WARNING: WRITING THIS ON (APRIL 21ST EVENING) WHICH IS NOT THE  HAPPIEST OF NIGHTS...

I wish I had some eloquent words to impart to youtoday, or even some more encouraging ones, but I am struggling to find them.  Certainly anything in 5 year increments is somehow more weighty, and this date has an undeniable kind of weight to it.  The sky is overcast outside, and I guess I'm a bit sad.  I feel funny trying to put an overly positive spin on this anniversary.  I think I've done more of that than I should have over these last 5 years.

I've been a people pleaser my whole life, and strangely, after my stroke, this deep-seated desire to make things OK for others perhaps made me downplay the fact that things were not OK for me.  Jay would always tell me to stop apologizing to the nurses for how hard it was to draw blood from my weak veins.  I also remember not wanting my parents or sisters to see me cry as if tears were not merited in the circumstance that had befallen me.  I've always been the one who held it together, but I think sometimes in life we get the opportunity to release the reins.  Perhaps then we finally realize that we were never in control to begin with.

So, I won't try to totally gloss over my experience and make it OK for you today.  This 5 year anniversary is unexpectedly tough.  Life has gone by so quickly in many ways and so slowly in others.  Hope remains and yet so does that subtle drip of pain and longing for more.  I want to walk on my own.  I want to drive a car.  I want to write normally and in an easily-legible script.  I want a face that isn't paralyzed. I want to see one image when I open my eyes.  I want to wake up tomorrow with my "good ear" facing down and still hear Jay calling my name.  I want this aneurysm gone.  I want to have more children.  I want James to turn out just fine after all this.  I want my old voice back.

Yes, I lived and was supposed to die.  I just wish that was more solace today, but maybe it will be tomorrow.

I am comforted by the fact that one day I will have a new body, and I will be whole again.  I will be OK, and we all will.

I can't explain my contentment in the meantime.  All I can tell you is that somehow, someway, God has carried me through these last 5 years.  And, I hope He will carry me through many, many more. 

* On a side note, this difficult season is soothed by finishing of our short film, which is so special--we love it!  You'll have to wait a little while to see the full film, around Mother's Day weekend, but please do watch the trailer for it, right here.

* Also, HOW ABOUT THIS NEW WEBSITE????  Jay and his youngest sister, Alex, have spent many months going back and forth (she is in Africa if you recall) making this happen.  People pay thousands of dollars for websites that don't look nearly this good.  You two are simply incredible--dare I say...delightful???  :)

* On this 5th anniversary, I would be remiss if I did not give a special public thank you to my simply incredible husband who has journeyed with me.  Most recently, the aggregate hours he has spent on this new website, launching our upcoming 501(c)(3) ministry, and planning/preparing/discussing the film with our director are probably into the thousands by now.  All the late nights and early mornings have paid off!  Everything is perfect.  Well done, Jay.  Among all the many blessings that the Lord has given me, you are the greatest.  I pray these 8 years of marriage will become 80.  You are the most wonderful person I have ever known.