We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Taking Time to Remember . . .

For the first time in twelve and a half years, I went back.

I had written about this place, straining to see the words on the screen, blurry because of the tears in my eyes. It holds a hallowed place in my heart. My husband, Barry, arrived at Mountain View Care Center on May 8, 2003, in the process of slowly emerging from a six-week coma due to a car crash. On June 12, 2003, he transferred to another facility, a different man--still with a long, long way to go, but he could finally eat, converse, and walk with help. He even joked with the nurses early in the morning, asking for ice cream.

And so last week I drove to visit a friend there, wondering what I would find.  Would it be as I recalled? Would anyone remember Barry? Would my emotions hold together?

It was wonderful to visit with my friend, June, and see her receiving the care she needed. What I didn't know was that she had taken my book, Penned Without Ink, with her and told many of the staff about it. She also informed them I would be coming that afternoon, so several of Barry's nurses and therapists made it a point to drop by her room . . . the very people who brought my husband back to us.

And they remembered

In the Chapel at Mountain View Care Center, May 2003
One joked, "I didn't recognize you without your halo!" They spoke of Barry as "a gentle soul." They talked about our story, the progress he made, the victories. They asked about our daughters and could hardly believe the little girl who sat on her daddy's lap in the wheelchair now attended college. All these years later, their hugs brought another layer of healing to my heart. I could again say THANK YOU for all they did for Barry . . . and for us.

I wheeled June down to the Chapel for the 2:00 New Year's program. When I entered the large room, tears slipped down my cheeks as memories flooded my mind . . . pictures of Sharon playing the organ and Barry sitting beside her singing in his monotone voice, the place where we ate lunch and prayed together as a family for the first time since the accident, the spot where Barry first understood what had happened to us and wept as he held my hand.
Elisabeth, age 5, on Barry's lap at Mountain View

Taking time to remember now and then brings us back to the basics of gratefulness, wouldn't you agree? Seeing God's goodness over many years lends a perspective we may miss in the thick of our circumstances. Looking back gives us the courage to look forward with a determination to trust God with our stories . . . all the way to the end.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:13, 14).


  1. Your words and your spirit always reach my heart. Once more, thank you for sharing. In the days ahead I will more intentional in "Taking Time To Remember." Blessings...

    1. Thank you, Vi. Intentional is a good word, one I forget sometimes. A great goal for 2017!

  2. Lovely, Sarah, and so glad you got to go visit and remember! Yes, stones of remembrance (in Joshua 4)‘What do these stones mean?’ v. 22 then you shall let your children know..."that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” We look back to remember God's faithfulness and trust the going forward. Amen

    1. Love these verses, Kay. I think I'll go back and read the chapters in Joshua. The hand of the Lord indeed is mighty. So grateful!

  3. Thank you for the grace-filled reminder to trust God, wait for the LORD, and be confident in seeing the LORD's goodness. God bless! Praying for you & your family!

    1. Blessings, Jan. I love the verses in Psalm 27, too. May God be your strength as you move forward in 2017.