We all know that life is fragile and every day is a gift, but sometimes it doesn't really sink in until something makes it hit home in a very real way.
That was two weeks ago for us.
In one day we found out that both our niece Norah and my bother Jeremy were both in the hospital. Norah had an awful virus that made her terribly sick. She was in the hospital for a day and still had severe symptoms of the virus within the week. She has now thankfully come out of that virus and with some pretty significant weight loss, yet she is back to eating, drinking and being her happy self!! We are so thankful for that!!
Jeremy, on the other hand, did not end up with a virus. He was dismissed from the hospital about three weeks back with a "virus." They tested him for the flu, but that came back negative and he was sent home to recover from whatever this was. Within the five days that followed his symptoms went from bad to worse. He was admitted to the hospital on a Tuesday and within hours he was in emergency, life saving surgery. Two days later, another surgery. In the end he had an extremely bad, life threatening infection that affected tissues in his body and the only way the doctors could combat this infection was to remove the affected tissues and start him on heavy antibiotics right away. Our family has been through their fair share of surgeries, but what struck hard was when the surgeon said he had a 50/50 chance of coming out of this alive before his first surgery.
A 50/50 chance?! This just couldn't be real! A young, 27-year-old, healthy, 6 foot-5inch guy couldn't just get something that bad to be life threatening! When that reality hit, it hit me hard and it took me a day to realize the severity of the situation and to wrap my head around what had happened. Underlying every emotion, I was so incredibly thankful to God for sparing my brother's life!! Something in him told him it was time to go to the hospital and the timing of that was key in saving him. I was grateful for modern medicine and the wonderful team of doctors who were caring for Jeremy. I was grateful for Jeremy.
Now it will be almost three weeks that Jeremy is in the hospital. He has been through three surgeries now. The distance between all of us siblings has been hard, but the distance seemed even further and more difficult now. I just wanted to see him and know that he was ok. I got the opportunity to go down on Friday and be with him through his most recent surgery and sit, watch movies and talk with my brother without any other distractions. This was the first time in a LONG time that I actually had some one-on-one time with him. Life has gotten quite busy in the last six years! It was a relief to see him, but at the same time hard as I know the road ahead of him will not be easy. He will need a lot of support when he is discharged from the hospital and I guess only time will tell within the week what the best option might be for him, but for now he is healing and in good care.
It is really difficult for me to articulate into words exactly how we're all feeling as a family right now, but as time goes on I know we will process everything. For now, we are trying to be as supportive of Jeremy as we can.
As I flew home on Tuesday this week and came back to my life as a wife and mom I felt a little out of place. It seems like life should stop when something like this occurs in your family. It's surreal and it was hard for me to get into the swing of things this week. I know that I hugged my girls and husband a little tighter when I got home that night.
Moving forward I know Jeremy has a rough road ahead but we are praying for strength, complete healing, and a peace. He is one strong man, inside and out, and I couldn't be more thankful for him in my life than I am right now. Love you Jeremy so very much!!