Friday, February 11, 2005

The Price Is Righteous

Days get a little blurry when Amy is in the hospital. When I called her tonight, I woke her up and she thought it was tomorrow morning already. It made for some confusion until we both got our time straight.

Amy's doing fine but will be spending the weekend in the hospital. There's no surgery or tests planned...more of a wait and see period we're enduring. Another lesson in patience. I think we're in God's remedial class when it comes to patience.
Despite the hospital environs, we are still setting aside time each day to maintain our Lenten pledge. For the past two days we've sat on the hospital bed, closed the door, and discussed finding quiet time for God. It's been good. Actually that setting has given us a renewed perspective of God's blessings.
If there's any upside to having a family member who is chronically ill it's that you can write off a heck of a lot from your taxes, which means our tax refund was substantially more than in past years. That meant I was able to slay a dragon today. I walked into the office of the hospital "financial counselor" and after 90 minutes of confusion walked out with receipts showing we had at least made good on all of Amy's hospital "co-pays" for the past couple of years. I was fairly stunned at how difficult it was to tally up the numbers. The hospital can't seem to find a way to simply add new costs onto Amy's bill. Each visit is a new bill. Each bill has a new computer code. Each computer code generates more paperwork and each piece of paper more confusion.

When I announced I wanted to write a check for the co-pays from each stay, I thought the financial counselor was going to short circuit. For a moment I considered paying off one bill...walking out of the room for a moment and then walking back in and saying I wanted to pay another. I thought if I repeated that process 5 or 6 times it might be easier for this "financial counselor" to grasp because the concept of "adding" seemed to throw her for a loop. Eventually we sorted it all out.

There are still plenty of medical and other bills to deal with but tackling one bundle today certainly improved my perspective.

And I must admit it felt good to know when Amy checks out of the hospital this time I won't have wheel her out hidden under a sheet in a laundry cart.

Our youngest daughter, Lisa, is in town for a music convention. I took her to dinner tonight. It's a fairly rare occurrence for me to have one on one time with only one of the children. Usually Amy is present or one or more of the other kids. When Amy told Lisa I was taking her out for dinner she responded, "Just Michael and me? That will be nice."

Although she was tired from a day of running around and dinner was nothing fancy, it was nice. We sat quietly and talked. I listened to her dreams and her fears and then brought her back home so she could get some badly needed rest. She's already asleep.

But as we talked and ate I was reminded of my relationship with God.

I thought how I should spend more "one on one" time with Him. Too often I let too many other things or people get in the way.

"Just Michael and Me? That will be nice."