Yesterday, June 6, 2018, Lhorraine and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. The topic of our upcoming anniversary had come up on a few occasions. Primarily because we wanted to hear each other’s expectations for the day. Even with our son laying in neonatal intensive care, we didn’t want the accomplishment of making it nine years to slip away unrecognized and unnoticed. The milestone deserved acknowledgement. But we also didn’t want to fake our way through the customary practices of anniversary life (i.e. flowers, cards, meals, gifts, dim lights, and late nights). Lhorraine and I knew we wouldn’t last fifteen minutes attempting to conjure up romance. We wanted to authentically commemorate the achievement, but the thought of luxury or opulence only brought on nausea. Our marriage needed a counter-cultural approach to celebrating our anniversary. The normal stuff was simply insufficient.
We tried approaching the day as if nothing was different, but our hearts just wouldn’t cooperate. How do you force festivity when your insides ache due to the numbing effects of stress and strain? How do you work up the internal desire to “go out on the town” and “party all night long” when your legs don’t feel like swaying and your arms don’t feel like moving? This was the quandary that continued to disrupt any and all of our plans. We were thankful for this milestone, but neither of us were in the mood for merriment. We needed a compromise. In some way, we needed to find a happy medium between weariness and congeniality. But how? Did this middle ground even exist?
The frustration of such a conundrum finally caused us to surrender to what became a marvelous idea…let’s not plan anything at all…let’s just wake up and see where the day takes us! That’s right; our celebration consisted of sleeping-in and talking the day away. We talked about our dating years. We joked about our first apartment. We laughed about our first year of marriage. We ranked our favorite trips. We salivated over our “all time favorite restaurants.” We playfully debated about our favorite dates. We described our favorite hotel stays. We prioritized our favorite beaches in ascending order, and we listed our favorite countries in descending order. All we did was talk, remember, recall, and describe. That was it! And then we took a nap—woke up—and ordered take-out.
I know, this itinerary probably comes off anticlimactic and lazy at best, but that’s exactly what we needed. We needed an anniversary that served as a counter-balance to the emotionally-charged months we’ve endured. We didn’t need much; we only required “a stitch in time” to honor our “nine.” We needed one, sustained, 12-hour yawn. We needed a “stitch” in the tapestry of the last ninety days to signify regularity. We needed permission to be common. We needed space. We needed to finally have an uneventful day. That’s something fancy clothes, five-course-meals, and flowers just can’t give us right now. Our nerves can’t handle extravagance—at least not while our souls crave normalcy.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
SPELLS–Jesher has experienced a decrease in his spells [times when his brain forgets to tell his lungs to breathe]. It does seem like the most popular hunch concerning his most recent increase in spells proved true: Our lil’ guy was just tired. The backing down to two bottles per day proved beneficial. Ironically, he is now at four bottles per day, but they are spaced at six hour intervals. The hope is that the six hour breaks, in between bottles, will help him conserve energy. Currently, he is registering 1-2 spells per day. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO BLESS JESHER’S BREATHING; ASK THE LORD TO BUILD UP OUR SON LIKE A STRONG TOWER!
BRAIN–Jesher is due for a follow-up brain ultra-sound on tomorrow. We are really wanting the Holy Spirit to move upon our son’s brain and completely turn around his results. So far, Jesher has shown amazing developmental progress; yet, his brain scans have not shown significant improvement. In Jesher’s first week out of the womb, he sustained a grade-four brain bleed as well as a build up of CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] in his brain ventricles. Although there was a slight decrease in ventricle size last month, there is some concern that his bleeding and ventricle size are not resolving as expected. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO PERFORM A MIGHTY MIRACLE IN JESHER’S BRAIN. ASK GOD TO MANIFEST MIRACULOUS HEALING THAT IS MADE EVIDENT IN HIS NEXT ULTRASOUND RESULTS.
FULL TERM–Tomorrow, Jesher reaches 40 weeks gestation! We are so grateful for this long-awaited milestone. This means that Jesher has successfully reached his original due date. As doctors, nurses, practitioners, and nurses have marveled at God’s work in our son’s life, they still caution us about possible future complications. They warn us about the reality that certain deficits or disorders don’t arise until the 24 month mark. They also caution us to be highly vigilant over Jesher because of his immature immune system. Studies show that preemies are more susceptible to contracting diseases than termed babies. While understanding the intent of Jesher’s care team, Lhorraine and I have been very intentional, from day one, about praying against any disease, deficit, or disorder that would threaten Jesher’s quality of life. Yes, Jesher is a preemie, but we believe Yahweh will completely restore our son’s body and protect him from all possible setbacks. PLEASE JOIN US IN THIS PRAYER…PLEASE AGREE WITH US IN CLAIMING THAT OUR GOD [YAHWEH] CAN SEAMLESSLY KNIT JESHER TOGETHER AND PROTECT HIM FROM ANY PRESENT OR FUTURE DISEASES, DEFICITS, OR DISORDERS.
The proverb “a stitch in time makes nine” is a perfect mantra for our ninth-year anniversary. The aphorism is attributed to an 18th century British historian, Thomas Fuller, but the originator of this wise adage is still unknown. Despite the anonymous nature of its origin, consensus has been reached concerning its meaning. Admittedly, I have hijacked the original intent because I find it conveniently fitting for commemorating a nine-year achievement. A “stitch” between Lhorraine and I was sewn in a quaint Midwestern church almost a decade ago, and it has stood the test of nine years! Even when the quality of its seam has been tested by intense pulling, the “stitch” has held strong. Our “stitch in time has made it to nine.” Which causes me to believe that God must be a master seamstress too.
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things HOLD TOGETHER.” Colossians 1:16, 17