Christmas Day at Presby

Hi Friends –

The kids and I got to the hospital last night about 8pm, after a full day of a church service, packing up the car, getting the kids’ gear and clothes ready, and seeing family and eating at the grandparent’s house.  Of course, during the day Luke developed a cough that got worse and wasn’t feeling great.  So by the time we spent a few minutes with Susan on Christmas Eve, the kids (and I) were ready for bed.  Not before Susan gave them a present from her, though – Pillow Pets!  I can’t believe how excited they were about these, but they love them.  It’s a pillow…it’s a pet…it’s a pillow pet.  I spent most of the night trying to calm the kids down and keep Luke from coughing directly into my face in our “cozy” room.  Since we were all up until almost midnight, we actually slept til 8:15.  Aunt Dana was there all night, staying with Susan, and earlier in the evening while she watched the kids I got 5 big trash bags full of presents from the car into her room.  That’s when I had my first “what are we thinking?” moment.  But we were pretty much committed at that point.

We got up and called over to Susan’s room but the doc was in her room and she had begun to have some breathing issues that she was trying to work through, so I took the kids to the cafeteria for breakfast instead.  The hospital gave us meal cards for the kids, and we had lots of bacon, eggs, and cereal.  Let me just say it is such a weird feeling being at a hospital on Christmas eve and day.  Very surreal.

We went to find out what Santa left (in Susan’s room) at about 9:30 and the kids of course went crazy.  That’s fun to see – it doesn’t matter where they are, they still have the same excitement and fun.  They tore through their presents fast (usually we make them go slow and watch what each other opens, but Susan wasn’t feeling great so we needed to move things along).  After an hour and a half or so Susan was getting tired and the kids were getting just a bit wild, so we decided to call it a day.  I’d say we did as well as we could, given the circumstances.  It worked, and it will be something to remember, and honestly something I never want to have to do again.

Susan had a rough day.  She has an extreme amount of congestion/phlegm in her throat that the respiratory folks are having a hard time getting rid of.  When you can’t swallow, the mucus and saliva you create tends to just stay there, and it’s hard for her to get it up.  She had more trouble with this today than she’s had in the past, and we’re trying to figure out what’s causing it.  The thought right now is that it may be radiation treatments that are affecting her throat in this way, causing some swelling and aggravation.  Unfortunately, it’s something she may have to learn to deal with while radiation treatments continue. (6 more days of these)  I am glad to report though that tonight she is more comfortable and resting.

Please pray for her for strength right now.  A day like this takes a lot out of you, especially given everything she’s already been through.  I know it’s so difficult for her to stay positive and encouraged and strong.  I’m praying she wakes up feeling much better and not as worried.  Her anxiety level today was very high.

Hero of the Day

Today is another easy pick – Martha Bailey, Susan’s mom.  Pages could be written here, but let’s just say she has given Susan so much strength and support over the past three years, and me, and our family…it is really remarkable.  I can’t tell you how many times she’s been at an appointment, or watched the kids, or brought groceries, meals, driven us places, you name it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if her picture is in the dictionary beside the word “servanthood”.  And for that reason, Martha is our Hero of the Day!

I’ll let you know how Susan’s doing tomorrow.  Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful people, and thanks for keeping up with us.



14 Responses to “Christmas Day at Presby”

  1. thewholepictureso Says:

    Just stopped in to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to let you know that I am praying for Susan’s strength. Sending healing vibes your way. susan orrell

  2. Mama Henley Says:

    Merry Christmas. You are so right; Christmas is wherever your family is, even if it’s in an awful hospital. One Christmas we were displaced in an awful hotel in Louisiana to bury my sweet father in law. It wasn’t the same, it wasn’t what we wanted, but with children, it’s STILL Christmas. May you hold one another extra tightly tonight. God Bless you.

  3. Susan Says:

    I have been thinking of your family often today, and so glad to know that you were able to be together for Christmas morning, even if it was in the hospital! The Sanders Family will continue to keep you in our prayers, and pray for strength and peace for you all.

  4. Missy Says:

    Merry Christmas from the Isom’s! We were thinking about you guys today and were so happy to read that you all were spending Christmas morning together!

  5. Julia Horn Says:

    Words can not express what is in my heart. So I will just say Merry Christmas. May you find hope and strength in Him.

  6. Laura & Mike Grace Says:

    Last night as I sat at Midnight Mass listening to the Lessons and Carols and the beauty of the Christmas story your family was foremost on my mind – how similar the story of the Holy Family and the Law family in Presby – the simple meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all – love for each other and being with the people you love the most. Although not ideal and maybe a little crazy it was a crazy well worth it for you and your precious family. We pray that Susan’s health will be restored and that she finds comfort soon. God bless each and every one of you.

  7. Mariana de Jesus Says:

    There is light in the tunnel. Jesus cares for you. You do
    not have to feel. He is there he loves u more thatn u can
    everexpect. He is the maker of all things and he hold the unvierse
    in His Hands. Your creator loves u so much, enough to give Jesus
    His beloved son to take humad form and willingly drive himself
    throught the cross. stripe by stripe were taken so you can
    behealed. He did not die in vane. Clame your victory you are
    already healed! GIve Him thanks and raise His Holy name because no
    one like Jesus to be so faithfull, merciful and sweet. Psalm 57 7
    My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing
    and make music. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will
    awaken the dawn. 9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I
    will sing of you among the peoples. 10 For great is your love,
    reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 11
    Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all
    the earth. 1 John 1 ,Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness 5 This
    is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is
    light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have
    fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not
    live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the
    light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,
    his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin. 8 If we claim to be without
    sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we
    confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
    sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have
    not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

  8. Sheryl Says:

    Thank you Jerel for keeping us all posted!!! I was praying and thinking of you all day yesterday!!! Your posts are an inspiration to us and help us to know how to pray each day!! Sending blessings today!!!

  9. Charlene (college friend of Brian's) Says:

    I am thankful you all were able to be together on Christmas
    morning! Your family was on my mind and in my prayers throughout
    the day. Thank you for your continued sharing through your posts! I
    hope today is a better day for Susan and know that many are praying
    for her and your family. Peace and love to you all, The

  10. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    We are so glad to hear that even the hospital could not stop a Merry Christmas! Conitued prayers and thanks for keeping us informed so we know how to pray. Love you guys!

  11. Maggie Werkman Says:

    I am praying for ALL of you…..!

  12. Tim and Michelle Says:

    Susan and family – Merry Christmas! Thinking of you and
    your family right now. You are in our prayers. Tim and Michelle
    Rogers (UNC-CH)

  13. Joan Rogers Says:

    We have had you in our hearts and in our prayers even more so this weekend. I am thrilled the hospital helped make Christmas come together for your family. I know it must have been a challenge but full of love. Love to all–

  14. Michele Montgomery Says:

    Your family and your story have been an inspiration to me
    and my family. What a statement you have made with your faith and
    your committment to folow GOD no matter where the path may lead.
    May GOD continue to bless you as you enter your new journey in this
    life. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers. Michele
    Montgomery Teacher, Mother, Daughter, Believer, Follower Rock Hill,

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