Sunday, December 27, 2009

Update 12/27/09 7 weeks since crash

Dear friends,

My spiritual life is standin' in the need. For 7 weeks I've been coasting on amazing grace that has kept my tank full enough to walk a hard stretch of the pilgrim road. But now I need some time to sit down with my Bible and do the disciplines that keep all travellers strong. Solitude, meditation, prayer, the word of God - these are the tools in the workshop of our souls. Not out of guilt, but out of desire I long for my daily bread. So please ask the Great One to show me the pockets of time I need. In some ways you get used to the crazy pace of trauma. Now that we're home, it's about living the life of faith in the mundane of wound dressing, showering, shaving, home therapy and doctor appointments. In the meantime there are still homework projects, children to transport and clothes to wash. Sometimes the greater test of faith is how one deals with the tedious, the boring and the everyday. So here I am again, grateful - and grasping hard on to what is true. Wanting just to do the next right thing on this highway...Not always sure what that is...

We had some wonderful old friends visit us today. Steve's friend Hugh, whose persona is like a large bucket of pure joy, took Amtrack up just to hang with us for the afternoon. This is one of those friends you hold on to for life, because they are true blue and one of a kind, a present from the Great One Himself. He showed Steve some tips on his new Kindle (omg, I've got to have one too!), and gave me a list of book recommendations to beat the band. (By the way, that's how I choose books. I ask people their favorites and I try them out. When all this is over, I'm bringing a stack a mile high to the Cape and just try to pry me off my beach chair. I dare you...) Besides, Hugh lives in Brooklyn USA, my old hometown, and we have an open invitation to camp out there for a trip to the world's greatest city. Leave the lights on Hugh! When Steve's on his feet we're trip-trapping over the Brooklyn Bridge like I did in the old days. God Bless you, friend!

We also had the pleasure of a visit from Glenn and Mary. Glenn and I have known one another since we were 17. (An age I do not wish to revisit). We hung around with a group of folks all through college and beyond, and we have tried to stay in touch. These are those kinds of friends you don't see for a long time, then you pick up the conversation as if you were having coffee together the day before. All these dear people chipped in to buy my husband a laptop computer, complete with voice activated software in case his injuries or his exhaustion level keep him from typing. That's some kind of wonderful. Once again, I can't believe the love, and I don't understand it, and I can't pay it back. But I love you all for it, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I promise to pay it forward.

Mark the Lion Hearted put in a shower head for Smitty today. So tomorrow morning, in he goes without plastic bags on his arm and legs. It will be the first full soaking since November 8. Praise God! We've got to get that hospital smell off of the dear man, and sponge baths just don't do it. He also starts home physical therapy tomorrow, and I start the process moving for him to go back to Sunnyview in a couple of weeks for outpatient therapy. We have also got to get his vision figured out (the concussion left him with one blurry eye), and reschedule surgery to get the glass out of his hand. Lots of details, lots.

Miss Rejoice goes with Darling Amy to see Wicked tomorrow evening at Proctors. Thank you Dear Frank for the tickets! Hannah absolutely loves musicals, and loves Amy, so what a night for her! It makes a momma's heart glad to see her baby girl have such a fabulous experience after such a nightmare. Seems there's grace around every corner we turn.

It may sound strange, but I'm kind of looking forward to the holidays being over. I love it all - the lights, the music, the food, the festivity- but normal is so dear to me right now, and though I know it won't really be normal, perhaps a whiff of it will be what the Big Doctor orders to keep my feet on a straight path. Oh, I don't know. I'm rambling. I got too used to the insanity so now I have to back it down and that is another hurdle, crazy as it sounds. The Book says "To everything there is a season". Seasons come, and they go, but the rhythm stays the same. Change in the midst of sameness. It satisfies our need for both.

Send me the titles of your favorite books. You really are my favorite people. No kidding.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Ann Shannon said...

Loriann and Family, I am so thankful that you had such a wonderful Christmas, and can now get back to some sort of normal, if there is such a thing. I lost my Grandmother days before Christmas this yr and I can honestly say that I have thanked God everyday that you were not facing the holiday without a family member. He is a wonderful and sovereign Lord and we are blessed to be a part of His plan.
Thank you for your faithful blogging, I look forward to reading it! Take care and we will keep those prayers going!

Art said...

A little over one year ago my wife’s brother Jon was run over by a drunk driver while sitting in a bus shelter. His path has been similar to Steve’s. Eight weeks in a coma at Albany Med. Then to Sunnyview for two months under Dr. Somaio’s care. He is now at a traumatic brain injury center downstate. We too visit Dr. Uhl. His ability to question and communicate and his conservative approach to problem solving have helped us understand Jon’s injuries and how to approach them.

Jon is still in a wheelchair and struggling to speak as he once did. He does not remember his parents passing or the house he lived in. At forty years of age his life has been changed forever and he has no one to help him except my wife and myself. Steve and Hanna are very fortunate to have a loving family and many helpful friends. And I’m sure his faith, and yours, has made a difference.

I was one of the responders to the accident scene last month. I helped remove the driver’s side door and cut the roof off so Hanna could be lifted out. I ended up hanging upside down in front of Steve holding the dash back while trying to place the jaws cutter over the brake pedal so we could release his stuck foot. My last view of Steve was of the EMT’s lifting him up and out. It was obvious he had sustained severe injuries. I am amazed that he is home so soon.

My wife and I try to live a Christian life. It is events like these that put us all to the test.

Anonymous said...

My favorite books - you are already reading two of them: The Bible, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. You know I'm a non-fiction kind of girl, so I don't know if you'll be into my list (I don't even know if I have a list!), but one of my very favorites has been "A Beautiful Mind" - don't know the author, but it's the biography of John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning mathemetician. What I loved so much about it was that he, as my dad, was a paranoid schizophrenic, and the book caused me to understand my father so much better than I ever had. The first half of the book deals alot with his work, which smarty pants people like you may be able to understand way more than I could; but the second half was all about his illness. I cried at the end. Not usual for me with a book.

I just finished reading "For Spacious Skies" - the bio of Scott Carpenter, Mercury Project astronaut from the 1960's. His daughter is a close friend, so I thought I'd take the dive. It not only tells of the flight prep and all that, but gives a rich family history which allowed me to see the reasons for so many issues in my friend's life. It covers the same time frame as "The Right Stuff", since he was one of the astronauts portrayed in the film.

I'm a big Mark Levin fan (talk radio host - Constitutional lawyer - brilliant man), and I've read his two last books this year -"Men in Black" - about the history of the Supreme Court, and "Liberty and Tyranny", which is a compliation of essays on different issues and how the Statist (liberal) sees them vs. the conservative view. Excellently written and great for history lessons for the kids. Abbey's going to be reading it this year for school.

"Beyond the Band of Brothers" by Major Winters (Can't remember his first name) is the memoir of the 101st Airborne during WWII. It gives much of the same info as "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose, but more personally, since Major Winters was part of the 101st, and Ambrose was a historian.

Hope you like my list. I know there's no fiction - my one big strike against me in your world, but 'tutti i gusti son gusti' as they say in Italy - 'to each his own'.

Love you in a big way and miss you more than I could ever convey to you. Let me know when it's okay to come and visit (maybe I can sneak in a few chores for you while I'm there...)XXOO
Mary Ann

Steve and Hannah said...

Dear Art,

I don't know you, but you are already my freind. Thank you for being a part of saving my family from death and destruction. What meaningful work you have! I am so very sorry about your brother in law. If there's one thing I've learned through this, it's that suffering visits every family, everywhere. The Great One loves you and your family, that's a fact. We live in a broken down world, and we are ourselves broken by sin, but God's mercy in Christ is stronger, better, higher. I pray He will give you great insight into how dear you are to Him, and how much He wants to hold you up in all your valleys. God Bless you and yours!

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


Steve and Hannah said...

My dear Mary Ann,

The day is coming soon for a Starbucks run. Venti water, I know! I miss you terribly too, but you are ever in my heart. Thanks for hanging with me through it all. The comments are precious. The mexican chicken was phenomenal!

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


Stephen said...

God bless you for the work you do and for the help that you gave to my daughter and I on that November night, seemingly a hundred years ago. Especially God bless you for the help and support that you give your brother-in-law in his time of recovery.
It does seem like a miracle that I was able to be home for Christmas. I'm very grateful for all the prayers that have gone up for me, as well as (of course) all the help that I received at Sunnyview.
My wife and I will be praying for you, friend!

Anonymous said...

Here are some of my favorite Christian writers:
Tommy Tenney (especially God Chasers & God's Eye View), Max Lucado, Elizabeth George, Joyce Meyer.
If you want to read books about prayer, my favorite writer is Stormie Omartian.
I also liked these books:
Bob Sorge: Secrets of the Secret Place & The Fire of Delayed Answers,
William P. Young: The Shack,
Kay Arthur: Israel, My Beloved,
Larry Huch: Torah Blessing,
Mark Hankins: The Spirit of Faith,

These are just a few.

Right now I'm reading one of your favorites - C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia. I love how he depicted Genesis and God creating the heavens & the earth in The Magician's Nephew - fantastic!

I LOVE to read and Ernie will tell you I have the books to prove it. It was hard to pick favorites, though.

My prayer is that whichever book you choose to read will be the book that God has selected for you to read for such as time as this.

Your pilgrim friend (with a book in my hand),