One thing we have noticed over the past 17 months, is that there are never two days that are the same for Susan. We have gone through periods of intense pain. That, thank God, has been kept under control for the past five or so months. Swelling up, swelling less, blood pressure sky high, blood pressure lower, blood pressure right, blood pressure up again. More pills than I can count. Appetite has come and gone, come back again, and fades within an hour before a meal. The one thing is that if I put the exact right thing on the table for dinner, Susan will really eat.. On Mother’s Day with Susan’s family, she ate great! Now we’re down a bit again.
And then there is sleep. Some days she is up before me, others not. One day of a few hours of activity, usually is followed by two or so days of mostly sleep. All the while, Annie is right by her side giving he all the love and protection she can.
Through all of this, Susan’s sense of humor and unlimited optimism are always there and keeps everyone who comes in contact with her going. She is definitely getting weaker, but when she’s got her energy, she wants to keep busy, and she can really go, even if only for a short time.
Thank God for a great family and great friends,and the support from Hospice. They are always there with encouragement, love, and friendship. Our kids have done an awesome job coming to visit. Susan talks to Jen daily, and every couple of days Skype lets us be like we’re in the same room. Our grandchildren all want to get on the screen and say hi to grandma, and Luke just wants to entertain. All of these things keep our spirits up and smiles on our faces.
How she does all this and keeps us smiling? I’ll never know. What I do know, though, is that Susan is a strong woman with a deep and abiding spirit. I also know that I am one lucky man.
You have called us to be spiritual leaders of your body this church;
Help us to surrender our hearts and minds to you;
To humbly seek your voice;
To boldly do your will;
To compassionately share your love;
To faithfully be your servants;
And to reverently lead your people.
Bless all that we do,
So that we can do what you bless.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
(From Becoming A Blessed Church by N. Graham Standiish)