*I spent most of the day at the hospital yesterday. (Thank you for keeping Jack all day Teresa! And for bringing dinner!) I was able to talk to the doctor before and after Christian's surgery yesterday and he said that things went well. It was the first of many surgeries to come.
*I spent the afternoon at the hospital again today. (Thank you Jenni, for helping with my kids!) Stephanie was in surgery when I arrived, but I got to "talk to" Christian for a while.
When I spent some time in the hospital after a bad car accident about 9 years ago, my father sat at my side and read to me from the Book of Mormon during a particularly difficult time... I had just come out of surgery and was in a lot of pain. He read for over 2 hours, and while he did so I was calm and peaceful. He said that whenever he paused to clear his throat or take a sip of water I would begin writhing in pain again. It is a wonderful testimony to the power of scripture.
So, today I took a copy of the Book of Mormon with me and read to Christian... until they kicked me out so they could prep him for surgery. I held the book in one hand and kept my other hand on his shoulder where there are no burns or bandages. He seemed to respond a bit while I read... plus it was comforting for me as well. I don't expect him to remember it, but I think a part of him knows.
*I have been so impressed with the doctors and nurses and staff. I have been told a number of times that this burn center where they are is top notch. One of my dear friends emailed me yesterday to tell me how she worked there while in nursing school and what a great place it is. I know that Christian and Stephanie are in good hands (both a great medical staff, and the Lord's hands). Everyone has been really kind. Both yesterday and today there were "cookie packages" delivered from friends. Obviously, Christian and Stephanie can't eat them, so after removing the cards I invited the staff to eat the cookies, which they were more than happy to do. :)
*My sister-in-law Darin had the wonderful idea of putting photos of Christian and Stephanie in their rooms. My sister Liz followed through today and put up a bunch of wonderful photos. It was fun to look at them with all the nurses as they "ooh-ed" and "awed" and asked me about each one. They said they felt like they were getting to know them through their photos... and that was the whole point.
*Liz also hung a few quotes from Stephanie's blog, one of which mentioned the Family Proclamation. The nurses asked me what that was and I had the opportunity to tell them a little about it. Combine that with them hearing me read the Book of Mormon to Christian, and I think I did a little bit of missionary work today. :) Which reminds me....
My brother-in-law said the other night that this is what would be referred to as a "hard blessing." I think that is right. It is certainly difficult, but has changed lives forever.... for the better. So many people have been touched by this event, and I have no doubt that there will be many more.
Christian and Stephanie are wonderful examples and have been bold about sharing the gospel with their neighbors.... who love them for it! At the prayer service the other night, there were tons of people who are not member of our faith (particularly many of the close neighbors), but know and love Christian and Stephanie and have been touched by their testimonies and their exemplary lives. Even their mailman was there!
*C & S's bishop happens to be the brother of my brother-in-law. He came in this afternoon while I was there. We talked for a few minutes about all of the tender mercies that have been evident in all of this. I don't have time to list them all now, but in my prayer last night I thanked Heavenly Father for such things as the fact that my aunt and uncle were able to be on the scene of the crash with them, that my dad was able to meet them as they arrived at the hospital, that the plane didn't crash into a home or the propane tank that was only feet away, that they didn't take the children with them on this flight.... you get the idea.
Thank you to everyone for all of your well wishes, offers of help, words or comfort, and especially prayers. Please don't stop.