Trip to Pennsylvania


Last Saturday morning, we got on our way . . .
When our chickens went out so unexpectedly last week,
My husband, always so kind to me, and so understanding of my need to see my brother and my Sweet Mama’s deep, deep desire to go, said that he would take us the 200 miles to see Nel and Rose.

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Down the road we go!


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We passed the church on Shawnee Road that holds
a thousand memories for our family.
It is looking so pretty around there this spring.


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When we got into the Rehab Center, Nel was in Therapy.
He is still dependent on someone giving him a drink.
Rose is usually prepared, and is a cheerful helper.


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He sits up some.  One of the things that was bothering him
while we were there was that it was really hard for him to get
a deep breath.  Sunday, it was discovered that he had
“significant amounts” of blood clots in his lungs.  They did
immediate assessments, including ultra sounds of his legs, and everything came back negative for blood clots there, so the official report is “blood clots in the lungs as a result of body trauma and surgery,” and they are treating those aggressively.  He wasn’t allowed to do therapy yesterday or today, but hopefully tomorrow, it will get back to his usual routine.  Nel is making steady progress, and he doesn’t seem to lose a skill once he regains it.  However, when he isn’t in therapy, he doesn’t really do much progressing, and it troubles him.  He is constantly doing his self-imposed exercizes so that he doesn’t get tight and lose what he has already gained.  Determination has always been one of his defining characteristics.  (I did NOT say he is stubborn!!!)

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Yes, he can walk.  Quite well, indeed.  The CNA on our left and  Nel’s wife, Rose on the right, are there as precautionary measures.  He is never allowed to do anything alone at this point, and that is the best decision, for one little fall could undo everything!!!  But he enjoys walking, and whenever he can, he will choose walking over being pushed somewhere in his wheelchair.  The nurses love him to death.  They say, “He’s an incredible guy.  He is so patient, so grateful, so kind.  He is so easy to take care of and tries so hard.”  (What rehab nurse wouldn’t love a patient like that?)


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He has always been the smiley-est person.
Guess what!!!  He still smiles.  Alot.
He is so soft hearted, but so determined and courageous.
It was like being on holy ground.
I am so glad that we could go to see him.

There are so many stories from these last two weeks that I could tell, but the story that is the very best is that God has intervened time and time again to bring good out of bad.  The “weapons” that have been “formed against him” have not prospered, and for that we give grateful praise.

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This is my inimitable, versatile, compassionate, efficient, and Godly sister in law, Rose.  She is managing crisis after crisis, schedules and visitors and therapy and feedings and uncomfortable pillows and “should we?” or “Shouldn’t we?” kinds of things until it makes my head spin.  I know that God prepared her for this time, and she gives God the glory.  But it is an incredible blessing to see God at work in her life.  When you think of her, Pray for her, too.  She appreciates it so very much.


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Yesterday afternoon, Stuart and Delores Mast, along with my friend, Debbie Mast, stopped on their way home from a memorial service, and Stuart prayed for Nel —
A prayer full of hope and healing and the reminder that God is with us.  He never forsakes His OWN.  It was a distinct encouragement.

Later in the afternoon, one of Nel’s therapists, a young African American, came in and sat on the edge of Nel’s bed.  He was full of hope and laughter and optimism — and he obviously loved Nel dearly.  Suddenly, without warning, I heard music.  In a smooth baritone, the young man was singing.
“What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs to bear.”
His voice was like warm chocolate syrup, settling into the corners of a tummy; comforting and pleasant.  I was sitting behind him, and I could see Nel’s face, and the tears began to roll down my cheeks in a great stream.  And then I heard my brother’s voice, joining in.  Quavery at first, then gaining strength, he sang till the end of the song.
“What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer. . .
Oh, what peace we often forfeit.
Oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”

The room was alive with the presence of the Lord.
Alive with the hope of healing.
Vibrant with love that was inescapeable.
You are probably going to get tired of me saying it.
And some of you will never understand.
But it was HOLY GROUND.
And God orchestrated that mere mortals
could be there, and be blessed.

Too soon, it was time for us to leave.

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How does a Mama tell a son so terribly injured
“good-by”?  It was hard, and there were tears.
But Mama is one brave lady.  She dreaded going so badly because she hated to see Nelson like this.  But she couldn’t stay away because — well, because she’s his mama, and she felt like he needed her.  I’m so glad we went.  It was a wonderful weekend, and it would be hard to say just how much it meant to to all of us. 

There is a long haul ahead, no doubt about it.
But there have been some precious, precious times between Nelson and his Heavenly Father, and Nel is confident of His care, provision and discipline.  His heart is so soft, and so eager to learn what God wants of him right along with the physical therapy he is getting.  So when you think of Nel, pray for his “spiritual therapy” as well as his Physical Therapy.  God is doing wonderful things in many, many lives.

In this time of a Severe Mercy,
There is cause for grateful praise!




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11 responses to “Trip to Pennsylvania

  1. Gotta tell you that there are tears flowing, ones that care for all involved, ones that are just so grateful to God who keeps His promises to His children.  So glad you and your mother could go.  lovenprayers

  2. It is great to see God moving even in these hard times. With God ALL things are possible!!

  3. Thanks for the report on Nel and Rose. Missed you at church but am so glad you could go. L.

  4. Thank you for the update and photos. What an amazing man Nel must be.  He and his wife are in our prayers through this very difficult time.

  5. Thanks for the update. Glad ya all could take your Mom & go see them. Isn’t it amazing where “Holy Ground” can happen! We do have an awesome God even when things happen we don’t understand. God bless ya all & your brother & wife on this journey.

  6. I’m reminded of a quote in our church bulletin yesterday: ” As sure as God puts His children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.” ~ Charles Spurgeon I’m so glad to hear Nel is doing as well as he is, and that you were able to go see him.

  7. Oh, Mary Ann, here I am, ready to put on my make-up before leaving for school, and I could just cry buckets of tears. This is SO touching, so precious, so holy. Blessings to all of your dear family at this time.

  8. All I can say is it’s a good thing MY makeup isn’t on, or it’d have to be redone.  You’ve made me make like a fountain first thing in the morning…my tea is tasting a little salty.  Our God is awesome beyond telling.

  9. What a beautiful testament of Faith in the Lord ,May It all remind up to be like your brother,that no matter what we face in life,God is there to see us through ,Praise the Lord !

  10. praying for your family members today.

  11. Thank you for sharing this bit of your family’s journey with

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