Hubby's back surgery was a success. We checked into the hospital a little after 6:00 am and were on our way home before noon. Miracles of modern medicine...
The most difficult part of our healing journey now will be keeping Tim still and allowing his body to rest. No work for at least a month. Period. Even though he gently argued and attempted to persuade the doctor and nurse. No bending. twisting or lifting more than a gallon of milk. No sitting in a chair for more than 30 minutes at a time. Like a child, all Tim hears is, "No! No! No!"
My husband is not a man who stays still very long. Just keeping him through a movie is an accomplishment and normally only happens at the end of a very long day or a torrential downpour. He feels like he's being lazy if still for any length of time. And he most certainly does not like to ask for help. This is not a good mixture for someone who's basically been put on bed rest.
We're only Day 2 Post Op and I can already see the anxiety settling in. He doesn't say much, except that "this is the hardest part" and every now and again I'll catch him sigh. He's allowed to walk, and I'd take him out to enjoy the weather, but most of the time his pain doesn't ease long enough to allow it. About the only time he finds peace is when he is still.
So I find myself being his cheerleader. His motivator. Coach. And I realize we've come full circle.
Back several years ago, after our motorcycle wreck, this was his role for me. Out of ICU but still in a hospital bed, the nurse had wheeled him into my room for a visit. Though I'd kept a brave face for over a week, having the comfort of my husband at my side allowed me to release. I thought about the weeks and months ahead and didn't know if I'd have the strength, the faith, or the ability to get through it all. But he pulled me right back into focus. He allowed me to cry but reminded me I had to keep going and he pushed me gently. Then other days he pushed me hard.
Though I had many by my side in the beginning, eventually everyone had to go back to their own lives and jobs. Tim went back to work. I was left with lots and lots of time. Alone. At least 8-9 hours every day, until the kids were home from school. Hours creep by when you're alone and restrained to a bed. Television can only pass so much time. Your body aches from being still, yet moving hurts more.
But solitary is good for the soul, if you welcome it. For me, it was a chance for one on one time with God. My relationship with Him grew closer and stronger than ever before. I read my Bible more in that time period than sadly I'd done my entire life. And although it was a difficult journey, I look back on it now as a blessing. That time strengthened me, it solidified my faith, and built character I would need later in life.
I'm not saying that's the reason for what Tim is enduring now. We've both, without a doubt, climbed our share of mountains and crawled through the valleys. I would say he deserves mostly plateaus for the rest of his life! Sometimes pause buttons in this life are just that. Just a time to Be Still. (Psalm 46:10)
Going through my journal from that time I came across this and plan to share it with Tim. Maybe you need a dose "stillness" in life right now too....and maybe this will bless you as it did when I reflected on it then, as much as it does for me now.
Don't let God give you a speeding ticket. Slow down.
Look at more sunrises.
Find joy in every day.
Never go to bed angry. You might not get a second chance to make up.
Trust God. He always gives you the strength you think you don't have.
Laugh. A Lot. It makes any bad day seem a little better.
Answer every question when your child asks, "Why."
Try something new every time you go out to eat. Order dessert first.
Don't take the little things for granted.
Write what you want to say to someone when you are mad.
Then throw it away.
Send cards to people who don't expect them.
A crisis brings out the best – and worst – in people.
That one line got to me.
I wrote the passage in September 2008, taking bits and pieces of "lessons learned" and inspirations I had read. They meant something to me because of what I'd been through. Never would I have imagined I'd need to pull on that strength and lessons just two short months later.
And thinking back now to that little whisper of "finding joy in every day" that came to me with the start of this blog. Wow. God. Moment.
Sometimes we don't know the reasons for the pause. Sometimes we realize them years later. Either way, whatever trials we face in this life can be survived when you know who holds your hand along the journey. ...And when you know what's waiting at the end.
Praying for peace, healing and stillness for my sweet hubby.