The thing is, Gates had another great day. Yesterday the doctor planned to do the tracheotomy, if not today, sometime within the next couple. This morning, the Doc said, “It doesn’t look like the trach is in the cards.” This is a huge blessing as the tracheotomy, though provides great benefit if necessary, also poses great risk. If the surgery is escapable, it reduces the danger of infection, amongst other things.
His therapy forges on and Gates spent three hours in the “Stroke Chair” which is miles ahead than a lot of people in his same situation. He was in a good mood, joking again with friends, smiling and demonstrating how he could move his arms.
However, it was his “disappointment” that taught tonight.
Pressing the phone to my ear, with my left hand, and using my elbow of the same arm to steady the paper, I jotted down notes while listening to Brian tell me of Gates’ progress. I got frustrated with my paper moving, while attempting to write, and finally quit to focus on what he was saying rather than bother with my scribblings; it was then I heard what I was supposed to hear – at least for me.
Brian: “Gates still hasn’t had that Sprite yet. It’s too bad because the therapists were telling him, ‘Today is the day.’ He was really looking forward to it, pretty much all day. In fact, seeing his disappointment they offered to soak a cloth and allow him to suck the soda from the fabric.”
Gates isn’t allowed to drink; his ability to swallow was compromised thanks to the ventilator that occupied his airways for almost a week. He’s given ice-chips, which in-and-of itself is another milestone he’s surpassed.
Oh the things I take for granted… Gates has inspired me to look at my life with eternal perspective. I love the quote given by Spencer W. Kimball, “If we look at mortality as a complete existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life could be a calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing… then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.”
I am grateful for the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father. I am thankful to know that, thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can enjoy eternal life, raised in perfection. I'm grateful for miracles and know they have happened, are happening and will happen with Gates. I am indebted to Gates and am inspired by him as he chooses to be happy while facing this adversity.
|Gates, Grandpa Hunsaker, Avery, Grandma Hunsaker, Gentry|