Learning Through Adversity

Bob and Gail at HiltonMy husband and I love to travel. We’ve enjoyed many foreign countries and also many beautiful and interesting places in the United States. For the past few years, one of our favorite places is Sedona, Arizona, where we enjoy part of the winter in a townhouse we rent. We golf, hike, visit the many amazing sites in the area, and enjoy the many activities available here, such as the pink jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, eating in the amazing restaurants, visiting Jerome an old mining ghost town, and enjoying the arts and crafts stores. Sedona has been our haven….until this year.

This year when we arrived at the end of our long and horrendous trip in treacherous weather from Michigan to Sedona, my husband became very ill. Making a long story short after Urgent Care, ER Hospital in Sedona, he was transferred to Flagstaff Medical Center about 45 minutes away. This hospital is an amazing trauma center with excellent specialists who identified Bob’s illness quickly because of their expertise. It is  a very rare immune system disease.  It attacks the liver, bone marrow, kidney’s as well as the red blood cells that destroy themselves. He had only a small change to survive.

Bob in CCU 2015

Today Bob  has made amazing strides that are close to miraculous improvement. He still has a way to go, but he has stepped into the side to healing. He moved from ICU to CCU to Stepdown where he is today and will then move to a rehab center to gain strength. Our prayers are that byApril we will be able to return home to Michigan and he will be healed or very close to being fully healed.

This experience has taught me many things. First, when you travel, keep in mind plans can be foiled so be prapared. Alway bring any information you will need to continue to pay bills, obtain cash, contact any important businesses or people that you will need, which might be post office, your bank, and other important contacts.

Second lesson is, though you share tasks in your home — one person pays the bills while they other does the online banking or moving money from one account to the other. Learn it all but continue to share the tasks. I have no idea how to set our sprinkler system. I have no idea how to turn our water back on when we arrive home. I don’t know the bank codes, my ATM card pin number, and so many things that I took for granted because my husband could do them. He was sedated for about 2 and half weeks. I had to scuffle to get through those times. Bob does my newsletter formatting on Mail Chimp. I write the material but he takes care of the publication of it.  It’s due to day and I’m stuck. I haven’t had time to learn on my own.

Don’t take things for granted. Learn all you can but you can still share the tasks. When you travel be prepared for being stranded. Thank the Lord each step of the way as problems are solved and as you can  grasp life by the handles on your own. I’ve clung to the Lord and my wonderful family who traveled here to be with me, and I praise the Lord for the journey toward healing that I’m seeing today.


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  1. Sunni Jeffers February 1, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    Gayle, my heart hurts for you and all the challenges and fears you’ve had to face. You are strong in the Lord (even if you didn’t feel like it), and you have encouraged all of us, praying with you as you and Bob have traveled this valley. I know you still have heights to climb, but you are on your way. It’s our honor to hold you both up in prayer along this rugged journey. If your newsletter is late or even if you miss this one, everyone will understand. Times like this bring life down to what is really essential and important. You are loved.

  2. Sylvia Detty February 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Gail, you have had prayers from all over the country for you and Bob! His progress has been nothing short of a miracle! Hugs and continued prayers for you both.

  3. Mary Robbins February 2, 2015 at 1:14 am #

    I’ve remembered this wisdom: when you come to the end of what you know and need to take the next step, faith tells you that 1 of 2 things will happen: you will either find solid ground under your feet or you’ll learn how to fly. You are so right, Gail, there are things we all need to learn how to do – faith tells us that God will provide! So thankful that Bob is doing so well, we will continue to hold all of you in our prayers.

  4. Jackie Smith February 2, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    So sorry to hear this Gail…..will be lifting you and Bob up in prayer…fervently!
    Thanks for sharing this and the things we should do in events like this.
    You are an inspiration to all!!

  5. irene shea February 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Our prayers are with you and Bob.

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