Part of my stroke season experience has been occasions of honesty and speaking frankly. Some of these have come in conversations with Melanie. Others with visiting friends.

One friend sat next to me on our living room couch and confessed to having the thought while praying, “Thank God it’s Rick and not me…” I burst out laughing (poorly and awkwardly – nothing works right with my mouth yet). I have to admit exactly the same words of relief have run through my mind at times as I prayed for people in awful circumstances. I just never had the guts to admit it.

Pray for me, even while you rejoice it’s me and not you needing the prayer.

This morning as I struggled to dress myself, Melanie made a suggestion. I didn’t take it. She said, “I’m not going to tell you what to do.”

Annoyed that she was annoyed, I began to explain why my plan was different than hers. But it was already pointless. I went to do my vocal exercises (singing songs of praise from a hymnal!) while the scene replayed in my head. God reinterpreted what Melanie had done. She wasn’t arguing, I realized. She was controlling her tongue. She was refusing to start the day with an argument. And she was pretty quick to change her direction, I had to admit.

So, as she poured breakfast into my stomach tube, I apologized. I thanked her again for thinking about what was best for me and for sharing with me. For speaking up.

I am finding I may as well speak up. Everyone is already entertaining interpretations, criticisms, doubts. Many of them about me are well earned. Why kid anybody? I should go ahead and confess my faults and ask forgiveness. Put everything out there, frankly.

I had to stop writing just now to have another conversation (disagreement) over where to hang a picture as we slowly get our house redecorated. Opinions are strong but voices were not raised. That’s good. Also, everything  is out on the table.

That’s good,too.



About Deacon Rick

I am a retired Deacon in Lakeland Florida.
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3 Responses to Frankly

  1. Father Edward says:

    Following your revealed progress (your descriptions!) gives me great satisfaction and is very encouraging. I write this to you not only as an interested observer, friend, intercessor (for you), fellow clergy person , but also as a Neurologist!

    Keep up the hard work of rehabilitation while knowing and believing that He is with you every step of the way. Rehabilitation is not for the faint of heart.

    Blessings & Love (to you BOTH!)


  2. Nancy M says:

    I have not thought..”thank God, it’s Rick and not me”, but I have thought , “am I spiritually prepared, and can I walk through a valley just as Rick and Melanie have and model my faith and faithfulness, just as Rick and Melanie have done. You have been an encourager to me since we first met in our “circle of friends”!

  3. rob patrick says:

    Though we became good friends many years ago during the start of WCIE radio, we did as many do, we lost track of each other. I can’t remember what prompted it but I searched you out and found you thru Facebook. Our renewing our friendship came a short time before your stroke. I remember well the morning I received the news. I have thought of the timing, God’s timing. I believe most assuredly that God’s plan was for Janice and I to stand with you as friends as well as warriors to help with your healing as well as the mental effects of what I know comes with physical wreckage. I have no problem expressing love verbally as we also express our love thru prayer for you as well as Melanie. You are one flesh and one cannot be forgotten from the other. I pray God pushes away the noise meant to keep you from hearing even His whisper. I pray you distinguish His voice and heed His instruction. There is nothing more important. Be healed by the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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