Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living a Grateful Life/Heidi Mills

One more day to go before we meet with the surgeon.  Heidi is looking and feeling good – relatively speaking.  She had a major headache last night but won’t go back to her full dose of pain medication.  It doesn’t really surprise me.  She’s tough.  A few people have seen pictures of the incision.  My sister Ruthie, an orthopedic surgeon, responded, “Heidi is the bravest, most radiantly beautiful woman I know.  If you ever hear me sniveling, you tell me to ‘get my Heidi on!’  So sorry about what must be the worst head/neck ache ever.  It will get better every day…”

We have a lot to be grateful for here, although if you saw her incision you might wonder.  But we landed in just the right place, with just the right surgeons and nurses.  Heidi is recuperating in this lovely hotel.  For my part, I have had a substitute doing great work with my students, the kids are still working together beautifully (I was sent a picture yesterday of the class all showing the sign language symbol for ‘I Love You’), our boys are doing great in school and finishing up final exams right now. 

Friends have responded differently to our getting such great medical care.  One said that Heidi has a lot of “social capital”.  I guess that’s true.  Another said that she is “privileged”.   Also true.  Others say that she is incredibly “lucky”.  True that. 

We were talking about this at breakfast yesterday.  Heidi knows that she is privileged and lucky.  And she is grateful to be connected.  But she has felt this deeply spiritual dimension that overwhelms her.  She believes that she is blessed.  Maybe it’s just semantics.  But I don’t think so.  That big old lump in her brain could have killed her.  Back in the day it certainly would have.  But she is alive and kicking and carrying on.  She has great work to do, much love to share and – lots of life left to live. 

She keeps saying that she is thankful, right?  Maybe that’s the difference between feeling lucky and feeling blessed.  That is the pattern throughout this whole ordeal.  Thankful for finding this thing early, the technology that helped to diagnose and treat it (although MRI’s will never be her favorite thing), the docs, the hospital staff, this place to recover, her university pals who swarmed in and lifted off all of the responsibilities that would have nagged at her.  She is grateful that she doesn’t have to have chemotherapy or radiation; that once this thing heals, she can lead a normal life.  That’s a lot to be grateful for.  And she is, you guys.  The next time you are around her you will feel it too. 

One last thing and then I’ll have to sign off for a couple of days at least.  One of the biggest lessons for me is all about perspective.  It’s as though I have been fitted with lenses that allow me to see how lucky/privileged/blessed I have been. 

When I am swamped at work or dispirited by current events, when the day-to-day rush or little things interfere with my sense of well-being, when I am sniveling about the small stuff I need to “get my Heidi on.” 


Lisa Smith said...

Tim and Heidi-

Cathy Chalmers just sent me this terrific link so that we could keep up with your amazing journey and progress. We just wanted you to know how much we are thinking of you and praying for your recovery- sounds like many prayers have already been answered. We miss seeing you guys- Mary Lyle was really upset when I got an email about your tumor from Debbie Babb (Hodges). She always felt a real connection with you, Heidi. ML wants you to know that you are in her prayers and that she misses seeing you. When you are back and up for a visit, maybe we could come see you. For now, I will read Tim's heartfelt blog and pray. I feel your gratefulness and your blessings even as I read! Much love- Lisa Smith :)(Greenwood)

Miss Jennifer said...

My thought was that you and Heidi are getting back all that you have given throughout the years. Your kindness, love, generosity, willingness to serve, etc is just coming back to you. Blessed is a great word for it. I know I knew you for a little bit of time but what a blessing you were to me so I'm thankful you are being showered with blessings from others. May Heidi continue to improve day by day. I'm going to work on getting "my Heidi on." Thanks for the updates. Jennifer Buch

Mrs. Barnes said...

Incredibly blessed - and we all are! Know that our thoughts and prayers will cover you guys especially when seeing the surgeon tomorrow.

Tim, also know that I've enjoyed peeking in on your children. I participated in Writing Workshop on Friday afternoon when several children shared their stories. They were taking things quite seriously as was your sub taking kidwatching notes - especially considering it was a Friday afternoon! Every single time I see them (whether it's in the lunch line, at gathering, in class), they are amazingly focused and respectful. I am so proud of them. And I know you would be.

Here's one of my favorite latest verses: "God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God & God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us." I John 4:17 (Message)

You have lives of love. I'm so grateful you share your life with all of us! Love you guys - and praying without ceasing...

Mary White said...

Tim, this is Mary White from Heidi's school in Florida. The entire staff of JD Parker is wishing her great healing and strength. Please extend our love to her. My family lives in your area, please let me know if you need anything. You are right, time is the greatest healer. Much love, Mary

bluebirdwoman said...

I think Heidi is giving us all a lesson on how blessed and privileged we are, no matter what difficulties or hardships cross our paths. Thanks for reminding us of how good life can be. Hope all goes well with the meeting with the surgeon.

Gloria said...

Thanks, Tim, for all of the updates. Heidi is indeed an inspiration. I plan to "get my Heidi on."

Sending love vibes to all of you.

louise said...

"Get my Heidi on," I love it! I often think something along these lines, but now I have words for it!
Thanks, Tim and Heidi, both of you. I am definately blessed to have you in my life. Love, Louise


Thank you for the updates, Tim. And for writing with such warm and thoughtful detail. Feels like we're all right there with you two. Cheers, Rebecca

scsciteach said...

Heidi has always so generously shared her loving spirit with others' that there are many of us in deep prayer for her health and quick recovery. Lots of Love to you all! Jeanne M.

scsciteach said...

Heidi has always so generously shared her loving spirit with others' that there are many of us in deep prayer for her health and quick recovery. Lots of Love to you all! Jeanne M.