Awww, Valentine’s Day! Yeah, somehow I don’t think this one is going to rank right up there with the best; however, I am thankful that Danny is here to celebrate it. Five years ago, Danny took me to 103 West for dinner. It was storming that night and just after we’d placed our order, the power in the restaurant went out. The staff placed candles everywhere and began turning away their guests arriving for their reservations; the piano player performed by candlelight. So, we truly had a private, candlelight dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town. It was perfect.
Danny was able to top that night though when he asked me to be his wife just a few days later. That story, however, is too precious to write. So, if you want to know how he did it, you’ll have to wait and ask him. Perhaps he’ll remember…..
Recently, Danny was asked what gift he gave me that night to see if he’d remember. He looked at me and said “my heart.” I don’t remember Danny ever being so romantic and open with his feelings as he has been since the accident. He is making himself vulnerable and as much as we loved each other before, there was always a small part of Danny that I think he kept hidden.
You see, I walked with Danny through all his ex-girlfriends. I was the shoulder he cried on and the ear that listened to his hurt. I remember one night he showed up at my parent’s house and we sat on the front porch for hours. He cried and because he hadn’t eaten in a couple of days, I made him a chocolate milkshake. Danny used to be transparent with his love, totally free and giving, but after the last girl crushed his heart, he was never the same. I know he loves me, but like I said, I think he kept a bit of his heart protected, scared that I might betray and leave him too.
The truth is that I would never dream of leaving Danny. As difficult as this is and no matter what happened before the accident, Danny is still my husband. He is still the man that God created to be my partner. He is still the man that I vowed to love forever and nothing could separate us except death. Danny, by the grace of God, escaped death on August 16th. Part of me sees this progression, this healing as Danny’s resurrection. I’m not being sacrilegious, but as the Word says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” I see the accident as Danny dying to himself and this resurrection as the life he has been given to live to be evidence of God’s power. Truly the old self has been done away with and Danny is a new creation.
No one knows who Danny will be when he fully emerges out of this coma. His personality will probably be different and his interests may change, but no one can tell for sure. My hope is that he is the same Danny I fell in love with, but an improved version. Don’t get me wrong, he was always and is wonderful, but you know as I do that there is no one perfect and a good marriage takes work. We could all love a bit more and complain less, right?
Each day is a blessing. Yes, I know. I hear you all mumbling ‘is she writing for Hallmark?’ No, but as obvious as it sounds, for me, each day is new; each moment has to be treasured. Laughter is replacing tears and trust me; I still have a pile of laughter due me. I actually had fun with my husband yesterday. We were able to spend some time alone and Danny was having a good moment. We snuggled in his bed and watched TV, laughed together and dozed off for a bit. It was great and despite the circumstances, it felt normal for a little while. I hope to have more of those moments soon.
Saturday night hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t see it coming, but I went to grab dinner for me and Danny’s parents at a restaurant me and Danny used to go to. When I got back in the car, I started sobbing and didn’t stop for hours. Luckily, my dad happened to meet me in the garage on my way in the house and just held me as I cried out that I want this to be over. I am so anxious to be normal, stereotypical. I want to have our own house, go to dinner together, and take Corbin to see the Easter Bunny, mow the grass and play with the dog. You know, paint the picture perfect American family and that is what I long for. I understand it won’t be perfect; life isn’t. No one knows that better than I do, but anything close to that will be better than this.
I try to remind myself every moment of everyday that this is only temporary. Danny will recover, he will walk, he will play with his son, and he will hold me again. When Danny doesn’t need any of the medical supplies anymore, I’m having a big bonfire. I don’t want to see another pulse/ox machine, suction machine, or therapeutic mattress. I can’t wait until we can sleep in a bed together that doesn’t have a remote control to raise and lower the head and feet. I’m not trying to complain, although I think you all understand and believe me entitled to do so. I’m just airing out the reality of my life and at this moment, like the mid-90’s movie, Reality Bites.
Yes, yes, God is faithful. God is in control. But, for this moment, I’m tired of being the cheerleader. I’m like the father of the possessed boy in Mark 9:24 which reads “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
So, now that you know how I’m doing, I suppose you really want to know how Danny is progressing. I’m happy to report that Danny ate yesterday again and I was finally able to see him. He did a great job feeding himself and easily followed the directions of the speech therapist. He still begs for something to drink, which isn’t easy, but at least he can have some food.
We have our follow-up appointment with Dr. Kaelin on Friday, February 24th. Please pray that we see some major movements in Danny’s body. If you recall, Dr. Kaelin wanted Danny to be able to participate more in his care and also to be able to move his legs more prior to being readmitted into Shepherd. Danny has begun to help a bit with turning him in bed and also putting his shirt over his head, but personally, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some more. I can’t wait for all the good things the Lord has in store for us, but I’m really trying to be patient.
As I’ve mentioned before, Danny gets obsessed with topics or words and just can’t let go. Recently, he has been stuck on the fact that he is “freezing.” It doesn’t matter how many blankets we put on him, he still thinks he is freezing cold. I don’t know if this is a mental thing or if he really feels cold. Trust me though, to the touch, he is not cold. We just can’t seem to convince of that. Again, I point back to the fact that he doesn’t have any reasoning skills. It is incredibly frustrating for us and for him too.
I ask you to continue to pray for clarity of thought for Danny. I pray that he will be able to remember his life and that his short term memory would improve. I pray for our relationship and that the Lord will use this to bind us together all the more. I pray that Danny will know Corbin as his son and Corbin will know Danny as his father. I ask the Lord to give Danny encouragement and that the Holy Spirit will minister to Danny and give him peace.
Much love to you and may God bless you in your own journeys.