Where have I been? I have not posted for almost 3 weeks now. No, I’ve not been on vacation, I have had my annual physical examination at the luxurious Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond Virginia. These yearly routine examinations were conducted over a period of almost 2 weeks. I am happy to say that the worst outcome was the inconvenience and endurance of some minor issues. Plus, the relatively uncomfortable nature of this inevitability is not really worth mentioning.
Praise God that, for my condition, I am relatively healthy with only a few chronic issues related to my paralysis and the concomitants of getting old! So, even though my health is delicate and subject to change, I was encouraged by the reports.
My physical evaluation was combined with respite care, which allows Judy a well-deserved break from the gruelling routine of my care. She well knows the grind of “24 and 7.” She enjoyed a wonderful time in her beloved upstate New York. Not only was she able to paint to her heart’s content (at least for a week), but she had the opportunity to see close friends and family. Her stay was abbreviated by an outburst of pine pollen, which attacked her eyes and sinuses. She is still recovering but did produce some beautiful paintings.
My 2-week hospitalization was highlighted by some very pleasant experiences. Several people from our church, including our pastor, made the trip from Newport News to Richmond. Fighting both holiday traffic and unpredictable construction to spend some time with me, they were a great encouragement. So, special thanks to Dave, Ray, Jake, and Jeff for making the effort to visit.
On another evening, I had the opportunity to watch the Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA baseball, San Francisco Giants) in action. Since it was Flag Day, active duty military and veterans were honored. Not only did we have good seats, we are also given tickets for refreshments. Yes, I did have a hot dog at the ballpark! They also threw in a T-shirt, advertising a local enterprise. Even though the home team was losing when we made our early departure, it was a great time, enjoyed by us vets.
The final Sunday of my sojourn was Father’s Day. I received well wishes and love from Judy and each of my family members via the wonderful technology of face-time and phone. Then came the surprise…
Since I had not had the opportunity to be out-of-doors during the week, I was catching the rays by sitting at the spinal cord injury portico/entrance. Enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, and a good read (thank God for my 7-year-old iPad), I glanced up to notice a familiar face on the young man who was running up the sidewalk and waving wildly to me. He was closely followed by 4 other smiling faces! My daughter Sarah and her family came to visit and brought me a delicious “Junior Bacon/Cheeseburger” from 5 Guys!
Truly it is a wonderful blessing to have family and friends who are concerned for me and show it. I thank God for them and for many others who continue to remind me of God’s love.
Of course, like all of life, there were difficult times when I was uncomfortable and inconvenienced. Rather than focusing on these, the Lord has given me positive instruction:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4–7, ESV)