You all have been so kind to share your words of hope and encouragement. I truly wish I could take the time to respond to each and every comment left on this blog. Rest assured I am reading every single one and am touched by them all. I receive an email for each comment and can check my phone immediately in almost every case. Thank you, thank you, thank you. In the coming weeks, I hope to have time and ability to respond to all of your comments because they have meant so much to me.

I just read a verse of the day that applies perfectly: “Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.” – Titus 3:14 NLT

You have all been meeting my urgent needs, and this is what Christianity and God and the church are all about. It’s not about a building or just some religion. It is about the faith, hope and love of the people of God and the joining of those people in community to care for those in need and rejoice when others rejoice. Thank you for serving God by serving me and my family. I truly do appreciate each and every one of you, whether you are just reading along, or sharing this blog with others, or commenting, or emailing, or visiting. My hope is in the Lord God our Father in Heaven. And I know He cares for me because of all of you and I want everyone to know that.

I love you all.


I learned some time ago from a man named Ray VanderLaan. He has studied Eastern culture and taken Rabbinic school. He spends his time now translating the culture of the Bible to westerners. My favorite story is his description of how Abraham’s conversation with God went, as Abraham asked God about the children he was promised. (God promised Abraham so many children that even the stars would be less in number.) Abraham approaches God very colloquially, almost border-line disrespectful, but not. And he firmly asks God, “Where’s my kids?!”

That’s how I feel a lot when I’m talking to God these days. My question is usually, “What about my kids?!” She was such a wonderful mother and they loved her so much. They would play on the bed, and she would read to them and laugh with them all the time. They never wanted to be away from Mommy. Even if I took them out to the store, coming home was exciting because that’s where Mommy was. I know God has grace that abounds and I know He will take good care of them. I will do my best, for sure. I just keep thinking about how no child should grow up without his or her mother. I’ve known friends who have lost their mom or spouses, and I know they have felt this pain, too. I just ask God to please be with my kids – her babies.

Last night

Last night was hard. I couldn’t fall asleep, just thinking about everything that my wife and I have shared. She is such a beautiful person, and for those of you who know her, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Her and I have grown so much as a couple over the past year and as individuals as well, learning so much from each other. She was always teaching me how to love people more and practical ways in which I can show that love. She loves me so much, and I see that in everything I say or do or think these days.

Even now as I write this, I have a croissant sitting before me. I have loved croissants ever since I visited Paris in high school, and from the time we were married, Stephanie has been desperate to learn how to make croissants just the same way the French make them (because anything I’ve had here in the States pales in comparison and she knows that). She was given a gift certificate for a baking/cooking school to take a class. She was always hoping they would offer a class on how to make them so that she could use her gift for me. Who does that? My wife does, that’s who.

Anyway, I went and talked to her pretty late because I couldn’t bear not talking to her and couldn’t sleep without my mind flooding with thoughts of her. I’ve never missed her so much in my life, and there is no way to describe how many thoughts can fill your mind at one time. Obviously, everything reminds me of her, but just the magnitude of memories is almost crushing. Her hand squeezed down on mine a few times as I stood there holding it. It could just be a nervous reflex, but part of me, of course, believes she knew what she was doing. She used to always squeeze my hand three times as if to say “I love you.” I miss that.

Unfortunately, last night also brought two more grand mal seizures. One was six minutes long and the other four minutes. That is entirely too long for a seizure to last, and would be devastating even if she weren’t already in the hospital. It’s no way for a person to live, that’s for sure. I can’t bear her having seizures so often. And, due to that and the current state of things, this also might be a day when we determine Stephanie’s last night here on earth.


I thought the MRI was going to be the end-all, be-all of tests and results that I wanted and that it would tell us everything so we knew what the next days would bring. We got the results, but that’s not so much the case. The MRI gave positive news, more-or-less, and almost essentially rendered it useless to us for the future. They found that the brain swelling was the only thing of concern regarding her brain and it was caused by the cardiac arrest. There were no blood clots or fluid or anything else to worry about, which is good and means they don’t have to do anything for that. So, it’s good to have a conclusive answer as to how her brain looks, and I wouldn’t want to still be in the dark about how her brain was. But, there is nothing further to do based on those results. The swelling will go down on its own, but any damage already caused is still there.

That said, another test was being run. It is something called a Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP), which will show any electrical signals going from the body to the brain. This, I’m told, is that end-all, be-all test that I was looking for. But, for all I know I’ll be proven wrong on that, too. Anyway, patients are typically given an SSEP test 72 hours after they’ve had a brain injury. In our case, that would be Wednesday night at 10pm. They won’t do it at 10pm, and I’m unclear as to when they will. However, for some reason that even the doctor doesn’t know, the test was done earlier today. We’ll get the results later tonight, and the test will be given again around the 72-hour mark. Apparently, a person can have bad results at 1 or 2 days, but then have good results on the third day, so today’s test will not paint an accurate picture necessarily.

They’ve been doing a poor man’s version of this test ever since she arrived. They check for pupil dilation, corneal reflex, and what I’m just going to call a pain reflex. They shine a light in her eyes, touch her eyes with cotton swabs, and pinch her arm, respectively. She has always had pupil dilation, but has not responded to the other two. According to the doctor, very few people who come in like Stephanie are ever the same, and those that are okay show a reaction to all three of those “light” tests. So, I guess what I’m saying is that the prognosis is very not good. The SSEP test will really tell us a lot, especially at the 72-hour mark. If it is positive, things are really good. If it’s negative, then she will either be in a vegetative state or not make it at all.

Of course this news overwhelms me. I do not know what I will do without my wife. I still have God. I have God and He has me. I know He loves me and I know He wants what is best for me. I don’t know how that would be best for me, but that’s just because I can’t see things from His perspective. I have so much family and friends here to comfort me. It has been such a blessing. I am now exhausted from all the emotions. There was much crying and bawling and sobbing.

But I know that God is not done yet. This still isn’t over and this whole thing can still turn around. I don’t know if it will. I do know that God can do it if He wants. Stephanie’s aunt has been impressed with the idea to “just wait,” and so that is what we are doing. We’re just waiting. Nothing is for certain until God says so, no matter what the doctors say. And I know that if He decides to take her from me, whether mentally or physically, then He will fill that hole in my life and He will overcome the great pain I am experiencing.

I love you all. Thanks for reading along. I will keep posting, and probably share thoughts I’m having. It’s very therapeutic for me to type out my thoughts, and I do my best processing with that.

Light Up the Sky

I was introduced to a new single by The Afters a few weeks ago while listening to Air 1. It is called “Light Up the Sky” and has touched me immensely during this time. I break out crying every time I hear it and it will always remind me of this time no matter how this turns out. It reminds me that God lights up the sky to remind us that He is with us. Something so simple as the sunshine every day is evidence of God’s love for us and provision, as He knows we need light. And it is reminiscent of His shining light in our lives. Here are the lyrics. I hope they touch you like they have touched me.

When I’m feeling all alone
With so far to go
The signs that know we’re on this road
Are guiding me home
When the night is closing in
Is falling on my skin
Oh God, will you come close

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that you are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

When stars are hiding in the clouds
I don’t feel them shining
When I can’t see beyond my doubt
The silver lining
When I’ve almost reached the end
Like a flood you’re rushing in
Your love is rushing in (your love is rushing in)

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that you are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

So I’ll run straight to your arms
You’re the bright and morning sun
To show your love there’s nothing you won’t do (nothing you won’t do)

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that you are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

(Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh
That you are with me
Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh
That you are with me
Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh)

My deepest thanks to The Afters.


We just found out that it will be 1-1.5 hours when we will find out the results from the MRI. As you know, this is going to be the hardest time for me. I’m incredibly nervous about this time and almost sick thinking about it. I don’t have the slightest indication of where this will end or what to expect of these results. I don’t even know what to pray right now. I’m at a loss.

We just recently found out that while they were giving Stephanie the main line for medication, she got a pneumothorax, which is a punctured lung. Three percent of people have this happen. And Stephanie has always been the one to find that tiny percentage and fit into it. If her odds of being perfectly okay are slim, I actually have nothing to worry about. Anyway, they will insert a tube through her chest to empty the escaped air and her lung should heal in 2-7 days. Stephanie will probably take the full seven as she does not heal quickly.

So that’s where we’re at. We’ll get to see her again q little bit before we hear about the MRI. Still waiting.


Stephanie’s MRI did not happen until sometime around 6am. I was told before going to sleep at 2:30am that it was going to be “soon.” I’m still getting used to “hospital time” which is exponentially slower than real time. The staff is now changing shifts which took 1.5 hours last night, and then they have to put her electrical leads back in for the EEG. I’m hoping to have some sort of news before noon.

I’m incredibly nervous to receive that news because I feel it could go either way at this moment. I can only hold onto God’s promises and remind myself that He knows what is best for His purposes in our lives.

Family and friend support has been incredible. My parents are now housing the entire eastern seaboard, with family from North Carolina, South Carolina, Hartville, Ohio and Cleveland. Stephanie has an aunt from Wooster who is driving up each day. Everyone has just been incredible. Thank you all. His is truly showing His love and grace through you.



It’s amazing how much you think about life and memories when uncertainty hangs in the balance. Stephanie has always said to me in regards to things she does that annoy me: “Someday when I’m gone, you’re going to miss that about me.” Well, she doesn’t have to be gone for that to happen.

Before I get to things that annoyed me, I find myself eating this salad. (Looks good, don’t it?) Those who know her know that salad ranks somewhere just above black tar in terms of things she wants to eat. Me? I love a good salad. She always laughed at how I would eat a salad as a nighttime snack. I wish she could laugh at me now. As a side note, I have Caesar dressing, which would basically kill her because she’s horribly allergic to fish.

They’re also blasting some swanky big band jazz here in the cafe. I recently heard “In the Mood”. That was our first dance together. Boy, does that take me back. My advice to anyone is NOT to have that as your first dance. If you don’t know, it’s a terribly long and repetitive song. We had to laugh because we eventually just walked off the dance floor mid-song. Oops.

Things that (slightly) annoyed me that I miss right now include her mockery of me when trying to say certain words. Apparently, I say “rune” when I mean “ruin.” It seems I sound like I’m from a – shall we say – less cultured part of the country when I say it the way I do. For those keeping track, I have since amended my ways. Really, so little annoyed me, but then again, how could anything annoy me right now. I just miss all of her.

More waiting

It’s 10:15pm as I write this, on Monday, October 4, the day after Stephanie had a cardiac arrest after she stopped breathing due to a seizure. Her seizure started at 10:08pm, practically 24 hours to the minute. I remember we were talking and watching TV and having a wonderful night together. I can still remember my horror when I turned to look at her and realized she was having yet another one. Three in one day! How is that possible? Horror turned into terror beyond words when her breathing seemed erratic and not sufficient to the point that she stopped breathing.

I never thought I would ever actually have to give mouth-to-mouth to anyone, let alone a family member. It is disturbingly similar to how it is on the practice CPR dummies. Her chest was rising and falling in accordance to the air I was breathing into her. It felt just as forced as it was. She wasn’t breathing at all. I was faking it for her, and I’ll never forget what that felt like. From calling 911 to answering the questions for EMS to gathering my things to take with me, I felt like I knew exactly what to do while also having no idea at the same time. I had been here before, worrying for my wife’s life. This was different, though. She stopped breathing. They used a defibrillator! I didn’t like “new.” Heck, I didn’t like “old,” either, and this was infinitely worse. Whose life was this?

I thank God that my children were at my parents’ house that night. Brady has seen at least three of Stephanie’s seizures, and two of those involved EMS. I worry for that little boy and how that affects his security. But this time they weren’t at home. Thank God that I was home. I’m so glad to have been at Stephanie’s side for every one of her seizures, and yet at the same time, I hate it.

I’m writing all of this while I continue to wait on the MRI. It will happen sometime tonight, but we won’t know until it’s time. And even then, it is a 1-2 hour test, and we won’t get preliminary results right away. Final results will have to wait until the morning when a doctor can really look at them and study them. I can’t anticipate that time enough, and yet I’m again terrified at what I will hear.

Thank you all for your prayers and for your love and care and concern. I cannot tell you how much it means to me, and I have found myself crying my eyes out at the love that is being heaped on me by everyone. Thank you. May God bless you all, and may He work His best in each of your lives.