Leaving on a jet plane…

Well, that’s a wrap! The original surprise for the weekend for mom was a huge success. Dad’s surprise to us gave us even more reason to come together. God knew we would need to be there so he orchestrated that plan along side our plans for mom. He is so very good!

First, update on dad. He is improving every single day. He is attempting to settle in to his normal routine, even at the hospital. He is walking, and walking well. He is reading the paper and keeping up with sports. Watching football and keeping his caregivers on their toes!

His team is truly amazing and they are making a difference in his life as he is in theirs. Two of his nurse techs came back to visit when they weren’t assigned to his room. Dad is a difference maker.

Getting his steps in!

The team has given us hope for release this week. This ordeal started two weeks ago today. What a whirlwind it has been!!! Praying for peace for mom and dad as they make decisions for their future this week.

Secondly, we go to the 80th birthday surprise for mom. The weekend has been planned for months. Dad and I have been scheming, telling half truths, and plotting this weekend to celebrate mom. When dad had his accident two weeks ago, he was still with it enough to make his request known – the plan must go on! And go on it did!

Mom knew Mike and I would be there. I told her about Chase and Erin too. But she had no idea about Lisa and John or Rob, Mari and Aspen. To pull off the big reveal, we had planned on surprising mom at lunch after she finished working at Crystal Bridges Museum. Yes, she still works at 80. But, since daddy was in the inpatient rehabilitation facility, we decided to surprise her in the lobby of the facility. As you can see in the video, we sat non-chalantly in the lobby and daddy spoke to her as she walked in with her head down. (As he predicted!) Boy, she was surprised! Watch the video for the full affect!

Part Two

13.1 miles – half of a marathon- not a distance most people want to walk – especially 80 year olds. But, as I told my mom this weekend, we are outliers, so of course she would want to do that to celebrate 80!

When mom said she wanted to do a half marathon, I was all over it! I started looking for one around her birthday and the Fayetteville Half Marathon popped up. It was located 45 minutes from her home and was the weekend after she turned 80. The plan was in motion!

We both signed up. We both trained. I trained to run one on November 2 knowing two weeks later I would walk with her. It was a perfect plan. Or so we thought.

God had a different plan. Daddy. Mom was worried because she missed her last week of training. I told her she didn’t have to do it if it was too much, but the hay was in the barn and she could totally finish it if she wanted too. And she did. On Saturday, November 16 we completed the Fayetteville Half Marathon in 3:31:06. Our goal was 3:30! We did it with our family, daddy there in spirit, cheering us end to the finish.

Mom did amazing. The course was beautifully and hilly! Mom kept putting one foot in front of the other no matter how hard it was. She made it to the finish with a smile on her face. The race director congratulated her after the crowd sang Happy Birthday as she crossed the finish line – TaylorStrong! She is my hero!

We are truly blessed as a family. The love and support we give one another through the ups and downs of life starts with the love of God mom and dad instilled in us.

Daddy had a special evening planned for mom the night after the race. We rearranged the location and trudged forward as mom did in the race. Dad spoke to us about family, love, and forgiveness. The strong bond mom and dad have is so very special.

Daddy’s message to all of us on video will be sent via another blog. It won’t upload on the plane.

To say we are blessed is an understatement! No words can describe the comfort we have as a family knowing God is in control and the peace we have knowing God is directing our every step along the way.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV

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