“Your presence is all the comfort and courage I need.”
My parents were here last week for a visit and boy was it good to see them! This was the first time my dad has been back to Florida since his brain surgery. Back in July 2009, when we moved to Florida my parents helped us as we made the journey and shortly after arriving here my dad was rushed by ambulance to the Florida Hospital Celebration and was later transferred to the Orlando campus to be treated for a complex brain aneurysm (3 of them actually). He recovered remarkably well and quickly from major brain surgery – the incision went from ear to ear over his head. My brother and his wife drove down here to bring him and my mom home after just about a month in the hospital. After sending them back to Michigan, I struggled quietly with questions about my dad’s health and regret for not being with him more (even though I saw him every day he was here).
So while they were here we made a trip to the place where he stayed for such an important time in all of our lives. The Florida Hospital Orlando, where we all (extended family included) grew in our faith and trust in Jehovah-rophe! Our God heals! It was emotional for all of us. The trip gave me that piece of the puzzle that had been missing for the past year – closure. There I was walking shoulder to shoulder with my daddy and he wasn’t weak, wounded, or bandaged up. He is strong, powerful, wise, and healed. I’ll never forget the hours spent there: praying, crying, laughing, playing Uno, reading the Bible, and just holding hands. Those memories now are sweet with the bitter removed since going back with him.
During that time it was providential that I was already reading through a book by Elizabeth Elliot titled “The Lord is My Shepherd” taken from Psalm 23. In the hospital they have a hallway (close to the surgical waiting room) of a shepherd and his sheep picturing the compassionate care the shepherd gives. It’s such a beautiful place. I learned so much about trust and faith during that season and I’ll forever be grateful for that time.
I love you, Dad.