Michael was counting down the days until his leg surgery since the end of May! He didn’t seem to remember the pain associated with his surgery last summer…which is a blessing in some ways. What he was really looking forward to was special time spending a few days at Grandma Lorraine’s before and after surgery and the amazing “play room”/rec room at the children’s hospital he would have his surgery. Looking at the pictures can you see the draw? There were so many things and the medical staff was awesome with him! And of course special time with Mommy and Grandma is always extra special.
I was blown away by each and every person who we met at the hospital from admitting staff to medical teams to the volunteers. You can see their love for children and their families in everything they do.
We had our plans set and Michael and I took the road trip to St. Louis the night before and spent the night with Grandma Lorraine (my mother), so we would be ready and well rested before surgery the next day. My Dad and Step-mom Charlotte were wonderful too and were ready to help out in any way we needed them. They met us there and stayed before surgery and then waited with me during surgery and were there to help in so many ways once he came out of recovery. My dad and I even had a chance to visit while I ate dinner while my sweet step-mom, Charlotte, sat with Michael in his room.
But the Lord surprised us with many extra special blessings too!
While I was sitting in the room Michael would start out in before surgery answering lots of questions from the nurse, my mom took Michael to the play room so he could run around and enjoy the things he had dreamed about for a month. My Dad and Step mom arrived and sat with me while I filled in forms and answered lots, and lots of questions.
It was then that the Lord surprised me through our beautiful church family. In walked four lovely people from our precious church family! Our beloved pastor, Bro. Don and his lovely wife, Michael’s favorite Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Janet. My dear friend and our choir director, Jeanette was there along with one of our precious deacons, Gordon. These precious people hadn’t mentioned that they were driving all the way from our town, more than a two-hour drive, to be there with us, but they wanted to be there with us. They told me they wouldn’t have missed it. My heart was so full.
They will never know how much their presence meant to Michael, me and my family.
This was so different from last summer.
Last summer Michael and Josh were alone when they were taken to the hospitals and went into emergency surgeries. I couldn’t be there with them and it broke my heart. I was in the trauma unit of another hospital in need of a lot of treatment and care myself. It tore at my heart not to be with them.
My parents and church family wanted to make sure we felt surrounded with love and care the day of Michael’s surgery last week. I was overwhelmed with their love and how they put feet to their love and prayers.
They told us that they wouldn’t have missed it and wanted to be there to pray with Michael and I before he went into surgery…and to be there with me while I waited for him to come out. Wow. Words cannot express how much that meant to us. Michael just loves these special people so much and so do I. They are such a blessing to our family every day and to do this meant more than they will ever know.
Michael was a sweetie. He asked Bro. Don to pray with him before he got into his “moving bed” to go to surgery. Bro. Don led all of us in prayer that afternoon and his prayers calmed Michael’s heart and mine as well. Michael didn’t start getting nervous until it was time for me to help him get his gown on. It was then that he started looking a little worried but the lines and worry in his eyes disappeared when he walked in and got hugs from everyone there waiting to love on him and pray with him. What a treasured gift!
Michael had a way of reaching out and touching the hearts of the people who took care of him even before he went into surgery. He had one question for each person he met before going in…”Will I be able to go to vacation Bible School next week?” He didn’t ask how long before he could run or jump or play his biggest concern was that he would be able to go to his very first Vacation Bible School. So many of them told me how amazing that was to them. They told me it was awesome to see such excitement from someone so young about getting to go to church. He told them that he loves Jesus and he loves his church family and that they were counting on him to be there to help sing.
I am so, so blessed by Michael’s enthusiastic faith and love of his Savior. He asks me to pray with him often and he begs to lead us in prayer before meals and loves to have us read to him from his devotion book and Bible. He made sure I packed both of them along with several other books for me to read to him after surgery.
Michael’s surgery went well.
His time in the Recovery room was very hard for him. (for both of us to be honest) I tried to help him understand that he would feel pain in his leg after ward but all he heard was that he wouldn’t be in a wheel chair when he went home. The pain took him by surprise and I could see memories of the first surgery in his eyes through streams of tears as I held his head and gently caressed his hair and softly sang to him. The recovery nurses gave him the medications he needed to help him get through it but were blown away by how much my quietly singing to him calmed his spirit. I had asked him what he wanted me to sing and he said, “Mommy please sing ‘Mazing Grace!” through tears and the pain. I sang and held my baby with tears making their way down my cheeks.
The impact of the memories from last summer had overcome me…the reality of what he went through without me there to comfort him after his surgery last summer hit me in the gut harder than I ever expected. But I sang and sang as much as he wanted. Amazing Grace…Lord prepare me to be a Sanctuary…Jesus Loves Me. And slowly he calmed down and tried to rest and my heart calmed as well.
God gave me an opening to answer questions about what caused him to be in the hospital this time and as I shared with the recovery nurses how God took care of him, his brother- Josh, and me through that tragic car accident, every one of the nurses in the room came over to listen. They were amazed that we came through it all and I told them that it was because of God’s grace and faithfulness that carried us through. I shared that each of my boys has a relationship with God as do I and we knew that although we weren’t together, God was taking care of each of us until we could be together. Tears ran down their faces and they thanked me for sharing our story. I thanked them for listening. In sharing with them I was calmed and reminded that God had been with Michael and Josh the first time they went through surgery and I couldn’t be there. God provided wonderful nurses and doctors and volunteers to be with them until their grandparents, sister, friends, and aunt and uncles could come be with them. God is faithful.
We were so blessed that Michael was admitted following surgery so that he could recover at the hospital for 23 hours. What a gift! Michael struggled with a lot of nausea from the anesthetic. It was so hard for him. The nurses who cared for him during the time he was there were such blessings!!!
It was a very long night for us. Michael was up every few hours through the night and awake for the morning by 5:00am. Whew!
I hope you will come back tomorrow night so I can tell you about the incredible opportunities we had to share God’s promise of faithfulness and the VERY special visitors that came to the hospital to meet the patients and their families. MIchael and I even had an opportunity to share our testimony with a couple of them too! This is soooo exciting!
So on that note…I will say— to be continued…
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