Friday, February 24, 2006

Two weeks

I was visiting Jan this evening. It was 6:05PM. I was trying to make eye contact with Jan, when I realized that it was exactly 2 weeks ago when the aneurysm burst. In slow motion my mind played back again the scene two weeks ago that landed us where we are today:

5:15 We were getting ready to go to a Valentine's party in O-----.
5:50 A last minute touch up to the make up.
5:54 She collapses in pain. I call 911
6:01 The ambulance arives, Ask her a number so questions and convince her to walk down the stairs with them. Omar is arriving from work and meets her in the front lawn.
6:05 They put her on a strecher and she loses conciousness.
6:20 I meet her at the emergency entrace. She opens her eyes, I see fear or extreme pain. "Oh God..."
6:25 The ER staff run an ECG and find nothing.
6:45 Another doctor orders a CT scan
7:25 the CT Scan reveal the hemorrage and they start a frantic search for a neurologist and arrange her transfer to S--------. They give her some drugs. They put her in a respirator. I ask Omar to call Steve
9:25 She is prepared to be transferred with all the equipment
9:55 I go to the parking lot and find that I have no money or wallet to pay for parking! I call Dad and ask him to call everyone else.
10:30 I arrive at S-------.
11:05 The family starts to arrive.
11:30 One of the Neurosurgery residents comes to talk to us about what is happening and to ask for our consent.
1:00am Jan goes into the OR for a three-hour operation.
The rest is the history we have written here at S------- Hospital.

Sleepless nights, anger, frustration, tears, prayers, anguish, questions, impatience, tender love from friends and family, we have seen them all in these two weeks. We have felt hopeful and seen in a fraction of a second our hopes dashed by rational explanations of the risks and the seriousness of the situation.

We also have seen Jan in a deep sleep for days (in a coma) and then, we have witnessed how she opened her eyes, began moving parts of her body, began expressing feelings and questions with her eyes and hands. We have agonized for her lack of speech, we know this type of healing takes time, but we don't want to wait, we want to see her well now and listen to her voice again now! As time passes she is making progress, and in some way family and friends also are taking some steps towards patience and perspective.

All this in just two weeks!

To all of you who have been touched by Jan and have prayed for her recovery, I say: thank you. I hope you continue praying for Jan until she heals and returns home.


sharon said...

Dear Fede, Jan & family,

I can appreciate the whirlwind of feelings and how shocking & devasting & emotionally exhausting these past 2 weeks have been for Jan, Fede, Steve & Sue and the family.

I know that everything that God creates in life happens for a reason (what the reason is in this case is questionable/unclear yet in this case). I trust that God will continue to show Jan his plan for her and brighten her soul & give her & her family strength, perservance, grace, wisdom & faith in this extremely trying recovery.

I love Jan so much. This experience has touched me so deeply how precious & important Jan is to me.

I love you!

Ret said...

THe reality of the situation will probably hit me even harder when I see you in person, but in the meantime I am praying for you and your family who are out there on the frontlines every step of the way. I hear your voice in my mind and remember how you've always been a real encouragement to me. You've been like a sister to me and a real mentor and inspiration. I'll always remember our happy times together and I'm sure GOd has many more wonderful things in store for you. We can only guess what's on your mind for now beyond your basic needs. At least God hears your thoughts and silent prayers and he's there for you every step of the way. It boggles my mind to imagine what you're going through. I love you very much!
*hugs* 'Ret

sharon said...

I think that's an excellent idea that David had to tape the service at the church in the morning and evening. I was thinking the same thing yesterday if it was possible to video tape the service at the Sanctuary or Runnymede United Church for Jan. I know that mean alot to Jan to watch that.

Or another idea: if there was a way to conference via telephone LIVE the Sunday service from the sanctuary & RUC for Jan to listen to.

Or even for the choir to sing to Jan live in person is another idea


Paul from Oregon said...

There isn't an hour that goes by each day that I don't pray for Jan and talk to her in my mind. I believe we touch each other in many ways in this amazing web of life, and we can speak to each other using parts of ourselves other than our voices. I reach out for her and speak to her often, and somehow, I know she hears me. Perhaps this is what prayer is, in a way. If so, I pray for you daily, dear Jan, and something tells me that in time, you will recover yourself to a satisfactory degree.

I hope your family and husband understands that you may not be as capable in the months ahead as you once were, and some sacrifices have been made that may be permanent. Know that you are loved no matter what and do your best to have patience with your situation. I know of nobody who has more support than you do right now, Jan!

It is important to remember that the old Jan and the new Jan may be quite different in some ways, and we must all learn to accept that fact and embrace her for who she is now and for who she will become. She is no less the person we love, but she will be different in some ways. Prepare yourselves for changes that lay ahead. It is very important for Jan that her family and friends accept her as she will be and let go of expectations that she will be 100% the woman she was before the incident. That may or may not be. Hope and prayer can make great things happen, but there are limits to what hope can do, and at that point, acceptance must come into play. Be strong for Jan, please.


Rozanne said...

My Dear Jan

It's been a long two weeks for everyone, but especially for you. I pray for you each and every day and will continue to do so. What a couple of weeks Peter and I have had. We had a big flood in our house and our parquet flooring looks like a jigsaw puzzle - I stood there looking at it and started to laugh! I truly have comprehened how precious life is and not to fuss over the insignificant stuff that happens. Sure, these things affect us, but I can do everything I need to, to take care of the problem. I can do something about it. For you, I can only pray and continue to have faith that you will recover and you will come back to us. However deep down, I still wish I could do more just to bring back that wonderful smile.

We love you
Rozanne - Sanctuary Home Church group.

Ret said...

Has your knowledge of sign language come in handy? One of the things I always used to enjoy abut going to church with you was watching you do the sign language actions while we sang! :)
I'm dabbling a bit in learning Esparanto, but that's another story.
Keep smiling,
Love, 'Ret

orestn said...

I've recorded a couple of prayers and songs from church in the last two weeks. As time permits, I will put them onto CD for Jan, in the hopes that they would bring comfort and connection to the church world. Think of it as a "prayercast".

jayn & michel said...

Just got back from Mission: Chile. Did you know you were an inspiration in my life - someone who I looked up to. Someone who I several times heard speak about
missions and I was in awe of you and your faith and obedience to God.

We can only imagine just how difficult this is for you and your family. I know I - like most of us just feel completely powerless and helpless in knowing how to help or what to do. I'm very very grateful for this blog site. (I'd never been on one before ...)Seems I'm always learning from you Jan!!!

We feel powerless but in actual fact for those of us with faith in God we are NOT powerless for we can pray. Jan - for 10 days we couldn't contact you or this blog site because we were out of communication in Chile. However, please know that 25 people prayed for you daily, I'm sure that many prayed for you continually during the days.

It occured to me while we were up in countryside so incredibly beautiful that you could see God and feel God in the power of the rushing water or the milky way, This world is HIS. HIS creation and we are HIS precious children. Jan is in God's hands and while we were away I realized that God has already worked so many many miracles in Jan's life. God is holding Jan in HIS hands - HE is the footprints in the sand right now. There is incredible peace in that knowledge.

To Fede and Steve and family - rest in knowledge that God is doing miraculous things in Jan's life as we speak. He IS hearing our pleas.

I know a God who can make all things possible. Nothing is impossible - as we have already seen. We just have to remember that God's purpose and timing is not ours and not always immediately understood.

I will continue to pray - with complete faith in a God who is almighty and merciful for Jan's speedy recovery and for your strength and patience.

Jan - while I was away in Chile - I remembered you constantly as an inspiration. I have so much to share with you - so many God stories - and I wait for the day I can do that...

Love and prayers and blessings

Jayn & Michel :)

Ret said...

Hi Jan!
It's me again! Janette phoned wanting to know if you're almost ready for visitors. She said she wanted to visit you on Friday night if it's okay. I said I'd let her know on Thursday. She wanted to send a card but she doesn't have your return address.

George Pappas said...

Dear Jan, Fede, Steve, Sue, family and friends,

This may seem a little strange, but my "gut" is telling me to share this with you.

I just want you to know that when I found out about Jan's illness, I guess it was about two weeks ago now, I prayed to God for His healing, and in the silence, He spoke to me, which he often does. Sometimes to communicate, sometimes to comfort, sometimes to even let me know what's ahead, sometimes a direct responce to a question I ask and sometimes He gives very direct orders for me to do something he wants me to do.

God told me that day, about two weeks ago, that Jan, "She'll be alright...She'll be okay...Don't you worry".

About a day later, again praying to Him, I decided to ask Him, "What do you mean, she'll be okay?" God told me in a soft, reassuring, yet confident voice that,"She'll be as good as new...don't you worry".

Because I've grown to trust His voice over the years, I had no doubt, and I still have no doubt in my mind, that Jan will indeed be "as good as new".

I have not seen Jan, because I had a bit of a cold, and did not want to give her any more complications. God also told me not to go, as well. I adheared his wishes.

My cold is gone now. I asked God today, if it is time to go see Jan now. He told me, in his direct, loving style, "Go...She needs you now".

I will be going to the waiting room
very soon, and, ONLY if it is okay with the family, I would like to see Jan for 5 to 10 minuites.

I pray for Jan's full recovery. I also pray for Fede, Steve, Sue, family and friends, for strenght, faith, comfort, rest and peace of mind. The peace of God. Please don't forget to take care of yourselves, also.

In the last two weeks, I see more clearly what a wonderfull family you all are to Jan, both by blood and by friendship. You all are "jems", shiny diamonds of God's loving creation. What a great gift for me to have Jan touch my life. And what a gift for me to have been touched by all of you.

I trully believe that the love for another human being is the greatest gift on this planet.

With all my love,
George Pappas (Yiorgos Papadimitriou)

Julia_A said...


I had the opportunity to see you today and it was so wonderful. Your face is glowing and you look beautiful. You have been through so much in the past few weeks my friend, and I know that this must be so troublesome for you. I could tell instantly that you recognized me when I came in the room (despite my silly looking costume of yellow gown, mask and white gloves). I was so pleased to see that you were happy to see me as you smiled at me. You looked into my eyes as if to tell me that "its been a long journey...when can I come home?".

Jan, I am so blessed to have you in my life, and I must tell you that I have never lost hope that you will be restored to full health. The Lord started a great work in you and he is not finished.

We gathered in the chapel with some of your friends from the Sanctuary and your family members. Everyone shared stories of what an inspiration you have been to them! Though some have only known you a short time, they shared stories of the blessings that you have brought to their lives. We sang and prayed together and celebrated you. Fede took some pictures that you'll be able to see.

You are so strong Jan and such an inspiration. Though I know you must be so frustrated right now, I have such a strong sense that God is going to be with you through this whole recovery process.

My friend Abby came along for the service. You haven't met each other but she later told me: "I don't know Jan but I can feel such a closeness to her. She has had a profound impact on my life". God constantly fills my mind with the numerous people who you've inspired - even those you don't know!

I love you and I miss you. I will return to visit soon. I am filled with hope for your recovery and strengthened by the familiar look of perseverance in your eyes. Hang in there my friend! You are doing so well.


Ret said...

HI Jan!

If anyone has access to a laptop, I think you'll enjoy this video...!:)