Today is my birthday, #37, amazing how that happened. My wife is sick, but we had a great time together today. Today there was no cake, no ice cream (I wouldn’t eat it anyway), no huge gifts, no balloons, party or singing. Today I did 4 loads of laundry, made my own birthday dinner, took my own pictures, I did get to lift (arms/legs/abs).
Yet I have been surrounded by love from many places…
My mom called from Nicaragua and left me a message and my little niece Michelle (8) also left me a message in Spanish. My uncle Al who lives here in Long Beach also called. Very kind. My sisters who also live in Nicaragua sent me e-cards, so touching. I miss my family back home.
My friend Suzanne, whose birthday is also today, came by and dropped off a nice gift and she sang to me. My friend Justin who plays drums with me, left me a voice mail. My friend Amber sent me a nice card, my friend Brian emailed me. My aunt Beckie sent me a nice card from Colorado, my aunt Sonia sent me a book from Las Cruces, NM. My sister in law left me a voice mail. Sunday, as a post-US Citizen/birthday, my father in law Dennis took me to a Clippers Basketball game (my first time at Staples Center) and a GC to a local bookstore, my mother in law Lynette got me a cake and our whole family sang “Happy Birthday.”
My wife kept hugging me. The best gift she can give me is to rest and get better. She has a virus the doctors still can’t figure out. She has a rash on her arms and legs, joint pain, prior to that swollen throat glands and fever. She’s better from some symptoms, but the joint pain and rash are still bad. All day I’ve been surrounded by our children, they each gave me hand made birthday cards (those are the best), with their handwriting in them. They played all day, sang, danced around, just being a joy.
This week, it’s been my privilege to serve my wife, even on my birthday, and you know what…I love it. It’s a new kind of marriage we have, events are nice and needed (Mother’s Day wil always be huge), but our love grows deeper with the trials we go through together.
The best part of yesterday was worshipping with her and the children on our front steps, singing “I’m trading my sorrows for the joy of the Lord…” Today, we sat on the steps and I cried on her shoulder. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by her illness, running the house, seeing how the children (especially little David (2), miss her and my own concussion symptoms which are recurring at times but better.
So it goes today. I’m home this week, resting, post Easter, post Good Friday (which were breathtaking), taking care of my sick wife, and it’s a privilege. We had to cancel our vacation this week to the mountains, I had rented a house in Big Bear for three days, it’s dissapointing, but there will be another time.
I can’t complaint, my life is amazing.
Amidst illness, missed vacations and headaches, there is LIFE in this place because of our hope in Jesus. We are trading our sorrows for the joy of the Lord. Yes, Lord, Yes, Amen. The celebration of the resurrected Christ didn’t stop on Sunday for us, it continues today.
Have a great day.
Into the future,
R’s UPDATE; Thurs. 4.20.06: My wife’s rheumatologist said it seems like erythema multiforme, a serious allergic reaction. A friend (nurse) also thinks she may be dealing with Steven-Johnson syndrome (a more severe case of erythema multiforme, not yet diagnosed). Her partial lab work came back normal, we’re now waiting for the rest of the blood work to come in. She’s feeling pretty miserable and frustrated. Thank you for praying.
UPDATE#2; Fri. 4.21.06: By the way, did you notice those guns on picture#1! Just looking at the facts folks, just the facts…lol. R’ took more Advil last night and slept better, she was in tears at 11pm with joint pain. This morning, her dad took her to the doctors, the doctor said they are still waiting for more blood work to diagnose her disease. They gave her Vicatin for the joint pain. She said the current blood work looks normal. Weird, but that’s good news. I hardly slept last night, just got back from a bike ride around the block (4th time this week), with our little ones. They are such our joy. I’ve changed David’s diapers more times this week than I had in his first two years. I used to change Canela’s diapers almost daily, but I had slowed down since. This has been an amazing lesson for me on how much more I can help Rachelle as well as how enjoyable and even bonding it is just do the normal bathing, clothing, feeding things for the children.