I am sorry it has been so many days since I updated. We have been basking in the GLORY of all God is doing, and running like crazy to try and keep up with life! Let's Go back to Tuesday and see what has been happening.
Tuesday morning, after getting his kicking new shoes, Nat rocked his last couple of therapy sessions. While he was working away, I was packing away. We sure managed to get a LOT of stuff over the 6 weeks we were at the hospital! But I got it all packed up, checked out of the family house again, and got the car packed.
The Rehab unit is mostly kids that are there for long periods of time. Believe it or not our 6 weeks was actually pretty short. They deal mostly with traumatic brain injuries, but also other neurological things (like Nat!) too. One of the cool things that the Rehab team does is throw a party for the kids when they get to go home. These kids work SO HARD with these therapists day after day and they all bond so tightly, to just leave with nothing would be so hard on all of them. So all the kids from the unit gather around the nurses station, as many of the nurses and therapists as possible come over, and they sing and have treats and give the kiddo leaving a gift. It is really cool. Quick, easy and yet provides such great closure!
After Nat's party there were a few papers to sign, discharge directions to go over and balloons to collect... and then we were OFF!
One of my now so smart moves became apparent next, as the car told me just how NOT happy it was about not moving for 6 weeks. My battery was dead, sigh. It turns out all of those security escorts back and forth to the family house came in handy for more than just keeping me safe in the mean streets of Oakland! When the security team found out my battery was dead they came right over and jumped it for me. Such kind guys! So, after a little delay, this boy and I were ready to hit the road! That picture is both of us sitting in the front seat of the car, ready to get going!
I was totally exhausted leaving Oakland. The emotion and stress of the last 6 weeks had really caught up with me, along with the NEED to see home, to hold my daughter, for my family to sleep all under the same roof and for me to sleep in my own bed! I was sort of concerned about the drive home, it was a long 250 miles we faced, but I just laid it on the Lord and started driving. The first hour or so was heavy traffic and not so familiar roads, but then it was like the load was lifted. The drive was actually so very easy and almost like someone else was doing it. As we got closer to home and back in our familiar turf I started to get anxious again. That happens to me, I just want to BE HOME, even though I know we have about an hour left. Right then is when a dear friend called me and chatted with me (yes, via my hands free set!) all the way till I pulled into my driveway. He kept me laughing and giggling and made those last miles fly by.
Then there was this BEAUTIFUL sight. I can't tell you how thrilled my heart was to see out house to pull up to our front door and to walk into MY sanctuary! There REALLY is no place like home!
And then my cup really did run over. Audrey and Damen had made a sweet welcome home sign for us, my friends and church had filled our fridge with groceries (and OUR kind of food too!), a dear sweet friend had put diner in the crock pot so we came home to a fresh cooked meal and a house smelling divine, and there were even fresh flowers on my dining room table. I am truly so blessed by the people that God puts in my life.
Since being home, I can't explain the PURE joy of being here. From the simple things like friends who came over IMMEDIATELY to give hugs and say welcome home, to the bank tellers welcoming me home with smiles and hugs, to the big things, like my family back together as a unit and to freedom of our own home. It is all such a blessing.
Being home means so much, like sleeping in a real bed, not the window bed that was 6 inches shorter than I am! Like not hearing the IV alarm sound constantly all day and night long. Like turning the lights out at night so it is actually dark to sleep. Like not having to wear security badges 24/7. Like taking a shower with bare feet, no flip flops. Like having privacy and dignity. Like not having to sleep fully clothes at night! Interestingly it was the little things that drove me nuts there, but the big things that I am constantly blessed by here. I can NOT express how much difference the love and joy and prayers that people pour over us has made in this journey.
I usually have so many words, and yet this journey seems to have taken them all away from me and left me speechless. But I did write this status update the other day on Facebook with tears of joy and thanksgiving running down my face, perhaps it can express my heart:
"What a day of emotions and love. I can't tell you how my heart feels after brunch with Bea pampering by Heather, walking into my home church for the first time in weeks, a warm welcome from The Rock Harbor Worship Team, hugs from dear friends like Gary & Trish, and finishing the night off with Katy and my PSC family. After the journey we have been on, my heart is humbled and blessed by the love I feel today. There really is NO PLACE like home, and I am SO BLESSED by the amazing people God has put in my life. Tomorrow? You will find me on my favorite beach watching magic happen, and praising Him with tears and joy... I KNOW I won't make it through tomorrow without tears of pure thanksgiving and humility at God's GREATNESS."
So for all of you I have left hanging there wondering how we are doing, please let me tell you we are FABULOUS and BLESSED. We are redefining "normal" in our house since Nathaniel is a really different boy than when we left (cognitively and physically functioning different), we are learning to be a family again after so much time apart and we are welcoming God's direction into every corner of our world. And I haven't forgotten the lessons God taught me either, I am making changes, following His lead and opening my EVERY breath to Him and his leading. I have a feeling God isn't done with this journey yet.
We love you and will try to keep you updated in our world! As always, thanks for standing with us in prayer and love and support!