Her Own Story

Aloha! I know I’ve been missing in action for quite a while now. I was just getting my legs back under me after our journey to Dallas, and then I accompanied Ray to Las Vegas, where he had a conference. My mom flew in from Oregon to keep the kids for us so that we could get away together, the first time since Abbie’s injury. What a blessing! The chance to sleep in a little bit and operate without a set schedule was a wonderful break. We returned home last Wednesday afternoon, in time to welcome houseguests that evening. That week also brought Dr. Tennant back to Hawaii to lecture and teach. To say it ‘s been a whirlwind…well, I feel a little like Dorothy at this point.

To catch up on Abbie: Dr. Tennant and I came to the same conclusion on the same day. Abigail Faith is going to write her own story, and perhaps in retrospect we will understand it all. We are walking a path not traveled before — no one has ever tried to heal an anoxic brain injury using the methods we are employing. So, we keep track of her voltage, track her progress, and note indications of change, but just when we think we know where we are going, Abbie throws us a curveball.

In some ways, though, it is much easier not having a path to follow — there are no parameters, no targets to meet, no timelines. Mentally, this really gives me a break and allows me to sit back and be a spectator to what is unfolding in Abbie.

Abbie is currently on day 3 of Omnicef for an adenoid infection. She spiked a fever last Wednesday, and by Friday was sounding like a full-grown pig rooting for its dinner. There wasn’t a whole lot of sleeping at night for her or me. During the night on Friday the congestion in her sinuses seemed to be really interfering with her breathing, so I called our beloved ENT on Saturday morning. She squeezed us in and ran a scope through Abbie’s nose to find swollen adenoids with some blood on them. Abbie is feeling better and sounding more like a piglet these days than a full-grown porker.

Although she is still on oxgyen we took her to school today. She and I had a conversation about it at 4am, where she was very clear about her desire to go. I am glad we went. After a brief catnap Abbie perked up and did well with her switch. She and I had a good time during “recess” as well. I had her sitting right in front of me as we played with a vibrating frog. I turned it off and put her next to her. I asked her to find it and turn it on. She quickly found it visually, and after I’d reassured her that I’d hold her if she used her arm, she lifted her arm up to turn it on (I helped with the aiming a bit). She did this a number of times when we asked her. It may sound minor, but it’s new, and that’s what counts!

Our houseguests, John, Donna and Sarah Belew, journeyed from Georgia to spend a few days in paradise. I remembered John as the “new lieutentant” when I was at Fort Lewis. The fact that he’s now a major makes me feel old. John has regularly posted encouraging and strengthening messages at Abbie’s site, so I was excited to see them. One evening he asked to hold Abbie as we talked. To see someone else love your child so tenderly is overwhelming. To me, it reiterated that we’ve never been abandoned, never been alone. John holding Abbie was the literal picture of how she has been carried all this time by hands not our own.

The Lord often teaches me lessons in short phrases of four or five words. I suppose it’s because he’s well aware of my limitations. This week, though, perhaps because I’ve been stretched so thin lately, He’s down to just one word. His word for me is “remain”! I was reading John 20 and noted that Mary remained at the tomb after John and Peter left. Because she stayed Mary was the first to see the resurrected Christ. That same day I heard a message about how a tree in winter just stands there, looking as if nothing is going on. But, because it remains, spring comes and it blossoms. So, I am grateful that my current assignment is just to remain. He is not telling me to walk, fight, knock, proclaim…for now I stand, resolute but still, waiting for the spring that I can sense moving in.