Today was an experience that will forever change my life. It was a moment in time that I will look back and will alter the way I live life. My experience today will alter my love for my family and my God forever.
We got the call at 1:00 this afternoon while all the kids were at school that Sarah was going to be transferred to her new rehab center in Houston tomorrow morning. This is a blessing beyond blessings. TIRR in Houston is one of the bests and we want her in the best so she can get better. It's a day we have been hoping for but also dreading as those closest to her because it will mean she will be 3 hours away from her babies. We knew we were going to have to explain it to the kids in the best way we knew how. The problem with the timing of today was that Greg had to be out of town for the day for work and he couldn't get back in time to take them up there himself like he had wanted to. They have only seen her one time and all I can say about it is that it was a hard experience for both of the older kids and they had been dreading going back. After talking to Greg he asked if me and Jan could take them up there to make sure they saw her before she left.
The first thing I did was picked Ava up from school. Ava has been the most stand offish about Mom being sick. She has been quiet about everything and has not wanted to go up to the hospital. We have all been super careful with what to say to her and what to force on her in this experience. So I picked her up from school and asked her if she wanted to go shop for mama. I told her that we were going to see mama before she went out of town to go to rehab and that I thought we could give her a mani and pedi tonight before she left. We went to Target and she was so excited. We went down the aisles and she strategically planned how to paint her nails... "Aunt Sissy, I think we should do this purple nail polish on one hand and this sparkly pink nail polish on the other hand!" She picked out three different lipsticks and a new purple scarf for her mama's new haircut.
After picking out goodies for mama we all headed to the hospital. Greg talked to them on the phone and said some really sweet things. He prepared them a little more and told them that "mama still can't talk but she will love seeing you and just treat her like you always did before". He talked to them and made them laugh before we got to the hospital and they literally listened to every word.
When we got there Jan, Will and Ava went in to see her first and I had Halle. We wanted it to be as few people as possible. Sarah is so much more engaged and will respond with her hand and in her facial expressions but we wanted to make sure the kid's felt comfortable and wanted to make sure it was low pressure for Sarah too. I walked in there with Halle about 5 minutes after the older kids got to be with her.
This next hour of my life was the moment in time that changed me forever. I can't write about all of it b/c it would be way too long.... but OH MY GOODNESS I'm proud of those kids.
Those kids are scared to death about everything that is going on but yet they went into that icu room confident and showed such love to their mom. Will walked right in and talked to her about school and what he was doing that night.
Ava was shy for a little while but once we started talking and bringing out the presents she had picked out for Sarah, she completely shifted. She hopped down and Ava painted all of Sarah's fingernails (sorry Sarah! I know it looks hilarious! Purple on one hand, pink on the other) and put lip gloss on Sarah's lips. Ava did not want to leave. She sat down with Sarah in her bed and wanted to watch T.V. with her and Sarah even turned on the T.V. and started changing the channels. Ava wanted to tell her about school and hanging out with Elle (her best friend). It was amazing to watch the transformation in Ava.
I got to talk to Ava and Will about all of the things Sarah COULD do.. I told them, "She is still the same mom. She is still there and listening to every word you are saying and she is loving every minute of this." Every time she did something it surprised both kids. They watched her every move b/c they wanted to feel connected to her. She played with Ava and Halle's hair. She squeezed their hand. When Will went to hug her she lifted her arm and tried to put her left arm around him. She smiled with her gorgeous half smile she is doing right now. She listened to every word they said and she watched everything that went on. She was totally present and the kids got to truly see her for the first time today. Sure, as Ava says.. "mom has a new weird hair cut" and she is not the same mom she was a month ago, but she is still their beautiful, gorgeous mom and they know she still loves them completely. There is a reason Ava didn't want to leave that scary hospital room tonight... She longs to be next to her mama no matter what state she is in.
I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids. What they are witnessing is hard to grasp even for an adult and yet they are rising up and loving well through the hardship. They are joyful through the pain. They are confident and resilient.
Halle was stand offish but it was still so good for both of them to lay eyes on eachother. It had been a full month since they had seen one another, it had to be good for Sarah to see her baby. I can't wait for them them to go Houston to keep seeing her progress.
Sarah is in there and she is FIGHTING. God is healing her and I am so lucky to be one of the ones watching this from a front row seat. She is going to get better, I know it and feel it. It's going to be a long road and I know one day very soon she will talk to us and I know she will come back fully. I believe in my God that is a healing God. I trust you Lord.
Until then pray so hard for her emotions and spirits and keep praying for her total healing. Pray for her to keep fighting through this hardship. Continue to pray for the Thomas' as they start a temporary life in Houston for the next couple months helping their daughter recover. Pray for our family as we are here managing the kid's and their crazy schedules and their fragile hearts. Pray for the kid's to keep being resilient and strong as they miss their mama. Pray for Greg and the decisions that need to be made in these next few weeks. Pray for endurance and strength for everyone caring for these kids.
Personally pray for me as I go back home on Friday for a few days to tend to my normal life. I will be coming back shortly after my return home but I am needing to go take care of my boys for a few days. I haven't been home in almost 4 weeks. Pray for my emotions as I leave here. I am so torn in my emotions right now and dread leaving for so many reasons. I also know that I need to go home and alot of ways I am ready to be home and see my friends and family. Pray for everyone involved and keep praying fervently for her recovery in Houston.
LOVE these kids!
Shopping spree for mama! She picked out everything herself!
Thank you for praying!
"Give Praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles that he has pronounced."
Psalm 105: 1-5