Could the Doctors See the Love in Grandpa's Heart?
Well, the surgery is over and God took good care of us. The next six weeks will be the recovery time and I'm hoping and praying Fred will be patient and enjoy the time to rest and allow his body to heal. He's been a good patient so far, so I'm sure he'll follow doctor's orders! You always learn alot during these kinds of experiences, and I've learned lessons as well:
- I've learned about heart valves and how they work
- I've learned that open heart surgery is very delicate and that medical science is amazing
- I've learned that people who's lives Fred has touched really care about him and wish they could help him
- I've learned that God is in control of everything
- I've learned that in a hospital waiting room, there are many people who need a touch of God's amazing grace, just a word, just a look of empathy, just a ray of hope
- I've learned that little children can say the most amazing things...
Someone once said, "Children are God's apostles sent forth, day by day, to preach of love, and hope and peace."
On day two after Fred's surgery, Daniel and I (and Penny) were looking through a booklet about heart valve replacement. We were talking about the valve from a very technical perspective--I named the four valves, showed then what an artificial or tissue valve looks like, and explained what arteries and ventricals and valves are. Daniel was taking it all in and then suddenly said to turn the page back to the picture of the heart. Touching the aortic valve with his finger, he said, "Could the doctors see the love in Grandpa's heart?" I said, "probably not, but Jesus sure could, and Jesus took care of Grandpa." Later, telling Fred that story, he started to cry as the words of a five-year-old reached in and warmed his "heart of hearts."
Tomorrow I bring him home and I'm excited to get him home and get into the recovery mode at home. But my greatest lesson is one I've been learning alot about these past months. And that is that no matter what we go through, God has in mind to grow us, to perfect us, and even to bless us. Even when it seems too hard. And along with all of that, we have nothing whatsoever to complain about, or be discontent about, that our circumstances are so small in comparison to what others are going through and in comparison to how big our God is. Fred used to tell of folks that would answer him with "I'm okay, under the circumstances." To that Fred would reply, "What are you doing under the circumstances?" Remember that? It actually may seem trite, especially if the burdens are much greater than one can bear, but it works for us in our current situation!
Here is a photo of Dad, who wanted to say a special hello to our family of bloggers. I want to thank you kids and your families for all the support you've offered me in these past couple of weeks. To Freddy and Charif and Annie who came and spent so much time in spite of all the chaos it created for you! And Isaac for all the calls and care that reached out through the wires straight to Dad. And a special thank you to Olen who just has been there for us--from breakfast on surgery day, to a shaver for Fred, to shaving Fred :), and the calls and visit with Marcy. Bless you all so much.