On the mirror in our room, I’ve had this collage of stickers from when we would go and visit Michael.  In order to get up to the ICU, we’d stop each day at the front desk to get one.  I liked the stickers and almost always would continue to wear mine throughout the day.  Usually someone would ask about the sticker, or how Michael was and it was a great opportunity to share updates with them (Our Hangtime kids always loved to ask about Michael when they would see my sticker).  And then, at the end of the day, I’d place the sticker on our mirror.  For some reason, I could never bring myself to throw them away.

Till today.

Because it finally, finally seems real that Michael has moved on from his three months in the Stony Brook ICU and that his new home for the time being, is at his new Rehab.  And this is something that I am so, so thankful for.  It’s a significant step on a long journey and it feels pretty great to be here.

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Our family drove up to see Michael today.  And it was especially special, because for the first time, our kids got the chance to see Michael for an extended period of time.  Christian had actually seen Michael when he was at the hospital once.  But Ellee hadn’t at all, and so it was really cool to be able to have them get to be a part of seeing Michael and how he is doing.  We had a really nice visit with Michael today out in the lobby of the Rehab.  He was sitting up in his chair and ended up hanging out for just under two hours with us all.

It was nice, because it looked like a good week of Rehab and therapies had affected him in a positive way.  He was a bit tired (I think from a long week and from the strong medications that he is still on) but throughout the visit, he did make great eye contact with us and interacted through long blinks and little bits of movement in his arms.  After a great visit, it was time for him to get back to his room.  So while he was getting settled, we took the time to go out on a beautiful nature walk.

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It was a pretty beautiful day for a hike.

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Our main trail led out to this incredible view of the water.  It was fun hearing Mike (Michael’s Dad) talk about how he was excited to check out the fishing at some point.  And we all smiled thinking of how someday Michael will be right there too, enjoying the Bay and all of the outdoor things that he loves.

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We hiked up a hill that our kids decided they then wanted to run down so that they could get a close look at the water.  So they did.  And credit to them because when it was time to move on, they did their best to run back up that hill and in doing so, they easily got their exercise in for the day.

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We walked the trails around to a few more gorgeous look out points.

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And as we walked, I couldn’t help but be so thankful to God for providing this incredible bit of hiking paradise right behind the rehab for Michael’s family and friends to enjoy.

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Every time I visit Michael, I tell him how wonderful it is that he has such an incredible family to be there for him to support him through this time.

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We absolutely love the Einfeldts (and Luke too) and consider it a great blessing to be their friends.  Quite a few times today, I kept thinking of how thankful I was to be able to spend this time all together with them.

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No one would ever choose to go through this incredibly tough journey.  But knowing that God has brought so many good things and so many blessings somehow makes it that more bearable.  I think you could do just about anything in life, knowing that you have your family, your friends and most importantly God by your side.

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Today was very hopeful and it brought a great confidence to my heart.  And flipping through my Bible tonight, I came across a perfect verse for today.  Hebrews 6:9-10 simply states, “We are confident of better things, things that accompany salvation.  God is not unjust;  He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  Throughout this journey, I have seen God’s hand work in Michael’s life and I fully believe that God will continue to work.  I love the part of this verse that says that God will not forget your work… as you have helped his people and continue to help him.  Michael’s life and story has helped so many people.  I’ve been blessed to hear from a handful that have shared with me first hand that reading about Michael has encouraged their faith.  Michael is helping people and I fully believe that his life and his story through God’s help and grace will continue to do this.

And along with everything, I’m so thankful that I can have confidence in this and confidence that better things are in store for our dear friend Michael as he continues through Rehab.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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