Dear Friends and Family,
Over the past few weeks we have been very involved with temple trips here for our missionaries. Twice a year our missionaries are invited to go to the temple since we have a temple in Nashville. The temple is small so this constitutes going to ten sessions so that each missionary can attend. The temple is only open for a few hours each day and so we adjust around their schedule and bring the missionaries in from across the mission over five days. They love going to the temple. This gives a time for Sister McKee and I to talk to them about the temple and also remind them that we are here serving the living for this era in our lives and only on occasion can serve the dead. The temple always reminds me of family sealings and the blessing of being with our families forever and ever. I can’t even imagine eternity without our blessed families. Each of us have the wonderful opportunity to come to the temple and receive our endowments and seal families together for time and all eternity. Sometimes people will say to our missionaries, “but we can’t go in there.” Our answer to them is that EVERYONE can go in there. We must just prepare ourselves first much like we prepare ourselves to graduate from High School so that we can go to college. No one can go to college either unless they go through the proper preparation to go there and college is open to all if we prepare ourselves for it. The temple is the Lord’s university and it is essential that we prepare ourselves worthily before we make and keep those sacred covenants.
Sister McKee is still progressing every day. She is absolutely a walking miracle. At present we have several days now without nausea or severe headaches. This is so exciting for all of us as it changes her processing of life and her abilities to be out more. We never went anywhere in the past without a safety pan for nausea and our “peppermint” essential oil(thank you to those who sent those to us). She now goes longer periods without an upset stomach and even attended the temple twice last week. This was a miracle for all of us and such a blessing to be back in the temple again.
We visited the eye doctor on Tuesday and he tells us that she is still progressing and will in time be fitted with some type of glasses that may help her. Her eye moves about 80% now but because it is still off she is always plagued with double vision. She is playing the piano more while wearing a patch. Her right eye sees beautifully so with the patch she gets fairly independent. We do eye exercises with her 4-5 times a day.
On Monday our oldest daughter , Michelle flew in to stay for a few weeks. This is such a blessing, Jared and Brittany flew back home to Idaho with Ethan and Kason on Wednesday. This was a sad day for us as they have stayed long and been so helpful in therapy. Brittany received the news that her grandmother had passed away who we all love. We extend our sympathy to her family and want you to know of our deep love for you. I know that Brittany was very close to her grandmother and this will be difficult knowing that she was out here helping us while her grandmother was ill. We love and appreciate you and your family (Brittany) .Jared with his physical therapy back ground has taught us so much and done so much for his mother while staying here. We will always be grateful for the foundation that you have set with her healing. Early in Sister McKee’s healing Jared mentioned that we should never allow the brain to think that it cannot do something if there is a desire. For example, while in the hospital, if Sister McKee wanted to get out of bed, the medical model did not have the resources so she would not be allowed to get out of bed. We would stay by her night and day and make sure that if her brain wanted to do something that we assisted her instead of telling her that she could not do that. This allowed us each day to expand her brain and encourage it to follow through with the drive that was behind it. The medical model would think that unsafe because they could not always be there so they would put bells on her bed or even tie arms and legs down so that she would not get up and get hurt. As a family we made a commitment to always be there and ensure that whatever she could imagine she could do so that her brain would not be limited and so that she would feel that anything is possible. We have learned so much from this but most of all learned that it is working as Sister McKee is coming back quicker than most rehab patients. Interestingly enough though we are discovering that often the medical model does not always appreciate this and often focused in rehab on what she could not do instead of what she could do. I have found this so interesting though as I think about how we (the natural man) often focuses on what we cannot do instead of what we can do. It is so easy to focus on our limitations instead of our eternal potential and our God like abilities.
For example , Sister McKee has never wanted to use a walker while her brain is healing so we carefully planned to be at her side 100% of the time so that she can practice walking without a walker. This at first required constant support and now she walks freely with only an occasional nudge back on track. She brought her church shoes to practice walking in at rehab one day and they quickly told her that she could not do that., Well she has been doing that and doing it very nicely , she just wanted more safe practice with their support. As I witnessed them very often reminding her about what she could not do, I wondered in my mind how many times I had done that to myself or others and how debilitating that could be.
I met with the supervisor of the rehab unit and asked, “Do you think that Sister McKee can heal completely?” His response was, “Well now we need to be realistic here”. I asked him again and he remained silent. I realized at that point that the medical model often tells us to be more realistic and often limits our growth while in this fragile state. I contemplated a young child and how sometimes we tell them so many “cant’s or no’s” and then thought, if my child really wanted to do something or practice something , would I tell them “no” . I immediately realized that part of Sister McKee’s frustration was that they were often telling her what she could not do instead of believing that she could heal fully and that she needed to focus on what she could do safely. Her PT has pushed her to go back to a walker but this again will only limit her as we have set her life up to be safe.
I thought how our Heavenly Father has sent each of us down here on earth with no limitations to return back to Him. He has charted the course that we might return to Him . He has marked the path and then he has given us the promise that “all that He hath” will be given to us if we receive Him. D&C 84:38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom therefore ALL that my Father hath shall be given unto him.” I wondered if I really believe that scripture. That ALL that my Father hath will be given unto me. I know that the Lord promises us complete and full healing. I know that we can all be whole through the atonement and that we can receive all of the blessings that HE has in store for us if we do not limit ourselves. I looked at Sister McKee’s vision of walking without a walker or practicing in her church shoes and realized that she sees herself with no limitations and trusts in the Lord and herself for complete healing. When the world tells us that we can’t , each of us have a huge responsibility to say to ourselves, “the Lord can” . All things are possible through Him and that He has promised us ALL.
A few weeks before we were leaving to come to Tennessee on the mission Sister McKee woke up in the night and said to me, “ Do you think we can really do this?” My reply was, “Of course we can’t , but the Lord can and somehow HE will use us to accomplish His work”.
Trust in the Lord , He has promised us His ALL. He will come through for us as we listen to Him and not to the world. The world will tell us things that we “can’t”, The Lord will tell us things that we “Can”.
We love you and thank you again for your faith , prayers and “cans” along the way. We feel that positive energy and that love. We acknowledge the Lord for performing this great miracle.
The William McKee family