Today I returned to my church for the first time in 5 weeks, having been in Hawaii for the last 4 Sundays. It was so wondeful to see my friends and neighbors and to exchange heartfelt, warm hugs. I was grateful for the warm hugs since it is so cold here now!
I heard over and over again today how much it appears I have improved over the last month. Numerous friends said my mouth looks "straighter" (less droopy from the paralysis) and my eye looks better. I mentioned that the Aloha state did wonders for my healing, and this is just what I meant. I feel like I made 3-4 months of healing progress in 24 days. I can even see the difference in my mouth. It looks so much better. When I speak, the paralysis is still evident, but when I am just still, it looks much improved.
The Hawaiian air was also good for my eye. When you can't blink, your eye dries out so quickly, but in Hawaii, the humidity was heaven sent for my eye. Even when the wind blew, my eye was not as irritated. Sadly, it isn't as good here in the cold Utah inversion air, but I know I made a ton of progress.
Thank you, to the many people who noticed and made comments to me or Tolan. I am so grateful to know that you care enough to notice!
As I mentioned yesterday, Tolan and I spoke today in church. We prepared separately and didn't hear the talks until they were given, though we did make sure we weren't going to go over the same material. I feel like it went very well. There are so many lessons we have learned over the last year, it was impossible to condense into two 20 minute talks, so we just talked on a few important things and kept it focused.
For me, the best part about speaking is that once again, I was able to hear and feel the Spirit of God whisper to me as I prepared my talk and as I spoke. It was through that powerful yet subtle voice that I was able to select the appropriate stories to share. I cannot yet talk about all of my experiences without crying, but some of my tears were because I could feel the Spirit strengthen me and touch my heart. I felt the warmth of the gospel of Jesus Christ engulf me again.
It was interesting for me to hear Tolan speak on the topic. This was such a hard year, we tend not to talk about it or focus on it at home. We lived it, we barely survived it, so we just don't dwell on it. We focus on my progress, not the past. Listening to his words was comforting. I realized, yet again, how blessed I am to have him as my eternal companion. After we got home and talked about "how it went" he looked and me and said, "We really do make a great team." Yes, honey, we do.
I was also touched and delighted to see some of my friends come to church today to support me and hear me speak. When Brittany, Kelly and Robin showed up, I was nearly in tears. Your love and support is amazing! Thank you! And to all my neighborhood and ward members, you truly are angels!
My love to all!