Written 17 hours ago by Melissa Hemphill
FYI – This entry was typed by Pete with the stylus!!
First – Thank You and Peace be to You All!
On behalf of my family it is truly hard to express the deep sense of gratitude for the many ways you all have eased the journey we have been on since my accident. This has been the greatest challenge we have faced. BUT I am confident that God put us on this path for a reason.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my life’s journey from the earliest days of my life and I came to the humbling conclusion that I have always been abundantly blessed – beyond what I probably deserved. These blessings include a great upbringing with loving parents who last month celebrated 54 years of marriage, 5 siblings to learn how to share (and get picked on and argue “fairly”) friends, great jobs, and opportunities to pursue “my” dreams. The greatest of all my blessings is my wife, Lisa. From the very beginning she drew out the very best in me and shifted my focus towards a deeper relationship with God. Whenever I would struggle with something she would tell me – “Let go and let God”. Simple advice but not always easy to do.
With Lisa we’ve been blessed with 8 wonderful children and have watched our oldest Melissa begin her journey to marriage with a great young (and very strong!) man, Anthony, and our first grandchild, Oliver. I also became part of Lisa’s loving family with another set of parents who celebrated 50 years of marriage last year and her 4 siblings. To modify a line from Forrest Gump – “I have been blessed like the wind blows”
During my stay last month at Health South, my daughter Meg and I watched-It’s A Wonderful Life. It really hit home for me (not because I do a good impersonation of Jimmy Stewart who play’s George Bailey or that I was contemplating jumping from one of the canal bridges in my hometown) because it reinforced the breadth and critical value of relationships God seems to weave into each of our life stories. These relationships became immensely visible from all the incredible and self-less outreach our family has received during this trial.
The title also jumped out at me as the word “wonderful” became twisted in my mind since I was full of wondering questions like – I wonder why this happened? I wonder if I will walk again? I wonder, I wonder…..and the questions were endless and often haunted me and brought me to tears in the darkness of the night.
Through it all I kept coming up with only one answer -“let go and let God”. I know the road ahead is not easy and I am not the only one experiencing suffering from this – my wife and family are each bearing a portion in their own way – this has been difficult for me to watch. But at the same time we have seen and heard of little miracles along the way for others that we know are only because we are on this journey.
Since the accident we have not only received the blessings of your entries, but from the many cards, acts of kindness, visits, and gifts from all over. Examples include a card with Mass intentions from my hometown barber who probably last cut my hair over 30 years ago, a card signed by men who I sang with in a community barbershop chorus in 1982, and a large hand drawn banner signed by relatives with the bold phrase “never give up!”.
Through it all my family and I remain humbled by all the outreach and prayers. We have drawn so much inspiration from all of you!!!
I will close by again thanking you from the bottom of our hearts. I would like to ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer through the intercession of Dr. Jerome Lejeune. Please know that you and your intentions are part of my family’s daily rosary.
For my next post I will provide you more details about my healing progress and therapy. Here is an early teaser…….things ARE happening :-)