A steady stream of doctors and nurses keep coming in and asking him basic questions.
“Can you tell me your name?” “2-13-81”
“Ok, sir, but can you tell me your name?”
He rolls his head and fixes his gaze on mine: “What are they asking me?”
“They want your name, babe. What is your name?”
“Oh…Jesse McMillan. 2-13-81”
It’s his birthday, those numbers. He’s been asked to tell them his birthday so many times that he spits out the numbers like they’re the answer to every question before his speech catches up with his mind.
Two nights ago, he couldn’t get out my name, a name he’s been saying since we were kids. He was staring at me, trying to will his voice to speak what his mind was telling him, but it just wouldn’t come. The frustration in his eyes is the worst part of it all. He knows.
“I’m a preacher”, he says with confused anger. “I need speaks. . .speakers. . . speech. . . my voice.” He sighs and relaxes back into his pillow.
This is brain tumors, folks. These are the moments I’ve never read about, the wrecked and ragged moments of confused existences. You think everything is going to be all hustle and bustle and tubes and panic, but in reality, it’s you spending hours in an uncomfortable plastic coated chair in a cold room watching your “person” breathe, listening to pesky monitors sound off meaningless-to-you alerts, and waiting for Drs to come and tell you what your life is going to be now.
We are currently waiting on an MRI. They are unable to see the images taken at the previous hospital clearly, so we’re starting over here. No steps will be taken in any direction until that is done. Prayers remain relatively the same as yesterday…decreased pressure in the brain, no hemorrhages or blood clots anywhere, a tumor that shrinks, clarity and direction for Drs, peace and patience for this man I love and for all of us who love him big…and an MRI that happens miraculously fast.
We made a transfer from one hospital to the next in a handful of hours on a holiday yesterday. It usually takes at least a full day, frequently longer than that. God is all over this process, helping us along, making miracles out of the ordinary. We’re still grateful for this life we’re living. We’re still looking up and begging the Lord to make Himself known to us as the Healer of healers, to make all of the characteristics of Christ we know to be true known to us in tangible ways, and to use us as beacons of light to a weary and broken world around us. We’re broken too, you see. So desperately broken and in need of the Saviour we’ve known since we were children. God has been graciously reminding us of our own humanity, of our own need of Him, and of the many ways He has been setting our lives up in years passed to love us well through this time. The provision of people and pacing has been astonishing. We are being well tended by our good Shepherd, and that is in large part the doing of you all. Adequate words to describe what an impact your outpouring of love and compassion for us is having will never exist. We are grateful for all of you. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple “I’m with you.” Small words are having big impacts. Your voices are being heard by us, and more importantly by King Jesus.