Facebook. Social Media. There are times that it’s such a distraction. It can be a time waster. And unfortunately there are people addicted to it.
But today? Today, I appreciated the fact that Facebook does those ‘Your Memories on Facebook’.
Here was what was on my news feed:
“2:30 am – I awake to noises, get up to find Ken in garage – ‘just wanted to finish painting these parts’… LOL – doctors had suggested a hobby to help him ‘relax’ – I should of read list of side effects 4 me! Ha Ha, jk! luving him enjoying himself! g’nite FB! , Ken, + LeMans…..”
See, seven years ago Ken got bit on his neck by a bug. It was just after returning from 6 weeks in New York, burying his father and his best friend’s father and all that goes with that, plus a little house fire.
Ken had been horribly ill during that time. He had been fighting headaches and being tired all of the time even before the Sheriff arrived that night. (I feel so bad for officers that have to come to let someone know of the loss of a loved one.) Ken’s father lived alone, and so when he passed away, their local police department contacted our local police department and they came to let us know.
We left the next day, and out ran a nasty snow storm as we drove to New York.
While we were up there, it seemed as if every couple of hours Ken would need to rest, or sleep and he was just miserable. I just thought it was the cold weather and probably depression over losing his dad, but that was added to whatever was happening before we came up.
Some days we would be at his dad’s going through momentos and such, and he would end up sleeping while I was working on it. While we did that, the children played out in the huge amounts of snow!
For us living in Florida, it was an incredible winter wonderland.
I would step outside and feel as if the entire world was crisp, bright and clean, with sparkling crystals abounding upon heaps and piles of crunchy snow. I would release a long breath and watch my warm air float away as if it were freeing every ounce of stress off and over the trees to some far away land. It was surreal. Then I would turn and go back in to work and worry some more.
See my husband of 21 years was losing weight and looking so unhealthy, exhausted and fighting headaches, and we didn’t know why. But there was so much to do, we just kept pushing on.
Ken and I were married in February, so our anniversary was going to come and go while we were there. Ken’s best friend refused to let it pass with no celebration. He encouraged us to take a day and let him take us all snow tubing down a mountainside. It was so much fun! We all squealed and laughed and enjoyed the day. What incredible memories we made.
Then, another day we stoked the fire in the wood stove, loaded up the truck and went to a friend’s house for dinner. The father was battling some severe health issues and was on dialysis. He was still the life of the party, and we had an unforgettable night.
When we left there, we went back to get a couple of things from the house, before heading to Ken’s mom’s for the night. As we pulled in, and walked toward the door, we noticed an orange glow in the kitchen. It wasn’t until Ken started to open the door that we realized it was that was not just a glow from a light, but a fire!!
Come to find out – when we stoked the fire – some hots popped out and into the box of kindling and smoldered until bursting in to flame.
We called the fire department and while we waited for them, we screamed and cried out to God to stop the fire. I prayed asking Him to please not let us lose everything that was in there from Ken’s dad.
It was 4 degrees below zero as we stood out there that night. Our fingers were so cold we couldn’t feel to text. (We were begging friends to pray with us, as we waited for the fire department)
We watched the fire go out. The firefighters arrived and checked things over – but the fire was gone.
We thanked God for the miracle. The fire department said the fire went out due to lack of ventilation. I stood beside the fire chief and pointed to the open windows in the peak of the roof. He didn’t have an answer. I did. Miracle from God. To me, there is no other explanation. I know that my God is in the miracle business and I was blessed to see Him in action.
We lost a few things, but it was amazing how little we lost.
We finally finished all that we could up there and returned to Florida. We were so blessed with the outpouring of love. Some of the guys from Ken’s work pooled their vacation time and donated it to him, to help since he had been off for so long. They were all so understanding and caring. It was such a blessing to see Ken feeling so loved by these men that he had worked side by side for years.
Ken returned to work and then before his first week back ended, he was bit by a bug of some sort. He got a huge blister on his neck and so we took him to the Urgent Care at his work, just to have it checked and maybe get some cream.
Have you ever had one of those ‘this isn’t really happening moments?’
That’s exactly the moment I had, when I was standing in the surgery waiting room, and the doctor came out explaining that he wasn’t sure what Ken’s prognosis would be yet, but that I needed to be prepared that he may not work again. I needed to be prepared that his life may be drastically altered. The one thing that he said was imperative was that we reduce the stress in his life and get him involved in a hobby. That he could not function as he had been.
I remember looking around frantically, thinking is this a dream? How did it come to this? Will this year ever end?
How did it jump from a bug bite to surgery? When they did the intake to check him for the bug bite, his blood pressure was extremely high; to a point that we were told to take him directly to the emergency room. We did, they admitted him & then actually sent him via ambulance to another hospital for surgery. His heart had been weakened by a virus and he had some blockage, and they were concerned that immediate action be taken.
Flash to standing with friends in the waiting room, and the doctor telling me that things may never be the same again.
I remember crying. Praying. I told God that I knew He had been with us in all that we had been through, and that no matter what, I knew He was in control. I decided that as long as Ken could have a life that he was able to enjoy his family, that no matter what, we would adjust to the changes.
It was a scary time. Ken has always been our provider. It was a challenging time, with two young children, and me having been a homemaker for so long.
They say that you are the person you are because of the journey you have been on. I fully agree. I would never have wished that year upon us, nor on our worst enemy! But after walking the road we walked, and having Facebook help me look back on those memories, I wouldn’t change the choices we made.
I can’t say that I’m always amazing at appreciating the moments God gives me, but I know that I strive to do that more and more. Getting those gentle reminders of how many challenges we have come through, helps me see the silver lining when I am faced with clouds today. I feel that it helps me point out hope to others as well.
The little sleep I lost while Ken tinkered with his LeMans was so worth it, to know that he was healing, and learning to ‘let go and let God’.
After months of healing, caution, stress and dietary changes, Ken was back up to full capacity at work. He has taken what he has learned during that time and become more aware of his health and stress levels.
Today, we enjoy debt freedom, thanks to the Financial Fitness Program, and that alleviates a lot of stress, but I also watch Ken be intentional to find time to relax, to laugh more often, to make choices to live instead of worry.
So, Facebook, thank you for sharing my memories with me, giving me a reminder of how Blessed I am today.
Have you been battling some obstacles lately?
Do you know that God loves you and that you are not going through it alone?
Do you have others that you allow to help you to take a break and see the beauty in life, like Alan did for us?
Do you have support like we did with friends for prayer and Ken’s work friends?
Are you that friend for others?
We would love to hear from you, and share in the victories you have overcome, or to share hope with you if you are in the midst of some hard times now.
Thanks again, Amy