On Friday, October 8th mom left ICU for a Rehab facility in Springfield, Missouri. This was the first time mom had left the ICU in 50 days. Her going to rehab was a benchmark in what has been a long and trying season. It was a benchmark of success, of mom's perseverance, and God's grace.
There was a sense of accomplishment for my brother and I the day as we saw mom leaving the hospital. She'd spent 50 days in ICU. On her 5th day, her nurse told me to give up hope, and let mom go. From then until day 50, my brother and I engaged daily in fighting for mom's health, and making sure she had good care. We had to fight for basic things, like a clean and sanitary room. We had to fight for big things, like whether specialists should be brought in. We had to fight for everything in between. I'll write more on this later, but I want to try and communicate how hard this was, and how there was nothing easy about it. The whole time mom was in ICU seems now like a blur of war. We had to fight hard. We had to give everything we had. The Lord strengthened us considerably, and I felt we were fighting 'the battles of the Lord.' When I got tired, my brother stepped in, and when he got tired, I stepped in. Sometimes, we were both so tired, too tired to fight individually. In those times, we stood together, leaned on one another, and fought as one.
The day mom was transferred to rehab Billy and I walked out of the hospital to see her off. As we walked together, I placed my arm on his shoulder, and he lifted his arm around my back. Then, unprompted, and at the same time, we raised our hands. We had the feeling that, no matter what, we had given our all. And it had paid off. The fight had born fruit.
Maybe this is an encouragement for us all to persevere when things seem dark. At least, I hope it is an encouragement for us to fight. Fighting for the truth, for those we love, for what is right -- this is a hard life -- but I am convinced it is the God ordained way.
Here are my two favorite quotes on 'fighting hard' --
"I knew at that moment I'd given everything I had to give, total commitment. Not hold back anything. Like being truly clean and truly free as far as maximum effort. It is an emotional feeling, and emotional high that is basically unparalleled (Don Meredith)."
And this one from the movie Friday Night Lights:
"You all have known me for a while...and for a long time now,
you've been hearing me talk about being perfect. Well, I
want you to understand somethin'. To me, being perfect...is
not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning.
It's about you and your relationship to yourself and your
family and your friends. Being perfect... is about being able
to look your friends in the eye...and know that you didn't
let them down. Because you told 'em the truth. And that truth
is, is that you did everything that you could. There wasn't
one more thing that you could've done. Can you live in that
moment...as best you can with clear eyes...and love in your heart?
With joy in your heart?"
It was an emotional day, an emotional high, when mom left ICU. It was a respite after a long fight. We fought hard, as hard as we could -- but not us. Not us, but the grace of God within us.