Friday, August 01, 2014

What Next? - Eleanor Shepherd

     Months ago, Glen reserved a cottage in Pennsylvania for our vacation this summer.  Throughout the winter we looked forward to what we would do and see on this vacation.  By the time July arrived we were counting the days.  Then on July 10th, I went for my annual check-up with the doctor.
        Anticipated events do not always unfold the way I expect them to.
            Things were normal, until she listened to my heart.  Then as her puzzled expression turned to concern, I knew something was wrong. She excused herself to call a colleague for some advice.  When she returned to the examining room she informed me that I would have to go immediately to the Emergency Room at the hospital, and she had arranged for a cardiologist to see me there. She explained her diagnosis and why it had to be checked out immediately.  I called Glen and he met me at the hospital.
            The tests were done, the diagnosis confirmed and medicine prescribed.  My family doctor would do the follow-up. I was released from the hospital at 4 p.m. I called for my follow-up appointment and left a message explaining that I would be leaving two days later, going to the States on vacation. Imagine my shock when she returned my call and informed me that she would not authorize me to travel to the cottage. Devastated, I sobbed out the news of the doctor's call to my work colleague who embraced me in a comforting hug. What a disappointment! 
            Fortunately our daughter Elizabeth, her husband, Johan and their daughter Sanna were able to change their plans and take our reservation.  They had planned to be with us for part of the time anyway.   
            Then this week, when we were visiting with doctor friends in another province, the way opened up for me to have the necessary tests required to discover the extent of my problem by meeting with their cardiologist friend.  That visit cleared the way for us to go the cottage after all.
            However, the unexpected bonus in all of this came from an opportunity to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law who live near our doctor friends.  After lunch in their home, my brother David presented me with a binder that he created filled with notes, letters and emails about Glen and me and our children.  Some of the material was from papers my Father had saved that David salvaged after Dad's passing.
            I was thrilled to discover the collection included the notes and prayer newsletters that we had   For me the timing of this discovery was perfect.  I had little of this information in my personal files.  Another plan I have for this summer is to take some vacation time and work on the writing of my new book called The Interrupted Life.  This book will include stories of many interrupted lives and what we learn from them.  A potential publisher suggested that to provide authenticity, I needed to include some of the things that we learned from the interruption of John's car accident.  It was the only story where I lacked sufficient documentation. Without that I have been hesitant about proceeding and have been asking the Lord for some sign that I really should persist in this project.
sent out at the time of John's accident.
            I have had questions about taking time to do this right now, since there seem to be so many other pressing items on my agenda these days. But, I do not see a time in the foreseeable future when that will not be the case.  Like most writers, I also wonder what I can say on the subject that has not already been said more effectively by someone else.  Yet the desire continues to burn within me to tell the stories. They have become such an inspiration to me.
            Now, I had a new question.  Were my health issues a warning to cut back on activities and did that include my writing?  I saw the gift of this binder as a green light.  The resolution of the health issues for the time being was the confirmation.  So I plan to plunge into all my accumulated resources and write the book, relying on the inspiration provided by the Spirit of God and the prayerful support of my fellow Canadian writers who are Christian.  It is a joy to share this journey, when the signposts appear to guide us.

Word Guild Awards
Word Guild Awards

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Eleanor, I can imagine your relief and joy in how things worked out so well for you and Glen to have the longed-for holiday, and also for the health solution in the meantime. May all things go well from here on.
This experience seems to fit in with your next book project, as described.
In some way it may have better prepared you for engaging in it. ~~+~~

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