Friday, June 13, 2014
Praise to the Man
I've said it before, but I have a lot of faith and I believe in miracles. I believe that, no matter the circumstance or situation, no matter the joy or heartache involved, it's part of a bigger plan, one that though before I was born I may have been privy to the details, now that I'm here on the earth, I'm just along for the ride.
Sometimes with tears of sadness and frustration.
Sometimes with tears of pride and joy.
This week though, I was able to pray fervently for a couple extra miracles for my grandpa and along with, hopefully, the rest of my family, we were able to bring those miracles to fruition.
My grandpa's fall, broken vertebrae in his neck, and subsequent surgeries and rehabilitation stays started three months ago on March 17. It's been a long and arduous road for him to recover from neck, prostate, and a bevy of other physical maladies and mental and emotional hurdles. As a family we've visited when we could, I've visited on the rare opportunities I've had to be alone while running errands, and we've prayed for him night and day to get better.
The biggest battle he's been waging is with his swallowing mechanism. Every two weeks, for months now, he's had a swallow test where they put barium in his throat, hook him up to some sort of x-ray machine and watch how he swallows certain foods. But, the small flap in his throat that blocks his windpipe when he eats to prevent him from aspirating has been malfunctioning and thus, he's had a feeding tube for months.
Though the folks at the rehab place love my grandpa, and he's had some really good experiences there, he has been so ready to get out of "prison" as he has called it, and the last few weeks has been more adventurous - visiting graves on memorial day, and heading home for a few hours every Saturday to supervise the yard work and the pool preparations.
But this week....THIS WEEK....we finally got the miracles we've been praying for.
On Tuesday, my Grandpa was freed of his neck collar. And my mom said the first thing he did when he got in the truck from the doctor's office was to offer a prayer of gratitude.
On Wednesday, my Grandpa passed his swallow test. He passed! My mom was there. She said everyone cheered. Many cried. That all those who my grandpa has touched during his stay were there to support him and were so excited for him.
Passing the swallow test means no more feeding tube. No neck brace, no feeding tube means no more rehab and he gets to go home. His home has been made ready for him, it's almost beckoning to him to return. He has to stay a few more days to get him off the sauce completely, but soon he will be home.
And the first thing he wanted when his freedom from the tube was declared.
A diet coke!
Grandma would have been so proud.
And the first thing the boys and I did when we rushed to visit him after school on Wednesday? A happy dance of course. We made him laugh. Not sure if it was at us or with us, but we'll take the laugh, because we haven't seen him do that for months.
My grandpa is the wisest man I know. He is the most faithful. The most strong. The most honest and true. He has dealt with this trial and hurdle with grace and veracity. He has fought to get better and stronger and tougher. He sits in his room and listens to the scriptures on CD. He still attends church and bears his testimony. He has invited others at the center to go with him. He is the best example of the grace of God that I have in my life. I have always "feared" my grandpa, but in the true biblical sense of the word. I have never been afraid of him. But I have the deepest respect and gratitude for him and his life, just like I do for the Savior. He is to be honored and respected always and forever. Just like my grandma's.
I am so proud of him.
I am so happy for him.
He is going home.