Unfortunately, Corey had a difficult day. She continues to have episodes of vomiting when her medications are given. The Doctors have to be careful prescribing nausea medication because most have drowsiness as their #1 side affect. I’ve asked to speak with them tomorrow about our concerns and what their strategy will be.
The last few nights I’ve been working with Corey’s left foot and leg. She has begun to try to lift her left knee and wiggle her left toes. Practice makes perfect! We are also trying to work on her communicating YES/NO. That’s a bit slower. We’re not quite sure the best way to differentiate her responses. She has the thumb up technique down cold but when we direct pointed NO questions, her responses are less consistent. I am reminded its ‘Just a matter of time’…
There’s that nasty four letter word again; TIME. This journey feels like 5 years even though it’s only been 5 months. In the context of a lifetime, this period is a blip on the radar.
Patience, staying in the moment, Let Go – Let God, its temporary, One day at a time, each is a valuable mantra but at times difficult to comprehend. As time passes and each day presents a new challenge for Corey, my concern turns to fear. People ask me how we maintain our hope, positive attitude and stamina. I jokingly comment that I have a bag of tricks that include some of the words above. When I’ve pulled out the last word, I look for a new bag.
The most difficult trick is to “believe” and have faith that we’ll get our happy ending when it seems that Corey’s healing is taking longer than the other patients that are around us. Why? Who can explain the unanswered questions? Is there a God? I get angry when I hear “In His time”…where is the miracle? The advice from the nurse at Paoli resonates in my head, “Believe even when you think He’s not there and you’re alone”.
Over 20 years ago I was attending a Rosary group at St. Joseph’s church in Warrington. One night rather than reciting my prayers, the challenge I was facing caused me to sit and release my tears. After the congregation was finished, I chose to stay seated. A woman approached me from behind. I never looked up. She placed her hand on my shoulder and told me, “whatever you’re facing at this moment, think of Jesus at the rock in Gethsemane”. “The night before his crucifixion as He kneeled and cried, He begged, He pleaded, He was terrified and He felt abandoned”. “He knows how you feel”. “Ask His help to stand and face what you have to”. “Hold onto that image. It might help you”. As life happened and I was faced with more challenges I visualized that image during my conversations with Him. Each time I needed to move forward I would say, “I don’t know what gave you the strength to stand up and walk forward, but please help me to stand up right now”.
16 years later I attended a retreat at St. Joseph of the Hills in Malvern. During the weekend I was strolling on a path in the gardens that surrounded the retreat house. There were life sized sculptures representing each station of the cross. As I followed the curve of the path, in the clearing just ahead was a life sized statue of my vision! I approached Him and knelt down. The artist sculpted His hands in a prayerful cupped position. They were not quite closed. In fact, there was room for my hands to grasp His so we could pray together. This statue is less than a mile from Bryn Mawr Rehab.
Corey, before I came to see you today I stopped to visit my statue. We had a long chat about you. I don’t know what’s going to happen, how long it will be before you start to walk and talk again. I don’t know if all our prayers will be answered.
What I do know is physically kneeling with Him, holding His hands and speaking out loud felt good. It felt safe and reassuring. Is it real? I don’t know but that’s okay too. Today my statue was real.
I am sharing this with you because I hope you can use this when you feel frustrated, alone, sad or afraid. Hold on to our hand and think of Him. I hope that will give you the strength you need to stand up and walk forward too.
Happy dreams, xoxo