Friday, September 4, 2009


That's what I gained today. As most mornings go, I hurried to get ready, packed up my two kids, and rushed out of the house. On my way to the hospital I remembered that I was meeting up with some friends for supper. These are friends who I haven't seen in months and they are always put together, new cute clothes, perfect makeup, hair done up all fancy. I realized I wouldn't have time to go home before meeting up with them and I was embarrassed that I had on a frumpy old shirt and hadn't really gotten ready today. I thought maybe I would even buy a new shirt before supper to make me feel better.

When I got to the hospital, Clark was waiting for me because today was the day he would go outside. With two nurses, me, and Mom at his side, he was wheeled down the hall and through the doors. For the first time in five weeks, Clark felt the sun on his face, he smelled fresh air, he heard the birds, he felt the breeze on his skin. I felt the sun differently too as I stepped out from the shade. We just sat outside and talked, watching others and the hustle and bustle of life. The nurses continued to administer medicine and watch the monitors closely. Clark didn't want to go inside but of course he had to. Clark cringed in pain as four nurses picked him up by his sheets to move him back into bed. One asked, "Was it worth it?" Clark's answer was a definite yes and he was already anxious to go outside again. It took a lot of work to get all the cords and tubes and machines and medicines hooked back up.
Earlier in the day, Clark was able to swoosh some Mountain Dew and orange juice. It was still sitting on the counter so he asked me for some more. I held the straw to his mouth and watched him take in a mouthful, swish it around, and suck it out. He looked right at me as his shoulders relaxed. He let out a sigh and said, "That tastes so good!" What pleasure it brought me to raise that straw to his mouth again for another taste. He said he wanted two sips of orange juice, followed by two sips of water. I asked him if it was satisfying enough just to swish or if he even wanted to swallow. He said that it's really hard not to swallow. I brushed his teeth for him, wiped his face, and put Vaseline on his lips. Before leaving I asked if he wanted me to bring anything else for him to try tomorrow. He looked at me with pleading eyes and nodded yes. I asked what he would like and his answer made me laugh, "Bring lots of stuff. I want to swish everything!" I made some suggestions and his biggest requests were for Root Beer, Strawberry Fanta, and Pepsi. I walked out of his room on a natural high.
Again in the car, driving to meet up with my girl friends, I look down at my shirt. I scolded myself and thought "HOW VAIN!" I thought of my brother, laying in a hospital bed for over five weeks. He got to see the sun today. He got to taste orange juice today. He is alive today! And I'm worried about what shirt I'm wearing? Really? Not now! I felt so great I thought I was walking on air. I held my head up high, wearing that frumpy old shirt, thankful for the blessings in my life.

Perspective. That's what I gained today!


Janeanne said...

Thanks for the update Kristin. That's great progress, Clark! Yeah!

Woodrow T Wilson said: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.....Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which (always)comes....”

Imagine this, Clark:

Someday (very soon) you'll feel the sun on your face as you walk outside on your own. You'll be wearing some great looking clothes. (I know you have some.)

You'll be slipping the keys into the ignition of your car and driving toward a destination that brings you joy.

No tubes, gowns, nurses, or hospitals...just you and your car!

Now that's a dream to work toward! It may be closer than you think.

Hope this day is good!

Anonymous said...

Kristin, You are sooo talented in making this season in Clark's life come alive. Helping all who read it to put life into perspective from each of our life angles. I am praying for Clark daily and encouraging other believers to pray also.
I love the picture when you're behind Clark as he is sitting outside.
My husband is home for 2 weeks r and r from Kuwait. We have eleven days together before he goes back for 7 mos. Today you helped me put the next 11 days into perspective and focus on the only tense we live in and that is the present ...

Today I pray for you Kristin, Clark, your mom and all the Kimballs as you continue to believe God to touch Clark's body. I pray for the doctors and all the staff dealing with Clark and all those who read Clark's story who are being touched in ways no one sees.

Blessings today from Dylan's granny Sue

Taylor Gardner said...

Fasting for you today, Clark! I love you, and hold so much respect for you and your strength! I could only wish to pass through my own trials with such strength.

Karla said...

Thank you, Kristen. Nothing beats the love and admiration of family. Clark is blessed to have you, as you are to have him.

Thank you for the September 8th life lesson. You and Clark touch my heart, and this blog is lovely.


Ligia said...

I know what you mean about the shirt. I do that too and have to talk myself out of thinking that a new shirt will make me feel better or less stressed. I know this is a very stressful time for your family. But you put it into perspective beautifully. Also, I don't want to sound like anyone's mom or anything, but I've been reading this book called The China Study by a Dr. T. Colin Campbell and I find it absolutely fascinating. I've been trying to encourage everyone in my family to read it. As I've been delving into it, I kept thinking of Clark's symptoms and felt somewhat inspired to share it with you all if you haven't already read it. This doctor did some studies with malnourished children in China who had Hepatitis B and different cases of liver malfunctions. It just might be of help with Clark's recovery. But I would just suggest picking up a copy if you have an extra minute which I know is hard to come by. Anyways, thought I'd at least suggest it. Your lovely family is in my prayers. Take care.

Kayla 'Jacobs' Binde said...

Hey Kristin - I have been following your brothers blog and I wanted you to know I think you have been doing a great job! You perspective blog was exactly what I needed to hear that day! Thank you! Your family is continually in our prayers!