Friday, March 28, 2008

In Sickness and In Health. . .

I'm in a bit of a daze at the moment and I find that I need to write about it. It began yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. when the phone rang. When I answered, a familiar sounding voice announced, "Just wanted to let you know I'm having quadruple by-pass surgery in 30 minutes." The voice was that of my brother Andy in Houston. We talk maybe once or twice a year and this time he got my attention. The doctors had been after him for several years to have a single bypass but he kept putting them off. Yesterday he told me that he had was not given a choice this time and. . . Then he stopped, said someone had come into the room and that one of his sons would call me later and let me know how it went.

A few minutes later the phone rang again. This time it was a niece in Lansing, MI (my sister's daughter) calling to find out if I had heard about Andy's surgery. She had just heard from one of my brother's 3 daughters-in-law. Fran gave me a few more details and then said, "You do know that Sandy has been sick, don't you." My brother didn't have time to tell me that his wife has been hospitalized for some time with what we now know is MRSA, a virulent staph infection, and is in a different hospital than the one where he was having his surgery. Later, around noon, my Sister Bobby called from Detroit to fill me in on all that she knew. Later in the afternoon, I got an e-mail from Fran saying Andy was out of surgery and doing well. (That news had gone from Houston to the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL area to Lansing to me. And I also got a call from Fran's brother Stave, my oldest nephew, in Arizona with the same news that he had gotten from Mike.

I was in a daze the rest of the day. I finally reached Mike, Andy's oldest son, late in the afternoon. He was able to tell me that the surgery went well. I started to tell him a few things to tell his dad that I learned when I had my bypass 3½ years ago and he stopped me saying, "Please, you tell that to Dad when you get a chance to talk to him!" I promised I would. Mike than filled me in on his mother's condition and the doctors' search for an antibiotic to which the infection would respond. He promised he would call me back today and fill us in on how both were doing.

Confusing, isn't it? But it does say something about our extended family. Although we are scattered all over the country, we make sure that the important news gets out ASAP. My brother has surgery in Houston and I hear from other family members in Michigan, Florida and Arizona. That's the way families are.

Last night I thought a lot about Andy and Sandy. They were high school sweethearts who were married when very young; I think they were both under 20 then. Most of the family felt they were too young and the union would never last. As it turns out, they had the best 1st marriage in our generation and have been married for 55 years!! Below is a copy of their wedding picture, followed by one taken at their 50th anniversary party:

Today, they continue their recoveries in separate hospitals. Andy and Sandy have always been there for each other in "sickness and in health." While they are not able to care for each other at the moment, I know that they both will recover well and thrive. Their long love for each other will provide them strength.

I will emerge from my daze gradually as I await further reports of recovery from their sons. Andy and Sandy are very much in my thoughts and prayers today.


Eric Valentine said...

Our thoughts & best wishes are with you and your family at this time Leon.

May your faith and family love lead you all to greener pastures my friend. :)

Kalynne Pudner said...

What an inspiration! They're in my prayers, also.

bonnie said...

oh dear. Best wishes to all.

Leon said...

Thank you Eric, Kalynne and Bonnie for your thoughts and best wishes. As of today (April 1) my sister-in-law is out of the hospital and doing well. However, my brother is still in the ICU and seems to be fighting the work of the medical staff. We're hoping that will change now that he can see his wife of 55 years and knows she is well on the way to full recovery.

Shauna Roberts said...

My best wishes to your family too, and to you.