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
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).