Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great
and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah 33: 3
This is Widder checking in…..April Fools, it is September 25, 2017! This is really Steph writing on the behalf of my Mother. I would like to update you all on Mom and thank you all for your continued prayer and financial support.
I am going to go back in time just a few years, to try to get everyone caught up to now. As some of you may know, Mom had several admissions to the hospital, with E-coli, antibiotic-induced colitis, and an admission for her back. I was living and working in Colorado (I have been in healthcare managing employed physicians for last 25 years) at the time, and went home to Florida for each of those admissions to the hospital. The first admission to the hospital was while on vacation. I had met Craig down in Florida, Rock and Deb lived in Florida at that time. We had a nice week together as a family and as time was winding down, and I was to fly home the next day, Mom became violently sick. I canceled my flight and took her to her Primary Care Doctor the next morning and he admitted her to the hospital. She was by far the sickest I had ever seen her. For those of you on Facebook, I tried to keep everyone updated, so everyone would know how to pray for her. She was in the hospital on IV antibiotics for several days, before all the cultures came back and was told she had E-coli in her bladder, intestines, and blood. She was finally released approximately a week later. I went home to Colorado, and within a couple of weeks, she was being readmitted to the hospital with antibiotic-induced colitis.
I received a call once again that she was headed to the hospital, and jumped on a plane to get back to Florida. It was at that time that I knew Mom shouldn’t be living by herself. I didn’t know what to do as I couldn’t take care of her from afar. I prayed about it and talked to my employer and resigned from my job in Colorado, but still worked for them on a part-time basis back in Florida, so I could figure things out with Mom. She needed both of her feet operated on and both eyes for cataracts. So the next few months, we took care of those four surgeries and when I knew she was on the road to recovery, I found a consulting job that allowed me to be back in Florida every weekend for a six-month period. I knew I needed to get back to work full-time and was torn about what to do for Mom going forward. My oldest daughter, Amber, volunteered to move to Florida in mid-year of 2009 to take care of Mom—cook, clean, laundry and take her to her doctor appointments. She found a job in Florida and moved in with Mom, her Gramma, for the next 3 1/2 years. About a year and a half into living with Mom, she got married to Jose, and he moved to Florida from Pennsylvania to help Amber with Mom. About nine months after Amber and Jose got married, they found out they were going to have a baby, so that was an exciting time for Mom, she loves babies!
Jaxon was born at Cape Canaveral Hospital on April 2012. Jose worked for Allstate’s Regional Office in Melbourne, and about June of 2012 found out the Regional Office was going to be closed and moved to West Orlando area. He was offered a transfer to PA where he grew up. The plan at that time was to move to PA in the Fall, and once again I was wondering what to do about Mom.
Lacy, my younger daughter, was living in Tennessee where my girls grew up, and she said she thought it was “her turn to take care of Gramma”. I never asked either of the girls to assist with Mom, so this was a true blessing to allow Mom to stay in her home. At this point, Mom was still driving, but I was very fearful for her to continue to drive. She had been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, and her sight was getting worse and worse. So Lacy started driving Mom — to TMI, Doctor’s appointments, to church and anywhere else she needed to go. Mom lovingly refers to this that “Lacy was Driving Miss Daisy”!
Rock, Deb and Ted lived in Florida, and that gave Lacy a bit of relief from time to time. Then they moved back to Michigan, which left Lacy and Mom by themselves. Initially, that was okay, but it became more of a challenge with time. Craig is still in Canada and I had moved to Texas to accept a position with a health system that I had worked with the CEO 20 years ago. The physicians I work with are amazing and by far the best group I have had the privilege with whom to work.
Three months after moving to Texas, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. The day I received my news, one of my doctors was waiting outside my office, as the Cancer Center is in the same Medical Office Building my office is in. I just went to get my purse, and he asked for a favor. I proceeded to tell him that today was not the best day for a favor, which led him to ask “what’s going on?” I told him about the news I just received, and he asked if I believed in prayer, and I told him, “Absolutely”. He jumped up and shut my office door and came around and kneeled and grabbed my hands and prayed with me. I knew at that very minute, he was sent by God, and I was going to be fine!!! The next two years was a bit stressful, as I went through chemo, then surgery, then radiation. God was Ever So Faithful through all of these stages. Lacy wanted to come take care of me after the double mastectomy, so we made arrangements for Rock to stay with Mom in Florida while Lacy came to stay with me. By the way, I am CANCER FREE! PTL!!
Mom has always wanted me to come back to Florida to work, but it has not been God’s plan. I have applied for multiple jobs in Florida, and it just never worked out. That is always a hard lesson to learn in the flesh, but we have to be obedient and go where God wants us to go.
So a year ago I told Mom that Lacy was needing help, and I really believed it was time to sell her house and move her and Lacy to Texas. I flew to Florida to get her house ready to put it on the market. It was a hectic and crazy time. She had been in the same house for 45 years and had LOTS of treasures. It took a lot of help from TMI staff and Lacy to get things ready. Her house sold in two days so she knew the Lord wanted her and Lacy to move to Texas!
I was in an apartment complex for the first two years of being here in Texas, but had looked at a lot of houses during that two years. I was never comfortable making a decision. Was I looking to buy a house just for me, or did I need a house big enough for Mom, Lacy and me. A lady I work with and her husband were “flipping” a house in Denison and I came and looked at it, and it was perfect for the three of us. It has been a blessing and has met all of our needs.
Mom is still with Teen Missions — Bob told her she could be the TMI representative for Texas and Oklahoma. :o) She continues her Facebook ministry with Former Team Members/Former Team Leaders. She has over 1,200 friends.
Mom and Lacy were planning on going to Florida for Boot Camp this last summer, but that did not come to pass. Mom was disappointed but had several bouts with bad UTI’s and the last thing she needed was to get dehydrated and end up in the hospital in Florida. Boot Camp has always been her favorite time of the year, and she would’ve been thrilled to be able to be there. She watched ralleys on the web and got to chat with former team members, which was a blessing.
- macular degeneration
- neuropathy in both hands
- re-occurring chronic urinary tract infections (drink more water!)
- had surgery on her toes and now they are worse than they were, which means she needs additional surgery.
- we planned for some major dental work to be done, which has been completed and now we would like to ask you to pray with us to trust the Lord for the finances to cover the costs. She has an equally outstanding young dentist for which she praises the Lord!
Mom has two other wonderful doctors who have been a huge blessing. Her primary-care physician is an awesome Christian woman and she is a genuine blessing! Also, she has one of the most outstanding Retinal Specialists in the state of Texas. She recently had her eyes checked and now has new glasses. I know the move wasn’t easy, but she has the best doctors and healthcare she has had in years. For that, we are all grateful!
Please pray with us the Lord will provide the finances to cover all of her medical expenses.
I Thank God for each one of you and the role you have played in Mom’s life and her ministry!
Lord Bless Each of You,
Here is our address in Texas:
1031 S. Fairbanks Avenue
Denison, TX 75020