Gosh, the idea of attempting to sum up the thoughts, feelings, and happenings of even this past weekend are pretty daunting! Really, the events weren't too strange, we really just hung out at home most of the time with our dear Kier-Kier and tried to love her really well, but we were blessed with many people surrounding us, feeding us, and believing for the great things ahead. A few highlights were Saturday night which was PACKED with sports watching and so we invited some friends over (who brought a GREAT Mexican feast to comfort us!). We hung out with some of our favorite friends, laughed, watched sports, and Kieren enjoyed it all. Sunday we had a good visit to the hospital, as Casey already blogged about, rested the afternoon away and went to Hillsong church at night. It was a worship night and at one point the pastor, Phil Dooley asked people to come forward who wanted healing. I came front, both for my own migraine headaches that we continue to pray about, and for our sweet Kieren. Phil saw me (he and his wife Lucinda visited us this week in the hospital) and prompted the entire church into a time of prayer for our Kieren. It was humbling and beautiful. We just continue to be beyond grateful for our community here and the extraordinary ways they are loving us through this ordeal.
For myself, what I have noticed most of all about this weekend is that as we have returned home and begin to think about normal life, I have begun to have a flood of different emotions about the happenings of this past week. In short, it has been trauma not only for me, but for Kieren. We all know that I am a 'feeler' anyways, but wow, this was truly a week of more feelings than I have ever had in my life. There are some moments that stand out and that I find myself beginning to work through. One is in the first hospital when Kieren been there just a short time and they were trying to get a reading on her heartbeat and oxygen levels in her body. Her limbs were ice cold and they could not get a reading, and when they did the oxygen levels were alarmingly low, causing them to rush in a group of doctors and nurses, take her to trauma room in hospital, and transfer her to Red Cross hospital for ICU observation. It's not so much what the medical people were saying, it was the look in that one nurse's eyes. She was alarmed. Then there were so many hard moments in the hospital, I mean just the first full day when if Kieren was awake she was screaming and writhing in pain, and that even while under heavy sedatives and morphine. As a parent, I am not sure if there is anything more excruciating to see your child in that much pain, second to losing that child. We also really struggled with the nursing and security staff at the hospital who grew weary of our many visitors which resulted in some very negative interactions. I was in a deeply fragile state and these looks and comments broke me (we DID speak with nursing staff later that day and worked through misunderstandings). It's hard to even describe the hospital, but I will say it's a STATE hospital and nothing like any hospital I have seen in America. They lack funding and staff, but TRULY the doctors are incredible there and the best in treating burns in South Africa. Then it's been just the grieving and questions. Will these scars show up when Kieren wears her wedding dress? Thinking about and longing for my happy and beautiful Kieren. Realizing I wrote a facebook status update recently with a picture of Kieren saying "Happiness is Kieren's face." Grieving for Kieren's pain, for the time taken, that the accident had to happen, that we hold vanity as something important in the first place so we are so sad when it's threatened.
And then there is God in all this. We KNOW God is in all this, and have clung to Him in a way we have never in our entire lives. He has blessed us abundantly with a community that is holding us up and literally helping us to make it through each moment of the day. His Holy Spirit continually breathes new life into us and takes us from despair to hope many times a day. We believe even when we can't see. But it's hard.
So this weekend, some of these things began to surface, and it's painful. It's just going to be a long process, and I can't imagine going through this alone. How do people keep walking through their lives when they face a tragedy like this without God. He is all we have, and He is truly ALL WE NEED.
Thanks for listening and letting me share the honesty of these moments. I believe sharing even the dark times will give God even GREATER GLORY when Kieren is fully healed and we see these times only as memories. Let's believe it together.
Lots of love,