Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dad Has a Care Page!!

If you want to get regular updates, leave him a message, or get in contact with him, use the information below: you will have to copy and paste to your browser. Please help spread the word...

Dear Friend or Family Member,

You've been invited to visit Don Wilson's online CarePage.

A personalized Web page, called a CarePage, has been created

for Don, so you can easily receive

the latest news, view photos and share messages of support.

To visit the CarePage, please click the link below:

Dad--update 2

10 years ago, i vividly remember asking a group of people to pray for our (then) newborn son, Land. Lane was a preemie and was having extremely difficult times. he had a stroke when he was born that would affect almost every area of his life in the days to come. i remember asking people to pray for him to do something most of us do regularly and without much thought--go to the bathroom. the problem with Lane was his bowels. he had a couple of major bowel perforations that caused him major problems, and we didn't know then if his bowels would EVER work. i remember the first time he "soiled" a diaper...i was about to speak one evening to our church--calvary baptist church in lenoir city, tennessee. i remember getting a page (yeah, that was a LONG time ago) and calling the hospital almost immediately. the nurse on the other end screamed, "HE DID IT! HE POOPED!" she even saved the diaper for us to see when we got to the hospital later that night. i got up and announced to the church how proud i was of our son because he had accomplished this task.

now what in the world does that story have to do with my dad you might ask. since my dad's accident he has been having to go through the most horrible "humility" therapy of anyone i know. i know this is a personal line i am crossing, and apologize profusely, but you must understand i don't think prayers get gross to God. i think He smiles when we rejoice and see His hand--even in something like Lane's situation 10 years ago or in what my Dad is going through even now.

my dad has never been what i would consider a physically imposing man, but someone who could and still does work me under the table. i remember as a child thinking he was the smartest human ever because he would work all day, read the ENTIRE newspaper--not just the comics, eat dinner, work around the house, fix the cars, keep the yard perfectly maintained, and still have time to throw baseball or football. i looked at him in the hospital bed this weekend and remembered all those things and saw the exact same man lying there in front of me. he might not be able to move his legs but i really don't think he needs to. i think he MUST be who God created him to be. i saw a side of my dad this weekend that i loved. i saw the gentle side, the caring side, the thankful side, and the side that says he will NEVER give up (yeah, he's multi-faceted!).

i saw my mom try to be strong for him. she's the world's WORST actor, so it was tough for her, but still, she did her best. then i heard her say, "God is good and we're just going to have to trust him in this." my response was very pastoral, "you know, you're going to have to EAT those words in the days to come." She agreed and understood, for what might be the first time, that her sarcastic and cynical son wasn't completely a heretic. i know how those words taste, and i'm darn proud that my parents got to see me eat them. i know they taste like lane's earlier described accomplishment, but i know that they are made bearable ONLY when they are seasoned with God's measure of grace and mercy that He chooses to give us.

i also got to see my wife like i have never before seen her. (it's funny, my eyes have been dry the entire time i have been typing this and as i think about my dad in the hospital paralyzed, my mom's world being drastically changed by something she didn't ask for, but even THINKING about how amazing my wife was to me and IS to me makes them swell with these water droplets lesser humans might call tears!). when i got the call from mom on Friday, missy was the one to tell me to call mom back. i was at a breakfast meeting and just couldn't get to the phone at that time (i was pouring out all my own junk to one of my best friends in the world over a country boy breakfast at cracker barrel and thought i would just get back to mom later). when i got to missy, my first thought was to assess the situation and then if it was really bad go to knoxville to see them. i NEVER dreamed that this would turn out the way it did. i realized later that i never called anyone, and i started getting text messages from my friends. how did they know? why were they praying for my dad when i hadn't called? MISSY DID. she started using her spiritual gifts of the cell phone, text messaging, and email for my benefit. within hours thousands of people around the globe were praying for dad. my wife went from best friend to even bester friend. she knew exactly what to do when i didn't have a clue. she knew to call the couple i was supposed to do the wedding for and explain to them what had happened. she knew to have brent perform the wedding instead of me. she knew we needed to leave immediately. she knew mom needed me and dad would never ask, but secretly swelled with excitement to know we were coming. she's put up with so much over the past 15 years, i have to smile knowing that she's mine!!

Dad has been moved from UT Hospital (Knoxville's area Trauma hospital) to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Clinic for therapy. he was moved last night and it was a fairly comfortable experience. i think it wore him out, but at least he slept last night. sleep has been something that has been more drug-induced than actual sleep. He woke up this morning and got to eat a little (the bathroom thing is still a potential disaster) and has already begun therapy.

He has had so friends contact them and offer to help, he has been truly overwhelmed. i'll try to keep the commentary down in he future, but thought it might be a good change of pace.

please continue to pray for his shoulder, ribs, lung, pelvis, back, legs, and his whole body. he's busted up really bad, but even in being physically broken, pray that he will seize the opportunity to let his LIFE SPEAK to others around him over the coming days.

--mike ><>

Saturday, June 14, 2008

my Dad...

Thanks to all of you for praying for my Dad after his recent accident. If you aren't familiar with what happened, i'll try to catch you up.

Friday morning my Dad got up on his roof to clean it off...something he has done countless times before. Thursday afternoon had brought some rain, so the roof was a little damp, was cluttered with leaves and sticks, and had a little algae growing on it, so getting up on the roof Friday morning was more than a little treacherous.

He was on the second story roof and lost his footing and fell to his bottom and began to slide. he had a broom in one hand and a small gas powered leaf blower in the other. as he began to slide off the edge of the roof, he tried valiantly to stick the broom handle into the gutter and wasn't able to make it stick. he tumbled over the 2nd story roof onto the first floor roof of the porch and rolled right off the edge. he fell through an 8 foot holly bush (the sticker bush kind), and head first onto his back into the flower bed. the worst part is that he landed on a rock about the size of a football...and never let go of the gas powered blower!

his injuries are rather extensive: a busted shoulder (we have been told a broken clavicle, but that's not been confirmed yet), a collapsed lung, a few broken ribs, a pelvis that is cracked on both sides, and a crushed vertebrae (thoracic 12). The crushed vertebrae required emergency surgery to repair. the surgery required that his Thoracic 10th vertebrae through lumbar 5 vertebrae be fused together. the biggest problem is that when the vertebrae burst a piece of bone fragment went into the spinal cord and caused the spinal cord leak fluid. during surgery he lost quite a bit of spinal fluid and blood.

he came through surgery well, and is now out of ICU and in a room at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

We don't know what the long-term affects will be. He is having a hard time breathing deep and is understandably sore. The biggest issue now is that he can not feel anything below his waist and there is no way of knowing what the outcome is going to be.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated as we learn how to deal with this. whether he can walk again or not we dont' know, but we DO know that God is in control. it's been easy to say that, but having to actually LIVE that is a little more difficult, but we DO KNOW that God is walking through this with us.

thanks for your prayers.

want to send him a get well wish? shoot me an email and i'll forward it to them.


-mike ><>

Monday, June 2, 2008

back home

well, i'm home. i have successfully traveled half-way around the world and made it back home. i have been able to hug my wife and my boys and tell them how much i missed them. i have been able to give them the gifts i got for them while in HK and have been able to spend some time laughing with them. i have tasted the flavors of the orient and survived!

now for the hard part. i'm back home and back to my normal routine. i'm trying to get back to LIFE as usual, but i don't think that's going to be possible. i've been infected with LIFE on a different scale. i don't want to ever be the same again. i want to grasp what God has in store for me and my family and hold on for dear LIFE.

i want to drink in His grace and mercy everyday and never be satisfied with who i am or what i am doing. i want things to be different.