Natalie here--First I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns about Tom (aka Pops). His back surgery went really well and I picked him and Kathy up from the hospital yesterday to bring them back to home-sweet-home. Pops looked really good for having just had hardware screwed into his spinal column and he even was able to hold Sam and Johnny for a while after we got him settled. Ella is ecstatic to have her Grams and Pops back across the street and we are all glad to see Pops looking so well. I am sure there are pictures of Jen's blog which is in our sidebar if you'd like to take a look.
Another family member has also been heavy in my heart--my brother Donnie deployed a few days ago. He is in Kuwait for now, but will eventually end up in Mosul, Iraq. I know it is nothing new for many people in the US, and many who may read this blog, to have a family member deployed, but it is a first for me to have a sibling there. (My brother-in-law was deployed as well 2 years ago, but I didn't know him that well at the time.)
To say I am worried is of course an understatement. I try to not envision the worst, but the scarey thoughts kind of creep up on me. I love him so much and he is so special to me, to imagine him hurt or worst just makes me go a little crazy. So please keep those prayers coming folks, for Donnie and all of our soldiers. Envision a white light around them. May the Lord protect them and bring them safely home.
I took the girls up to the hospital to see Papa today. He was in great spirits and is always excited to see the girls. Ella was a little scared because I made a big deal about being careful around him. She even asked on the way up, "how can I show Papa I love him without giving hugs and kisses?" Even though I told her hugs and kisses would still be fine as long as they were gentle, she was still hesitant. At one point she ran over and snuck a kiss on his arm and ran back.
He showed her how his bed worked, his fancy pee bag, and of course his blood drainage bag. What a day.
Like I've said to many people, we all feel really excited after this surgery. It feels like we all have a chance to get healthy and to enjoy our lives. There has been a lot of pain and struggle lately, but God's hand is at work here. In my study recently I've been learning about how God works through processes, and that his work is never on my time table. It just feels like his work and his hand is all over this. I can feel him pulling us closer to him and to each other in a very healthy and genuine way. It feels like a great gift, a chance.
There is nothing we can do to earn this chance or make ourselves worthy. There is no perfection or number of actions required: believe in Him and love from the HEART, like he loves us...flaws and all.