This is the sappy post I’ve been waiting to write till I knew I *sniff* had enough *sniff* gumption to *sniff*.
OK, let’s face it, I will never-not in a million years-be able to express the gratitude towards the friends and family that have surrounded us through this experience. Without hesitation, people were lining up to help with the boys, the animals, the ranch, lodging up here in Denver, and random expenses. Our church had a potluck to bid fare-well to my husband as he has decided to step back from youth ministry for the time being, and we were showered with more love and gifts than we knew what to do with. Our brother and sister have taken care of our beautiful (but shedding) golden retriever for the past few weeks and I know to some it may be a little thing, but to me it makes my heart sing that my pup is surrounded by a happy family and little people to snuggle and play with. One less thing for us to worry or stress about. (Thank you guys!)
The day of surgery was mainly filled with a lot of waiting, but my sister drove up at the very crack of dawn to be there with us for as much of it as possible. She told me about the beautiful sunrise over the San Louis Valley, and the huge migration of the Sand Hill cranes that was beginning (some of my favorite birds) She brought coloring books and her incredible spirit into the mix of medical drudgery and even though she drove all the way to a “Swedish Urgent care” in Arvada, and had to backtrack on an already long and rushed trip, she walked in the moment they were rolling me down for my big MRI. She cheerfully joined the entourage and was ready and waiting when I was all done. I can’t express enough how the simple presence of friends and family comforted me during this time. I know something else was going on behind the curtains because I had a peace that surpassed all understanding. Love and a whole lotta prayer! We waited patiently the rest of the afternoon, probably ate Chick-Fil-A at some point, read the Magnolia Journal I bought the night before, talked with my mom who assured me that both her and my dad would be there the following night (meaning they had booked an earlier flight out of Hawaii than they had originally planned. That is true love peeps.) My Grandma and Auntie’s kept us entertained with somewhat disturbing, and a smidge competitive, Haiku poems composed by, of all critters, their beloved dogs.
We knew it was just about time to head down to Pre-Op when an old friend and pastor came in to pray with us. We had no idea of the visit, and it was so reassuring. Immediately after (actually during that prayer) Our pastor came in the room! We had no clue he was planning on making the long drive up here, but we were overjoyed at the sight of him! We hardly got a hello in when the nurses came to wheel me down to Pre-Op, so off we all went. Having people-my people-no matter how much of mine they actually were, became my rock. I knew we had some friends headed in to be with Blake during the surgery and that my twin would be here in just a short while. Any time I started to worry about what I could wake up to, I could hold tight to the fact that I WOULD wake up to my people. Weather I could see them, feel them, touch them, hear them, or even if I didn’t wake up at all, I wouldn’t have to do any of that alone. I prayed a lot, in a way, during this time. I say pray, I did talk to God, I asked Him for His will to be done through this, I asked Him to let me see what that will was, but my most fervent request was that he take care of my babies if I couldn’t anymore. Most of all though, I was just with him. I took comfort in the fact that even when I was wheeled away from my sister, pastor, and husband, surrounded by unfamiliar, cold, sterile-ness, I had my person of all persons right there with me. I felt centered and whole. I felt the peace that surpasses all understanding. When I woke up to a world of pain and delirium, I remember fiercely wanting a hand, anyones hand, (in-between the buckets) just to make sure I was still there. Thanks to the wonder-drug Valium, I remember very little about who-what-when things happened in the ICU but I remember never, not one single time, feeling alone. Not that I could’ve done much about it, as morphine, diloted, phentenol, raglan, diazepam, decahedron, and who knows what else were very present in my blood stream at the time, but I knew deep down when I was being held or not. I remember at one point missing my grandpa so much, I could hardly focus on anything else. My mom had come at that point, holding my hand tightly, and let me know he would grant me full admittance into the “tough-club” (Gramma’s and Auntie’s have that authority now, you know.) My twin came soon around that time, and with the help of the three “Smith” girls, they gave me a somewhat decent hairdo (THANK YOU). I was also brought a ThErApY BABY! Nothing lifts the spirits like a huge dose of cute chubby EDEN! We have had family and friends come and hang out here (here not being the most exciting place on earth) and we have eaten up every second of it. (Thanks Bowlands!) There’s not much I can remember more than people being. Being by my bed. Being there when I had to try and stand, or see. Being there when I was trying to manage the pain. Being there when I was most definitely not. To all of you who were, regardless of wether I remember it all now or not, thank you. I know for a fact that there was never a face I was disappointed to see. No matter how well/little I knew you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And also I should probably insert here an apology or fair warning as well. I have no idea what I said, looked like, acted like, and while I am grateful I don’t remember my indecency, you probably do… comes with the territory! Blake and I cannot wait to get home to our babies, our family, our friends, our critters, our mountains, and our people.
We love you all, thank you for seeing us though this overwhelmingly big time of life. If this experience has taught me anything, it is this: love. Love covers a multitude of sins. The greatest commandment God has ever given us is to love. So if all any of you can glean from this little time of my life is to show love to anyone and everyone, please do. You have no idea the turmoil or loneliness that faces each human on a day to day basis. So love and be loved just as He loves us.