Mahalia, Thomas, Sean, Mindy, Shawn

My nurses following surgery were all top-drawer and I am so grateful for the care I received from each one.  The first person I encountered after the nephrectomy was my rock of a husband, Bruce.  His sisu was amazing!  And then I met Mahalia, my first nurse.  I asked, “Like Mahalia Jackson?”  She said yes–so I sang a few bars of Didn’t It Rain, which made her laugh.  Only someone in an anesthetic fog would presume to sing like Mahalia to a woman named Mahalia!
In case you don’t know her, this is one of my favorites

It’s an amazing thing to be cared for by people who have no personal stake in your life.  Nurses rock!  My sister is a nurse by training, although she is now enjoying a career in health care management.  That’s been a bit of a mixed blessing during my recovery.  She knows way too much about way too many things that could go wrong, because she has had to witness and exercise decisions in some truly worst-case  scenarios.  I’ll spare you, but just be careful if you ever need to be intibated for anesthesia!  My sis will be able to continue helping so many people because of her new kidney, and I’m truly happy about that.  In her young career, she had the heavy responsibility of serving as charge nurse of an oncology unit at a major hospital in Dallas.  If she never helps another single soul, she can relax for a life well-lived.  That’s not really the reason I wanted to be her donor, though.  I just love her and want her to live.

Our mother supported our family in her lifelong career as an LPN.  She worked up to age 74, and often said that the money she spent to train at Charity Hospital in New Orleans was the best money she ever spent.  As a kid, I knew our mom had special status, especially in any medical emergency.  I was proud of her amazing calm in any crisis.  But I never realized how hard she had worked for us until I helped with Mom’s care in the months she spent in a nursing home at the end of her life.  If you love a nurse, I dare you to spend a week walking in their shoes.  I know I was humbled and that made me forever grateful to nurses of all stripes, never moreso than in my time of need last week.

Bruce is a very patient caregiver and sacrificed a week to help me make the transition out of the hospital.  Our marriage is such a blessing to us both, because the Lord is truly the Head of our house.

So, God is good.  Cyb and I are both songbirds and almost ready to sing again–recovery is unfolding without too many serious setbacks.  If you have been praying for us, please know we are so appreciative!  We were prayed for the night before our surgeries and it was all based in God’s Word teaching us that He has knit us together and can do so again (Psalm 139).

I feel very blessed by the presence of Jesus in my life during this experience.  One night last week the post-surgical pain was so intense I couldn’t sleep and just lay there breathing in and out, “Lord, help me.  Jesus heal me.”  I finally drifted to sleep with a mental image of Him placing His hands right where the pain was located to help me and comfort me.  I haven’t spent that much time calling upon His Name that I can recall, and so I have to thank God for that pain which caused me to seek so hard after Him. 

I feel His presence, which means I have His joy.  In the day-to-day I can easily forget to even check in with the Lord of my heart and Lover of my soul.  But when we are afflicted, we know our need of Him, and so the affliction is itself a blessing.  I learned this in the Philippines when I traveled there to report on the work of Compassion International.  The children of Manila have nothing.  Some we visited live in a cemetery, and yet there is no petulance, brattiness or any such behavior among the Compassion kids.  They are filled with joy.  I truly believe that abundance and all our material comforts are the enemies of our souls, for they trick us into thinking that we can live life apart from God and without any need of Him.

His grace is made perfect in our weaknesses.  You can tell Him anything and He will never leave you or forsake you–He will stand by you and help you, even to the saving of your soul.  He is an awesome, powerful, lovely friend.

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