He sees you, he loves you, he’s just like you

2011-04-10 01.59.03Many of you who know me know of the trauma I went through in April, 2011. For those of you who don’t know, that’s when they found this …

Over the years since then, I have been blessed beyond measure by stories of those, too, who have had to deal with the ordeal of healing a life after dealing with a brain tumor.
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I Did Not Blink

Converting my closets recently from Winter to Summer clothes, I came across some summertime pajamas I purchased last Spring. They weren’t flashy, but the sweet kind of PJ’s you buy with comfort in mind. Pretty, yet functional. Finding them brought a smile to my face.

They were a pair of PJ’s I bought for my hospital stay when I had brain surgery, April 2011.

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since that incredible Friday evening when everything around me took on a new life of its own. If you care to reflect back, visit an earlier post.

This past year has been filled with wonderful gifts and blessings. I don’t know if I would have recognized them as such if it had not been for that fateful night in April. For example, I’ve always known that I have an awesome husband. But Lew was there for me in ways that I could not have anticipated … it had to be experienced. He was tested right along with me, and I will forever be grateful to him and his dedication to me and our marriage. My children really stepped up to the plate of responsibility and attentiveness. There’s nothing as wonderful as seeing your grown children react as the loving and caring people you always knew they’d turn into being. And I can’t forget my friends. I received so many cards, calls, and e-mails of best wishes and support. I just recently re-read all my notes and once again felt the surge of love from all my well-wishers.

It’s been said that beliefs and sponges are alike in that they need to be squeezed to see what they hold inside. Truly my beliefs were squeezed—or challenged—last Spring. I had to evaluate if what I believed would be enough to carry me through to whatever happened during the surgery as well as beyond. I had to look dead-on into the eyes of my mortality … I needed to see if I felt the need to turn away from what I saw or if I would be the first to blink.

No blinking for me!

I won’t say that it’s been easy, because this past year has brought challenges. Even after physical, speech, and occupational therapy, I have needed to find a new normal that works for me. I will probably always have some weakness and loss of dexterity in my right side. Running up or down stairs is just a memory now. The area on my head where my hair was shaved has filled in a bit and there aren’t as many renegade wisps as there were only a few months ago.

But I clearly know what I have gained. I can tell you—without a doubt in my mind—that I know Who holds my tomorrows. I can also tell you that I have peace knowing that the Creator of the Universe also planned the existence of Robin Gilbert Luftig. After I was created I truly believe that he stood back, looked at his creation, and smiled.

He watches my back just as he watches my tomorrows.

Life is sweet, don’t think it isn’t. There may be trials in your world today, but they are temporary. Time—along with trials—will pass. Don’t waste time fretting about what could have been. We should always hook our wagons to the “what-is”, remembering who it is that’s holding all of our tomorrows; because honestly … it isn’t us.

“… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 NIV

Perspective

Since my surgery last April, I have had the awesome opportunity to see all sorts of experiences differently. That is, in part, to the exposure I’ve had with some pretty amazing people.

I continue to follow different people I’ve met on www.carignbridge.org and am amazed how I am always blessed by their words. I follow a man who also had brain surgery but continues to praise his creator all the same. I’ve been moved to tears reading the journal of a mommy whose seven-year-old little girl has dealt with cancer, chemo, MRI’s and unending lab work—yet continues to have hope. Then there’s the single mother of four special needs teenagers who has to continually find help due to her many trips in and out of the hospital for a myriad of serious physical problems.

These are just a sample of some of the stories on the CaringBridge site. Some of the people on this site are dealing with incredible medical issues, yet many times they are the first to share words of encouragement to the friends and family in their lives. That is apparent from the notes written on their guestbooks.

Thank you, my CaringBridge family, for sharing hope in what look like hopeless situations. I’ve learned lots from you about the power of controlling one’s perspective. I will continue to follow my favorites.

Treat yourself and check out this site. If you do, your life will be blessed.

It’s Been Awhile …

Sorry I haven’t written for awhile. Things have kept me a bit busy … the short down & dirty version:

  • Out of nowhere I suffered a massive seizure April 1st and found out that I had a tumor the size of a man’s fist on my brain.
  • Had brain surgery April 11th after ten days of taking preparatory medication for the surgery.
  • Surgery was a success … because of the adhesion it was from the tumor necessary to remove some skull bone and a pinch of brain matter along with the tumor.
  • Came home after two days in the hospital to spend almost three months strictly recuperating.
  • The only noticeable issues at this time area bit of weakness on my right side, slight challenges with balance, and a smidgen of issue with memory.

Needless to say, it’s been an incredible roller coaster ride; I found myself thrust into situations that I never thought I’d experience. I’ve cried and laughed, prayed and yelled, reviewed my life and prepared for the worst possible outcome … but I never once felt God left me to deal with the craziness all alone.

Thank you, all of you, who have stayed by my side through this ordeal.  I have read your cards and emails, felt your prayers, and never doubted that your presence in my life helped me in the process of healing.

Because I wanted to make sure friends and family members could follow my medical progress, I spend time writing about processing all my life changes as well as physical changes due to my medical condition at www.caringbride.org/visit/robinluftig, but I think it’s time to come back to my new home at http://robinluftig.com/.  Feel free to check out Caringbridge.org. It’s a wonderful site that offers many people a place to vent as well as count blessings. It was a godsend to me.

But enough about me; let me know about your Spring … I’ve told you about mine.