Dear Friends and family,
Over the past nine days I have traveled the mission during the day interviewing 170 missionaries and staying with Sister McKee most nights when I am in town. Jared our son has been staying with her while I have been interviewing which has been such a blessing. He and Brittany have been with us for many weeks assisting so that we could keep up with family and mission responsibilities. Jared and Brittany and the boys returned to Idaho on Thursday. We will miss them. I know they have sacrificed so much to be here for this period of time. Jared has been especially helpful because he is a physical therapist and has studied stroke patients. He tells us that the more we can do early in the healing process the more Sister McKee will have for life. I can see the value of this especially as I see the growth that is taking place. Sister McKee works with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and speech therapist and Jared(the greatest therapist) so she is getting a workout every day. This requires much rest in between as rest heals the body as well. I know because of your faith and prayers her progress improves each day. She is still walking with assistance but now can get in and out of bed very well. Dr. Li (the brain surgeon) saw her last week and tells us that her cerebellum portion of her brain that was removed is actually filling with fluids and in time will balance out as the body heals. Each day Sister McKee becomes more aware of surroundings, people, and memory is beginning to come back.
Her left eye does not want to move yet and so we do exercises with it five times a day hoping to get it to track with her right eye and become stronger much like exercising and arm or leg. We took her out of the hospital twice to visit and eye doctor who believes in time she will gain use of this eye if she keeps this exercise going. He also fitted her with a contact that is dark and serves much like her patch. This eliminates much of her double and triple vision.
I have been thinking a lot of how important our eyes are and how they bring balance to so many things and affect so many parts of our life. Because of this eye not working it is difficult to balance, see objects or people, or to read or play piano. It often causes nausea which weakens the body and brings more pain to the head. In D&C 88:67 the Lord talks about the light of the body being in the eye. Light always helps us see better and find our way better and again can affect every part of our lives. We need to focus on light and things of Christ and not the dark things of life. Sister McKee always said to the missionaries. When you walk into a room there is light. It is important to be “light filled”.
I am realizing how every part of our body is tied in with the eyes in some way. It reminds me of the scripture in I Corinthians 12:14-22
“For the body is not one member , but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because “I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? IF the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the body as it has pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay , much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble , are necessary.”
The Lord needs everyone of us, even the most feeble to assist in accomplishing His work. Everyone us must do our part to assist the “body” of Christ’s great work to move forward. It is very easy at times to think that we are not needed and that our portion is not important. Each one of us have gift to share that will lift another. Each one of us have an opportunity every day to step forward and as we do our part, other parts of the “body” or Lord’s work will move forward. It is easy to rationalize and think that my part does not count but I can testify that everything that we do affects another. The eye, the hand, the feet , the hearing are all affecting one another. We each have a special personality to assist us in accomplishing the Lord’s work. If you have held back and excused yourself because you do not think that your offering will be helpful to the Lord’s work, it is time to step forward and use your gift to lift another. Tomorrow we will receive 22 new missionaries. Each come with a different personality and style and each are encouraged to use their personality and style within the bonds of obedience, to accomplish the Lord’s work while serving here. The variety and the personality help the “body” to be whole and to accomplish just what it was meant to do in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. We love each one of them and love each one of you for your special offering and your special gift and want you to know again that your prayers, cards, gifts, and faith have influenced the “whole” experience in the healing of Sister McKee. We feel it and know for a fact that the Lord listens to your prayers.
One of Sister McKee’s favorite CD’s since arriving in Nashville has been the Nashville Tribute Band. Jason Deere(from the Nashville Tribute Band) and his daughter Josie came to the hospital just last night and put on a private concert for Sister McKee, our children and our two assistants that were there helping me with transfers. Sister McKee was caught tapping her toes and singing along to a few of those songs. What a gift and blessing that was for her and our family. Each little thing enhances her healing. Thank you again for your faith and prayers
The William McKee