Getting our bearings

Forgive us for not posting for a couple of days.  So glad Rudy’s Beat has some dedicated subscribers who get concerned when there’s no news.  No big developments in Rudy’s condition.  He’s had some fevers, indicative of infections common to such a long hospitalization.  The fluid from his chest tube seems to be decreasing so that’s positive.  For now, there haven’t been any major setbacks so that in itself is progress.

By definition a journey like this is disorienting.  Life these past months has been dictated by circumstances we didn’t choose or plan for, so we’re always in a state of reacting.  Over the long Thanksgiving holiday we were forced to slow down a bit and re-chart the course.  As Trish mentioned on Thursday, my back has taken me out of things so it seems that no matter where she is, Trish has to deal with incapacitated bed-ridden babies.  While I’m still uncomfortable, I am hoping that I’ve achieved the right balance of rest and medications that has me headed in the right direction.

We said good bye to Oma on Friday, who understandably had a tough time pulling herself away.  It was such a blessing to have had her and Opa here for such a long time but, if we’re realistic about how far we have to go from here, there will no doubt be other places where we’ll need extended support.

Today is a beautiful Sunday in Santa Barbara and Trish and I are preparing for this week’s deployment.  She’ll head back to Rudy this afternoon as it’s been killing us to be away from him for such a stretch. 

This morning, I really am burdened for Wilson, Max and Olivia and what this process is asking of them.  To make sure the next holiday doesn’t sneak up on us like Thanksgiving did, we took time yesterday to put up the Christmas tree and some decorations.  While Olivia and Max got caught up in the moment and happily hung ornaments, Wilson had a hard time gearing up his enthusiasm as he realizes that, barring a rapid change, our Christmas will include time at UCLA.  Wilson tends to foresee things a bit quicker than the younger two–he already knows we’ll say good bye to Mommy for the week when she leaves in about an hour and is brooding quietly around the house , while Livy and Max are still blissfully unaware as they swing from the avocado tree.  They’ll compensate with a much more dramatic display when they see her getting into the car.

These are just some of the challenges that come with the reality we’re living under and, as Trish wrote Thursday, it helps us to focus on the thoughtful actions of people around us who carry us through.  Sure, I would have loved a picture-perfect Thanksgiving with Rudy and extended family all under one roof, but just because it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t want to forget the thoughtfulness of others that was so present during our weekend:

For nurses who humored our constant calls to check on Rudy; for Kathy for sitting with Rudy yesterday when we couldn’ t be there; for neighbor Mike mowing my lawn; for friends like Katie and Brandon who invited Livy and Wilson over to play; for neighbor Eric playing catch with Max; for Greg and Kim having the kids over for fun play; for Noelle taking the kids to church; for the team of people who’ve taken slots to watch the kids after school each day of the week and for those who keep us well fed.

We echo our kids’ oft-expressed desire for life to return to “normal”, but in the absence of that,   remain so grateful for the little things that make the disorientation bearable.


PS–I wonder how Greg Lawler survived before finding subjects as photogenic as our family.  Wilson and Max think it’s pretty cool to be on the web.  I’m just wondering why he hasn’t called me for a sitting yet.

11 thoughts on “Getting our bearings

  1. Wishing you find peace and rest this week, for another stretch of rotations between home and the hospital… we think about you and pray for you constantly… Glad to hear that Rudy is stable at this time.
    And yes, these pictures of the boys are simply amazing ! 🙂
    Peace and joy from KY,
    Richard and Faith Groves

  2. Trish and Rolf,

    Thank you so much for posting today–I have been worried. Maybe this is a good way to get people praying a lot! 🙂

    One way to keep Christmas from “sneaking up” as you mentioned in your blog is to celebrate Advent. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and our family lit the first candle of our Advent wreath before dinner–the Hope candle. We read a scripture, sang as hymn of expectation, and prayed. I love spending this season thinking about the first coming of our LORD–of Jews who were waiting for a Messiah and the God who provided our way of salvation.

    Be blessed and encouraged, dear ones!

    Nancy B

  3. I can’t even imagine how challenging this is….how wonderful that God has sent you loving friends who can stand in the breach for you as needed! When you eventually look at this season in the rearview mirror I think you’ll find He’s been guiding you through the maze… the meantime, take heart, hold on, have hope.

    love and blessings, L.

  4. Four words: AMAZING EYES AND ADORABLE FRECKLES. I am so prayng for Wilson and Max and Livy…that God will increase the grace needed to get through as they anticipate more separation, and understanding of it beyond their years.

  5. I cant imagine the emotional and physical drain this must be I pray that rudy will continue getting better and get to go home soon. Your other children are real troopers and you can see in the pictures the love they have for Rudy. Try and find a quiet moment hear and there. Ill be thinking of you all. liz(ct) _

  6. Wow, I don’t know what words to say. Continuing to pray for you all and love you all. It was great to see you at the SBRM Trish, despite it all you look great! Love the photos of the boys; there is no denying that those two are brothers! Good lookin’ troop.

  7. Trish & Rolf,

    Love the pictures of the boys!! Tom and I will continue to pray for you and the children at this time that God will give continued strength and grace. Our hearts ached when we read of Rolf’s back trouble and the entire family not being able to be together on Thanksgiving. Your transparancy, Trish, and the wonderful working of the Lord in your heart that day was a great encouragement to some of our friends who are also going through some tought times right now. I shared your story with them and their hearts were helped, strengthened and encouraged to keep on going. We are making our way back to Montana right now and again want to tell you we were so thankful God worked it out that we could come and see you.

    Love, hugs & prayers,
    Jeannine & Tom Williams

  8. Wow!! What a crazy week for you all. Our prayers for strength, healing and continued peace you seem to have found this weekend. The love shared by your family is infinite, and the strength you find in Jesus is true. This Christmas will truly be one to remember!! Love, only love. That’s what it is all about.

  9. Just want you to know we continue our prayers for you. As another mentioned, your transparency helps us and we are blessed by the way God is meeting you.

    We spent a week in Mt. Hermon helping Linda and Steven with their move to a another house. Linda kept us up to date about Rudy and all of you, since we didn’t have our computer with us.

    Our love and prayers,
    Jan and Lyle

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