Tag Archives: winter

In Sickness And In Health

 

 

With Christmas come and gone, I wonder how many of us can remember what we were doing the morning of December 24th. I imagine most of you, like myself, were in the throes of Christmas plans. Lauren Chase was, too. She was excited for a trip to Florida to celebrate the holidays with family. She was excited to shed the coat, gloves, scarf, boots and gray skies of a Chicago winter and swap them for shorts, flip-flops and sunshine. And she was excited to see her husband, David, who was en-route to the Sunshine State to meet them. What no one planned for was an emergency crash landing of the small aircraft carrying Lauren, her mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law. What no one planned for was Lauren’s devastating injuries, needing to be air-lifted to a hospital in Memphis, undergoing surgery to relieve swelling in her brain and the coma that she has been trapped in since that fateful morning. Lauren and David are very close friends of my son, Mike and his wife, Laura. This is Lauren’s story.

The last ten weeks have been filled with multiple surgeries and tests, MRIs, tubes and ventilators and a terrifying night when Lauren suffered a cardiac arrest and needed to be revived. The last ten weeks have also been filled with prayers. Thousands and thousands of prayers. From the start, doctors had regularly reported grim news to David, only to be proven wrong time and time again, as Lauren refused to give up her fight. Her medical team of specialists have been at a loss to explain Lauren’s progress. With Lauren’s refusal to give up, David has also refused to accept their prognoses and has been at her side day and night, talking to her and gently caressing her. And kissing her. Mike and Laura recently took a road trip to Memphis to visit Lauren and reported back that David absolutely smothered her in kisses the entire time they were there. His devotion to her is visceral. Though she still has not awakened from her “nap” as it has been sweetly referred to by family, she is slowly transitioning into lighter stages and is able to blink her eyes and give a “Thumbs Up” on command. We are quite sure the affection with which her husband showers Lauren is giving her the strength to keep fighting, which in turn, fuels David to remain her super-hero advocate. Mike and Laura certainly witnessed his super-human strength during their visit.

People talk about love so casually. Love is easy when times are good. The real test comes when times aren’t so easy. But, real, true love – the kind that’s not so pretty – is an awesome thing to witness, as Mike and Laura can attest. Almost two months to the day prior to the accident, Lauren selflessly donated a kidney to her twin sister. And now she is fighting for her life.

I have included a link to Lauren’s most recent update. Please check it out and keep them in your prayers. Despite the original formidable reports, or maybe in spite of them, she continues to grow stronger and will be entering a rehab facility in Atlanta soon. While monetary contributions to offset their staggering medical bills is appreciated, what the family is asking for more than anything are your prayers. And that doesn’t cost anything.  David and Lauren are inspiring people of faith and know that nothing is impossible with God.

UPDATE: A lot has happened since this post was written three months ago. Lauren was able to be moved to Sheperd Rehabilitation in Atlanta and made amazing progress pretty much right away. She had reached a wakeful state and even began communicating – not verbally, but with YES/NO buttons, to which she answered all questions correctly – even about events that happened in her presence while she was still in a comatose state!! This news filled us all with wonderful hope. However, almost as quickly as she seemed to be improving, her health took a rapid decline and Lauren and was placed in ICU at a different hospital. She is still fighting hard but has suffered setbacks, delaying any rehab therapy. The goal right now is to simply stabilize her. David is hoping to get Lauren accepted into the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the absolute best rehab facility in the world. Mike and Laura are hopeful to have their friends back in Chicago. And Lauren will be so happy, when she awakens, to learn that she managed to miss a Chicago winter, the only thing about Chicago this Southern girl was not fond of! So, again, I ask for your prayers for Lauren, David, her team of doctors and that RIC will accept Lauren.

UPDATE II: Well, Lauren will not be returning to Chicago, much to the (admittedly selfish) disappointment of Mike and Laura. While they desperately miss their friends, they nevertheless are thankful that Lauren has been accepted into TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Facility in Houston. And though Houston seems far from Chicago, God’s hand in this is impossible to ignore as Houston is home to Lauren’s twin sister. Yes, the same sister to whom Lauren lovingly donated a kidney only weeks before she found herself fighting for her own life. 

So, we are grateful that God has lead Lauren to where she needs to be and continue to pray for the team who will work to strengthen her body, for David, that he remains strong and faithful and most importantly, for Lauren’s full recovery. And that we always keep in mind that God works in Kairos – God’s time, not ours. 

 www.youcaring.com/lauren-chase-493783/update/485188 

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Summer, We Hardly Knew Ya

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Well, it’s official. Summer bliss has ended. Well, at least the fantasy of summer bliss, which is probably the reason I’m extra depressed. Summer is over and there is NO question that we got a bum deal this year. The months of June and July were cold and rainy almost every day. Then came the oppressive heat. And suddenly, today is the first day of school for kids around here. SCHOOL PEOPLE!!! All we have left now to look forward to and keep spirits up is maybe two weeks of beautiful fall. That is, maybe fourteen days of crisp air, blue skies, and the intoxicating aroma of burning leaves all warmly engulfed in glorious autumn colors. But not fourteen consecutive days. Let’s not get crazy here. I might even be overly generous with that number. The fall offers a wonderful reprieve from the blistering heat and ungodly humidity of summer. But it is fleeting. I’ve learned to live in the moment on those magnificent days because those of us in the Midwest know what lies ahead… Cold darkness lasting about nine months. Yeah, that’s right. I’m not a winter person. I hate winter. I hate being cold. I hate driving in snow. I hate worrying about my kids driving in snowstorms. I hate shoveling snow. I know all you out-doorsy types are probably scoffing at me as you read this. You know who you are. All you snow-mobilers, cross-country skiers, and tobogganors. All you people who go on and on about how beautiful the snow is. Okay, I’ll concede that. After a storm, the pristine snow that blankets the ground and trees is gorgeous. But, that’s only if it happens on a weekend when we don’t have to actually be somewhere. When we don’t have to get the shovels out. And, let’s be honest. It’s only beautiful until the first car drives on the street. Then it quickly turns into dirty, slushy ick. Last March (yes…MARCH – when we dare to entertain thoughts of spring) my daughter tweeted: “If anyone throws a snowball at me, I will murder them”   That’s right, the shine of winter had definitely worn off by March. Continue reading

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Why I Hate The Elf

NO MORE ELF

Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m not sure why it always seems to sneak up on me. I think this year, after suffering through last year’s horror of the Polar Vortex, I just couldn’t face the fact that winter would return. Again. I know…I know…the alternative isn’t much better. I’m pretty sure, anyway. So, I donned my mask of denial and refused to acknowledge the signs. Temperatures in the teens? Impossible. Snow? Don’t even THINK about it. My Winter-Denial-Mojo was in full swing. Unstoppable. Even the insufferable Christmas commercials on television were easily snuffed out with a click of the remote. Yes, this year would be different. No layering of clothes until I look like a stuffed sausage. No furry boots. No gloves, hats, scarves, long underwear or snow shovels to cramp my delusion. That’s what I thought, anyway…until I met my Waterloo. The ultimate obstacle. That’s right, I’m talking about that evil Elf on a Shelf. There is NO escape from that creepy stalker.

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Spring Fakeout…Or Why I Hate Daylight Savings

funny sleepy face baby pic

This morning , as I was trying to talk myself into getting out of bed amid my  Daylight Savings darkened room, I was reminded again how much I dislike this rite of passage into Spring. What follows is a blog I wrote back in March 2013. The only reason I mention the date is because of a reference to the winter we endured a year ago as not being so bad. No matter where you live in this country, you felt the frigid effects of that seemingly never-ending winter. So now that I’ve cleared that up, read on and see if you agree with me that Daylight Saving is just plain awful…

Daylight savings time is here again. The dreaded calendar date loudly announcing our shared loss of one hour of sleep.  As one who absolutely detests winter, I know I should welcome this moment enthusiastically, as it heralds the return of spring and summer. But, I question the whole one hour of lost sleep. I know logically, that’s the way it works, But, since logic and I have never been on very friendly terms, I contend that we actually lose about two weeks of sleep. Am I alone in this assertion? And, when I say two weeks, I don’t mean that April suddenly is here, with crocuses peeking through what is left of the snow, mistakenly believing Spring has  arrived. Oh no, we still have to endure March, which is the loooongest month of the year. I know, technically, it’s 31 days, but, it feels like about, maybe 52 days. That’s because, even though, mentally (and meteorlogically) spring arrives on March 1st, I’m convinced that’s just a ploy to get our collective minds off of the depressing winter which refuses to go away and on to sunnier thoughts.

The truth we Chicagoans, and all Midwesterners, know is that we are far from the danger-zone of snow storms. I can already hear many of you shrieking at your computer screens as you read this, “Hey, this winter wasn’t bad at all and last winter hardly existed.” Yes, I can feel the hate just oozing as you outdoorsy types derisively call me a wimp.  “Stop your crabbing and get out already and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland.” To you, I say, “Oh shut-up and leave me alone, all nice and warm under my cuddly blanket.”

So, with Daylight Saving Time here, I suppose I should rejoice, and, fret not…I will (was anyone fretting?)  It will just take me a couple of weeks to re-adjust to the return of dark mornings, even though only temporary, I know, and brighter, longer evenings. So, to my comrades in hibernation, allow me to raise a glass to the return of sun and warmth. After I emerge from winter dormancy under my comfy blanky. Winter, be gone.  Welcome back, Spring.     🙂

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