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Saturday Update: 05/31/08

It's our last day before we leave...YAHOO!!!! Matt is just preparing for his herbal soak treatment, which will be his very last treatment here in China. This morning he had exercise as usual, and then his final acupuncture treatment.
This is the hallway to the gym. Every morning we'd have to weave our way through the crowded hallway to get there. Just thought I'd share!

I have to say that I think the exercise here isn't all that challenging, compared to what he's done in the past with his previous physical therapists. He rides the bike, slowly (they are big on doing things slowly here), for about 20 minutes. Then they usually spend the rest of the time with him laying on a mat while they work on stretching and flexing his right hand.
They had him doing a few stabilization exercises, and occasionally he would stand up and do squats...but most of these exercises weren't that difficult for Matt. He didn't get to work with Dr. Lu today, but since it was his last day we took some pictures and they actually hugged. Matt said Dr. Lu will for sure miss him because who else will give him such a hard time. I think everyone in the gym got a kick out of them going back and forth. Dr. Lu would say he was taller than Matt...Matt would say he was better looking...Dr. Lu would just wave it off and laugh. I'm sure he will miss Matt - he does have that way with people.

President Han came this morning along with Dr. Li and Professor Bian to perform Matt's last acupuncture treatment.
They said they were happy to have him here and that he'll need to continue to work on his balance at home, and that we should consider coming back next year. Right now I know Matt isn't even ready to consider it, but in another year, who knows? I guess time will tell.

This afternoon we've been making our rounds, just saying good-bye to everyone and wishing them well. It is interesting to talk to each person and get their perspective on things and how they're feeling about their time here in China. It has been good for Matt to have them here to talk to and share in the experience. I imagine it must have been quite lonely for Ruth when she was the only one here initially. I'm glad that we were able to be here in a group and that we'll be leaving with another couple at the same time. It definitely feels less intimidating that way! Overall, everyone here has very positive things to say about their time in China. While we all have our gripes, frustrations, and 'what the heck' type moments, each person is able to feel a difference after having been treated here, and each person seems to have renewed hope for their future...and you can't put a price on that. I'm so happy that everyone is feeling good about their time here, and about their chances of regaining things when they get home. I know Matt and I talk about how much we are looking forward to coming home, but I don't want our eagerness to leave to cloud the positive things that have come from being here. It has been a worth-while experience, that's for sure. Matt has met some great people, and has made progress in areas which hadn't changed in many months. It is our hope that the things which were triggered here can continue to heal once Matt gets home. He is motivated to get back and to continue to work hard on things, and most importantly to ENJOY the many, many blessings we have waiting for us back home. While there will always be work to do, and things to improve upon, I don't ever want to feel like we can't stop and smell the roses from time to time. Life is just too full of wonderful things to spend it always wishing for something else. I think for each person, you have to find the right balance between working hard, and simply living. At some point, a certain amount of acceptance has to come...and by this I don't mean giving up. My friend Holly gave me a book to read right before I left for China. It is about finding contentment, no matter the circumstances. I found many helpful things in this book, but the thing which struck me the most was this analogy that we are all cups. Each of us is a cup of some sort and God pours into it our circumstances, our roles, our blessings, etc. It is up to us to accept what we are given and try and find contentment in everything. This really hit home to me...even though we can't understand why certain things happen, we have to believe that there is a purpose, and it is our responsibility to accept what we are given and make the most of it. I hope that we can leave China with contentment that we made it through this difficult time, that we took a chance and it was worth it, that we followed our hearts and tried something out of the ordinary and trust that God will make what He will of it...and it will be good.

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