The day dawned drizzly and cool. The wind whipped red and yellow leaves high into the air and let them fall again to the damp pavement. It all sounded quite romantic, but I went from my room to the hospital via the double super secret underground tunnel. It was dryer, and a lot warmer that walking to the hospital out of doors!

Lea had a pretty rough night, and a rough day today. Her stomach was giving her fits early this morning, and it continued all through the day today. The nurses kept giving her small doses of medication to relieve her indigestion and anxiety, but mostly to no avail. Her blood pressure hit new highs up over 200+ today on several occasions, and her anxiety level was fairly constant.

The mid-level, or APRN, Kelly, worked with Lea’s medications throughout the day to try to help her get comfortable, but it appeared that the root of her problem is that her stomach can’t tolerate stomach acids, and makes her nauseous. When her stomach is constantly pumped, as it has been for the past three months, she seems able to get comfortable enough to rest. But, when we try to let her digestive system go to work, she gets sick.

She didn’t eat anything again today, and was again too ill to get out of bed into the cardiac chair. Her friends from Indiana who have been here since Monday have, unfortunately, been unable to spend much time with her. There have been a few times she felt good enough to visit for a little while, but largely we have had to go away and let her rest quietly.

Since we don’t have a lot of happy news to share about progress and improvement, I think this is a good time to share one of the messages that have been such encouragement for us. There are many wonderful testimonies we have received, but there are some that bear witness to what the Lord has been able to achieve through this difficult time. I’d like to share one of those with you.

Again, I have removed only names, and sometimes locations. The context remains the same. “My husband and I are some of those people praying for Lea and for you who have never met either of you.  Here in Houston and beyond there is a large group of people praying for Lea’s healing and for comfort and strength for you.

Praise the Lord that we can join together in the community of faith in Jesus Christ over the miles and make our pleas known to God.  And He is ever faithful.  (I picked up a little card in a Christian bookstore last Monday, a Pass It On message card, which says: “Trials are not enemies of faith but are opportunities to prove God’s faithfulness.”)

We cannot tell you how much your emails and the spiritual insight found in them have meant to us.  Your faith in God, and love for your dear wife, have shown through the emails you have written, proclaiming God’s faithfulness and witnessing to His grace.  This has been a true inspiration to us and we thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts in such a trying time.

We will continue to pray that the Lord will grant that miraculous healing we are waiting for, even more miraculous than what He has done so far, after all, all things are possible for the Creator who loves us so much.”  

That is a wonderful testimony, and helps us remember to give the glory to God. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. One of my cousins sent me the following story during the time Lea was in a drug-induced coma, and I hadn’t had any kind of response from her for months. It arrived at a time when I needed a little bolstering, and it gave me a great blessing. Here’s the story:

”It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation I asked him if he had a doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer Disease. As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him. “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?” He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.” I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, “That is the kind of love I want in my life.” That is the kind of love Lea and I have been blessed with, and I thank God every day for putting her in my life.

And, by the way, I thank Lea every day for the strength she finds somewhere within herself to fight the daily battles to recover from this illness. She is amazing! She is a fighter, and she will overcome these little bumps in the road, with God’s help. He has blessed us so richly!

He is leading us through these trials, and I pray for His grace in our lives in the years ahead. As much as we will miss the friendships we have made here, I pray that we will soon be LEAving Hartford!!

In Christian love,