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Sunday Update: 03/30/08

It’s the end of another week, and a good chance for me to think back on the week behind, and look forward to the week ahead. I was reminded, yet again, this morning just how wonderful my church family is. While it may be easy for some to forget all we are going through, especially with Matt gone, this family continues to hold us up faithfully in prayer and loving support. I was talking to a woman about how I just can’t say enough how wonderful the church family is…she said ‘well, that’s what we’re supposed to be’…and while she was right…I can honestly say that this church does a much better job of supporting each other than others I’ve attended in the past. They blow me away. They are just so warm and caring…and 100% sincere. I couldn’t ask for more. They inspire me to be better, to want to reach out to others more. I’m so thankful we found this wonderful church!! Of course many folks always ask me how Matt is doing, and our Pastor mentions Matt in his pastoral prayer (which always inevitably brings tears to my eyes). The way they support us…the love that they’ve shown us…it always brings tears to my eyes. What a blessing they have been to us!!

I talked to Matt last night and he sounded much better than when we last spoke. The previous conversation, I could tell he was really homesick, and just missing me something fierce. It’s hard for me to write about it, it seems a little weird to talk about how he’s feeling about me…but just know that the absolute hardest part about this experience is for us to be apart. We have always been the kind of couple who could just be together all the time, and not be sick of each other. And yet, we always had separate interests and hobbies, so we weren’t stuck together all the time. I believe we always had the perfect balance in our relationship, and hopefully that doesn’t sound braggy. I don’t mean it to be. I just mean to say that our relationship has always been good, healthy, and balanced. Of course, these past few years have forced us to spend more time together, in that I had to be around to help Matt with certain things. And while there were times this may have been difficult, and made me miss out on other things…I wouldn’t have changed it. I feel proud of the work I’ve put into our marriage, and being there for Matt. I feel like it has been my privilege to be his wife and care for him…I think it is a calling that I was given, I really do. There is no doubt in my mind that God placed me in Matt’s life for a purpose…and this was it. I actually wrote a little poem about it on the flight home from China:

You are strong, and good, and light
You have a way which draws so many to you,
Eager to know you
And your light

You have so much to offer, so many gifts to give
You are an inspiration to many
You are…
A brother, a son, a friend, an uncle, a mentor…
A husband

You are full and overflowing with hope
And possibility

You are confident, unafraid
A true believer and faithful pursuer
Of all God has in store

You are blessed
And you are my most wonderful blessing

It has been my honor, my privilege – to be your wife
To carry your burdens through
These uncertain days

You prove your worth each day
With a smile
A hug
And the light shines through

You are amazing
You are simply more than I could have expected
This journey we find ourselves on,
Is not what we had planned

But I am so thankful, so grateful
For this wonderful love we share –
It will remain, steadfast and strong

For we were –
Meant to be

I’m sure Matt will be somewhat embarrassed that I put that out there…but I think it says a lot about what I was feeling as I left China, and a lot about what I’m still feeling now. When we talked last about me flying back to China to bring him home, I could almost feel how much that lifted Matt’s spirits. Just being able to know that I was going to return helped him so much. I’ve made my flight arrangements and we’re both looking forward to spending his final week in China together. I think it’ll be a good chance for us both to be together and say goodbye to those who have helped him there. I could tell, talking to Matt last night, that he was very relieved to have this to look forward to. The days are long without having each other close by. It feels good to make these plans and give us both something to look forward to!

Matt’s treatments continue to go well. He has his exercise first thing in the morning now. One of the doctors down there calls him Superman…because he is so ‘tough’! Another main difference between Chinese culture and our own is being warm, and bundled up. We learned this VERY fast. Matt was wearing shorts and t-shirts while the Chinese are all bundled up wearing jackets and long sleeves. They wanted Matt to cover up and at least wear a jacket down to the gym because the halls of the hospital are drafty and cold…but he would get down there and just get sweaty and take it off. So the doctor calls him Superman, and likes to give him some crap. Of course, you know Matt loves that! He always likes a little crap-dishing here and there!

He has spent some time visiting with the Polish couple, in hopes that he can pick up a few words to bring home and brag to his Grandpa. He says there are very nice and should be motivational speakers. Apparently they are very motivated to work hard and are hopeful that they’ll have improvements to bring home as well. Tim and Mary have also been keeping Matt company and they’ve been watching movies and TV shows together.

He hasn’t mentioned anything else that he’s noticed as different, though I do think his speech seems faster and his voice seems lower. Overall, his spirits are good and I could tell that knowing I was going to come back made a huge difference. I’m glad I have the flexibility in my job to take that time off and be there for him.

Things here on the homefront are going well too. I’m pretty well settled now, just finishing up a few things here and there. Cleaning the house yesterday was FUN! It was warm and sunny so of course Steve was sacked out on the couch most of the day. He’s finding more and more places to sit and look out the windows though…right now he’s sitting on the desk as I type checking out the front window, and Buddy is laying at my feet. Such a good and loyal doggie! This neighborhood is so nice and quiet…it really does feel like living in the country! There are geese flying over all the time as there is a creek nearby. I love that I’m surrounded by the sounds of geese and not traffic! And while there are many, many dogs out here…I think just about everyone has one or two…I’ve yet to hear any of them barking! (Except once when I took Buddy out at the same time as the two across the street.) This is also a welcomed change…we had a couple in our old neighborhood who were ALWAYS barking. I started perusing my garden catalogs and magazines again and am making lists of things to order and buy this spring! I can’t wait!!!!!!!! Hopefully we can get the yard graded and the sod in soon and then Miss Penny can come home as well…I miss her and so does Buddy!

I had a great time out on Friday night celebrating mutual promotions with some co-workers. We made our rounds to several other celebrations and I had so much fun hanging out with them. It had been a long time! This week should be a good one as well. I’ve made plans to have my niece Meghan over night next Saturday night so Hope and Chad can go out for her birthday. I’m really looking forward to having some one on one time with Meghan. It has also been a long time, and I miss that kid as well. For now, I’m going to kick back, relax, and watch the race! Fun, fun!!


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