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I believe that it’s important to mark milestones in your life, no matter how big or small.

The Mr. always finds it odd that I can remember the exact dates of various happenings, but that’s just how my brain works (and I am a woman – ahem).

As such, last January 23rd was my first day of physical therapy.

It was also the first day I began driving again after spending over two months being chauffeured around by anyone willing and able to drive me.

I’d dressed the part, sporting my long Batman socks as motivation.

I remember being extremely unprepared for that appointment – and had, in fact, dressed completely wrong because I thought it was only going to be a consultation.

Instead, J took measurements of my range of motion, which were pretty much nil, and then worked out some of the knots on my Achilles tendon.  After being bound up for nine weeks, my tendon had tightened up and shrunk.

My first session with the “tool” was torture.

But I didn’t cry.

J also adjusted the height of my crutches because I wasn’t able to walk on my own yet.  That tendon was a huge issue (and still is to this day).

As I sat and recovered with the first of many, many ice packs, heating blankets, and TENS units, I received a text from the Mr.

He said that he was very sick and that I needed to take him to the emergency room.

I asked him if I had time to run by the school to prep lesson plans for a sub, and he said yes.

Little did we know just how critical his condition was.

It was one of the hardest days of my life as I sat with him for hours and hours . . .  from about 9am until the following morning at 1am . . . and listened to the doctor tell me that the Mr. was septic and might have died within a couple of days if I had not taken him in when I did.

The Mr.’s parents drove over from Bigger City, Florida because the news was so dire.  He was in very, very bad shape.

We spent the evening debating whether to tell Rooster about it when he called.  He was at a special training, and we didn’t want to worry him.

In the end, after much prayer and discussion, we decided to tell him.  He was glad to know because he was about to be unreachable, and we honestly, at that point, didn’t know if the Mr. was going to make it.

I walked with the nurses as they took the Mr. to the ICU, but I wasn’t allowed to stay – only to bid him a quick goodbye – before I left for home . . .

On my crutches.

I was a sad sight.

I fell into bed, phone close by in case the nurses called.  The Mr.’s blood pressure was too low, he had a raging infection from an abscess, and he had a host of other issues that were being closely monitored.

It was the first of many, many sleepless nights.

January 23, 2017 was the beginning of probably the hardest years the Mr. and I have ever had.

It was tough physically, emotionally, and financially.  We just seemed to get hit with bad news and bills every time we turned around.

One thing that didn’t change but actually grew stronger was our faith.

God didn’t work instant miracles but chose, instead, to grow us closer to Him through the everyday struggles – challenges that forced us to rely on Him for every single thing.

I wonder if the memory of this milestone will fade in time as others take their place in the pecking order of things.

I pray it doesn’t because I never want to forget.

I never want to forget how alone I felt the night I got home from the hospital – when I wondered if I’d be coming home alone for the rest of my life.

I never want to forget how helpless I felt as I watched the Mr. lay in his hospital bed at the mercy of God and plans we could only watch as they played out.

I never want to forget crying on the shoulders of friends who spent time with me in the hospital.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that vulnerable before.

I never want to forget how utterly exhausted I was as I cared for the Mr. in the immediate days and weeks after he returned home from the hospital.

I never want to forget because it is in the remembering that I admit how much I cherish the Mr., how grateful I am for God’s unfailing kindness, how much I appreciate the support and prayers of friends, and what a privilege it is to do the little things for another person, whether it’s cooking or changing sheets.

I’d lost sight of these things until I broke my ankle; the lessons were reinforced with the double whammy of the Mr.’s sickness.

Milestones are like the mile markers we see on the highway.  They tell us how far we have traveled as well as how far we have to go.

I prefer to focus on how much ground I’ve covered – the way paved ahead of time by a gracious, forgiving Heavenly Father.

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