Today's been a really good day. Gaines is still doing well but they decided not to try and wean his oxygen today. The doctor really wants to give him a good rest. She mentioned that they might try it tomorrow but then again, they might not. I talked to his nurse today about what exactly the problem was with Gaines' lungs. I asked if it was just that some of the alveoli were collapsed and needed to reopen. She told me it was more like that they were ruined and that his body needs to rebuild them. I'm not sure if that is entirely accurate but it kind of helps me understand what is going on with him.
I got to spend a lot of good time with him again today and Beau and I even got to visit him together. My parents were here and they watched Reed for a little while so we could both go in the NICU. Also a sweet nurse let Reed come back for about one minute today. For the first time ever, Reed un-coached said "Gaines" (came out like Janes) as Beau carried him up to see his brother. Beau and I looked at each other with disbelief. Maybe the little guy understands more than we thought.
This morning at church we had a guest speaker. It was the author of the book 90 Minutes in Heaven. I haven't read it (Beau has) but apparently its a fairly popular little book. I knew something about it because Beau had told me some of it but listening to the guy who wrote it was really a neat experience. Long story short, this guy was in a terrible wreck and was pronounced dead. A preacher that came up behind the wreck about 90 minutes later asked the police officer working the scene if he could pray for the man. He did and while the preacher was praying for him and singing "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" the "dead" man started to sing with him. The book is by the "dead" man and is about his experience.
Several things from his sermon really touched me today but I wanted to share two with you. I'm paraphrasing here, but after the accident the police called his office (he was a preacher too) and left a message with his secretary that he'd been in an accident and that she should gather his family as a police officer was on the way to give them more details...that he had not survived. In the meantime, his church started a prayer chain that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people praying for this man. The man believes that he is in the world today because so many people were praying for him. As soon as he said it, I knew that was true for Gaines as well. Tears welled up in my eyes because I was so thankful for all of the people out there that prayed and continue to pray for Gaines. It is truly humbling to know that one of the greatest gifts of my life is still in this world because of the compassion of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. By worldly standards, Gaines should not be here. I mean he had to be resuscitated and he's still here...still fighting. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers.
The second thing the man said that really struck me was about his recovery after the accident. He was in a hospital bed for 13 months and endured 34 surgeries. He spoke about how he was depressed at times and of many of the struggles he dealt with. Finally he realized that he had been beaten but that he was not beat. Again, as soon as he said it I knew it was the same way that I felt...or should feel. Things have been better since I've been home and 95% of the time in DC I was fine...positive attitude and everything. But there were times that I felt like I'd been beaten...that I'd never be the same again. Obviously I won't ever be the same again but I felt like I'd never laugh again, that I'd never be able to bounce back from this. I felt like the scars from this experience would be with me forever. Hearing this man say this today just made me realize that yes I had been beaten...but I was not beat. I too will be on the other side of a really rough (that may be the understatement of the year) time and that the scars will only be there to remind me of how good God is and how he carried me through this storm.
Just two thoughts of the day.
I better run. Tomorrow is a work day and it is past my bedtime.
I hope you all had a good weekend. Thank you for all of your prayers and please keep them up. Please pray for Gaines' lungs and that he can come home by Labor Day.
Love to all,