Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Neil has returned to work at the office this week (he had been working from home so far), which has nudged me out of the nest and back into the world of posting!

I still might be very slow to respond to emails, facebook messages, thank you notes, and such but I'm getting there (too much time sitting upright and focusing can be difficult).

I will let you know the bullet points of how things are progressing soon. **Spoiler Alert: they are progressing very well**

For now I will take on the immense task of trying to say, in my own words, thank you.

[well, now, I'm already crying a bit which means this won't be easy]

For years I endured pain and I did it on what felt like my own strength. Granted I've had prayers and faith. I've had a fantastic husband. I've had great support. But I was on something of an island with what I had to feel and it was okay. I could manage.

Even leading up to and right after the surgery - things were very very difficult. But I was enduring. I was supremely grateful and deeply appreciative of all the love... but it was mainly me getting through the pain.

Then we came home from the hospital, and for some reason I thought each day was supposed to be better and better. Instead, I felt worse. In hindsight, it wasn't a huge deal that they reduced my medications upon discharge - I've dealt with much worse, physically - but it ended up being so hard. I think it was that no one told me it was going to happen. I was blindsided. So maybe the inability to brace myself, or maybe just because I was due, it wiped me out mentally and emotionally (even more than physically). It was a really rough period...

And every single day the comments came pouring in. And every single day cards were spilling out of our mail box. And kind texts would show up on my phone. I would cry and cry and ask Neil to read me the notes yet again. Right when I would start to believe that I'm too tired, this has all been too hard someone would write to me to say "I think you are strong."

So I don't know how to really express a Thank You for your support. We've been saying "thank you for your kind words and your support" in most of our posts and that might start to just read as a polite addendum, but its so much more. I hit a point when my reserve tank was empty and I didn't think I could get by, and I went from appreciating your words to needing your words, because "me" wasn't nearly enough.

I've been quiet for a while - resting and quiet - so I wish I could have expressed this sooner. Things are vastly improved since getting home from the hospital and really really getting measurably better each day. My mental and emotional pillars feel strong again and when I start cry as I open my mail these days, its because I feel so overwhelmingly blessed, not because I feel so overwhelmed.

from my full heart I say to you truly
Thank You for your kind words and support,
it has meant the world to me.


  1. You ARE an amazing woman .Married to an amazing man. God bless you each and everyday .
    We will continue to send love, prayers and healing thoughts your way.
    PS even tho it was great reading Neils's great-er :) hearing from you again. :):)

  2. So happy to hear from YOU Emily! Neil has been doing a wonderful job. Hearing that he is at work and you had the strength to write your own update, is such good news. It may seem like baby steps but it's much more than that. Love to you both. Aunt Barb

  3. This is the very best blog post I've ever read -- your voice is shining through, and I'm so happy to hear it again! You've always managed to explain an unimaginably painful experience with such grace, and I'm hopeful that the pain will lessen more every day. You've had more than your share. Welcome back, friend.

  4. Dear Emily,

    I have been thinking about you every day and sending you lots of love. (Do you feel the big hug? Yup, that's me, haha.) I hope you are feeling a little stronger and holding onto the hope that you WILL continue to improve. I would love to visit you, but I don't want to intrude or interrupt while you are healing. Please know that you and Neil are in my thoughts. Hugs and kisses to you, sweet darling! When you are up for visitors, I'd love to come see you.

    -Natalie Bencivenga

  5. I'm glad to see your getting back on your feet again. I knew that you would prevail because of your determination, passion to succeed, and Neil's compassion and love for you. You compliment each other needs. Pleased to see it all going as planned :)

  6. You touch my heart with your honesty and strength. Love catching up and know what you mean about the importance of other's supporting you. Last year Ron was very ill and almost lost him-BUT we drew such encouragement and strength from prayers and emails and cards. You are my hero. Sending hugs and prayers. Marilyn and Ron

  7. Was this whole thing just a publicity stunt to get more blog readers? ;)

    So glad to see you back in the blogosphere. It's like my birthday and Christmas and St. Patty's day and Die Hard and the Flyers knocking the Penguins out of the playoffs all wrapped up into one!

    For real.

  8. Tuesday night, I was teaching my inmates on problem solving. There's been a lot of turnover lately and they were a bit more jittery than usual.

    At the end of the class, after I had covered everything I knew about humanly approaching a set of problems, it occurred to me that I should end by encouraging them to give their problems to God, especially when things are out of their control or taking way too long.

    Then it hit me to tell them your story. I told them of your accident. Of four years of pain without a solution. Of people praying for you without seeing results. And of all the things that came together unbeknownst to you or many of those praying. You could have heard a pin drop. They were nodding and relating to the pain and frustration of facing huge problems that seem to have no answers. I used it as an encouragement for them to never give up, no matter how long it takes or how impossible it seems.

    Afterward, four of the inmates came up to me and said they'd be praying for Emma... Leon, Michael, Jameel, and Ryan. I'm pretty sure that if God listens to anybody's prayers, He listens to the prayers of the inmates of the Allegheny County Jail. So, you've got that going for ya. Which is nice.

  9. Emily,
    So good to read your words! You are a very strong woman and I can see you are getting stronger every day. I am praying you continue to feel relief from your pain. I am so impressed at how you and Neil have handled this ordeal - with such grace! Janet (D's friend)

  10. Thank you all so much! Carrie that is so so sweet of you to say - its nice to feel i can start typing again.

    And Marilyn, I'm so so so sorry to hear about Ron... I hope you are both doing well these days and I appreciate all of your support. You both have always been like family.

    Tom your message is so wonderful. It made me cry (in a good way). I feel so blessed because at times I've felt down about the years of my life that seemed "stolen" from me in my twenties, I would think of those in prison who truly are stuck. For those locked up and trying to make the most of it - I couldn't admire them more.