Today we went to the University of Utah hospital for a three month check up with Matt's stroke rehab doctor. We have been very blessed to have this particular doctor a part of Matt's care. Dr. Edgley grew up with Matt's cousin and served in the MTC as a companion to my brother. The funny part about all of this is that we had no idea that we were connected in these ways until after Matt began receiving care from him in the hospital. Dr. Edgley has had a stroke himself and although I am sad that he and his family had to go through this ordeal, it is comforting to get first hand information from a doctor that has not only studied what he is practicing but has actually experienced it. Matt is officially 7 months out from having a major stroke and we have been blessed exponentially. This is not to say that it has not been painstakingly hard and at moments terrifying. Even 7 months after the ordeal I notice my heart race every time he leaves the house, even if it is only to go down the street to the store. Having Matt go back to work was a huge step in his recovery. I was so proud of him when he returned part time but I was scared. I would quietly pray for the 45 minutes he took to get to work and then I would call to make sure he had gotten there safe. Past experience and 4 accidents have made me a little paranoid but his driving has been good thus far. While he was working part time it was a great comfort to have him home in the afternoon. I was not ready to have him away from me for long and 4 hours a day proved to be enough without driving me crazy. Months later he has returned full time and although this is a huge blessing as I have said, it is also a big change for me. It is not one that I have made graciously. The days are long and lonely and often filled with anxiety. I wake up in a panic most days and I cannot seem to pinpoint exactly why. Today as I slept I had such a vivid dream of Matt getting a CT scan and waiting for the results to let us know if the cauterization of the burst artery had held and healed. When Matt actually woke me up to go to the appointment I had to ask him if the scan was actually a part of the appointment or only something that I had dreamed. I was not surprised to learn that I had only dreamed it but I was surprised at how real it felt. Matt said "At least you dream of things that actually happen in our lives" and we both quickly shook our heads and almost simultaneously said "I guess that's not good." You see I never get a break from my seemingly constant vigil. I do not mind taking care of my husband and I wouldn't trade a thing that has happened to us because along with these trials have come incredible lessons and blessings that we could not have had otherwise but it has left me a bit broken. I watch just that much more carefully as my children play, fearing that God forbid they should hit their heads. I am constantly looking for signs of Matt's progression and even his regression. It is a tiring way to live life and I wish that it was possible to just calm down. I voiced this to a good friend and she said "not with everything you guys have been through lately." Matt having this stroke opened my eyes to a world that I had feared but never actually imagined we would enter. I have always wanted a family, ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a wife and a mother but I have known from a young age that losing a husband or a child was not something that I could live through. I wish I could say that I would have the faith to just keep going but in truth, watching Matt nearly die on March 2, 2012 has left me more broken than I ever thought I would be and it is so hard to just keep going. Watching them strip him of his clothing and struggle to intubate while administering CPR is an moment in my life that will always bring with it the wash of terror that I felt that day. I am certain that with Gods infinite atonement I can heal and carry on but right now, right here, in this moment I am hurting. Most days it is all I can do to get out of bed and get the kids off to school before finding my way to the couch and staying there for an hour or more while Naomi watches cartoons and plays with toys. Right now all I find myself wanting to do is sleep and the house is so empty with Matt and the kids gone. There are too many quiet moments in the day and in those quiet moments fear creeps in. With Matt home today things were different. Although I did go back to bed and sleep until noon while he watched the girls, I was able to function the rest of the day without fear. There was that solid comfort that he was here and he was safe. If anyone had told me 11 years ago when I married Matt that he would become not only my eternal companion but my hero as well I don't know if I would have believed them. I have a large amount of fear that he will be taken early from me on this earth. I feel like I have been chasing off death for 4 years now and it's exhausting but so far the 11 years that we have had have not only held these challenges, they have held the best and most unforgettable moments of my life. My heart is filled with pictures it has taken over the years and most of them include Matt. He has been a pillar of strength for me and for our children, even through all of this. He has been my comfort even on days when he felt his worst. If anyone could have told me how incredible my love for this man would become I would have married him sooner. I am grateful that he is patient with me as I try to rebuild and I am amazed at the love the Savior has shown me by providing the way for us to be an eternal family.