Six years ago I underwent major surgery to resect a spinal tumor and subsequently have a spinal fusion. I had surgery a few months prior attempting to remove the tumor, but it wasn’t completely successful, so more surgery, radiation therapy, and physical therapy was required.

It’s strange that such a significant event in my life seems completely unreal now. Sometimes I wonder if it really even happened; but the hardware, radiation tattoos, and scars on my hip, back, and side bear witness to the fact that it did, indeed, take place. I was at a funeral tonight where I saw several people who I haven’t seen in many years and they all asked about my back. It caught me so off guard at first, but it served as a reminder that I am surrounded by an amazing community of believers.

As I rock my daughter to sleep I am taken back to the night before my surgery when my wonderfully kind ICU nurse held my hand as I cried out of nervousness and fear. I remember saying “Go Patriots” as I came out of anesthesia during a pre surgical procedure when I heard the staff discussing the upcoming Super Bowl. I remember that I was not at all lucid during the game (2 days after surgery). I remember another tremendously kind ICU nurse who took the time to really engage with me and my family and who came to visit me when I was moved to the regular floor. I remember a horrid nurse who treated me like my pain didn’t matter and like I was a bother. No, I will never forget her or the x-ray tech who slammed a tray on my freshly post operative incision. I will never forget the kindness of Drs. Portugal and Olavarria who treated me like their family and who went above and beyond to make sure I had the best care possible. I will never forget how Andrew and my family took care of me.

I could go on and on about the things that I remember from that time, and one day I will write down more of them. But the one thing that I hope that I will never forget is how God provided and how faithful He was and continues to be.


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