Happy New Year precious friends!!
Don’t know about you, but we were thankful to see 2019 end. Personally speaking it was a hard one for our family. Of course there were many highlights of joy but for real – there were some real doozies too. I was telling one of our friends the other day that I felt like an old cartoon character who got whacked on one side of the head and when my head flopped over from the hit, it was now whacked from that side causing it to fling back to the opposite side again – over and over. Talking to some of you, your 2019 was similar, so I know we weren’t the only ones! Truly, the Lord was oh-so-faithful, but wow(!) what a year we had. The last time we had a year like this past year was 2009. Both years had joy-filled moments mixed between some heavy loss and heartache. I wrote about 2009 here .
Anyway, as most know our Johnny-boy’s surgery was the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 25th) and after five days in the hospital he was moved to a skilled nursing facility. His quadriplegia coupled with the doctor’s strict orders that his legs must, at all times, remain horizontal made it impossible for us to care for him as both of our bathrooms are too small to fit a wheelchair while keeping your legs straight out. It just wouldn’t work.
Thankfully the nursing facility is near Dw’s office and John also has a phone in his room which makes life easier and he is able to call day and night and visa versa.
In fact John called early yesterday morning like at 5-something. My ringer on my cell phone was abnormally low and I hadn’t heard it so I called him back. He asked who it was when he heard my voice. I told him it was his mama. He questioned, “Are you sure?” I assured him it was me. He then said, “Well it doesn’t sound like my mom.” He questioned again, “Are you really sure this is my mom?” I told him things that only I would know (like Elizabeth and I brought In and Out to him the day before) and he insisted, “But it doesn’t sound like my mom.” I kept laughing, “Dude, I haven’t talked to anyone yet so my voice isn’t really awake.” After about five minutes he finally seemed somewhat satisfied it was me (I mean who else would return his call in the dark-morning hours – silly boy!) It was then that he finally told me why he was calling – his legs were itchy and he couldn’t sleep. Made me laugh – I guess if he’s awake, his mama should be too.
This coming week we take him to the surgeon and Lord willing, he will be able to get his casts off and then moved to a intense rehab center before he can finally come home. We really miss him and are definitely more than ready to get our son home!
The other day while Elizabeth and I were hanging out with Johnny-boy we had a tender conversation and there is no doubt that John’s insights are worth repeating.
Our conversation started something like this….
“Mom did you see the girl who was in the activity room with me?” I told him I had noticed her and he continued….”Well mom I’ve been thinking….I always have kinda’ felt like I had it kinda’ hard, you know Mom? My legs and arms don’t work, but you know that girl? She’s been here for twenty years. Her family doesn’t want her. Most of the people here have special needs mom and they’ve been here a long time because no one wants them. She has it way more-worser (still working on verb tenses but it sounded so cute I had to quote him) than me mom. Mom, can you believe it? She’s been here for twenty years! Her talking is hard to understand and she sounds a lot like Jubilee and I can’t believe it – her mom and dad don’t want her.
And mom, it made me really think how good I have it, cause even though my legs and arms don’t work I have a mom and dad who want me. I dunno know mom, I can’t imagine being that girl and living here for twenty years already….”
Oh friends, Johnny’s only been home for three years and he has deep insight at times – acknowledging that his very broken body seems “insignificant” as long as he has a mom and dad who want him. He’s always been a very thankful kid, but even in a skilled nursing facility for weeks away from us – his attitude is one of thankfulness for what he does have – a family.
I have to wonder how many broken-bodied orphans, just like our Johnny-boy, are just waiting for a mom and dad? That’s the only thing they want. As Dw and I have long said, The only true “special” need any orphan has is for a family. A family that unequivocally shouts, “You are ours now – no matter what – for forever!”
John’s thoughts were sobering and the Lord reminded me of an area of my life that I’d been whining about in my heart. It’s so easy to whine, even if just in our heart. I’ve asked the Lord to forgive me for my whining.
Maybe today you need to be reminded of how many other people have it “more-worser” than whatever you are walking through cause I’m certain Johnny’s words will echo in my soul for years to come, continually reminding me that, even when life is hard there are so many others who have it way more-worser.