It has been so very long since I’ve posted here to update everyone. All I can say right now is that life has been crazier even than we could’ve imagined. Someday I might try to do a little catch-up on the last three-and-half months, but not today.
Some of you probably heard about my emergency surgery Saturday night. If not, well, I had to have emergency surgery Saturday night. Surprise!
Now it’s been 41 hours since I went into the OR for that emergency removal of my badly inflamed gall bladder, and nobody is more surprised than we are to be at the airport right now, just about to fly to Tampa, FL. I’m moving very slowly (feels a little like a horse kicked me in the stomach), and a liquid diet (like this vitamin water) will be my friend for the next day or so. But here we are. And walking is the best thing for the sore abdominal muscles. Lots of that in an airport.
Tomorrow will be 40 years since my brother and 22 other men died in Tampa Bay when their Coast Guard cutter, Blackthorn, sank there after a collision with an oil tanker. Every year since that day, there has been a memorial service held outdoors, close to the site of the accident. Scott and I have been privileged to attend two of those incredibly impactful services in the past, and as a result, have gotten to know families of other men who died that day, as well as survivors of the accident and their families. These people have become very dear to us, and we wish we could travel every year to see them for this special time. But we have really hoped and prayed that we would make it to the 40th service this year.
Unfortunately, we were not in a position financially to cover the cost of such a trip, so we had to accept that we wouldn’t be able to attend that. We were disappointed, but at peace. We’re learning more and more (but still very slowly!) to trust God’s wisdom with all things.
Then a few weeks ago, someone reached out to us to tell us that they would be buying our plane tickets and paying for our hotel costs so that we could attend this very special service for my brother and the other men. So that we could show up in Tampa and represent the Crumly (my maiden name) family in honor of my brother Gary W. Crumly. We were at a loss for words to express our awe and gratitude over this gift. They also explained that they knew that, because our children’s health issues have been so unpredictable this past year, it could turn out that, at the last minute, we wouldn’t be able to attend. They were willing to cover this cost and take this risk for us. We are still just awed by this kind of love.
Well, who would’ve dreamed that I would end up with emergency surgery that would force us to cancel our plans? I was more disappointed than I could even find words to describe, but we were willing to trust God with all things that didn’t make sense to us. And, again, we mostly felt peace in the midst of our disappointment.
Then I brought this up with my surgeon. Just before he took me into surgery, he said that it might be possible, depending on how things went. The next morning (yesterday) when he examined me after surgery and saw how great I was doing, he felt much more confident about letting me go if I followed a few precaution and promised to take it easy and rest as often as possible. And not lift anything heavy. Scott packed the lightest backpack in history for me, and he is carrying the extra stuff himself. And we are going to try this. I have been instructed to get to the closest ER if I have any problems, but so far, I’m doing really well.
We are so very grateful for this opportunity. Grateful that God worked out the details of my surgery (maybe more on that later — it was a crazy 24 hours!). Grateful to dear friends who cared enough about us to cover the cost of this very precious trip. Grateful to our children who weren’t supposed to have been left alone all weekend but were (because I was unexpectedly in the hospital) and still assured us that they would be fine as long as I felt up to taking this trip. They are, at this moment, putting together the craft and fun-things plans to keep the younger ones entertained while the two of us are gone.
We are so very blessed.