After I changed my youngest into his pajamas last night, we proceeded to join my oldest in a round of legos, I was unusually quiet. So quiet that my two-year old asked me to start talking to his younger brother. “Momma, talk to Trev-Trev”, he said. He’s intuitive in that way. He could tell I was deep in thought. Good thoughts. I was thinking about my mom, Aida. I was wondering if she enjoyed moments like we were having. Legos. Pajama snuggles. Good night hugs and kisses. Heart warming moments. Listening to my sons babble back and forth with each other. Giggles to no end. Watching my youngest give his big brother a hug with a smile, as wide as river, on his face. Remembering a hug can say it all.
That’s the most obvious answer.
Of course, she loved those moments.
I was thinking about her because this day marks when the Lord took her home to be with Jesus forever. In fact, it marks 20 years. It seems like such a long time. Big number. 20. Seems significant and surreal. Twenty. Much of my life feels surreal.
Now I do the things she did well and loved. Staying home to raise our boys. Playing with them. Having fun in the kitchen with them. Tousling their hair. Tickling their back.
20 years is long time to miss someone. It feels like I’ve lived two different lives. Of which I do. Two different childhoods. Two different beliefs of god. Here’s the silver lining: the Lord is good. Because missing her now, doesn’t hurt. It makes me thankful for what the Lord gave me. How he filled the voids in my heart thereafter with Himself, the promise of His scriptures, people, and the life He has given me. How could I ever be angry at a God who has blessed me beyond measure; beyond what I deserve? Just because of one thing in my life? Now that would be silly.
William is great at being sensitive to what I’m feeling. He asked me how I was doing as mothers day was approaching. I told him I was so thankful for the 12 years we had together. Better to have had 12 fabulous years than 50 mediocre years. Thank you Lord for 12 wonderful years.
Sabbatical is defined as taking a rest from two months to a year. Therefore, I saw it fitting to use as the answer to “Where have you been?” That seems to be the question I’ve been asked lately by sweet people who love me. My responce, other than sabbatical, is, home. I’ve been home. I’ve been soaking in each minute with my babies and my loving husband. I’ve been focusing on time with Carter. I’ve been praying through some issues in my heart. I’ve been reevaluating priorities.
I knew at the beginning of the year the Lord was telling me to slow down. And, I listened. I needed lots of quiet time at home. Alone with my precious ones and the Lord. It’s been the sweetest three months. That’s not to say I’ve put locks on my door and did not socialize; untrue. I just went about it differently. More thoughtfully. More purposeful.
To some this will make perfect sense. To others, it’ll sound odd. Phrases like, “spending time with the Lord”, will make someone who doesn’t believe in Christ think the other is a little off kilter. But, I spend time with God because I love Him and have a relationship with the Creator who made you and me. So just as I spend time with my husband and close friends because we have a relationship. I, too, spend time with the Lord.
Then my best friend called and gave me a loving lecture. “It’s time to write again,” she said. She knows how much I love to write. I have a few outlets and this is one. Amidst having a blog, I can be very, very private. She encouraged me to be all God has made me to be regardless of criticism or fear of what some one person may think. I’m taking her advice like taking a bull by the horns! Love you, T!
Making a volcano!
Tot Time – Learning colors, Carter’s way.
Helping Mommy cook!
Perfection: Made by God.
I love when we get to catch up with friends & family who live far away! Recently friends of ours, Alexis & Shane, got married and our sweet, lovable friends, Blake & Katelin came into town for the wedding! YEAH!
Here’s my handsome husband & I dressed up for the wedding reception! They had a private ceremony a few weeks earlier and a backyard reception that was drizzled with love and personal sentiment! I loved it!!!
I must explain this picture … goofiness, included. I set the camera to a timer and forgot to tell everyone that it was going to take 10 at a time. One’s bound to turn out of all of us, I figured! As the camera kept snapping, everyone got more relaxed and started laughing. My favorite pictures are totally candid and usually when someone is laughing! I love the *joy* that is in someone’s face and body when they’re laughing!
And, for another sweet surprise. My cousin, Danny, came into town. He’s holding Trevie looking so affectionatley at him. I adore Danny. Always have. He’s got a heart of gold and reminds me of my brother, Chris, in that way. He always makes me laugh and is so darn handsome!
Top right, my cousin, Elias also came to town and I haven’t seen him since I was about 14.
Thank you everybody for visiting with us! We’re honored to know you and the 4 Simmons’ had a blast seeing you again!
But here’s a real picture of our family of 3 before we become a family of 4!
And finally, Happy 4th! Here are the boys swimming together and watching fireworks. Also had to include this little picture of the 3 of us because I love the expression on Cartie’s face!
As Will & I continue to talk about the last 2 weeks of our life, we both keep realizing, we’re not even past this enough to be retrospective yet. But what we do continue to realize is how good God is. So, we decided we need to continue to be fully aware of His goodness and share that with others.
This isn’t just about Will getting sick and God performing, nothing short of, a modern day miracle in his life. This is also about you and what you learned living life with us the past 2 weeks. Maybe you were one of the people who walked every step with us or maybe you watched quietly from the background. You could have been called to prayer. We’ve been told by a few people that they’ve never seen such a call to prayer with such a bold responce. WOW! So, I wonder, what was God stirring up in them as they watched? Maybe you were in another state but on the phone with me daily offerring your medical advice or you hopped on a plane without telling me, knowing I’d have talked you out of it. Only to come and be the best help to me for three days. Maybe you listened to the voice of God and responded or shut him out, again. It doesn’t matter because you still saw what happened and you, nor I, can deny His goodness.
Again, let me say, I’m bragging about how good God is. I’ve been thinking about so many different aspects of this and here’s a few:
- What if William had not survived? God still would have been good. He still would have reigned supreme. My life would have changed dramatically; but because of his survival our life together has changed. Medically, it didn’t look like Will should have survived. His doctors were not going to give me an ounce of hope to hold on to. But like I said before, medicine is good and doctors are great, but God heals!
- As we would talk about our life stories, Will would tell me from time to time that he’s never had to walk through anything challenging that the Lord set before him. Now, we get to walk through this beautiful testimony together and he is handling it with such grace and joy. I’m so proud.
- My best friend, (from Texas), was coming in on Monday, (same day that Will was rushed to the ER), we were going to spend Tuesday together. Let our boys play together, eat some ice cream…etc. No big deal, right? She can come sit with me at the hospital. She ended up getting very sick which spread to her whole family. So, for safety measure, she couldn’t come see me risking the spread of another illness. My first reaction was, “Lord, what in the world? She’s finally earshot distance away and I can’t see her? In MY time of need.” (ahhh…but it’s not all about me.) So, the day before she leaves, we decided she’d come over to the house…NOPE!…her poor hubby got sick and now the risk was she could be carrying the bug. We can’t risk heading back to the ER because I want to be selfish and see my friend. I’m not upset about it…actually, it’s all a little bit funny now. Her & I talk everyday. Literally. We both have that reliance on one another for encouragement, support, etc. Now, I can see that if she were there, I would have relied on her when God needed me to press into Him. He was asking me to be a big girl.
- Coming home God lifted the biggesst burden off our shoulders. Our car situation. You would think the Lord bringing my loving husband out of a coma would be enough of a gift, right? But there is no end to His love. There’s no limit to his blessings and I’d be a fool to say, “no thanks” to any of it! 🙂 He provided the perfect car for our family this week and we’re both still shocked at how good He is to us. For ten months, we prayed for His leading in this place of our life because we choose to honor Him in all areas; that includes money. Thank you, Lord!!!
I don’t know exactly why I’m making such a big deal about this. I think it’s because too many people have a false view of God. When our life is going good, we love God. And, when life is a little off kilter, we blame God for the bad. But, people, we’ve got to look at what scripture says and that is not true. We like to put God in our pocket and order Him around, but when those tables are turned, it can be uncomfortable when your view of God is a little murky. (like Will’s spinal fluid was…sorry, is it too soon for jokes?!) Remember, we’re finite people in His infinite world.
*Health updates: We’ll be seeing Will’s doctors this week for our follow up visits and find out whatever route of treatment is needed beyond here.
*We wanted to say thank you for those of you who dropped off meals to us this week. You may not think much of it but it’s meant so much to us! Will & I just loved catching up with you and hearing from you what you saw God do lately.
This is good!!!!! First of all, thank you – thank you – thank you, our dear friends and family who have been praying diligently on my family’s behalf. You cannot begin to understand my gratitude towards all of you; every single one of you! I’m so thankful you’ve stepped in on William’s behalf to pray for him, as he can’t pray for himself right now. I’m so thankful for you that you’ve interceded in prayer for me when I haven’t had the words to pray.
Before Will’s last waking for the day, I was alone with him. It’s almost like, I was going back and forth between encouraging him to keep fighting and begging the Lord to let me see his eyes. God is the giver of all good gifts so I boldly went before our Lord in prayer and asked for another glimmer of hope.
Bea & I got to be there when nurse Tara took him off the propifol to see how he did when we woke up for the third time today. It started different; nurse Tara told us to just be quiet while he woke up. (It’s different because in the past they would take him off and start yelling commands at him.) So, we sat and waited and were quiet. 15 minutes passed and I felt like we were getting nowhere. Settling in my heart, I thought, ok Lord – just not yet. I started asking nurse Tara questions like how long we were going to leave him off for? (15 minutes is usually what we do.) Well, how long should it take for him to respond? (usually right away. oh boy, which I understand because yesterday he did respond like a fighter right away.) Even as she tried making him cough, he seemed more irritated than anything else. (Which by the way, when there’s tubes down your husbands throat and nose, the last thing you would want to watch is them forcing him to cough to wake him up a little.) I had to turn away at this point; it was a scary scene.
I stand at his head ready to see those crystal blue eyes, Bea right next to me, and nurse Tara on the other side of the bed…
- nurse: (in a loud voice) “William, open your eyes”
- Will: nothing
- she continues to say this a few times with no response. Bea and I are fixated on his face and we’re just waiting for his eyes to open.
- nurse: “William, squeeze my hand”
- nurse: “GOOD BOY, WILL!!!!!!”
- we didn’t see the squeeze because we’re glued to watching his face.
- nurse: “Will, can you hold up two fingers?”
- Will: he held two fingers up on the left hand!!!!!
- nurse: “Will, can you wiggle your toes?”
- Will: wiggled his left toes!!!! (I’ve never loved a toe wiggle more!!!)
- nurse: “Will, open your eyes.”
- Will: opened his eyes!!!!
- nurse: “Will, can you see your wife? She’s here!”
- Jenet: “Hi Honey, I’m right here!!”
- Will: turned his neck, opened his eyes, and nodded yes!!!
- we continued to ask him questions and he answered every single one of them with a nod yes or no. We asked him if he was in pain, and he nodded yes. We continued to ask him where the pain was in specific parts of his body and he would answer no to all of them. Then, he lifted his left hand as if to start pointing to where the pain was. (because his hands are strapped down, he couldn’t get far enough to point.)
- Continued to talk to him about Carter and I asked him if he wanted to watch a movie tonight. And, nurse Tara reassurred him she would help him with the pain.
- In the beginning as Bea and I were watching the two finger showing and toe wiggling, we both instantly started leaping in the air and crying tears of joy!!
- This is where we see Jesus’s miraculous ways. As I kissed his forehead goodnight and we left the room, doing cartwheels, nurse Tara tells us to stop. “Give me a hug” she says, as she’s crying tears of joy with us. And, this is where I wonder…Lord, who else needs to see that you are real?!
I am thrilled beyond measure right now. Beyond absolute measure. Beyond human measure. Beyond medical measure. Not beyond the measure or power of God. (Can I get an Amen?!)
Why is this so important? We need to see that William can wake up and follow commands. We need to see that he is able to process information and respond. Because, we still do not know the extent of damage that there might be to his brain. So, showing the progress the Lord worked through him tonight, was huge.
I have to tell you all something … this morning, as I spoke with nurse Tara, I told her in my own “stay at home wife” knowledge, I thought Dr. Roberts (his ICU doc) was asking too much of him that after 24 hours he would expect Will to follow commands. (this was yesterday) She reassured me…now after 48 hours, he followed 3 commands, opened his eyes, and answered a bunch of questions!!! Well, I guess it’s not too much for Jesus to give! So, I told her…”Tara, you tell that Dr. Roberts every single thing that happened!” (You’ve got to know, he’s an amazing smart, knowledgable doctor, with zero bedside manner; which is why I’m recording/making a big deal about this part.)
Bea and I ran out to the waiting room with so many of you waiting with us, anticipating any sort of news…we came out running and jumping and smiling!!! SMILING!!! The tears were joyful this time! We replayed the entire scene to you and joined together in prayer as we thanked our God, humbly for yet more glimmers of hope. More miracles. Ohh, we can breathe again.
After leaving, nurse Tara called me with part of his spinal tap results from today:
- Monday, the white blood cell count from the spinal tap was 5,000.
- Today it’s 800. Thank you Jesus!!!
- Monday the fluid in the spinal tap was “murky.”
- Today’s results showed the fluid was clear. Thank you Jesus!!!
Let’s remember to give praise to God who gets all the glory from the miracles being shown! Friends and family, please continue to pray with us:
- The spinal fluid is getting better, but it is still infected.
- We will continue to see results from today’s spinal tap during the next 48 hours as the cultures develop and we get to see what else we’re dealing with as far as the bacteria & bugs in the system are concerned.
- Pray that William will continue to stay responsive; not aggressive when taken off propofol.