Changing of the Guard

Well, I’ve had enough of this.  I know Rudy’s travails are the focus of this blog, but I had a lousy couple of weeks dealing with my back.  I wish I could say my demeanor throughout this has been one of stoic endurance, long opportunities to contemplate the quiet and meditate on God’s word (as a seminary graduate should), but truth be told the last two weeks of back pain have been much like the last nine weeks of Rudy’s situation.  We try to be as thoughtful as we can, but one comes to realize it’s more a game of survival–sometimes day to day and sometimes minute to minute; so my prayers aren’t birthed from time set aside for meditation but erupt sporadically in the midst of chaos.  Usually a hurried tantrum of four-word sentences (much different than I would write here).  Maybe other people can run this at a different pace, but this is mine.

So Wednesday night, I was extremely frustrated after several days hobbling around the house and fighting on my feet just long enough to help the kids before returning to the elusive quest of finding a comfortable position.  More than anything, I dreaded the thought of not being strong enough to see Rudy again (it’s been almost two weeks).  So, I opened my bible and it landed on Psalm 142 where David hiding in a cave utters, “I pour out my complaint before him.  I tell my trouble before him…when my spirit is faint, you know my way…no refuge remains to me” ending with the prayer for a deliverance that can only come from God.

So I took liberty in pouring out my complaints for awhile, taking a chance that David probably elaborated with some Hebrew vernacular that might have been too pedestrian to make it into the Bible.  When I think about how much troubles me about this experience it goes far beyond Rudy’s epic struggle to what this is doing to our family and our physical selves as it extends to unknown durations.  David’s isolation came through what he wrote and that resonated with me as it’s part of our reality.  While on the one hand we are overwhelmed and grateful for the love that surrounds us and the way people have come along side us, I hope it’s not out of line to feel all alone in the midst of it.  This is ours to fight.  We own it.  We’ll live with the outcomes as we live with the day-to-day realities.  That’s our lonely cave and I identify with David complaining as he tried to find comfort in the rocks and mud of his.

Long story short, I had a much better night’s sleep and Thursday was a markedly improved day.  Give credit to God for hearing prayer, the right combination of pain meds, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants and, as those in my office heard me raving A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE (I’m serious–my whole pain scale changed this AM again with my first cup.  The days at home where I couldn’t make it to the kitchen to get the brew going all ended up very painful–go figure–Peets rules!). 

So I’m just about to get in the car and get my Rudy fix.  I’ve come to realize the seat of my truck has about the best lumbar support of any seat we own (yeah, Toyota!) and if the drive gets me too stiff, I know there are wheelchairs right inside the door of the hospital.  I can’t wait.  Daddy’s coming!

As I’ll only get to see Trish briefly before she comes to be with the kids, allow us a married moment.  Honey, we have a new morning tradition here in that we start with the kids opening up their advent calendars to eat the chocolate before they make any decision regarding breakfast.  Go ahead and try to change it if you want, but understand the impact this might have on your approval ratings.

13 thoughts on “Changing of the Guard

  1. Yahoo, to chocolate before breakfast! Sounds good to me! Hey, after all there’s milk in it. Boy do I agree with the coffee Rolf! Love, Cousin Dianna

  2. Rolf you always amaze me with your humor in any situation. So glad to hear that you are doing better.Have a great weekend with your precious son.

  3. that was a fabulous post! the good, the bad and the ugly – the stuff of life. Lord love you for your honesty. we do. May you be revitalized by a special time of connectedness with Rudy this weekend. And may the kids get their advent chocolates before breakfast. Bill Cosby would approve…. “dad is great! made us the chocolate cake!” Bill Cosby Live or Bill Cosby Himself – something like that. watching it would lift your spirits but i’m not sure what all the laughing would do to your back. maybe some other time.

  4. Rolf,
    I totally understand the isolation that you feel. While you are being supported incredibly, there is no support that can truly help in the way you need it. This is a lonely road that few fully understand…I also think that it’s a lonely road that is different for each of us given our personal idiosyncracies. Best of luck this weekend. Get well, you have a fighter who will need you in the long run. We’re here if you want to vent.

  5. As funny and good-humored as you can be……back pain VACUUMES!!!! …and to be “mom” meanwhile isn’t easy. Go ahead and say anything you want in that cave! He’s the only one that can handle the kind of honesty not fit for human interraction!

    We’ve added “Rolf’s Back” to the prayer list!

    Have a great time with Rudy!!!! Hope YOU get to hold him!!

  6. I admire your strength and I’m sorry to hear that your still not home but with Gods help i don’t think anything is impossible. Just know that your family and Rudy are in our prayers and hopefully God will get you home before Christmas.
    God Bless!!

  7. Rolf (and Tricia) — we are behind you all the way! Let us know if you need anything; we are just down the street.

  8. Rolf,

    I TOTALLY understand your sense of feeling alone in spite of all the love and support surrounding you. I’m praying that God would bless you and Trish with some supernatural moment in which you Feel HIS presence. Emmanuel.

  9. You can say all you want , the Lord is strong enough to take your complaints.
    He has wide shoulders to carry yours and all of ours
    Hope you had a chance to hold that precious boy of yours.
    Hope the back stays better. Praying and yes also complaining to the Lord. Oma

  10. Rolf, you are all having to endure A LOT. Excruciating pain along with Rudy’s health issues that separate the family. You are in my prayers, prayers for a breakthrough this weekend. I hope you get to hold Rudy. I’m glad that you had someone to identify with in the life of David. I’m praying that God lifts you up, releases you more from the discouragement and fear in your situation like only He can do. Love, Allison and Mike

  11. You guys are my heroes. I can’t wait til your whole family is together. But right now I am amazed at how you’re getting through it, four-letter words and all. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

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