Partners In Crisis

We were blessed by a quick visit from Dr. Dan this weekend who was in town to run the SB 1/2 Marathon!  He told us proudly when we were down for Rudy’s cath that he was going to run in Rudy’s honor so we outfitted him with a “Team Rudy” shirt.  We threatened to pull our sponsorship if he didn’t finish…thankfully he performed well and from the looks of the picture he texted us below, he had a good time too.  Thanks Dr. Dan!

Hi Dr. Dan!!
Half-marathoners Dr. Dan and his cousin Pastor Dave running for Rudy! Way to go!

Rudy and I head down to UCLA early tomorrow for another Bronchoscopy…the purpose of this procedure is to remove the scar tissue in his airway in preparation for trach removal.  Rudy’s ENT, Dr. Shapiro, has scheduled an overnight stay in the PICU for observation and we should return home on Wednesday.  It doesn’t sound like much fun but it’s pretty routine and we trust Rudy will bounce back quickly.  Once the scar tissue is removed, we can schedule the sleep study at Children’s.  It sounds like this can take a long time to get in the books so we may not get in before the holidays – we’ll just wait and see.  In the meantime, Rudy is getting alot of practice with his speaking valve these days – so much so, that the big kids asked recently if we could take the valve off because Rudy was making so much noise they couldn’t hear the movie they were watching.  Ah, the luxury of having a little brother with volume control!!!  We’ll have some big adjustments ahead when that trach comes out permanently!  Ha

Yesterday was Rolf’s and my 18th Anniversary and, ironically, we’ve had a number of people ask us recently how we (as a couple) are doing so I’ve had our relationship on my mind quite a bit lately.  It seems appropriate to share a bit of an update on Rudy’s Beat as this is part of the journey.  We’ve purposed to be transparent and detailed in our account of our life with Rudy primarily to encourage people to pray…to pray informed, passionate prayers on our behalf because from the very start we were keenly aware of our inadequacies and our desperate need for God in all this.  We’ve experienced an abundance of God’s grace throughout this journey and a good bit of that grace has spilled over into our relationship as well.  I think I’ve mentioned it before but Rolf and I do pretty well in crisis…this is by far the biggest life challenge we’ve ever faced together but we have always been good partners in hard times.  I’m deeply grateful for this and I  don’t  take it for granted.  We’ve learned over the years that humor and not taking ourselves too seriously serve our relationship well in times of crisis and since Rudy’s diagnosis, we have given each other a pretty wide berth…trying hard to keep the emotions and responses to one another (and the things not done or said) in perspective of the big picture and to not take the negative stuff too personally.  This coupled with an occassional “check-in” counseling session has helped us really love each other in this and not turn on one another in fear or pain. 

This is a good place to be in while navigating crisis but not a great place for any relationship long term.  Where Rolf and I are challenged is in our ability to set aside the demands of Rudy’s care and our family to really prioritize each other.  We’re so great at “family” but challenged, at times, at “us” and we’re both feeling it.  Giving each other “a wide berth” is an expression of grace but gone unchecked too long and that “wide berth” can become an unhealthy distance and we want to guard against that from happening.  I wonder how we transition ourselves out of “relationship-survival mode” and into a “new normal” where attention to the details of “us” gets first dibs.  Where does the energy and creativity and focus come from when life is at its fastest and most stressful?  And so, we pray and ask for continued grace as we seek to grow in our love for each other and make year #19 even better than the 18 before it.  Happy Anniversary Rolfi…I’m glad we’re doing life together!

10 thoughts on “Partners In Crisis

  1. Congratulations on 18 years together and especially congratulations on the great job you have done in these past 2 1/2 years. I pray that you have a great 19th year together!

  2. Hey there sweet, honest thing – you know I stand ready to help in the small ways that I and my congregation can help you and Rolf make a stab at some time for yourselves. Maybe you need a small council of very close friends to help you brainstorm about how that might happen. Thanks again for your vulnerability – the exhaustion you’re both feeling is deep and long-term, and probably part of your lives from here on in. BUT small stretches of grace and beauty can do wonders for that – both alone and together. Sincerest congrats on celebrating 18 years and heartfelt blessings for the next couple of dozen, too. Love to you both.

  3. Happy Anniversary Trishy and Rolf! We so love you guys and celebrate with you! We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow as you travel down south once again. We’ll be praying for Rudy as he goes through yet another procedure…XOXO

  4. thank you for your honesty and transparency…the Rudy blog is the first thing I open because of that….I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels “invested” in this journey. and thank you for a new – or another – prayer focus….

    happy 18th… and forward!

    love and blessings…Linda

  5. Dear Trish and Rolf,Happy Anniversary to you both! 18 years? That is awesome!!! I volunteer my 24 year old niece to help you out on a date night! She lives in Santa Barbara and is studying to be a physical therapist. I suppose I should check with her but I’m sure she’ll be game for the adventure!

    God bless and keep you,
    Jo Saraceno

  6. Rolf and Trish,

    I can’t believe 18 years as already gone by. Congratulations my dear friends! I will always remember your beautiful purple wedding and the joy of your day. I know the Lord will help you the next 18 and beyond. If you ever need a San Diego rest, our doors are open and waiting! Love you and praying! Robbie

  7. Happy Anniversary! You guys are a great couple 🙂 And as we have mentioned before we love your family! We would be happy to have your kids for a few hours so that you and Rolf can have a night off 🙂

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