Overdue thanks

Abby, Laura, Kari, Kerrie, Jill, Rachel, Jennifer, Sarah and Michelle,

Thank you for taking care of my wife. Tuesday night group meetings are always an important time for us but there is something special about the time she spends with you. When Lindsey comes home from her Tuesday nights with the girls to tell me about how you care for her, cry and laugh with her, are honest with her and most of all pray with her I could not be happier.

It is a humbling thing for a man to care so much for his wife, but also know that he cannot provide everything; and that is where you all step in. You girls take care of Lindsey in the ways that I cannot. You understand her emotional side and speak to her in a way that I am not able to. You see things from her perspective that I don’t.

I am very thankful for the ways that you serve Lindsey. You are all so supportive of her, of our marriage, and of me. It’s a wonderful thing to have folks like you in our lives daily.

With gratitude,
Brian

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Almost there

Well, today was Lindsey’s last day with her students, her room is cleaned out and all the grading is done. After a social engagement after work on top of everything else, she was exhausted. The minute she got off her feet she was done– straight to sleep.

I have seen my wife handle this entire school year, our first full school year together. I grew up in a family of teachers so some of what she has dealt with was expected, but plenty of it was a surprise.

Growing up with a teacher as a mother it should be no surprise that I hold up education as one of my central values. I deeply respect teachers for what they do, and even more for the crap they have to put up with. Having seen it all this year, and there was a lot to deal with, I am seriously impressed with my wife.

It is really interesting to get to know your spouse in the professional sense. To see behind the scenes of someone else’s job in a different field than I am in has been fascinating. I was a fan of teachers before, but I am even more in her corner now. Seeing this side of Lindsey has been awesome, and I hope I can learn to help and support her even more down the road.

But summer starts tomorrow after she leaves school. Sure, I still have to work but in a way I expect this to be a different summer for me. She will be around the house, she will be able to relax, and I know she has a stack of books she is dying to read. And, if promises are the be believed, the frequency of baking will increase. Which is always a good idea.

I want to close out with a note directly to my lovely wife:
Lindsey, I love your dedication to your job and your students. I love how much you care about them, and how much you care about your subject. I love how you dealt with the struggles and strife, and I loved to see how you celebrated the accomplishments of your team and your students. You are a great teacher, and you are truly going to be phenomenal as your career grows. I’m looking forward to a great summer with you. 🙂

B

Update on Brian’s Dad

I know we are doubling up on posts today, but several people have asked about my dad’s progress and I wanted to give you guys an update.

David was released from the hospital yesterday and he is at home now. He is progressing really well and has made significant progress towards every goal the doctors have set for him. His breathing is improved and he is up and active and meeting all expectations for moving around at this point.

The doctors and nurses at the hospital were great, and we all really appreciate how well they treated him. It’s good for him to be home and it will help his recovery accelerate, but we are grateful for the great staff at the St. John’s Heart Institute.

Also, thank you so much to our family and friends. You all have been wonderful and your prayer and concern have certainly been felt within our family. We could never fully express how much we appreciate you. Please know that we have been thanking God for your thoughts, prayers and your presence in our lives.

Home Run

I’ve had one memory in my head for the last 4 days. I’m around 10 years old, I’m in the dugout at a softball diamond at Haikey Creek Park in Tulsa, and my Dad is at bat. On the first pitch he takes a big cut and the ball leaps out of the park. My Dad hit a lot of home runs playing church league softball, and I saw most of them.

* * *

As I write this late Tuesday night, it’s been roughly 36 hours since my dad was taken away by the hospital staff into the OR for his bypass. Its been a crazy ride.

He is doing well. He looks good and it talking to us, but everyone is still watching him closely. Lots of things can happen right after a surgery, and he has plenty of folks dedicated to making sure none of them do. He is being well taken care of, but that doesn’t eliminate the nerves.

The doctors saw him several times today. There were lots of discussions and questions. Everything is moving in the right direction. We just have to keep praying they continue to do so. We’re praying and waiting. Always waiting.

* * *

Watching my Dad snooze his way through the first few hours of his recovery I could not get the image of him smacking that softball out of the park from my mind. It was so clear, so important.

The red dirt of the infield. Sunflower seeds. Gatorade. Running out to pick up his bat. Giving him a high-five on his way to the dugout. The sickly sweet smell of one of the guys illicit chew. Being asked to go back behind the fence to fetch the ball. Running hard back back because all I wanted was to talk to my Dad about what he just did. Pride in being his son.

Now the task my Dad has ahead of him is tougher than any Baptist softball league game. I know he will work hard and rise to the task at hand because he always has. Over the coming days and weeks I know he will make the pride I felt on that day feel insignificant.

The day after

It’s the day after. Everyone got some much needed sleep last night… everyone but David. David was reawakened every hour last night for some form of treatment or movement or procedure.

He is not himself today. The anestesia has obviously not worn off. He falls asleep between every bite, every interaction, and every dreaded blow on the respiratory torture device.

Everyone just wants to see David awake and to experience some semblance of a normal interaction with him. He is so loved.

Here are some images from the day today:

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Here at St. John’s, Jesus appears a lot. He’s stuck on the cross in every room. I really want to tell someone that He got off.

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Where we come every day…

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Brian coaching David through the respiratory torture device. He was a great cheerleader 🙂

I’m flying back today. My first flight leaves here at 6pm and I found out my second flight is way delayed, so it will be a late night. Brian will stay until later in the week. I wish I could stay, but I’ve already missed so much school this year with my own medical stuff and then the wedding.

I’m learning a lot about being a wife through all of this and I’m sure there will be a future post once I work out all of these thoughts and we remove ourselves a bit from the situation at hand. I’ve seen a few different sides of my husband as well– emotions and reactions that there simply hasn’t been opportunity to display or witness until now. This is all part of the journey.

Please continue to pray for our family and for David’s recovery. We really appreciate your prayers and support.

 

Wait

Today is a waiting day.

We sit. We wait. We get an update. David hits a goal. We wait some more.

It’s been a long day. The surgery scheduled for noon was moved to 9am and we rushed to get here to see him. We waited with him until they took him to pre-op. Then we waited as a large family unit sprawled across a section of the waiting room. We got updates along the way– always positive– and waited some more. The group dwindled, but still we waited.

David is currently in recovery in the ICU. His breathing tube was just removed, but he isn’t awake yet. I think we’re all just wanting to see him awake before we go home tonight. Brian and I sit in the waiting room while Karen and Sarah sit with David. The hospital is quiet– it’s late and things move slower now.

I’ve watched Brian and Sarah as their father goes through all of this. They’ve been through so much in the past 18 months– and hospital visits have not been positive experiences for them. They struggle to remain positive and to remember that this is a different situation, when parts of it feel so familiar.

These are the people who are supposed to be taking care of us and watching over us– when did we get old enough that the roles began to reverse? These are our big, strong giants. These are our heros. And now our heros are vulnerable and need us to be the strong ones.

So, we wait. We wait for David to come out of the haze of the plethora of drugs within him and to let us see his strength. And the children within us wait to see a glimpse of that big, strong hero. Please keep praying.

This is not okay

We’re on the road, heading to Tulsa. We’ve been on the road for what feels like forever. I think there’s still some time until we get there. I don’t know if we’ll go to the hospital tonight or not.

It’s dark out, and extra dark as there are no street lights on these stretches of highway. Brian and I are pretty quiet, listening to one of our favorite podcasts, The Tobolowsky Files.

It’s been a tough day. It’s understandable. Brian is under a lot of stress and I35 on a Sunday is a small sampling of what awaits one in hell. I drove the first half of the trek and now sit shotgun. We’re so ready to be there in a way, and yet not in so many others.

In spite of the rest of the day, we did have one priceless moment I can’t help but share with you. We stopped at Braum’s for ice cream– the best thing about road trips to Oklahoma. Brian, as driver, ambitiously selected a hot fudge sundae. I raised an eyebrow, but he assured me that he had the requisite skills for this task.

We drove along enjoying our frozen treats. I deviated from my norm and selected butter pecan– spectacular! I slowly savored each creamy bite, when suddenly, Brian began to scream, “No! No! No! Gross!”

He tugged at his beard and shrieked again. The caramel had dripped from the spoon and created a mortar adhering his beard tightly against his chin. He yelled out, “This is not okay! This is not okay!”

In the moment, I laughed until I choked on my own ice cream. Eventually, I composed myself, wet a napkin with water, the crisis was resolved, and we never even swerved out of our lane. (My husband has mad skills 😉 )

I wish everything else that we’re going through could be resolved as easily. A little water and a napkin, and poof– it’s all better. Brian is right– it’s not okay. None of this is okay. This is his father and it is really scary.

We ask that you pray for the surgery tomorrow, for David and for the doctors, and for our family. Thank you, and we’ll keep you posted. And if you’re reading this tonight, any prayers you can send to make this car ride any faster or less painful would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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My skilled driver 🙂

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His goofy sidekick 🙂

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Lola– SO ready to be there!!!