We’ve been home for four weeks now. In that time, Sarah has: made two trips to Salt Lake for check-ups at clinic, had one dose of IVIG, worked out in 10 sessions of cardiac rehab, taken 53 sets of home vitals, checked her blood sugar at least 112 times, endured 31 shots of insulin, and swallowed at least 726 pills. Whew! I must say that adding everything up like that makes it sound a whole lot worse than it has been. She has been amazing. She sets her clock for 8:00 every morning to take vitals, check her blood, and swallow 11 pills. Then she eats breakfast. (This is huge…. Prior to her hospitalization and transplant, she never felt like eating anything til about noon or after, and getting up by 8:00 only happened when it was absolutely necessary, and was usually followed by a mid-morning nap.) Around 1:00, she checks her blood again and eats lunch. At 2:00, she takes another 3 or 4 pills (depending on the day), and at 6:00, she takes another one. She checks her blood and eats dinner (whenever I happen to get it together). At 8:00, she takes her last 9 pills of the day. At 10:00, she checks her blood one last time, takes another set of vitals, gets a shot of insulin, has a bedtime snack (whether she wants it or not because her sugar is usually low and she needs the calories anyway), and heads to bed an hour or so later. All the hours in between have been spent playing with her brothers, watching movies or playing music/singing with her sister, eating snacks, going out for treats with her friends, attending church activities, shopping, cleaning out and redecorating her room, and spending time with our family. It’s been so amazing to be home together. Right after Sarah got home, she ordered Just Dance 2, 3, and 4 for the wii. She was so excited and energetic when they got here that she played them and danced for two hours! She went through each of her siblings (some of them twice) and completely wore them all out. Steve and I were shocked and, once again…amazed. With the exception of some high blood pressures that caused headaches, she’s felt so good, been so happy, and had so much energy to be up and moving all day long! She has had to be creative with the timing of “going out” so public places aren’t as crowded, be careful to wear her mask everywhere, not touch things in public places, sanitize every time she does touch anything or leave a public place, stay out of the sun, take her meds and poker and other medical paraphernalia with her, and stay away from people that are sick. But for some reason, now that she has a second chance to live her life, none of that bothers her a bit. I think she simply feels good, and loves living!
People keep asking me if it’s good to be home together, and if things are getting back to “normal” yet. I’m not sure what to say…. YES! We love being home together, but are things normal? The problem is that I really don’t want them to be normal, ever again. When Sarah and our family were separated, we were relying very heavily on the beautiful grace of our Savior to bring us peace, fill up the holes, and make up for everything we lacked. We were constantly praying for guidance, faith and strength sufficient to endure this trial triumphantly. We completely relied on our Heavenly Father to show us the way and bless us with all that we needed. And that’s exactly what happened. We were so filled with the Holy Ghost that although we were lonely for one another, we were never alone. Although we were frustrated and worried at times, we always knew things would work out exactly how they needed to. And although we never want to go through that again, we know that if called upon to do so, we could…and we would, with help from Above. I’m so very grateful for all those miracles and blessings. The problem is that I want to feel that way still, every day of my life. But when things get back to “normal”, there’s a certain part of life that moves in and takes over all those spiritual feelings until you really don’t feel them anymore, unless you’re immersed in the scriptures, or on your knees. When life gets back to normal, there’s just not time or focus that allows your spirit to be carried that way. And I miss it. I really do. The boys head back to school (and I back to work) tomorrow. And then we hit a whole new level of “normal”. And I’m really not ready…. I do like the idea of a routine, less TV and computer games, more reading, and a cleaner house. But I’m worried that being separated for a time every day in the normal-ness and busy-ness of life, we could lose that sweet feeling of the Spirit in our lives. Family home evening, family prayers twice a day, church together on Sunday…that’s already part of our routine. I imagine this is the way many of our missionaries feel when they return home after serving the Lord for two years. Nobody wants to go back to “normal” when they’ve experienced life for a time so spiritually superior to that. I been taught all my life that the key to feeling the Spirit through the routine of normal life is to work harder to do the things that bring us closer to Christ…scripture study, prayer, temple work, service, etc… but in addition to diligently doing those things, I think we’ll also have to try extra hard to look for the daily miracles and blessings I’m certain He continues to send. So, here’s to growth and my whole-hearted attempt at a new normal, one at a higher spiritual level, one that includes relying on the Lord daily for all that we need. Wish me luck. If we’re successful, I’m certain it’s one that will help me and Steve guide our family through this life and endure it triumphantly…all the way through to forever.