Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“Hitherto has the Lord Helped”

One year ago today...this is where I was!

    March 28, 2011, dawned a day that will forever be etched in my memory. I was facing the “unknown”: spinal fusion surgery. 

~ Back before surgery~
~Back before surgery~

   I remember questions racing through my mind as I walked the hospital hall, memorizing the sights and sounds. Questions such as, “What if I come out of surgery blind? Or deaf? What if I don’t make it out of surgery at all?”  I knew the risks of surgery; death was one of them, and my mind seemed to always ask the “what if’s”. I didn’t want to die yet. I wanted to graduate, to get my license, to get married and to have a family someday. It had been my prayer, though, that I would glorify God in all of this; touch the most people for Him. And I was resigned to the fact that if it was His will to take me, I was ready to go. One may criticize these thoughts, calling them morbid, or unfit to think, yet these thoughts were foremost in my mind that morning. I feared the unknown, something I didn’t know for sure about, something I hadn’t experienced as of yet. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” And I clung to that promise in the moments to follow.
   Preparations for surgery continued and soon I was being wheeled down the hall, Mommy and Daddy at my side, towards the surgery room. A final prayer, one last hug and kiss goodbye, and they were gone. The door closed behind them, the lonely click resounding in my head. Bright Lights and Equipment, along with nurses and technicians filled the room. I became increasingly nervous, but at every panicked thought, a whispering voice filled my head, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee…” “Fear thou not; for I am with thee….” A laughing gas mask was soon placed over my mouth before the IV was inserted. One nurse signaled a fellow nurse saying, “Go ahead.” My semi-conscious brain thought she meant start the surgery and I panicked, yelling, “No!!! NO!!!” I can’t remember the nurse’s name, but she must have been an angel, soothing my fears as only a mother knows how. I fell “asleep” in peace, not knowing whether I would wake in the recovery room, or in the arms of Jesus. However, it was His will that I live, and I awoke hours later in the recovery room.
   Those days that followed were filled with pain. An allergic reaction to one of the medications left me fearing the nights and the hallucinations that accompanied them. Yet through it all, God was there! It may have been in the form of a nurse, or parent, but I knew God was with me. I could call on Him even in my drugged state.

Days in the hospital~ Please excuse these pictures, since I am obviously NOT looking my best! =)
   Some things tend to be bittersweet and this is one of them: the drugs left me saying some “violent” things. On one occasion I threatened to kick the nurse and physical therapist into the next room if they caused me any more pain! =)

The poor physical therapist, Dan, whom I threatened on many occasions!

One of the many kind nurses that I had.
   The hospital days were filled with my “violent sayings”, activity and adjustments. Being rolled out in a wheelchair, on the day released from the hospital, I couldn’t focus or even think about the next day, the next month, or even the next year. It was all I could do to focus on getting through the next minute!

Going home!
    Once at home, those adjustments soon became routine. After a solid month of pain, I was physically mending, but emotionally unraveled. The healing of emotions takes time, I soon learned. At every check-up six weeks, three months, and six months…time has passed and with each marker another flag has been raised saying, “Hitherto has the Lord helped!” 

First outing...Sam's Club!!! Thankfully, these chairs came in NICE and handy!
Second outing: Easter Sunday morning~
   Now one year out from surgery, by the help and grace of God, I have physically and emotionally mended. From the very moment we first learned about the spinal surgery and all along the pathway, God has been there at every turn and difficulty. This journey has strengthened my faith, made me draw closer to Him and trust Him in a fuller and deeper way. He has brought me through SO much; provided me with SO many blessings that I am awestruck to even think about. I know I can trust Him in the future because thus far has He brought me and “Hitherto has the LORD helped!!!!!”

Back after spinal surgery!

 Praising HIM, 
Natasha Mae Hausman

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Air Force Museum

 A Field Trip with the Principal of this School Haus actually getting to be with us!!!!  We all loved it!

                             This must have been something that caught our little Bryan's eye! =)

                         I know this shark painted on this plane definitely caught lots of our eyes! =)

Daryl invited some of his former students to join us for a couple hours if they wanted to, and they did.  It was fun getting to be with them again!


She asked for this pic... I was a little shocked that Bryan complied.  Someone's training may be working after all??!!!

                       I think Natasha was the photographer for this pic... that's why she's not in it!

 The sun peeked out and warmed up the day a bit so we enjoyed our picnic lunch at our van before going back to finish the last part.  Bryan is always hungry and so no one could enjoy the museum any longer until he had some food in his stomach!!! =)
 I love the "gotta do it too" spirit of our Darla!!!!  She won't miss out on much in life, that is, if she can help it! =)  So full of life, she is!

  This plane caught my eye... TWIN MUSTANGS... two planes looked like the were "glued" together!  Whoever thought of that?!  Not sure!!!

                     Since Bryan is often accused of being our 'Dennis the Menace" we thot this pic "fit" him!

The rest of these pics aren't from our field trip... but thot I'd share with ya'll anyway.  (Since I'm not sure who all's peeking=)

 We were given an old "wardrobe" (closet) by my Grandmother recently and for now it's in our entryway til we can do something with our construction site where it will end up eventually.... so the other day while shopping at Goodwill, we saw the candle sconces above and Brittany told me that I "needed" them. So I believed her and got them.  A trip to the dollar tree got me the candles and then she went to work.  She has officially earned the title of " Interior Decorator" in our Haus!
 I was busy making apple pies last Saturday night and she was busy doing something....
 This is what she was  doing and called me in to see the finished product!  We are definitely gonna KEEP HER on Staff for quite some time!  I thot she "done good" and what's even better... I got my pies done and in the oven and our "Haus" got a MUCH NEEDED fun touch added to it too... neither one of us were sad, for I was doing what I can do best and she was doing what she likes to do best... a win - win situation!!! =)

 These pics are for Sarah, especially.  This is what we came up with from your idea on Pinterest.  We tweeked it a bit tho.... I didn't have RED GRAPES... and the GOLD FISH it called for wouldn't "fit" into my weekly budget! =)  They called for squiggley eyes... but sharpies work for everything in this Haus... Nor did we have "pipe-cleaners" to make the antennae... but a silver twisty-tie worked great!!!

 We got all the kids help... Natasha did the "planning" for us, how many would fit etc.... Brittany did some of the filling and Darla did some too... and Bryan who has a very steady hand... drew on the smiley faces! (for some reason most of my remaining clothes pins have smiles on them now!)

We were afraid to make them up ahead... so I called the kids earlier to help make them Sunday a.m. before we headed to church.  They were tired... we all were... and one of the kids got tongue tied talking about the antennae and accidentally called them "Antlers"... we all howled laughing and I said that that poor Butterfly said, "Oh no, Something happened in the metamorphosis stage!" and we laughed all the harder trying to visualize that poor butterfly trying to "get off the ground" with antlers instead of antennae!  Thought you might like that laugh too, Sarah!  We love you and thanks for letting us use your idea for our treats last Sunday to celebrate the 1st day of Spring... even if someone at church was sad that is was so healthy...!!!!  But that's another story!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good-bye World! Hello Heaven!

Good-bye World, Good-bye!
 I was so privileged to get to be with Grandma when she passed.  My heart hasn't had time to stop and share with anyone really, for time has a way of not slowing down!  Daryl and I both felt that I was to go to Moma and Daddy's and NOW on the Sunday afternoon of Feb 26th.  The Lord gave me safe travels over there and no ticket, in spite of an expired license... that's another story! =)  The care giver (mentioned later in this post) had to leave and I was able to get there just before she needed to go.  We had a nice afternoon and evening just visiting with Moma, while Daddy preached the service that Sunday night.  When daddy got home we had a snack and visited, and Daddy called us all up to have prayer and scripture reading with Grandma around 9 or so.  We were all settling down for the night.  I'd planned to sleep in the chair in Grandma's room.  I was in my room going over a song that I'm to learn to sing here soon, and felt prompted that I should go and check on Grandma.  When I got there I noticed a change in her breathing, I thought... But since I'd not been there for much of her care, I was thinking I might be exaggerating a  tad.  But decided to go down and get Moma and Daddy anyway.  They were already in bed...  When I got downstiars the missionaries that were staying in my parents home for that weekend were just coming in the door.  The Grout's are great friends of ours from our days in Russia... I'd not seen them for over a year and so wanted to Greet them... but my mind was very much elsewhere at that moment... so I apologize to you all for that, Bro and Sis Grout! =)  I greeted them trying not to be rude... but then quickly ran back to Moma and Daddy.  We all ascended the stairs together and they agreed that her breathing was very different.  We all three immediately began to plead the Blood of Jesus for her safe Home Going... "We Speak Your Name" had been the song that I was trying to learn when I felt prompted to go check on Grandma and I found it ironic that that's exactly what we were doing at that moment.  Moma looked at me and asked if we could sing something... my mind racing... what??? And quickly it came to my mind.... she is seeing Jesus... and so we began to sing, "It will be worth it all!" I got it pitched too low for Daddy though... so harmonious it must NOT have been!  Grandma went to heaven somewhere between chorus 2 and 3... she just fell asleep in Jesus which was my heart's cry.  So peaceful it was!  The hospice nurse later told us that when they fall asleep with their eyes closed that they are at peace with where they are going! What a lesson to all!  The Lord made it possible by so many circumstances that he had all worked out, w/o my help! (Imagine that!!!)  That week was Winter Break for Natasha from school... she didn't have any work that week either so she could stay and totally take care of everything, play Moma and housewife and washer woman etc so I could be with my parents at a time when they so neededA special thanks to soo many... gifts of food were given that made our home well stocked at a time when I normally would have been out of supplies... God is so good.  I counted up in my mind all the friends that had no idea that their giving was "ordered of the Lord"... I'm a firm believer that "ALL things work together for the good of those who are called according to HIS purpose, but after that week... even more I believe!

Mr and Mrs Clyde D Bryan taken c. 1965
Memorial Service - Westfield, IN

 Wall of pictures giving a glimpse into Grandma's rich, full, life.  We are so privileged to have been a part of her life.  What a heritage we enjoy because as a little girl of 9 Grandma chose to serve Jesus and never wavered from that choice for the rest of her life!  That makes her serving Jesus for about 95 years!  Much longer than some people live!

 The girls playing a violin trio.  An arrangement of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" so appropriate we felt for Grandma's life of prayer.  She was so faithful to pray for many missionaries around the world... and some of us too.  How we miss her!
                                                                 Grandma's Bible!
 I wish I had a copy of the list of things that Daddy found in her Bible.  It was quite a list... one of the poems was entitled, "When I Get Old, I'm Gonna Live with my Kids!" =)

 If her knew my Grandma Bryan, then you knew she used her needle to tell of her life, to give to others, as well as to show her love of color. She had several stitches that were all her own.  Like Dorcas in the Bible, she left us a legacy of all of her handy work over the years.  She was EVEN known to have repaired kids tennis shoes!I still remember the gift that the students in Friendsville gave her of a little Grandma repairing the seat of some kids pants... just to represent all that Grandma did for them! =)

 Just a closer glimpse of her handy work.  The above barn she made when she was over (or near) 100 years old for the grand-kids to play with when they came to visit her.  I have a pic of her playing with Darla and Bryan when we had to come home from Romania for a brief visit due to Youth Center needs and my back was soooo out of place.
                          A baby blanket that she made, that most of us didn't even know about.

                                 The quilts she made... the sun beam pillows are made from old neck ties!

 This little saying I WELL remember hanging in her house when we would come to visit!  In case you can't read it, it says:  "To know is nothing at all, To imagine is EVERYTHING!"  That was Grandma.  Oh she knew a plenty... in fact she was our walking history book... but it was her imagination that took her places that were amazing!  She could visualize in amazing ways! I always thought growing up that this pic reminded me of our family, my older brothers and Heather the baby... would be represented by the doll I'm holding.... for when I 1st would have seen this pic that is about how old Heather would have been! Hee!

 These are some copies of old pics that Daddy had.  I soooooo enjoyed getting to look through old photos with Daddy while I was there, just after Grandma's passing.  That memory I'll cherish forever!  Thanks, Daddy for the walk down history's lane with just you and me! Most of these photos I'd never seen.  The one that was my absolute favorite is on the top sheet... it is of Grandma squeezing my daddy in one of her bear hugs!  Oh I just love, L.O.V.E. that photo!!!!  If you could see it up close, you can't tell that sweet lil boy from Heather's Elijah!!!!(cap on backwards and all!)  Amazing how much they resemble each other.  Also my brother Lincoln's baby pics as well as his son Keith were a spitten' images of this pic!

 This is a dear family friend sharing her memories of Grandma.  She was a huge help to my parents the last 4 years of Grandma's life.  Thank you Sis Harris, for all the hours you gave to Grandma and more importantly for the hours of care you gave to help my dear parents, especially Moma when Grandma's care got so heavy.  We can't thank you enough for being there soooooo many times for my parents when none of us could be.  I'm asking Jesus to bless your efforts, much!

 "Our Eternal Home" violin solo, by Brittany, accompanied by Natasha.  This song the girls got to share with Grandma when she was in our home, less then one year before she made Heaven her ETERNAL HOME!
 Moma, sharing her heart!  What an example Moma has been to all of us caring for her Mother-in-law as if she were her own mother... for to Moma there is no such thing as a "mother-in-law"!  She cared for Grandma so selflessly and we praise Jesus for the care that Grandma got b/c my parents were willing and able to keep her at home with them.  And how we praise the Lord that she was able to be cared for at home with no need for extensive medical care till her last week of life when hospice was called in.  God is so good! Thanks Moma for all your hard work!  We love you even more for it!

 "Your Life in Review" is one of the songs that the Lord gave Daddy during some tough times in their lives... but it talks of us understanding the true heart of God and how "He did what was best for all of us and we'll agree with Him when we see our life in review."

                                This pic is for Heather especially, Laura and I (Laura)!  Old friends!

 Daddy as he gave the Eulogy for Grandma,  a beautiful verse by verse sketch using Grandma's life with Proverbs 31.  Her children will definitely rise up and call her Blessed!

                                               Our family after the service in Westfield!

                                                                 Moma and Daddy!

            Daddy at the service in Bremen, OH!  I apologize to you, Heather for most of our pics were from the Westfield Memorial service for we were so busy at her service in Bremen that we couldn't take pics.  U. Dan took many, but I failed to get copies of his pics.  Most of what I got were candid shots after it was all over.  I feel terrible for not thinking to get some before with all the families that were there... some of Daddy's cousins etc that I had never met before.
At the Bremen service we kids all gave our memories of Grandma. There isn't any way I can remember what all we said... but a few high lights are here for you.  She was such a special lady and this was such a special time telling our memories about her.  Andrew had some sweet thoughts that I don't even remember about Grandma.  Her snapping dark eyes though were one of the things that he mentioned that we all remember about Grandma.  She was very quiet, but if you were saying something that she didn't agree with, her eyes would snap and you knew in no uncertain terms what Grandma thought about your actions or ideas! =) Lincoln mentioned a memory about Grandma that I'd never heard and it made my heart so thankful... on one occasion she had called him over and told him that she'd always known that he was gonna turn out okay.  He also shared things that he figured none of us would tell about her... I think we ALL mentioned Grandma's potato salad.  We all LOVED IT! I have a pic somewhere of her making this at at least 103 years of age!  And most of us, though she had no recipe can come real close to making it taste just like Grandma's!  Heather wrote a poem that expressed her heart since she couldn't be there in person.  Moma read it and was able to read it with just as much passion as Heather would have read it.  I shared that Grandma was our "Tall Grandma" (see older posts). She was a personal Grandma to all of us.  Each of us probably have memory that is just special to us, for that is how she was.  I remember how she had made us Fried Tiger Lillies to eat!!  She also dipped apples in this same batter and it was beyond yummy!
Uncle Carson read the scripture and how blessed it made my heart... most of the scriptures were about Heaven.  "Oh, I wouldn't want to miss it, walking up those streets of gold!"  Let's all make plans to be there! And on time! We'll sure miss her!  Heaven is richer today, that's for sure! As the Lord's presence settled down in our service last Sunday p.m. and we got just a tiny taste of what it's going to be like to worship Him... and just that quick it hit me again... Grandma's there doing just that!

Here are some fun family shots that I got after the memorial service was over:

 Bryan was delighted that his cousin, Tim Garvin invited him to take a RIDE in his T.R.U.C.K!!!!  What Bryan does... you can be sure Darla's NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON, if she can help it!!! =)

 Our Bryan was delighted to get to hold the .22 shot gun that was my Grandma's Dad's!!!! (He didn't try to shoot it... Church folks may not have thought that was too cool! =) This would have been the same gun, no doubt, that my Dad remembers her using to "pick off starlings" from their back porch!  She LOVED all types of birds... except starlings! I found that out when I was just a girl... I found a "birdie" with a broken wing in the gymnasium of the school there in Friendsville, TN and took it to Grandma to see if she wanted to help me fix it... it was a starling...  and I got an ear-full about what a bad bird it was... and I never forgot!=)

 These are the cousins... kids.  Would that make them 2nd cousins?! I think so!    Thanks for all the FUN TIMES Rebecca... our girls LOVED it!  We'll have to do it again, real soon!  Kelsea, Kate Bryan & our girls and my cousin Ruth's daughter... so many giggles and fun memories from that day!  It still makes us smile!
                                    Cousin James and Ruth, listening to whatever Moma was sharing! =)
          Tim, the wonderful T.R.U.C.K owner!  Thanks so much Tim, for giving Bryan that fun ride!

 Cousin Steve, sorry not such a great shot and Lyn, Lincoln's wife and my husband Daryl in the background.

                                   I'll leave you with one of the laughs that we got!  Too much fun!!!!
And one more question... "Will the Circle Be Unbroken By and By?"