Monday, December 3, 2012

Howdy, From Tennessee 12/3/2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Sister McKee would again say to you, the weather is beautiful this week.
It has been around 70 degrees. I am not sure that I would know anything about the weather as I have been in the hospital room again all week. I think that I should start paying rent. One of my good friends reassured me that I was. We are so grateful for so many kindnesses and prayers and love. It is overwhelming when we consider all of the people who have helped to assist our family this week. Sky miles to get our family out here, so much food that we might have to open our own grocery store at the mission home, and even an extra car for the family to use.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all of the continual love that is offered to us. Thank you everyone, especially for your faith and prayers. All of our children flew into Nashville on Sunday and Monday with all of their spouses and our grandchildren except Travis and their six boys who could not get away from school. We were able to see two grandchildren that we have not seen since they were born. Andrew 10 months with Mike and Kirsten and Kason 5 weeks with Jared and Brittany. I was especially excited when Andrew whom I have never met held up his arms and hugged me. I often said to the family while they were here that I am not sure if mom has been effected by your visit here but it certainly blessed my life. After being in the hospital for almost a week with Sister McKee it has been a big help to have family here. We have spent this whole week with Sister McKee being in a self induced coma with little response. They have to keep her bed at a certain level to make sure that the drain in her head is working properly so as to keep a balance of fluids in her brain while the swelling is going down. She did not show much change in life until late on Thursday when she opened her eyes for the first time. On Friday and Saturday we got about the same minimal responses always hoping that she was noticing more than it looked like. Sunday she opened her eyes and began responding to the Medical Doctors by command. Move your foot, move your fingers, stick out your tongue, move your head sideways. These movements are very subtle but there is no doubt that she is making the connection based on the instruction so we celebrate each response with enthusiasm as it is the foundation of recovery. Her bravery and her determination and her faith will get her through this and the rest of us as well. Dr. Li who did the surgery on her has always told me that I should not get my hopes up but today he said to me. This is really good. It was such a blessing to see him get excited about the little changes we saw today.

As we met early in the week as a family , I told the children that they would each experience a miracle out of this experience. We would all experience a miracle with mom getting better and walking out of this bed or as we listened to the spirit in our prayers we would experience a miracle with the Lord changing our hearts so we each would be able to adjust to His will of taking her. I assured them that the spirit would be manifest either way as we listened carefully to the Holy Ghost this week. All of the children would come in and sing to their mother every day throughout this whole week for about an hour today. The spirit was always there. I am so grateful for Sister McKee and to our children and extended family.

We have experienced several tender mercies while being here this week. Several of the nurses that we have gotten to know have committed to receive our missionaries.. We have given them Books of Mormon and pass along cards . One night I drove home with Mike to take a shower and to drive back up to the hospital . At 3am we drove by a woman that had a flat tire. Mike jumped out and changed her tire. I got her address and committed her to have the missionaries teach her family. She agreed to do it.

Several of the nurses on other floors come up to our floor just to check on Sister McKee and see how she is doing. We have grown so close to some of them and have been able to teach the gospel to them. Two days ago our charge nurse was leaving the room and commented that I had better be good or she would contact my Stake President. I followed her out of the room and said, “Michelle, What do you know about a Stake President ?” She said, “I plead the fifth.” I persisted and then ultimately she said if I tell you , you will send home teachers to me. I promised her that I would not and then she told me that she had been raised in Salt Lake City and that her dad had been trying to get her active for over 20 years. She then said,”HE will be so mad that you have done it in one day. We talked in more detail and she finally said that she would let the missionaries come and visit her. The missionaries visited her one day later and she agreed to come back to church. I told her I thought it was great because I need a RS president while I am in the hospital. She smiled and then gave me her fathers phone number to call in North Carolina. .

On Wednesday night Angie, Aubrey and Kiara had Young Womens in Excellence. I knew that Sister McKee would go to that with them and decided that I needed to support them better so Mike and Scott stayed with Sister McKee and I went to Young Women in Excellence with Angie, Aubrey , and Kiara. We decided to make it a womens night out so Michelle, Kirsten, Brittany, Seren, Rachel and Destini went with us for a girls night out. They asked Angie, Aubrey and Kiara to bear testimony , which they did. I told them that I would not have been able to do that with my mom laying in the hospital with this severe condition but they all did it with spirit and dignity. I hope that I can catch up to their valiant living someday. Again we are so blessed.

As we look back over last week and piece together what happened. Sister McKee had her heart checked on Tuesday with an arterialgram, She had a stroke on Wednesday, Esophogous scope on Thursday, heart attack on Thursday, bleeding stroke on Friday, heart surgery on Saturday, cardiac arrest on Saturday, Brain surgery on Sunday and then a self induced coma for the next week. I told the doctors often that I would want to go to a coma as well after suffering all this in one week. I think that she is such a great example of bravery and high pain tolerance. I am so grateful that she has survived. As we experience these trials of our faith we will become closer to a loving Heavenly Father. We have a great friend that always said, “When I ask myself why it takes me away from God. When I say , Thy will be done it brings me closer to him.” I prefer the last one.

We love you and are so grateful as well to our assistants. They handled our Trainer / Trainee meeting on Tuesday and will handle Zone leader Council this Tuesday. They are remarkable and so gifted to take care of so many things that I am responsible for. We love all of you and will keep you updated during the week on the President McKee Family Blog.

Love, President and Sister McKee

Mom and Dad , Grandpa and Grandma
Michelle, Mike, Jared, Scott, Steven, Kylie, Angie , Aubrey, Kiara, Destini


  1. Thank you so much President McKee for sharing with us all the detailed information, that is incurring doing this journey of Challenge and FAITH...Continue to go forth with the steadiness of faith that is being demonstrated and all will be well...In the name of Jesus Christ

    Love Bro. Kees

  2. Thank you so much for keeping us, here in Chubbuck, updated. I enjoy reading your posts, feeling your faith, praying on behalf of all of you, and reading about the faith, love, and missionary work which is continuing even during such a trial.
    The girls and I send you, Sister McKee, and the family our love, thoughts, and prayers.

    The Bennetts

  3. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. I always try to fill my days with experiences and materials that will help me to feel the spirit. I have felt the spirit so intensely as I have read your blog today. Thank you for living what you believe. We will continue to pray for your family and for your dear, sweet wife.
    Julie Hardinger

  4. I have had a personal challenge or two that I handled to the best of my ability, but not always with SPIRIT and DIGNITY. Your family teaches me that as children of God we have that capability even in the darkest of trials. What great examples of faith you all are.
    It is the season of Miracles!
    Christy Jensen

  5. You dont know me but I me your mom while on tour with the Utah Valley Childrens Choir in July. I visited with your mom after a concert WOW what a neat lady. Your mom and family will be in my prayers Angie

  6. I thank you for sharing the trials of Sister Mckee. I was her family Doc in Preston, thrilled in her talents, beauty, and wisdom in marrying such a sweet simple man working in a feed store. Having moved about to Provo, and Europe, it was thrilling to read of her good family, and how that family has turned tragedy into great sharing and touching the lives of so many of her health care givers.
    Such a thrill to share this story. Boyd Hale, Boise Idaho