Saturday, August 3, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Saturday!  Due to Highway 161 being closed today I was unable to see Bruce. But I messaged him and phoned him so we were able to communicate somewhat. I do love hearing his voice and reading the interesting messages he sends back. He told me he went to the grocery store and got peanut butter and milk (his favorites) and I do not know what else.  And here is really awesome news! Bruce is getting a pass for tomorrow to come to church and get his glasses fixed. Geni and her boyfriend are going to pick him up and bring him to church. Afterwards we will most likely go out to eat and then get his glasses fixed. I am so excited.  He is doing so well. Team Chrystie for the win!

Today was spent cleaning, taking to storage and trashing things we do not need right now in preparation for the bedroom rehab. Our precious children, a wonderful friend and her son came over to help. They were a godsend and I am so grateful to them. One more large project and the critical prep work will be complete.

“Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great. He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

1 Timothy 3: 16

If I have learned nothing in this new journey, I have learned that God is not predictable or controllable, but God is trustworthy.  We have not had serious adversity in over six years. Each adversity has its own set of circumstances, but the good news is that no matter what adversity strikes us or our loved ones God is faithful to see us through. There are many things I do not understand about the stroke Bruce had, but I do know that I have been blessed to witness God’s faithfulness, healing power and divine intervention in our lives and Bruce’s healing. God has not let us down in any way and will meet each challenge Bruce has to face with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and love that endures forever. God is good and love wins!

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway so there is no reason for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene


Friday, August 2, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Friday!  Geni and I went to see Bruce tonight. He greeted us with hugs, kisses and grand hellos. There is someone with Bruce at all times in his apartment. That makes me feel really great that he is supervised all the time. The ladies are really sweet and document all of his actions. They help him when he needs help and simply observe when he does not. Upon our arrival he communicated some things he wanted me to bring when I come back tomorrow. He told me he needed brown shoes and brown socks to go with his khaki pants and a belt. Who knew Bruce was fashion conscious! Tonight he ordered pizza for dinner. I am told it was quite an experience! I am so proud of him. Tomorrow he will go on his first outing. The facility gives Bruce $65.00 per week to purchase groceries for himself. Tomorrow he will go to the grocery store and with a chaperone he will make decisions as to what to purchase and work on budgeting skills.  You can write or send cards to Bruce @

Bruce Chrystie

3915 Portland St.

Irving, Texas  75038

Also, Bruce has an unrestricted visitors list. He would love to see you.  He is in Apt. #3855 at the above address.He is there from about 4: 30 pm and can receive visitors until 9:00 pm.


While Bruce is busy getting better I and our children are working on preparing the house for his return. Tomorrow Travis and Geni’s boyfriend will bring their pickup trucks and muscles to begin the trips to storage in preparation for a new ceiling, new floor and new wall coverings for our bedroom. We need some work in the bathroom, but not sure when that will happen. We have some wonderful friends who are going to come in and do the rehab and have it ready for Bruce’s return home. The room will have more space (due to less furniture) and will be so much nicer than when he left and much more suitable for someone who needs a bit more space.  


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11: 28

Sometimes this journey is overwhelming. Bruce is working so hard to recover and I am working so hard to prepare for him to come home.  I look at Bruce and see how tired he is as he begins to yawn around 8:00 because he has worked so hard and I feel the weariness after I have spent the day packing, sorting and trashing. The trash men are going to be weary after just leaving our house tomorrow. But everytime I get tired or weepy I remember that God is my constant Companion just as God is Bruce’s constant companion. God is directing our paths reminding us that we are to take this journey one step at a time.  These steps we take sometimes seem steep and difficult (far more for Bruce than me). But as long as we are moving forward then we are both closer to the goals we have set. And sometimes when the way seems dark the Light of Heaven, the hope in our risen Savior brightens the path and we are blessed and encouraged to continue the journey.  God is good and love wins.

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD for He cares for us and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway and there is no reason for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Thursday! It has been a very long day filled with a roller coaster of emotions and activity. Bruce is settled in to the Center for Neuro Skills in Irving, Texas. The staff at the rehab center and the residence are so gracious and very patient and family centered. After some initial paperwork the facility administrator brought us a delicious lunch of Boston Market. Promptly at 1:00 the OT therapist claimed Bruce and began his therapy shortly followed by PT. It has been determined that he will receive two sessions of speech therapy per day. AETNA has approved 14 days of treatment. Our prayer is that Bruce will “Rock Star” through this and be able to step down to an outpatient status. The facility will pick him up at our house and return him home in the afternoon. His scheduled day is 9:00 to 4:00 each day. His apartment is lovely with a queen sized bed, kitchen, dining area, living room and large bathroom. The staff placed welcome gifts of full sized shampoo and conditioner, a mesh scrubby wand, toothpaste and other items along with his own lunchbox for lunch each day and a beautiful basket of fresh fruit. He will prepare his own lunch each day he has therapy (5 days per week). The staff will take him to the grocery store where he will purchase the food he wants to eat for the week. He will prepare his own meals each day.  All of the linens are provided with the apartment as well as a washer/dryer. And once again the staff provided dinner for us tonight and we were treated to Olive Garden. There was still a great deal of paperwork to be filled out. But my favorite part of the evening was being with Bruce on the couch, watching NCIS and falling asleep in his arms for just a few minutes. For just a moment it was like home. Also today, when one of the staff introduced themselves to Bruce, Bruce responded with, “Hello, my name is Bruce.” Later in the day, he told the speech therapist his name was “Bruce Chrystie.” God is good and love wins!

“Cast all your care upon Him, for he cares for you.
1 Peter 5: 7

No matter how much or what we throw at God, God is there to catch it and our burdensome loads become lighter. God does not miss what we throw at Him and is always ready to help us with whatever we are facing. I have shed tears today and found peace today. And I thank God and His tender mercies for allowing me to cry, lean on the everlasting arms and sleep for just a few minutes in Bruce’s arms too.

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway so there is no need for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Wednesday! We are in hurry up and wait mode. The insurance company is trying to determine whether Bruce qualifies for inpatient treatment or outpatient. We hope to hear something tomorrow. In the meantime I have been making preparations for his homecoming whenever it happens. The primary task of preparation from Bruce’s return home is creating more space. So there is furniture to be removed, boxes to be packed and shelves to be emptied. Right now the space is pretty cramped. But I think I have some help coming on Saturday to take things to storage. The task seems never ending.  Bruce continues to improve each day. If he goes to outpatient treatment the hospital will pick him up each day and return him home each day. His spirits continue to be good and he remains the facility jokester. He is anxious to move on one way or another. Please continue to pray and we are so very grateful for all of your soaking prayers.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

Psalm 73: 24

God continues to bless me with assurance that His will in this journey is still in force. No matter what decision the insurance company makes it will be the best for Bruce. The opening line of my meditation tonight is so timely, “I BROUGHT YOU OUT INTO A SPACIOUS PLACE; I RESCUED YOU BECAUSE I DELIGHTED IN YOU.”  I have witnessed God’s perfect timing, healing and grace for a little over two weeks and I give thanks that God has delighted in his servant Bruce and granted him miraculous healing. I am continually reminded that no matter what our circumstances we belong to God our Creator. God has enough space in His heart for all of us and whatever is going on in our lives. The salvation we have been given as a gift of love for all eternity is one of continuous expansion because the Holy Spirit lives inside each of us leading, assuring, teaching, loving and healing us in every breath we take. The greater the space that God takes up in our lives, the greater capacity we have to love and to be loved by our God of all creative love. I will always need more space in our home and I will continue to work until the task is complete. But I will always treasure and give thanks for the never-ending gift of the space that continues to grow in my heart by God’s ever present grace and limitless storehouse of compassion, forgiveness, tender mercies and love.

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD and get some sleep.  God is up all night anyway and there is no reason for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Tuesday! The CT report on Bruce today was so good and encouraging. The swelling is going down well and the thrombosis is decreasing and several other things were improved. We are so very grateful. Thank you for your continued prayers. We are blessed with amazing prayer warriors who pray without ceasing and we are forever grateful. Please don’t stop because the next step in this journey is about to begin. Today when I arrived at Bruce’s room at Kindred there was a certificate stating that Bruce is preparing for graduation. In the next day or two Bruce will transfer to the Center for Neuro Skills in Irving, Texas. It is an amazing hospital that deals only in brain injury and treats the whole person with intensive PT, OT, Speech, Education and Counseling in the clinic. They have a large staff that takes care of their every need and works very hard to prepare the patients to return to the outside world with skills in place to live independently. The facility is very family friendly and encourages the families to be a part of the healing and retraining process. Bruce will live in a beautiful apartment a few miles from the clinic. We can sign him out for family outings such as church, movies, mall etc…We are so pleased with this facility. I will keep you posted and I know I ask each night, but please continue to pray as we enter this new phase of recovery. Thank you.

“Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore.”

Psalm 105: 4

I am learning when someone has a brain injury many things change and sometimes things have to change to accommodate the one who has suffered the injury. This is true in our physical house. I am having some work done in our bedroom and bathroom to better accommodate Bruce. Mostly it is creating wider spaces so that Bruce has plenty of room to move. His balance and walking have greatly improved and he is not bumping into things near as much as he was and his impulsiveness is decreasing. We are thankful. But as for me, I need to remove some furniture, pack a great many things away to be placed in storage, decide what trash is and what is treasure, and decide what to keep and what to send to Mission Arlington.  This is a mammoth task and I need to accomplish this task in just a little over a week so that the workers can come and rehab our room.

In order to accomplish this I must set priorities or I will not be able to get this enormous task accomplished. But before I can even begin I need to center myself in God’s will and strength so that I make good decisions  about what gets done and what does not. These are not just physically draining tasks, but emotionally draining too. God calls me to seek His face and will as I look at the possibilities before me and determine what is important. If I intentionally seek God’s face to stay focused I have to believe that I will be led to make the best use of my time and energy and hopefully will keep me from feeling anxious. A friend of mine once told me to ask God to stretch my time and when I pray for this God honors this and I am able to accomplish what is supposed to be accomplished. Please pray for and this part of the journey. God is good and love wins!

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway so there is no need for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene


Monday, July 29, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Monday! WOW! What a day! If you read FB this morning Bruce got to go outside and show his PT that he could walk down a sidewalk safely, get in and out of a car, put on a seat belt, go up and down a ramp, walk off of a curb and go off roading through the grass. I must say that he did all of these things with an extraordinary spring in his step, a smile the size of Texas and just a bit of sass! Giving great thanks!  No results from the CT scan or the evaluation from the other hospital. Bruce is beginning to be bored silly. I have talked to him about the new hospital and I think he understands. As for me, the sooner we make the transition the sooner he gets to work and the sooner he is better and can come home. The plan for the hospital we visited today is for him to be inpatient for a while and step down to outpatient. The facility will pick him up at our house, take him to the clinic and return him home. He called me a couple of times today and we conversed well. He also called once and the left the message, “I love you.” Tonight, I went and ate dinner with him. We went back to his room, held hands across bed and chair and went to sleep.

The potential hospital he will transfer to is in the Irving/Los Colinas area. It is completely amazing. There are two facilities. One facility is only the clinic where all of the therapies take place. Their therapies include PT, PT, speech, education and counseling. There is aquatic therapy and if it appropriate there is therapy to relearn to drive. The residential center is about 4 miles from the clinic. It is beautiful! Each patient is housed in a quad apartment. There are two bedrooms in each apartment with a bathroom, kitchen, dining area and living room. It is not a hospital room. The bed is a queen size bed beautifully appointed. The patients are given money each week to purchase groceries and more money each week for entertainment. Patients can leave with family for the movies, church or wherever with a signout. There is a staff member that is with each patient in their apartment during the night. Their goal is to do all they can to transition the patient back into everyday life.  It was amazing. The site administrator was quite the salesman and sold us. I did however promise another hospital I would visit their facility. So, Geni and I will visit another hospital tomorrow. God has not only led us through this journey, but has been in the midst of each and every step. We give thanks and continue to surrender each day to God’s good grace and leading in Bruce’s healing.

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

2 Corinthians 4: 17

Well I must admit, this situation feels anything but light and momentary. Now I realize relative to eternity it is but momentary. I have to believe that God will be glorified through this journey and that we are receiving training to view problems as challenges that are just victories waiting to happen. The victories may seem very small, but when we claim victory over the difficulty then none of our time is wasted in fret, worry and fear. Do not think for a moment that I have not been a total mess at times during this journey because I cry twelve times a day. And I have moments each day when I am a quivering tower of jello and am on overload. But the verse tonight has helped me to realize that the only way for troubles to feel light and momentary is to daily, hourly, moment by moment, breath by breath surrender them to God our sustainer and Creator. So my friends, we need to handle all adversity in our lives by trusting God no matter what. God is good and love wins!

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, [ray with a heart filled with gratitude, let us cast our cares upon the LORD and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway so there is no need for all of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Blessed Sunday to you all. Bruce is well. Geni and I went to the rehab hospital and had Sunday lunch with Bruce. And if you are a FB reader you saw that Geni took silly pictures of her and Bruce. They are goofy. We were served communion by a member of the Eucharistic ministry team from Advent. It was really nice to have communion as a family. Geni had a tough time in worship today when it came time for communion as she walked up to receive without her family today. So pray for her when you pray for our family. Bruce is doing well, but we see the powerful need for the intensive therapy that the brain injury hospital can provide. He has come so far, but needs specialized therapies that meet his unique needs. The case manager asked us if anyone had told us about how unique his stroke is? I almost popped off and said, “Have you met my husband?” If anyone is going to have a unique stroke it will he Bruce Chrystie.

Tomorrow will be a busy, busy day. Family training, ambulance ride to Plaza Medical in Fort Worth for a CT scan, Bruce will be evaluated by the staff from the specialty hospital and Geni and I will tour the hospital. Then I plan to breathe.

We are going to rehab our bedroom and bathroom to make safer space for when Bruce comes home

whenever that is? I really miss him.

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Romans 8: 16

I am continually blessed with Holy Scripture that blesses and assures me that God is working in the midst of all of this. The assurance is that God has placed Himself in the middle of all of this directing and guiding each step of this journey. John 10 tells us that God has come to earth in the form of Jesus so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. The primary reason Jesus came was to assure us of eternal life. But, Jesus also came so that we can live abundantly today and in the days to come. Abundance does not mean money, or fancy houses, clothes or cars. Abundance means we remember who we are and who’s we are. We are God’s beloved children and we belong to God as our Creator and sustainer. Right now this family needs a sustainer. We are on this journey with God and the choices we make will have a powerful impact on Bruce’s future and the future of our family. The assurance we have is that God will continue being our guide tomorrow just as God was there guiding our clients when this injury happened, the quickness of the ambulance, the care flight and the professional swiftness he was taken to surgery to attempt to remove the blood clot. God was present and guided those people, managing their time and perfecting their skills and God will continue this as our Guide until the journey is complete. God is good and love wins.

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, give thanks with a grateful heart, let us cast our cares upon the LORD because He cares for us and get some sleep. God is up all night anyway so there is no need for both of us to be awake. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene