Wow! What an amazing week it has been. So much that I want to share with you all, but I just do not have the time to give you all the detail, and my writing is not that enjoyable to read.
First, let me thank all of you for your countless prayers. We enjoy the comments that are left, but I know that there are many who read the update and pray without a reply. You are a constant encouragement to my family and blessing to our lives. My prayer in Houston was that God would hear the prayers of the saints who would come before him. God has been gracious and compassionate on us and we are thankful to Him and to you.
Joshua was a guy I will never meet, but I saw him in his recovery bed in the Cardio-ICU at St. Lukes. He was one of over 50 patients there, but to me he was special. Suffering from a poor medical decision in his home town, he and his family were now in Houston hoping the surgeons could save his life. I got to know Joshua through his dad. Joshua's family that was waiting to see him was him mom and dad and grandmother. Joshua was a 29 year old man in a life or death hospital bed. His dad sat there and told me how he wanted to take his son's place. I was waiting to see my dad as this man was waiting to see his son. I just felt connected to this man. The emotions you go through in ICU are amazing. Joshua made it to a recovery room the last time I saw him. When I hugged his parents goodbye his mom cried. His dad slapped me on the shoulder just like my dad does. We told each other that we would pray for one another.
Shar, Blake, Ron and Diana came down on Sat. morning. Shar came to stay with me and be a part of the hospital group. Ron and Diana are great about helping when needed and not being in way. On Sunday afternoon dad got moved to a recovery room. Visitors were allowed, but he was really worn out. Ron and Diana came to see mom and Donielle and Brooks and dad happened to be awake. I asked if he would like to see the Smetana's and he acted like he wanted too. Ron came in first and it was just the 3 of us. He leaned over and picked up my dad's hand and held it with both of his. He spoke softly to him, joking and encouraging at the same time. He held my dad's hand for 20 or 30 seconds. It was nice to see my father-in-law care for my father. That is rare I guess. It was nice to see how my family has grown, and how a love from God passes between us.
Friday morning was the day of surgery. We had to be at the hospital to check in at 5:30 a.m., expecting to go to surgery by 7. 8:00 a.m. came and went without very much information from anyone. We finally got word that an emergency had come in and we would be pushed back to noon or maybe 2 p.m. The preacher at my church is Jeff Scott. He had come to Houston the last surgery in July and again was planning on coming this time. Since we had to check in so early I told him not to rush down from Temple. When he arrived at 9:00 a.m or so he was ready to minister and serve, and we were hours from surgery. It frustrated my parents enough that surgery had been delayed, but now we had wasted Jeff's day. What a blessing that wasted morning was. Jeff was able to help in so many different ways, but also just to have a different face to look at was nice. He fit right into the picture, praying with mom and dad, making fun of my sister. We talked a little religion and church history. God's timing was better than ours, again. What would have been really bad is for dad to have been in surgery and then this emergency to come in. It was a blessing that it came early and not late.
Johnny Jones was the transport nurse that took us to surgery. His name was really Johnny Jones - he made it a point to make sure we knew his name. He was a black guy, mid fifties, about 6'5 with arms the size of my legs. As he stood in the door way it looked like he barely fit. He called my dad Mr. Bundy in a southern drawl, but corrected my dad for calling him Mr. Jones. Jeff explained that we called him Mr. Jones because he was the biggest. I saw Johnny this morning in the McDonalds in the hospital. I went up to him calling him by name. I told him who I was and how he had helped my family. He asked how Mr. Bundy was doing and offered his prayers for him. Johnny Jones is a good man.
I am writing so late because Shar would never want me to post all of these details. If you have read this far then you have a little taste of what we saw. I can't thank you enough for your support. Your prayers and ours were answered. Prayers from New York, Virginia, Tenn., Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Texas, Connecticut and other places I am sure. You have been warriors for us and we appreciated it. Thank you to Shar and Jana for filling in when I could not get to a computer.
We are still concerned about an elevated resting heart rate. Please pray for complete healing. Pray also for Joshua and his family. We serve a God that holds the world in his hands. Thanks to God for answering our prayers and may he bless you as you serve Him. More details later.