Another Good Day

It’s been another good day with Mom. We are sitting in her hospital room with her and she is talking a mile a minute.

When we arrived at the hospital today, Dad was sitting next to Mom’s bed, and the two of them were listening to WMBI Radio from Chicago on my computer. They were listening to the live feed of “Songs in the Night.” The program designed for insomniacs in Chicago was bringing peace and calm to mom.

Asking you all to leave mom comments has been the best medicine for her, except for when you all are sleeping:>) She’s continually asking us this morning if there are any new e-mails or comments. We’ve been saying, “Mom, it’s 3:30 in the morning there. No one is awake.” Then 15 minutes later she’ll ask again. She has done this all morning.

Mom has also been enjoying reading her Bible. She had Jenny read her the book of Colossians. Then she read it aloud. Then she wanted to hear it read from the Bible I have on iTunes.

Mom also began physical therapy today. She has spent time sitting in a wheel chair. She has also stood on her feet twice. This is a big part of the recuperative process.

Mom continues to talk nonstop. She is realizing some of the things that she did in ICU were less than appropriate. She can’t believe that she pulled out her own ventilator and feeding tube. She’s enjoying looking out the window at the Seagulls and butterflies. She’s also enjoying the hospital meals.

Thanks again for your prayers! And, please keep those comments coming. After all, Jenny, Dad and I have become Mom’s news bureau.

In Him,

Brian

Message from My Mom

My mom had a quick message she wanted me to publish on the blog. She is so eager to thank you all for your prayers in person.

“Thank you, my dear prayer warriors. I’m getting ready to come home soon!”

We will write a more detailed update later. Thank you, again, for all of your comments!

Leaving Mom and Dad

Jenny and I are leaving American Hospital . . . and, we’re so happy!

We couldn’t have had a better day with our Mom. She is now in her own private room. She has a door that can close. There is a couch for Dad to sleep on. There is wireless Internet in the room. (I’m leaving my computer with Dad so that he can continue to read your comments to Mom). We are a little bit jealous because the hospital room is about 10 steps better than the little European Hotel that we are staying in. But, we are thrilled. Mom has worked so hard. She has earned this.

As we leave we again thank God for you. Your prayers have been our encouragement day and night. Randy, I played Mom the song that you sang in an Octet at church last year. Yeah, I know, crazy, but I’ve got your song on my iPod. Proud brother. Randy, that song was such a ministry to Mom today. Who knew that when you sang and recorded that song that it would be played many times at a hospital in Istanbul. The truth of the words of that song have been an encourgement to Mom. Mom was enjoying listening to these words and looking at pictures of family on my computer.

As we leave Dad is sitting next to Mom’s bed, reading an article from Reader’s Digest to his wife of 45 years. He is so happy. It’s fun watching him serve her in this way. He is happy to spend his evenings with Mom on an uncomfortable couch.

To God be all the glory and praise.

In His Love,

Brian

Sacrifice of Praise

Throughout my life, whenever I faced a trial, my mom would quote Hebrews 13:5 to me. It reads, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise….” While she lavished her love and compassion on me, identifying with my pain, she would not allow me to wallow in self-pity for too long. Though I always expected it, I did not always enjoy having her gentle rebuke from Scripture. But she was always right, and those words renewed life to my weary soul. Real, genuine praise always requires a sacrifice. Praise is God’s antidote to the pain.

I have never understood that difficult truth more clearly than I have in the past two weeks, and I have never seen it embodied more fully than I have in my mom’s life as she lays in her hospital bed.

After witnessing the fear and confusion that bombarded my mom’s mind and body last evening, we decided that we needed to spend today singing hymns of praise to God, reading Scripture passages, and reading all of your blog comments. My mom was in some pain, though she couldn’t quite articulate where. She kept her eye tightly shut through our worship service. Her mouth was slightly open, and I could see the words of the hymns form on her tongue and lips ever so tenderly. She gave an almost imperceptible nod of her head each time I asked her if she would like me to sing another hymn to her. I read all of the Scriptures you have been leaving in your blog comments or sending me through e-mails, and her thirsty soul absorbed them like a sponge.

As Brian read aloud ALL of the comments you have left over the past several days, my mom verbalized “praise Jesus!” and “thank you, Lord!” She repeated each of your names, recalled her connections to each of you–from our physical family and our church family, to Wheaton Academy and Wooddale connections, to our personal friends from many years–and her heart soared as her smile grew wider with each word we read.

A fragrance sweeter than perfume was released from the ICU today. It rose above the Amerikan Hastanesi, soared higher than Istanbul, Turkey, reached beyond the earth, and transcended the heavens until it landed at the feet of Jesus. This fragrance is the beautiful sacrifice of praise.

Thank you for interceding on our behalf. My desire is that you may know the glory and greatness of our majestic God as a result!

With Love and Thanksgiving,
Jenny

We’re Watching God Answer Your Prayers

What an awesome day we are having with Mom.

I’m sitting next to her bedside right now. She has been talking for the past 5 hours. She listened as I read each of the comments that you have left and she wanted to tell me wonderful things about each one of you. You all have lifted Mom’s spirits today like you wouldn’t believe. Isn’t the Body of Christ a beautiful thing?

We’re still waiting for Mom to be moved to her room, but the doctors assure us that this will happen by the end of the day. She is looking so well today, that Mom’s lung doctor told us that she will most likely be home by the end of the week! How is that for an evacuation plan?

Praise be to God for His amazing work in Mom’s life.

I just asked Mom if she wanted to say anything to you and she says, “Thank you! I love you!”

A Room of Her Own!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have been praying and leaving comments for mom. Dad had a great night with mom last night. It’s 10:45 AM here and I’m typing in the hospital dining room. When I arrived this morning I found Dad sitting by Mom’s side with a smile on his face. The doctors had removed Mom’s medicine tubes over the night. We’ve been told that Mom will be transferred to her own private room today! She is now taking all of her meds orally, and she’s cooperating with the doctors and nurses. What a change from yesterday.

Jenny and I have been talking to her throughout the day. She is very tired and not very responsive, but she’s sweet when she does respond. She has loved hearing the comments, e-mails and the Bible verses that so many of you have shared with her. We are all encouraged to hear from so many people. You are ALL gifts from God in our lives.

I’ll post again later today with an update from the rest of the day, but I had to get this out quickly after yesterday’s tough post.

God bless,

Brian

Toughest Day Yet

It’s 10:40 PM and Jenny and I are just getting back to the hotel. This has been a long, hard day.

This morning I went to the hospital while Dad and Jenny went to the Union Church of Istanbul. They had a wonderful time being encouraged spiritually. The pastor spoke on the Rich, Young, Ruler. (Mark 10:17-31) While they were there, I went to the hospital to see mom. I had some good conversations with her, but her mind is just playing such tricks on her. She is convinced that her doctors and nurses are trying to kill her. These paranoid thoughts both cripple her and make her defiant. She refuses to take her medicine. She refuses to trust people. It is soooooo hard. She also refuses to eat solid food. The doctors have told her that if she would just eat her food, take her medicine and cooperate that she could be released to a private room. With her mind as confused as it is, she just can’t cooperate. Please keep praying. This is a scary thing to watch, and it causes such pain.

Dad and Jenny came by after church and took turns spending time with mom. She was just as defiant with them as she was with everyone else. Although, she did let Dad try to feed her some dinner. And, she agreed to take her medicine when I gave it to her. But, these are just momentary victories. She’ll eat a couple bites one meal and then skip the next. She’ll take her medicine one time and then skip the next dose.

Now, Mom is wanting to pull out her final tubes. If she does, she will hurt herself. In her agitated state, the doctors felt it best to sedate her. Dad just couldn’t bear to leave mom another night, so he talked the ICU staff into letting him stay. He’ll have to sit up in a chair the entire night with her. He insisted on doing this. Jen and I will leave for the hospital early tomorrow morning. We’ll catch the metro and go relieve Dad. We’ve become quite the experts on the Istanbul Metro System. If you ever visit the city, we’d be happy to be your tour guides.

Dad has decided that he wants to do whatever it takes to get mom home as soon as possible. He’s been in contact with the doctors from International SOS. The SOS doctors will contact us sometime tomorrow or Tuesday with an evacuation plan. Please pray that if it is in Mom’s best interest that God will open the door for this to happen very soon.

Mom has really enjoyed hearing about the people who leave comments on the blog. I’m going to print up all of your comments tomorrow and read them to mom in hopes that it will help her snap back into reality. (Randy and Lori, she’s looking forward to those Michigan Blueberries!) Thanks for your love and concern!

Tired, but still trusting…

Jenny and Brian