wasn't able to do so when we lived in Illinois. The company he worked for didn't give paid medical leave to care for spouses. Sean being able to have time off work to stay with me at night in the hospital this time helped me greatly. Thankful he has it now!

9.  Being part of a loving, caring, giving church has been such a blessing. We never asked for any assistance and out of love they have blessed our family with meals for these couple of weeks. HUGE Blessings! I can't explain what a blessing to know I haven't had to think about it and Sean hasn't had to figure out stuff, on top of working crazy hours at work, coming home to care for my needs as well as the kids. No words can say THANK YOU enough.

Jul 2, 2015

A Year Later

Goodness, time flies when you're living life. Honestly I had no clue that it's been over a year since writing on here. Boy does that need to change! I really need the outlet! So a year in a nut shell, my kids have grown! They completed 5, 7 and 9th grade. This coming fall we have no elementary grades. Not sure how I feel about that. I know I will miss the younger years more with every year that passes though.
   Our little farm has added 5 new hens and a rooster named Peanut-butter as well as a few more rabbits. We are loving life and all that is in it.
  Last week we sadly lost Sean' mom Addie. His brother Eugene wrote a wonderful eulogy that the priest read at the mass for her.  I want to simple share it and a photo of a wonderful woman we wil all miss.
March 2014

Adeline lived out Christ's message of peace and love.
Adeline was a woman of great faith and dedication. Since living in Blue Point she, her son Paul and his wife Nancy and her children Meagan and Cathleen were a regular fixture at Sunday Services at Our Lady of the Snow. My mother was a child of the Great Depression and my grandparents navigated her safely through those difficult days with their Catholicism in such a way that she grew stronger and wiser. It was clear that this period gave her a deep understanding meaning of suffering, sacrifice and the importance of helping others.
I would say one of the best stories about my mother’s faith occurred on a trip she took to the South of France with me. I was invited to lecture at a NATO advanced studies institute and I asked my mother to join me. This was a two week adventure in Bonas, France. Prior to the trip my mother had mentioned several times that she would like to visit Lourdes. After the first week in Bonas – I had hoped that she had forgotten about this – primarily because Lourdes is set in a deeply inconvenient corner of southwest France. I was also naively under the impression that this was some sort of “Tourist Destination” in the south of France. Mother persisted and after another entire week of reminders – it’s was off to Lourdes.
We drove the mountainous and winding roads of the Pyrenees for hours and when we arrived there, we witness several thousand people—the lines of wheelchairs alone is eight deep and maybe 200 yards long—all are carrying candles and raising their voices in song and prayer. The front of the shrine is lit candles up against gold tiles and the only sound besides the singing is the marchers all weeping . My mother looks at me and says hey Eugene “try being cynical in the face of that “.
So we navigate our way in and wait in line for nearly two hours to see the grotto up close. From a distance, it’s not all that impressive: a small cave in the rock with the church above it. The grotto itself isn’t even big enough to camp in, but there is a steady flow of people coming through, leaving candles and tiny flowers on the walls of the grotto. As soon as we near the entrance to the grotto, people reach out to touch the walls and a stains show where hands have gone for the past 150 years. Mothers touch children’s hands to the grotto stone and bow their babies heads to it. Everybody who was whispering suddenly stops talking and goes silent. I said – so mom what do you want me to do? She says "go back to the car and get that big bottle?" I said what big bottle? She said you’ll see it on the back seat. She had lifted an old Pepsi bottle from the cafeteria ! She had this all planned out? So I fill a ½ gallon bottle with this water – she snaps a picture and smiles. Ok lets go light some candles and leave. I’ll never know how she got that big bottle of water back on the plane? But for years and years my mother would send small quantities of water to family, friends and acquaintances who were sick and/or suffering. She would provide a short note and tell them to make a cup of tea and add the water. Or better yet – draw a bath and add the water.
We talked about our pilgrimage to Lourdes frequently and few years back she said to me – "Eugene – Lourdes is not about the water – it was never about the water - its not about the water at all ! It’s about the 10 million people that go there every year – its about faith. When we have faith and give ourselves to a god we find ourselves soothed by feelings of peace, acceptance, and strength that arise in fellowship with others.
Its not about the water you idiot –its about our faith.
I’m not sure when she ran out of that water – but can tell you she never ran out of faith.
Gene Kelly (son of Adeline)