We drove away from the meeting with the plan to stop and visit
Right after we left Annie's home we went to the UPMC emergency room which is the one in the First Ward where we go to see members of the church who need visits and blessings. All of a sudden we were there for ourselves instead of to visit someone else and it was a weird feeling. So many blessings then started to unfold. We were there in the hospital on a Thursday afternoon right before a holiday weekend. There is a major eye institute right next to the hospital. The eye clinic personnel were starting to leave, but we were seen really quickly by a resident, attending ophthalmologist, and finally a retinal specialist. UPMC is a teaching hospital and many people looked in Jim's eye within a very short time. It was determined that he had some tears in his retina and it was beginning to detach. We were told over and over that it was good that we had come to the hospital right away or blindness could have been the result. They tried to use a laser on the tears, but that didn't work. When we asked what caused the retinal problems we were told something we are hearing all too often....."old age"!!! He was put on the surgery schedule for later in the afternoon the next day.
The problem with the surgery time was that we had been working for weeks and weeks to help get Sister Page ready for going to the Columbus temple to have some sealings done for her to her deceased family. Her living family are not members of the church, but have become more supportive of her desires to attend the temple at least once in her later years. One extended family member drove her quite some distance to talk to a stake presidency member and then she was willing to make the 6 hour round trip to Columbus since they were worried about her oxygen and wheelchair needs.
My peaceful feeling started to give way about 3 hours
The next day we called Sister Page to see how she was feeling after such a big day. We all missed having Jim there with us, but it made us both so happy to hear the pure joy in her voice. She told us that it will be a day she will never forget. She said it was so healing for her to be sealed to her husband who died over 50 years ago, her parents, and her two babies who died in infancy. One of the babies was her only girl and I was able to stand in as proxy for her daughter. She said she will always feel close to me because of that. Somehow we feel that the Lord wanted those ordinances done in the temple that day. The experience in the temple was worth any fear or uneasiness that we felt. What a mission payday!
It has been a week since Jim's surgery. We have managed to get along with him sleeping in a recliner (not fun and not much sleep), eyedrops four times a day, and our biggest challenge of having me be the designated driver in Pittsburgh traffic. The doctor says Jim needs to take it easy for another week or so and then can probably start driving again. All in all, we are surviving and are so grateful for our blessings. Our hearts go out to others with challenges in life, but our testimony is stronger than ever that the Lord is right beside us through our pain and sufferings. We are anxious to get back to work with full steam.