Sep 30, 2011

five.years.

i was standing outside my car on oak street, waiting for a text back from ian. i think it was just a simple text about loving him, but he was always quick to get back to me, especially those types of messages. jan and i had just gotten back from a morning trip to greensburg for our friend’s wedding shower gift, which happened to be that afternoon. i walked off oak street and into the house, quickly wrapping gifts and getting ready for the shower. still no word from ian. i had only talked to him the night before, his grandparents were in town and he was heading over to david’s for a night with his guys as i was heading out the driveway. we hugged in the driveway, he in a huge, absurd jacket to keep him warm on his few mile walk. he was requesting blueberry pancakes the next morning from his mom, to enjoy with his grandparents. he was going to be leaving in the morning to drive to pittsburgh to work, and wanted me or caleb to go with him, but both of us were busy.


after wrapping gifts, hopping into my car to drive to the shower, still no word from ian. maybe he lost his phone. i met up with mary at the shower and started laughing with all of my girlfriends. my worry for ian wasn’t in the way, I just wanted to hear from him. the shower started and we opened with a time of prayer and worship. a song with the chorus of trusting god. trusting god. trusting god. somehow amidst our singing, carolyn, our host, was able to hear her phone ringing. able to give the phone to mary. steve was on the other line. mary reached her arm around me and whispered, “ian was in an accident. he’s in a pittsburgh hospital. we need to go.” then my crying, quick fearful hugs from friends, a car ride to meet steve, questions, questions, questions.


we met steve at ian’s house, and i think that we were all clueless to what we should be thinking or feeling. steve had talked to the social worker from the hospital, the call that no one wants to get but too many people do. all we knew was what mary had already told me. so we started driving the hour long drive. that worship chorus running through my head. my only adjoining thought of please god, don’t let it be his head. anything but his head. i didn’t know anything about head injuries, but i told god that i could handle anything but that.


the hospital came and so did the social worker. and ian’s belongings. and after what felt like years, the news that ian was in brain surgery, had significant brain damage, and we wouldn’t know until surgery was done if he would even last through the night. my wonderful boyfriend, in an instant of distraction while driving to work, was slammed under an SUV and extracted by the jaws of life. who ian was for 21 years was left in the car that was towed off the highway.


david came, my parents and sister came, ian’s family came. all in the first night. we tried to sleep on the floor of the waiting room, but sleep was gone. my mom came with me the first time i went in to see ian after surgery, the only skin i could easily find were his right fingers, which were so close to his poor, injured brain. but he was there. somewhere. and he was fighting.


the next few days are a blur, snippets of memories of people, scripture, prayer, hope, fears, crying. reports that ian was failing three out of five brain activity tests. meeting with the murphy boys, mary and steve to talk about ian’s funeral. we had to prepare. we prayed for miracles but since it was our family, our lives, we had to be ready. ready even though caleb’s words “he’s not dead yet” turned out to be more true than we realized at the time.


the blur continues and i’m sure if i referenced my old journals my memory would be jolted, but one morning, a few days after september 30, a waiting room just down the hall from the first, we were told that ian was over the hump, a hump that we didn’t know existed. overnight his brain began responding. overnight god baffled the doctors. overnight god mercifully answered our pleas. overnight god showed us that he had more plans for ian. we would later find out, four years later, from ian’s brain surgeon, that ian was the sickest patient he had ever seen who lived. the sickest patient. who lived.


five years ago today. one post today on the anniversary does not come near to saying all that needs to be said of god and all that needs to be said of ian and of his family and my hope is that someday we say it in a book. my heart could say 1,000 things but this morning, i’m sitting in our home, drinking tea and smelling baking apple crisp, ian comfortably resting underneath our feather blanket. our dear cousin is here visiting, bringing with her many laughs, and tomorrow caleb will marry our best friend. we have five nieces and nephews, and ian’s company gets to work from our home. and one of us has already claimed his reward in heaven and ian will get there too. and i see that our lives are full. they are sad and exhausting, but they are full. and god is the one who has filled them.


for five years of moving through this with us, thank you.


i&l

16 comments:

kelley said...

Hi Ian and Larissa! I don't know you guys, but I follow your blog and I just wanted to tell you that your faith is hugely inspiring to me. when I think of what a picture of love really is, I often will think of your marriage. and your story. this post especially--it is so moving. I am really thankful for your bravery to share things that are hard and that hurt, and also victories, even if sometimes they are only small. it is not in vain. your faithfulness to each other and your endurance is a reflection of God's to us. your faithfulness to GOD after what happened to is inspiring to me--it reminds me that even in the midst of something that seems so seemingly unfair, God is STILL good. thank you. thank you thank you thank you.

{cuppakim} said...

i have been reading for 5 years, and wow I can't believe it. i have never commented before - but i love seeing how far God has brought you and your family. i have been joyous with you, and mourned with you.

praying for you - especially today as you continue through this season.

with much love and many many prayers,
kim

Jen Thompson said...

love you guys. thanks for letting so many of us learn as you learn. really cant wait to celebrate together in heaven when we give our crowns to jesus.

-jen t

Anonymous said...

With tears (of Joy at God's goodness and mercy), and contuined daily prayers. GOD IS GOOD!! Rene
P.S.
Blessings to you Caleb & Beth♥♥

Michelle said...

i am sitting here at work, crying after reading it. i don't remember when i first heard what happened to ian, but i do remember what happened after. i didn't know ian, but my family and the murphy family had a mutual close friend, and i knew who ian was. i remember walking through the grocery store soon after the accident praying for him and having a sense of "God's not done with him," a sense that God had more for ian here on earth before calling him home. through this blog and through meeting larissa at new attitude a few years ago, i've gotten a very small taste of what "God's not done with him" means. my faith has been encouraged and challenged through you, and i've learned more of who God is. thank you for your honesty and for posting the truths you are remind yourselves - they are truths that i also need to hear. thank you most of all for continuing to invite all of us into your lives after five years. it is a privilege to pray for you, and i can't wait until we are all together in heaven because i'm sure we don't even know the half of what God has done.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you and you don't know me, but I'm from CLC and we have mutual friends. The night of Ian's accident, my caregroup met and we prayed for your family. All we had heard was that Ian had little to no chance of survival. Our prayers that night revolved around praying for your comfort and peace in his passing. Suddenly during a time of prayer, I felt God telling me I needed to pray for his healing and survival. So silently, I prayed fervently for this, even though from what I'd heard I knew this probably would not happen. However, God apparently had other plans. Each time I remember this night, the truth rings in my head that our God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there is NOTHING our God cannot do!

William Rush said...

Praise Yahweh.

Anonymous said...

God bless you guys. Very moving post. I love the ending about God filling our lives. Amazing that He can let us say that; even in the midst of loss, we see His gracious hand. Much love in Christ,
Sara Brode

Anonymous said...

I hope it is a book someday too. Your blog keeps me balanced and reminds me to appreciate all that god gives us. I can not imagine how many people your book could reach...

Lydia said...

Thank you, Ian and Larissa, for five years of being a beautiful example of what it means to trust God!

Anonymous said...

I was just sharing your story with someone this past weekend and was trying to recall how long ago the accident happened and how long I'd been praying for you guys and following the blog.

At this point I don't remember how I got here, but it had obviously been posted on some blog I was reading, and I've been praying since.

You all have demonstrated grace in how you've handled all that's gone on over these last five years. Your faith that God would and will continue to be at work both encourages and challenges my own faith. Thanks for letting us "in" to your world - for allowing us to weep with you, rejoice with you, and continue to pray and trust God with you - even if for many of us it's from a distance.

You have and will continue to be in my prayers!

Lisa in SD, CA

Anonymous said...

What can we say? but that we love you both and consider it an honor to walk beside you on this journey. love and prayers your way...Tony and Maria

melinda said...

I've been following you all for the past two years. Then, I read it almost like a novel. I was inspired by the family's faith, but I was detached from the personal challenges. This past year, my MIL suffered a debilitating stroke at 52 and then a few weeks ago, my FIL (her caretaker) unexpectedly passed away. Like you, I had told God that I could deal with anything but care giving for someone with brain damage. Yet here we are. So many days I would get encouragement from people telling me that God wouldn't give us more than we could handle (all the while I felt like screaming, "Uncle!"). Thank you for your model of faithfulness, long suffering and honesty.

Anonymous said...

Also a huge prayer von Germany. Followed your story, admire your strength. Be blessed! <3

Anonymous said...

Five years, five miraculous years...from praying for Ian to live thru the nite..to praying for God's healing hands to help with recovery..for wheel chairs..for initiation..for your engagement..for your wedding...for continuation....wow...five years and so many changes...you all are blessed...may your Love continue to astound you...
Wendy, NC

Anonymous said...

wow what an ordeal you have all been through. i have been following this blog from the beginning and after witnessing this insight about how you have been through this, just WOW, look at you now! God is Good!
Love Stephanie, in Australia :)

P.s, I have enjoyed and find it humbling and honouring being allowed to be a part of this journey with you!