Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 325 - Graduation, of a sort

Hello, friends. This is Stephen, filling in for Loriann for possibly the last time. (Try to keep the cheering to a minimum!)

Today was my last day of outpatient therapy at Sunnyview, and that inspired mixed emotions from me. On the one hand, I'm very happy that my progress has been good enough - miraculous, practically - that I can be discharged. On the other hand, though, I'm going to miss the people that I know there, and even the place itself. Sunnyview has been a big part of my life since the day after Thanksgiving last year, when I was still so weak that I could hardly lift my head up off the pillow in my bed. That's ten months of my life, a long stretch by any standard. More than the place, though, I'll miss the people that I've met there, especially the therapists who have helped me along the road of my healing. People like Brian, Mary, Becka and especially Sandy, who's been my Occupational Therapist for the last 8-1/2 months. (You can pretty much have a baby in that amount of time!) She's pushed me when I needed to be pushed and held back when that was needed. She's a terrific therapist and a wonderful person (I think that Loriann called her a nice pitbull once in these pages, or words to that effect) and I'm going to miss having her in my life twice a week.

There were a couple of others, no longer with Sunnyview, who were in my life again this week for the first time in quite a while. At lunch on Tuesday I drove to the new place of employment for my occupational therapist when I was an inpatient at Sunnyview, Jacob. Loriann mentioned him more than once last year when he was seeing me on a practically daily basis, but this reference (made the day before I was discharged) has always been my favorite: "Excellent Jake (who also is an army reservist with a heart of gold and a year in Iraq behind him), Holden's dad, told us how his boy likes to play with the manger set. Sometimes he makes Jesus ride the camel (don't you just love it!). And sometimes he simply puts Jesus in his pocket and carries Him around everywhere he goes. I want to be like Holden!" Loriann and I have talked about that more than a few times since then, the wonderful thought of carrying Jesus around in our pockets. Of course, Jesus has given us an even better option - carrying Him around in our hearts all the time. I saw Jacob this week because I wanted to hand deliver to him an invitation to our Smith Family Thanks You Dessert Night. Have you heard about it? I believe that Loriann's mentioned it once or twice or twenty times. Anyway, I wanted to make sure that Jacob knew about it and knew we'd love to have him there. I don't think I'll ever forget the day he came to my room instead of waiting for me to get to the gym, tossed me my clothes and said, "Well, get changed." Up until then the nurses had been getting me dressed every day, and it hadn't even crossed my mind that I might be able to do it myself. That's like God, too - often He'll let us be helped with something, by Him or by others, but sometimes He reminds us that the time has come for us to take a stand, or stake a claim, and that He knows that we can do it even if we might have our doubts. I'm not sure if Jacob can make the Dessert night, but hopefully he can and a bunch of you can meet him there.

The other person I was able to get in touch with this week, no longer with Sunnyview, was a the lady who was the head nurse for my section when I was there. Although she was the head nurse, and no doubt had approximately a million things to do, she was one of the two nurses who changed my bandages when they needed to be changed - and back then, if you'll recall, I had a lot of bandages that had to be changed three times a day. (Both legs, and one arm.) I had never forgotten her kindness and was thrilled this week to be able to contact her via Facebook. She had gotten the invitation I had left for her and she'll be able to come on the 23rd. One more blessing that the Fabulous Tracey is giving to me and my family!

Well, this post has gotten longer than I expected, and I'm getting pretty tired. Soon my bride will be home, so I'm going to want to spend a little time with her. If you're planning on coming to our Smith Family Thanks You Dessert Night and you haven't let us know yet, please take a minute to do so. E-mail us at and let us know, so we can look forward to seeing you (or meeting you, even!).

God Bless. Today on the radio I heard the song "My Redeemer Lives" and it's been in my head ever since. He does live, and I'm so glad about it! (Your Redeemer lives too!)

Your other friend on the Pilgrim Road,

No comments: