Monday, February 28, 2022

Short Month; Long Days

We are all in prayer for the nation of Ukraine and I will have a post about my connection there later.  Today, I simply hope to help you smile.

Did anyone else catch this saying when your children were young?  The years fly and the days drag.  Try to enjoy them all.

I thought that would only be true while I was a mom with toddlers.  Seems it's still true 40 years later.

During this, the shortest month of the year, I've walked some long uncertain days involving hospitals and ERs and doctor's offices.  But I can finally say, I'm thankful everyone seems to be on the road to recovery.  

No one had a single illness, seems when my family get sick they do it up right.  Frank started the month with a serious infection that morphed into a UTI as well as a serious cough.  Then, we got the call that my dad and his wife were admitted to the hospital with covid.  (Dad added pneumonia, a UTI and extreme confusion, as well.)  We finished the month with Meagan and Nathan both having covid.  However, Meagan then developed bronchitis and pneumonia. 

See what I mean?!  A crazy four weeks, indeed.

I don't want to go much further without a picture so I'll share this new classic with you.  It's been years since my brother, sister and I were all together in the same spot.  We intentionally overlapped our time helping care for Dad so we could have a couple of days together.

My brother and his precious wife recently moved to the little community where dad grew up and now lives again. What a comfort to know someone is close by when emergencies happen like this.  Buddy was able to go to the hospital and although he couldn't visit, they knew he was stopping by each day.  

I also have to commend the nurses and doctors who took care of them.  Dad and Christeen were taken to a small, rural hospital but they received excellent care and the team made themselves available to answer our questions each time I called.  (Yes, I did call multiple times each day but never during shift change. LOL)

We all four managed to get in this shot.  We're all laughing because someone had to pose us then run to jump into the picture just before the camera clicked.  Running and jumping are not on the list of our regular, daily activities.  Can I get an Amen?! 

Frank was improving just as Buddy called me to say the hospital was ready to discharge Dad but someone would need to stay with him 24/7 for a while.  I packed quickly Saturday night then jumped in the car just after dawn  Sunday morning in order to drive the seven hours and relieve my brother.  Vonnie flew in on Tuesday to finish out the week.  Dad will be 85 this fall and I wonder if he really knows just how much his kids love him.  But when it's your parents, you just do, right?

Here's a fun shot of the three Burke offspring.  (Not sure what I was trying to do. HMMMM.)  We intentionally stood in front of this huge camellia bush.  Mom planted it right after she and Dad moved back to the country. She loved how they bloom even in winter.

Dad slept - a lot.  So there was time for long, easy conversations and lots of good meals prepared for the purpose of tempting appetites and healing bodies.  Dad was gaining ground by the time I left Thursday morning. Here's one more selfie with just Dad, my sister and me.

A few quiet days and then the Smiths found themselves in trouble.  I say "in trouble" because when you have two sick adults and four active little children who aren't sick, the parents are in trouble.  The fact that none of us could take the children made it even more difficult. Covid is not a team sport.  

Of course, we did come alongside by preparing meals and offering encouragement over the phone.  Even some from our church family did, as well.  There may even have been a few treats thrown in for good measure.

Being the troopers they are, Meagan and Nathan stepped into tag team parenting.  One would sleep and the other would handle the children.  "Tag, you're it!" took on a whole new meaning at the Smith house.  Here's a close up of the fort they built in the living room while the family watched church on the big screen yesterday.


Needless to say, these days of illness have seemed long and stressful and difficult.  But the good news is, God has been with us for each of them.  He provided knowledgeable doctors to care for Frank, my dad and stepmom.  He provided the medications everyone needed and the courage to keep pressing forward.  (We're still waiting for one more report for Frank so we would appreciate your prayers for that.)

Here's my closing thought.  If your days have been long lately, I encourage you to look to scripture for the help and courage you need.  Psalm 124:2 has been a favorite for me through the years.  "What if the Lord had not been on our side..." NLT  I mean, really!  What if we were trying to walk through short months of long days without the help HE provides?

Whew!  I can't even imagine.  I am so very grateful to know that He keeps the promise given to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6-8  "The Lord goes before you.  He will never leave you or forsake you..." - especially during long, hard days.  

Be encouraged, dear friend. Blessings as we all "March into Spring."  :-)

Do you have a prayer need?  Or perhaps a story of encouragement you'd like to share?  Leave it in the comment section here.  We would all be happy to share with whatever your days have been looking like.