Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eternal Families are worth it...

One of the daily routines over the past five weeks has been watching the medical professionals suction out Sister McKee’s trach 4-6 times a day. A nurse will come in a set up a sterile environment , open up a suction kit, put on their sterile gloves and then send a tube much like an aquarium tube down her trach and into her lungs. They would suction out liquid, clots and other excess which would often clog the airway making it very difficult to breath. This process  not only helped to keep the airway open but also was designed to keep her from getting pneumonia. At first when she was comatose I would notice that it often caused her to cough and then when she began to feel again and come out of that comatose state, I began to see how painful it was for her and would often hold her hand while they went down with the suction tube. When the airway seemed obstructed to her and when she could communicate in some way she would motion for me to make sure that someone would suction her so that she could breath better.

A few days ago I began to believe that I would avoid in any way being suctioned down into my lungs and wondered how she could endure the pain and yet she would request for them to come once again, each time grimacing. I watched as she would wait until the last minute to request this painful process only because she knew that the alternative would mean her loss of air and life itself. I would hold her hand as they would say,”ready, OK we are going down. This is going to cause you to cough a lot.” I wondered how painful it is to try to cough through that trach and clear your lungs not to mention the pressure that would press against the skull where her recent surgery was, with a headache often ranging between 8-10. And yet somehow she had the courage each time to request that pain knowing that it was her survival.

I thought about the Savior as He offered the “Living Water” at the well , the gift that is so important for you and me and how each of us in a sense must pay a price to drink from that “Living Water”. I have noticed that even though there is a price to pay the joy of the “Living Water”  just like Sister McKee’s “Living Breath” is worth that pain. If somehow we can each keep our minds focused on the eternal picture our ability to endure or grimace through the pain will increase. As I watch Sister McKee increase in her ability to face or deal with that pain, knowing that she will breath at a stronger pace for several hours to come it all becomes worth it for the larger picture. The vision of knowing that she will be with our family again becomes worth that price once again. II Nephi “For it must needs be that there is opposition in all things”.
Eternal families are worth it. They are worth the grimacing pain that it sometimes takes to work things out so that someday we will experience that “Fresh Breath” , the “Saviors Love and presence”. They are so very worth gathering together each day, praying together, eating together, reading together, playing together. One of our sweet daughters put her head in my lap this week bursting into tears and saying, “I just miss my mom.” We all need each other.
 It is so very difficult for us to keep that eternal picture in store some days. When relationships don’t always fit our expectations or when the Lord seems to have abandoned us in our dark hours it is easy to lose sight of that eternal view. This is a grand time to forgive someone. This is a grand time to cleanse our vessel on a regular basis just as Sister McKee cleanses with suctioning out any debris or blockage from helping her have a clear breath. It is a time to “repent with rejoicing” even though it becomes a bit painful in our immediate hour. Long term it will be such an eternal blessing.
We have a very dear friend that reminded me during a crisis that the only real concern in this life is unrepentant sin. Everything else will be made whole through the atonement. If you are carrying sludge or debris of not forgiving or holding a grudge, it only takes a minute to forgive and move on in your life. It will clear the passage way . It will keep us progressing to the eternal realm on high. It will help us “become more like the Savior”.

Sister McKee had a couple of set backs on Monday with some head swelling, projectile vomiting and extreme pain. This is to be expected along that path of healing so it is very important not to be discouraged. She received another CT scan, a chest exray, and a stomach exray and more medication . On Tuesday things began to look a bit better and by Wednesday, the pain was still there but the projectile vomiting had stopped. She is keeping her food down today and they actually switched her trach to a smaller size with a plan to hopefully remove it over the weekend. This will be another miracle as they told her that she would have the trach around 6 weeks and it will only be four. She continues to walk assisted with a walker down the hall and can turn herself in bed now. We still watch for the little things. Our wonderful Zone leaders came and sang for her today. What a blessing to have their faith and love. The spirit was remarkable.
Thank you all again for your continual love and prayers. Each day we continue to experience miracles as we continue in the hospital for 40 days. How we love and appreciate you and our wonderful missionaries for serving so diligently and for their obedience and dedicated service.

The William McKee Family.


  1. How much we love you all and wish that she didn't have to go through this, our prayers continue and deepen in sincerity as we travel this road from quite a distance. I wish I could come and hold lonely girls, and help in some way, as it is, we remain here on my knees.

  2. We love you McKee family, especially you Sister McKee. You are sharing the gospel one heart at a time, and our family is blessed because of your faith...The faith of your loving family also brings us to our knees as we continue to pray for you and place your's and your family's names on our temple prayer roll. Thank you. .. Thank you for all you and your amazing family do to serve our sons and daughters who are blessed to serve the Lord in the beautiful Nashville Tennessee Mission..

    The Sannar Family
    Dave, Micki, Ryan, Elder Sannar, Michael, & Jessica

  3. Sister Angie and other McKees:

    I was blessed to meet Sister McKee when she and Pres McKee came to Paducah last year. As I have told our missionaries, Pres and Sis McKee are the most "spayshul" missionaries I have had the opportunity to meet!!!

    I could feel Sis McKee's spirit in her message to the missionaries...

    As I remarked a good while ago, if it was simply a matter of faith, Sis McKee would have been up and at it weeks ago. But the good that come of her trial, has been the blessing the McKee family has been to all of us.

    A prosperous New Year is ahead!!!

    Rick Breneman
    Paducah, KY

  4. Thanks so much for keeping us in Chubbuck updated. I am grateful for the Spirit which I feel from reading your updates. I wish I could come and help comfort lonely girls, but I will continue to help through my prayers on behalf of all of you. Love you all.
    Lisa and girls.

  5. I picture us in the great Council in Heaven when Heavenly Father said this sacrifice had to be made to further the work in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. RaNae raises her hand and says, "I'll do it! Let me go!". Bill and their children say, "We will help her! Let us go!". And so it goes with the McKee family. No task is too big! No task is too hard! No sacrifice is too great! And so they came to the earth and have influenced people and touched souls their whole lives. RaNae has enriched the world with her musical talents as has her family. I love you McKee family!!! I so wish I could do something more than keep your names in the temple and pray for you. You have shown us many miracles and introduced and influenced many to the gospel of Jesus Christ! May He continue to bless you and help you to beat this assignment you were given is what I pray for each day. Roy and I love you all very much!

  6. I entered the above share and I am sure no one in the family except RaNae know who mommacx4 is so will add my name here. Carol Lynn McIntosh

  7. Wow. It's hard to hear about the extremely painful process Sister McKee must endure just to do "simple" things like breathing. Reading this post made a wonderful companion to a talk I just finished reading by President Thomas S. Monson entitled "Believe, Obey, and Endure!" It's a beautiful message he gave specifically to the Young Women of the church. I especially loved this advice:

    "I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?” I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness." - Pres. Thomas S. Monson

    We are sending our continual love and prayers - specifically that you will have a lot of "easy inches" every day!
    Love, The Abel Family