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I just wanted to tell everyone about what I've been doing the past few weeks to keep busy while most of us are still staying close to home. I did, however, take a trip back to Missouri to see family and friends the first two weeks in September. My brother-in-law will be having quadruple bypass surgery on Friday. It's going to be a rough operation since he also has leukemia and diabetes. But we're hopeful everything will be okay. If anyone feels like adding an extra prayer, it would be much appreciated.
I saw my friend who is going trough Chemo. She was down to 78 pounds but was able to attend two shows with us and even go out to eat a couple of times. I marvel at her strength and optimism. I also learned that another friend, who just happens to be an incredibly talented performer, has been in the hospital for the past four months. His injuries were so severe that the doctor talked to his wife numerous times about pulling the plug. I want to share part of what she wrote as a way to let everyone know what was going on because it is such an example of love, hope and faith to me.
I guess it mostly just helped me realize that no matter how down I sometimes feel, there are always people going through far more than I am. Maybe it will offer you some encouragement too. He's a remarkable man who made everyone in his audience feel important. That doesn't happen too often today. I'm leaving his name out of the narrative to help protect their privacy but felt the message was too powerful not to share.
"This year has been very challenging for our family, to say the least. I haven’t yet spoken out publicly about this but I am sharing this experience with you now, with my husband's blessing.
He has been in the hospital for 4 months and still has a very long way to go. He had a devastating fall in May while exiting the passenger side of someone’s vehicle and hitting his head on the road. He has endured so much, I almost don’t know where or how to begin, so here goes. From the fall he suffered his 2nd TBI, a brain bleed, acute subdural hematoma, which required brain surgery. A few days after, he became very ill with infection and required laparotomy surgery for ruptured colon and sepsis infection. About a week later they then discovered he had hydrocephalus which required a lumbar drain to relieve the pressure from fluid on his brain.
Just when I couldn’t imagine it getting any worse for him, it did. He contracted Klebsiella pneumoniae meningitis - a rare bacterial meningitis acquired post neurosurgery, a deadly brain infection. 24 hours after this diagnosis the surgeons told me he would never wake up. He scored a 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which is the lowest and indicates brain death. I wouldn’t accept this, I insisted every day they give him more time to heal. His poor body had been through so much. Someone who has gone through so much, needed time to heal. I bought him time, as much as I could, and every day the surgeons would take me in the little private room across the hall and ask me again and again if I understood his prognosis. I did understand, but I was not letting him go. Something inside me told me that he was still in there somewhere. He has too many angels looking after him, and I knew they were there with him. So I waited and waited, and 2 1/2 weeks later he opened his eyes.
He proved them wrong, all of them...the trauma team, the neuro team, the infectious disease team and palliative team. He is a fighter, he made it, he survived the worst! He was in a semiconscious state for a while, just a few wakeful moments each day. But gradually those wakeful moments became longer and longer. He was making progress, slow progress, but great progress. He finally was able to breath on his own without the ventilator, and they eventually capped his trach, and then removed it.
A few weeks later they transferred him to a brain injury rehabilitation hospital. He is several hours away from home now which has been difficult, but he is in the best place for his psychological, cognitive and physical recovery. He was making progress and then recently had a big setback. He fell out of the hospital bed a week ago and has broken his hip/femur and needed another surgery. He has suffered so much, I can’t even comprehend all his body has endured. He has many challenges ahead of him. Learning basic life skills again. He is having great difficulty with his memory. He gets confused and cannot recall many memories or life events. He is working hard on this but the doctors aren’t certain how much it will improve.
I’ve needed to stay strong and focus solely on his care and recovery, help our children cope and just try to make it through each day myself. My entire world has revolved around my husband, his medical care and advocating for him because he cannot. I’ve honored his wishes to maintain his privacy and our family’s privacy throughout. I took a break from social media the last several months and by doing this, some of my husband's fan base have criticized me for “not giving updates”. Well, what can I say, that is just sad. I can only endure so much, my family comes first and that has been my only focus. So posting on FB was not my priority, I hope you understand. I will fight to the end for my family. I’m doing my very best I can to care for and support my husband and our little family, to keep us together and keep us afloat. None of this has been an easy task. And to add to it, the burden of all the medical bills are piling up and we don't have medical insurance for a long term care facility which he will need next. So we are also facing this now.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who continue to pray for him and our family. I have gotten so many beautiful phone calls, voicemails and messages from friends, family and people who love and care for him and our family. I may not be able to return every call but please know I love and appreciate everyone’s prayers and support, and I also appreciate you all respecting our privacy as well. Thank you again to everyone who has reached out personally throughout this crisis. I am very grateful for your love for my husband and for our family. Please continue praying for him, your prayers are working.
Love and thanks ..."
That's it, simple and heartfelt. It brought tears to my eyes just reading it and made me realize how little I really sacrifice for anyone else. It also made me more aware of the people around me and how much more I'm capable of doing if I just take the time. My prayers go out to anyone who is feeling sad, overwhelmed or simply stressed. Life isn't easy for any of us, but we can make it if we stick together and pay attention to others. That's what Christ would do if he was here.