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Compassion

Obviously this blog isn’t my story, it is our story. Like most people, Dave and I have been through a lot as a couple, but despite it all we have grown in our faith and have what I believe to be the best marriage in the world. I am maybe being a little biased. Thankfully we both grew up in faith-filled homes and I believe that this has carried us through each obstacle.

As I write this though, I can’t stop thinking about Dave and his initial reactions in Phoenixville Hospital after the birth of Aubrey and Courtney and my decline in health. I don’t know the entire story. Only Dave does. Of course over the past 5 1/2 years, we have talked a lot about it, but always in bits and pieces. The writer in me believes you never know someone’s entire story until they get it out on paper. I also believe that the whole story is sometimes hard to tell and at times takes a long time to tell. Now we are ready.

This is something I do know though. Dave was a rock the entire time. He relentlessly prayed and was lifted up by my family, his family and our friends. He updated everyone daily, despite I imagine, crumbling inside. I have never read all of the Care Pages, but he would try to uplift my spirits and read comments to me while in the hospital no matter how angry, lost, confused and tired of fighting I sometimes was. He never got tired of fighting. He showed everyday that you never give up on fighting for the the ones you love and even if the battle isn’t won, God will be victorious in the end.

Dave was an amazing caregiver. I wonder if I could ever be as strong? I am always amazed by the caregiver’s story. I distinctly remember times where I felt so badly for him, yet he wanted to trade places with me.  I know people say you would do the same thing, but would I do it so lovingly, patiently and faithfully?

Caregivers show such compassion even though they don’t ever boast about it. Often they are smiling and staying upbeat, despite the reality of the situation. Many times throughout our ordeal Dave didn’t know if I would beat my illness, but he never gave up. I know that even if I didn’t survive, Dave would still be fighting for me. His faith would be strong, he would keep my memory alive and continue to be a rock for the girls. That is what caregivers do. They do it with compassion and a gentleness that is incomprehensible to those of us on the outside. I admire everyone who has taken on this role, is living this role, or no longer needs to because the battle has been lost. But the battle never has to be lost. The impact the caregivers have to get the story out there and keep it alive is so inspirational and I am sure attainable through their support system.

Dave only left my side a few times from February until September. He put his life on hold for our family. Many would say that he didn’t have a choice, but he did. He could have taken more breaks and depended more on our families and friends. My parents were there everyday, but Dave wouldn’t leave me.

I often think of love and can’t help associate the word with him. I have yet to meet anyone who is as kind, patient and loving as my husband. I witness this through the way he treats me, the way he treats the girls, and the way he treats others, but most importantly through the way he lives by his Christian values. He is not perfect, there are no perfect people, but at the end of the day he is very clear on what he wants to hear when he reaches heaven. Our pastor often says that when we reach heaven our goal should be to hear from Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I love this because I witness his service in such difficult times and in day to day life.

His story will be raw and we will trade off at times where I am able to share my point of view. I look forward to finally getting to share our journey. It is so therapeutic to finally close this chapter and share pieces that only our family and closest friends know. I also hope it helps someone to keep on going and never give up on miracles. Maybe the battle wasn’t won, but the miracle could be that happiness can eventually be restored.

Of course, we have no clue what is in store for our future, but I know that no matter what, we will lean on Jesus, one another and our families. That is what gives me such confidence in God’s plan for our life. God will decide the details of our lives, despite them sometimes leave you questioning him, and we are completely confident in that.

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Jesus helps this mess!

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