Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bring on the Kleenex

Okay first I have to admit, I wasn't planning to post today. I am not feeling well and I thought, so I'll skip a day, it'll be alright. It isn't like what I have to say changes the world or anything! Then I was reading posts on BlogBlast For Peace, and since I am a new to the blogosphere I didn't know about this and felt intimidated. Another reason to sit the day out.

Then I got a phone call that changed everything. I haven't posted about this before so I need to give you some background information. I am the youngest of four children. My oldest brother, Bob, who is 51 yrs.old, has always been my "big" brother. He was the one who looked after me when I was younger, who chased the wrong kid down the block and threatened to kill him for slapping me so hard he left a hand print on my back when I was 8 years old. He helped me through our parents divorce, my teen years and first starting out on my own. He didn't always like all my choices, but he had my back and I knew it.

This January, while I was going through the battle of my life health-wise, and mom and I were basically homeless trying to get re-established here in New York with doctors, a place to live, etc. . my big brother suffered a heart attack. His wife, knowing we had a lot going on didn't call right away. They told her he was going to be fine, they put a stent in and he would be home by the weekend, they'd call us then. But he wasn't fine. He developed something called A.R.D.S. (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and lapsed into a coma before we even knew what had happened.

It would be over five months before he battled his way out of that coma. The doctors and nurses weren't hopeful he'd make it, even less that he recover to any degree if he did. He was on a ventilator, dialysis, feeding tubes and was paralyzed for his own protection. When we visited he had so much equipment hooked up it was hard to find a place you could touch him. He was bloated beyond recognition from the medications and the infections.

My brother is a wonderful husband and father to two boys, one who finished his senior year during all of this, and the other who is in middle school. His wife spent the first 6 months traveling over 2 hours each way everyday no matter the weather to be there with him. She never gave up hope, no matter how heartless or cruel the staff at the hospital or rehabilitation facility were. Mom and I went to visit as often as health would allow, usually every other day. It was grueling and painful.

Finally, about a week after Easter he woke up from the coma. He couldn't speak, eat, move and had no idea what had happened, but he was back. Eventually he was moved to a rehabilitation facility closer to his wife and kids, where he has remained since early June.

This afternoon the phone rang and it turned out to be my brother (we have never been able to speak with him on the phone, he couldn't hold it or dial it!). He will be going home in a few weeks!!! He won't ever be the way he was before all this happened, BUT HE IS GOING HOME!! My big brother will finally get to be with his wife and kids, back in the home they have built for 27 years together, through the good and the bad.

My very good friend, who also happens to be a priest, says there is no such thing as coincidence, that coincidence is merely God choosing to remain in the background. Well, thank you God for using BlogBlast For Peace to bring Bob home! I ask for everyone who reads this to please pray for my brother and for his family, they have a long road ahead of them. They have financial problems beyond telling, physical hurdles and adjustments we can't even know of yet--but Bob is not only alive, he is well and my heart is filled with joy and yes, PEACE!


Mariana said...

Wow! Definitely pass the box of Kleenex! This is a new beginning for your brother and his family; they are definitely in my thoughts & prayers!

Anonymous said...

Such a blessing and, I agree, not just coincidence. I am sending heartfelt peace and encouragement for his new journey (and the enitre family's).

Thank you for sharing this story, Maureen.

Daryl said...

Fantastic news .. I am not religious but I am going to keep strong positive thoughts headed to Bob and to you and the rest of the clan..

This is just wonderful... xox


lynnmosher said...

Hey, there, pretty Maureen! What a touching post. I'm so sorry for all the physical conditions that hamper your daily life. I understand somewhat for I, too, have fibromyalgia. I will pray not only for your brother and his family but also for you. Blessings to you, dear one...Lynn

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about this. I believe in God-incidences and this is one for sure! I can't imagine what it must have been like to hear your brother on the phone. My prayers are with you all as he continues to recover at home. (((HUGS)))

Daisy said...

Congratulations on your brother getting to come home! I'll bet he will be so happy to be back with his family. I am sending strong purrs for his continued recovery.

Blogblast for Peace is such an inspiring and hope-filled day!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Maureen! I'm so happy for you and your family. Goes to show that people should never stop praying and keeping the faith that God knows best and does what needs to be done in HIS time, not ours. I will, of course, pray for all of you. I'm sure your mom is beside herself happy! Take care of yourselves. Lots of love, Viki

One Mom said...

The Lord is holding up your family in this recovery. I pray that He will bless them with renewed strength and hope each and every day. What a joyous homecoming there will be!

I didn't know about Blogblast for Peace! Thanks for the intro!