Friday, November 14, 2008


We have been doing so well - every day progressing almost perfectly, that is until last night. I was getting ready to go to Women's Bible Study and Steve had tremendous chest pain and had trouble breathing. Steve thought that he was having another heart attack. Only this time, he said it "felt" like a heart attack - it was painful. We called the cardiologist who seems to think that there is some swelling/fluid around the lining of the heart. We are to keep giving him the pain medication and encourage rest. I guess this happens sometimes, but it sure did scare us. We have been very quiet on this gloomy, rainy day.

Steve had a couple of friends from his Bible Study visit today. One friend just had prostate cancer surgery and the other friend is a heart transplant candidate. They both were such an encouragement and gave such helpful advice as both of them have had to make some drastic life-style changes. It is truly humbling as a person who is in much greater need than we offers prayers for healing and strength for "his brother". I "took a picture in my mind" of the beautiful moment of three men bowing before the Father praying for each other and lifting their lives as offerings. Powerful stuff!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Doctors Appt

We went to visit Stephen's internal doctor this morning. This was the first time we had met this doctor as Dr. Ritchey (Steve's new cardiologist) requested that Steve find an internal medicine doctor. The doctor was very surprised that Stephen looked so well after one week following open heart surgery. Steve left the office very encouraged. He has lost over 20 pounds already. His appetite is not very big yet, and he thinks that he really doesn't like salt-free; fat-free; cholesterol free; sugar free food. He jokingly tells everyone "if it tastes good, he can't have it"! I really disagree with him. The food that the church has been bringing over has been incredible.

After we went to the doctor, Steve didn't want to go back home, so we went over to the church office for a few minutes. He was very excited and seemed to enjoy being with people again. We stayed for about 15 minutes, then headed for home. As soon as he sat down in his chair, he was asleep - for 4 hours. Right before he fell asleep he was telling me that he felt like he could work an entire day now that he was getting stronger! Ha.

Friends and family are coming to visit now. That has really kept him busy and happy. We are rejoicing in every moment.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yesterday was very emotional for me as I walked into Grace UMC to worship. It overwhelmed me. I was rather surprised that I became so emotional. I have not been very weepy or emotional through the entire process. Oh, sometimes I would tear up, or struggle with controlling my thoughts, but emotion...I was pretty strong and matter of fact about the whole thing. Until...I walked into the house of the Lord. Then... well, I wanted to fall apart. As Iwalked into the church the hugs, the love and sympathy enveloped me. I quickly tried to find my seat thinking that perhaps I wouldn't have to face so many empathetic loving faces; perhaps that would help me get control of myself. I opened my bulletin hoping that people would see that I was "busy" and just give me a moment to get control of myself. Sitting there I looked over the bulletin and settled myself down - at least for awhile. The processional song of the morning began and I opened my mouth to sing "God Will Take Care of You". ...."through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you...when dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you." That did it, the tears began to roll. I know that God did take care of Stephen and I through this whole ordeal. I know that everyday He was with us, sustaining us, guiding us, helping us make right decisions, providing for us... and gratitude poured out of my soul, grasping to just be held safe in His arms. Someone put their arm around me. I was afraid that everyone was watching me. I wanted to escape the building, but then all of a sudden there was that peace again. Wonderful peace coming down from the Father above, sweeping over my spirit. I have always heard about God's peace but have never experienced it like we have over the last couple of weeks. Peace is a very powerful thing.

Perhaps now I understand how hard it must be to walk in the church after you have lost your loved ones. Is it the sanctuary of the Lord? Is it the sympathetic faces? Is it your grief? It's hard to tell. Perhaps it is all of them put together. But, I know now how hard it is to come back into the church after a crises in your life. I find it very interesting and something that I continue to ponder -

Steve continues to do very well. Every day we see marked improvement. He is having people come to visit him now and everyone says "how good he looks". . . and he does look great. He is getting stronger and "back to himself". He wants to get back to work probably sooner than I think would be good for him. Last evening we had a long talk about his health and the life-style changes that need to be made. I feel much better after talking "heart to heart" with him. He is taking alot of responsibility for his health, diet and exercise. I was afraid that I would have to be the "food police", or "exercise sargeant", but that is not the case. He is doing a great job of accessing his health. For that I am very grateful.

Today a group of women from the church are picking me up to take me to lunch. I am so excited to get out a little and just be "normal" again. They suggested going Christmas shopping after lunch - humm.... I guess Christmas is coming . . . a holiday I simply love . . . I wonder why I just don't feel like shopping/decorating/celebrating? Another thing to ponder . . .