It is hard to imagine what my mom, Josh and I would have done without Lori Ferris helping us learn my dad’s business system. She is one of our board members for Caleb Ministries and she volunteered to come survey his work, figure it all out, and then teach us how to do it all! Thank you Lori! I felt like we were running a fairly coherent business yesterday, and hopefully we can keep it going! And she’s a lot of fun to work with, which is another plus in an overwhelming situation!
Vicky Brooks, we call our “Life Coordinator”…well, that’s what I call her! She basically asks us what we need and then she goes and gets help for us. She has been at the hospital, in meetings with doctors, setting up things behind the scenes…as I’m keeping track of all the people who have helped, her job description next to her name reads: “Everything”. Her husband Mike, is a physician and has been translating what the doctors say, answering questions, and just overall, helping to get us through the medical end of things! He was on speaker phone when the very first doctor came in to talk to us about my dad’s bleed and seizure, and he was on the phone again the first night we brought my dad home to answer questions and make sure all the meds were taken care of and we understood things.
Jodi Wohlers is one of the most compassionate people I know. She is so attentive to my mom, was able to help my mom emotionally connect during the board meeting on Sunday, and has been coordinating meals for us that are absolute life savers!!! We’ve never eaten so good! 🙂
Nan and Tony Gutschmidt have been just a constant support and help. Nan worked in the office next to where my dad was at the U of Iowa hospital. She came by daily to sit with us, visit my dad, and offer help and understanding in different medicatl-related areas. I teased her about it on Sunday, but it was really nice to have someone who, after I came out saying that I didn’t understand something, would say, “That’s something you can ask about. He’s your dad and they need to explain things till you understand what they’re saying!” That was very helpful! Her husband Tony has been at our house surveying our locks on the doors, gluing ceiling tiles back on the ceiling so we didn’t have things falling down on our heads! We thought it might be nice not to have anyone else get a brain injury! And he got our WiFi Internet up and running! THANKYOU!!!
After my dad got rushed to St. Lukes, it was determined that he needed to be airlifted to the University Hospital, so my mom and Travis and I jumped in the car to drive to Iowa City. I will never be able to quite put words to what it meant to us (and how comforting it was) to pull up to the hospital and have our friend, Steve Irwin, standing there already waiting for our car. To see a friendly face first thing, and to know he stopped whatever he was doing to get to the hospital…Steve, something that seems so minor made such a huge difference!
We have friends and family who’ve made donations that helped us get our insurance premium paid to make sure my dad’s health insurance didn’t lapse, to help keep utlities paid, and even coffee money to keep us fed and energized while at the hospital. We have people volunteering to clean both my and my mom’s houses so we can live with some order around us right now. We’ve had numbers of people who have called to check on us and tell us they’re praying, people who stopped by both hospitals to see us and to visit my dad (I’m not even aware of them all), someone volunteer to write up our power of attorney, a friend stopped by just at the right time as we remembered we had no one to pick up my dad from therapy that day, people behind the scenes trying to organize fund raisers, prayer chains praying for him all over town and beyond. I sat and read my dad the emails and cards that have been coming in (and I plan to continue that if anyone still wants to say hello to him!)! He’s starting to grasp more and more, and can track with people’s emails pretty well.
And I know there are people who are away, who feel so helpless to do anything, who want to be here helping and caring, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of your friendships, your prayers, and your support! I think my mom and I are still standing because of the prayers people are saying on our behalf.
When my dad gets better and can really grasp the amount of help and care we have received, I think he will be totally overwhelmed! My mom has said, and I agree, that we talk about being in situations that you are totally helpless to take care of on your own, that are completely beyond your own resources, but you never really anticipate the big ones…the ones that could flatten you…if it was just you! But it hasn’t been! Thank you!
My dad is one of the best people I know. We say all the time as a family, he is a truly servant-hearted man…willing to go to Walgreens twice in the middle of the night to get your medicine, and then go back if he got the wrong thing…willing to stop what he’s doing to help, even if it is inconvenient at the time…willing to drive to 5 different HyVee’s in order to find something we need…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Travis, my husband, jokes about how hard it is to live up to my dad. He jokes, “Rick set me up for failure! I might be willing to do all those things, if its absolutely necessary, but I’m never going to want to do those things! Rick wants to do those things! That’s what makes him incredible!” There’s no one we would rather serve right now than my dad. And we so thankful for everyone helping to make that possible!