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Wednesday Update: 02/11/09

What a crazy couple of days. I had been intending to write about the exciting new car we purchased last week and all the silly and fun things we’ve been discovering about it…but all the excitement sort of fizzled when we had a health scare in the family. Monday night, just as we were sitting down to supper we received a phone call from George that his mother Dora was at the emergency room in Boone…she had appeared to have suffered a stroke. We had just been up to Boone on Saturday for an early birthday lunch with the family…and the memories of her smiling face and eternally friendly attitude were painfully fresh. Suddenly the thought that we could lose her overwhelmed us…

We have long realized we are incredibly blessed to have such healthy grandparents, but oh, it is so easy to take that good health for granted. Matt’s grandparents are in their late 80’s and yet live incredibly independent and full lives. I’ve always admired the pep in their steps…the twinkle in their eyes. I realized I’ve been a part of their family for half my life and have felt his grandparents were my own virtually all these years. They are so loving – and we both love them so very much. The reality that someday we won’t have our grandparents around…well, it’s just too hard to think about. I remember all too well the grief I felt at losing two of my grandpa’s. Mortality, and the fact that we’re all getting older, is a hard thing to accept sometimes.

We all congregated around Grandma at the hospital Monday night…worried, and uncertain of what her future held. She was not lucid…not responding to any of us. She was restless and irritable…very much not herself. It was hard to witness her discomfort and know that we couldn’t do anything to help, but pray. It was touching to see Grandpa be so gentle and loving towards her…to see him want so desperately to sooth and comfort her. He seemed a little lost. They had just had their 66th wedding anniversary…and to see his hands enveloping hers all I could think of was the many, many things those hands have been through together over the years. They are the foundation of this family, for sure…and they have raised such a wonderful family – for which I know they feel immense pride. I’ll never forget how Grandma carried herself on our wedding day. Her head held high, her shoulders back…she was so proud of us getting married…but probably more proud of her beautiful flock taking up several rows in the church. All her children and all of their children had traveled from many states to be there that day and she just beamed with pride. I don’t think she knows any greater joy than her faith and her family.

We stayed close by all evening Monday, finally heading home after 10:30. We tried to sleep, but were consumed with thoughts of the unknown…and what the future would hold for Grandma. When we got up Tuesday morning, we heard from Lissa that Grandma was awake and seemed to be doing better…so we decided to head back up there and be with family again. As we made our way to her room, we were cautiously optimistic of what we might see there…but we could not have prepared ourselves for how wonderful she looked, sounded, and WAS! She turned to see us come in the room and was so happy to have us there! She greeted us, talked with us…as though nothing had happened. It was amazing! She had no memory of the previous days’ events and, other than being tired, really felt fine! I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. Having seen how she was on Monday night, I never could have imagined she could rebound so quickly and so completely. She was telling stories about old friends and family just like always…her stories never sounded so sweet. Matt and I smiled at each other knowingly. Grandma was really ok. God answers prayer. We are so very thankful! The doctors were thinking perhaps she had a prolonged TIA, as she’s had small ones off and on over the years…but I’m not sure if anything definite has been determined at this point. They were running tests yesterday afternoon and right now I’m not sure all the details. I think they’ll have her follow up with a Neurologist, and may change some of her medications…but overall, I think she’s going to be ok. Amazing. I think she’ll be able to go home soon, and Grandpa is going to hire someone to come in and do some things around the house a little more for her…but I’m not sure she’s convinced she needs that. Which, oh, that just makes me smile. Grandma…who never likes to make a fuss… She is a precious blessing to me, personally…and to everyone who knows her. I’m just so very grateful that we’ve been given more time with her.

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