When she looked up she was surprised and apologised for her appearance, but she needn't have. At her very "worst", she still looked better than me any day at my "best"! She told me about having got up and had a walk around the hospital and even outside "because they told me it would help my recovery," she said.
Ellen came in and that perked her up even further.
Belinda told us about all the visitors she'd had today and it made me tired just listening to them all! There was Bonnie who told her "no you're NOT!" when she said she was still hoping to go to Write! Canada this weekend (and seemed to need to hear that from someone and felt "released" when she did - thanks, Bonnie). And Pastor Dave, who wakened her with a gentle touch on her arm, and prayed with her. And son Peter who took the day off work just to be there and kind of hung around all day. And Brenda who came up not once, but twice. And Dave and Joe who made her laugh and brought a little plastic duck to brighten up her recovery. And Frances, who showed up with her humour and deep concern. And I have a feeling there were still more who I cannot remember.
She ran into people she knew - a visitor to someone in the next bed was a colleague from another agency whose voice she recognized. She called out, "Brenda, is that you? This is Belinda on the other side of the curtain!" and they had a little visit. Out on her walk on Paul's arm she ran into a nurse that went to our church many years ago.
There were flowers around her bedside and cards - one handmade by Tiffany-Amber that was striking in its creativity.
I asked how long her incision was and was surprised to hear, "Want to see it?" I was reminded of a favourite childhood book, "Madeline" who was visited in hospital by her schoolmates who were awed by a look at her scar. I was awed too, though I only saw the bandage. But that was at least 6 or 7 inches long. It was no small incision! (I hope that's not too much information for some of you! :) ) But I was impressed!
It was good to see her doing so well - though I know there will be some difficult days ahead. The temptation is to overdo it when you feel well and then pay for it the next. I expect tomorrow will be more of a day of sleeping... But who knows!
There is much to be thankful for. She was planning to go on vacation on Wednesday. That means she was gearing down anyway and had already cleared her schedule for the next several weeks. The challenge will be to lay down the reins for the next few weeks and just recuperate. To unwrap the gift - as Ellen so aptly put it during our visit this evening.
"Take time to just think," Ellen encouraged. "Let God create in you." I could sense Ellen striking a chord by the responsiveness in Belinda's eyes.
I will finish this post in Belinda's own words - with an email she asked me to forward to The Word Guild Prayer Team, but which applies to all of us who have been praying for her. Here's Belinda:
Dear Claire and other prayer warriors,
At a time like this, you really appreciate God's sustaining strength through the power of prayer.
I did have an extremely painful weekend, but the surgical team that got up in the middle of the night to operate were the best. The incision is healing well. They were in time before tearing occured or a stoma was needed and the nursing staff were amazed when I went for a walk around the hospital this afternoon. (I heard that was good for recovery.) I told the nurse that there were many people praying.
Bonnie was in this afternoon and said in no uncertain terms that I would not be attending Write! Canada. I'm still hoping but I think that might be too much.
The surgeon said I was not to fly to England on Monday as planned. I don't have trip cancellation insurance, but I'm hoping they will have mercy. If not, I am glad to be here and in one piece!
Blessings and love,