I was raised in a Christian family. One uncle was a Deacon, In June 1974, I was saved at Antioch Baptist Church, and baptized in Calhoun Georgia. This is where my wobbly journey began. I never learned about discipleship, so I made some left turns along the way. For my 15th birthday, my uncle gave me a 1965 Pontiac Catalina to work on and get running. God blessed me with this gift. Not really what I wanted, but this was God’s plan!
On October 9,1976, returning from Hi-Y assembly getting ready for mock legislature, I left my high school for home. When I was less than a mile from home I was hit head on by a drunk driver. The impact was so great my car was pushed back nearly 100 feet; the drunk drivers car’s roof top had stress ripples all the way to the rear window; and my car was a battle tank of steel, but the left side quarter panel was crushed to the windshield…I had several cracked bones and a split upper lip. The scar is the only visible reminder I have of that night, but it reminds me of the Blessings from God.
Later down the road, God’s plan slowly began to be revealed. In1985, I went to the doctor for a cold and discovered my blood pressure was elevated so attention turned to my heart where the doctor heard a murmur. This started a 25 year relationship with a wonderful Cardiologist, following my regurgitating aortic valve. At that time, medication therapy was used to control the problem. During all this, my now ex-wife decided to move back to her parents. Divorce soon followed.
In 2001; I met an energetic, young lady named Jill, who became my best friend. When my mom got sick; she was right there to support me and on the way home from one of Mom’s doctor’s appointments, mom said to me “You found a good one this time”, that was a revelation to me. A few years later Mom past away in 2003. I never forgot what Mom said and on Jill’s 38th birthday I asked her to marry me. As you all know, she said “Yes!” April 3, 2004 we were married. By the way, mom was correct.
In November 2009, my wife was with me at this appointment; when those dreaded words were spoken, it is time for surgery. We were referred to a surgeon.
On December 29, 2009 we saw the heart surgeon, and he agreed that it was time to replace the aortic valve (AVR), I was thinking of the dreaded incision from Adams apple the belly button, but to our surprise he would be doing a minimally invasive incision, about three inches in length. Thank You Lord Jesus! Now the doctor asked me to pick a time to have this surgery, first words out my mouth were October/November, we settled on April 2010. Let’s rewind a bit; in 2009, my wife and I found out she had a brain tumor in the left side of her cerebellum and had surgery in April 2009, to reduce the tumor. After AVR, I actually felt great, color was better, I had started to show graying of the skin. No cardiac rehab, I finally had energy to help with my wife as she continued rehab at home.
Now let’s move forward to December 11, 2011; I had a right side middle cranial artery thrombus, Emory University doctors used a Mercy procedure to remove the clot and restored blood flow, but the stroke continued. The stroke was a massive large territory stroke, damaging nearly 80% right side of the brain. God’s blessing was there saving me from death, and major permanent disabilities and giving Jill the strength to be by my side. Suspected cause was the mechanical valve. After a few days I was transferred to Rehab; then I was granted a one day pass to come home on Christmas Eve to enjoy our family get together and returned to Rehab and completed rehab to be released December 28, 2011. Praise God. New Years Eve came along and I fell asleep before midnight, I still owe my wife a midnight kiss.
So here we are present day, I retired, April 1, 2013; after working 30 + years with the GA DOT, after several attempt’s at going back to work failed to satisfy my Stroke Doctor’s mind in returning me to work. Again God’s plan continued. My Wife was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer, she had a Lumpectomy and four times cleared the margins removing the Cancer, Then Chemo and Radiation Started. After her Chemo She went on to Radiation until Dec 28, 2013.
Now in the middle of Jill’s Radiation I was rushed to the ER in August, 2013. Transferred to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA, with a Heart Block, and a mechanical Aortic Valve spinning in place with every heart beat. First open heart surgery (OHS) to implant a Pacemaker, second OHS was to replace the detached Valve and repair damage, the inside of my Chest looked like Road Rash due to Acne Bacterial infection, which damaged my heart severally, not much hope was given to survive. Third surgery was to patch a hole in my heart, there were two other OHS to repair internal Bleeding. There was some difficulty in coming off the vent, but I made it, Praise God. I Survived with a Fresh start on Life caring for My Wife.
I am where I am Today because of His plan
Trust in the Lord to do mighty things don’t let your actions block the blessings God has in store for you!
I love reading about success stories. I am so happy that God has blessed you with each other too. God blessed me with mine in 2006, it only took me 50 years. He is the love of my life. He has CHF and I knew it when we married, but I told him that I would be happy with whatever time that he has left to be with me. He is the light of my life. I, also lost my mother in 2012, sorry to hear about your mom. He is 58 and I am 60. God really does know what He is doing. We are able to be at home together with my “forced retirement”. At first, I felt guilty, because I had always worked since I was 12. I was brought up that if I wanted something that I had to work for it. Now, God wants me to care for my husband, obviously because that is where I am, for now, and I love it. Not the part about him being sick but the part about having him to share my life. I have learned to “accept life on life’s terms”, and so I am content with whatever God has given me. God bless you, Sally
Thanks for your inspiring reply. We had a rough 2013, but plan to swing 2014 in the opposite direction. Hopefully, our task will be easy. You have a wonderful blog. I hope you are well. I am attempting to get in the habit of writing a little daily. I look forward to reading more from you and getting know you better. Thanks again for your reply! Barry and Jill B.
The Lord your God is mighty in your midst. God bless you! Just nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blog Award. You can pick it up on my blog. Keep the good work going.
Hi Barry! Thanks for following my blog! You have a very nice one here. I’m glad you have the light in your life. You seem like an awesome person! 😀
Thank you! He is pretty awesome! Jill
Hey thanks for the follow! Feel free to share your thoughts anytime. Peace!
I will definitely let you know. It may take a little while [not too long though] because I’m trying to catch up on reading blogs too.
You too! Have a great week!
I’m collecting testimonies on my blog. Can I add yours to it too? Here is the blog address. You can find “Testimonies” on a page across the top. I’m putting each persons testimony on a page by itself so I will stay up front.
Blessings to you,
I checked with Barry. He said that would be fine with him. Let us know when you have it together, we’d love to read it….Jill
It’s obvious you have learned to “Praise Him in the storm”. I pray that you are blessed continually with His abundant peace and joy and have beautiful 2013! God Bless!!
You too! Thank you!
He’s doing great!
It’s great that we serve a Great Physician!
Yes, it is!
I like that, “God likes me.” It’s always good to be reminded of what’s truly important. Thanks for sharing. I usually have good intentions of drawing close to God, but find it hard applying…
Thank you for your kind words!
Wow, what a testimony! May I ask what your biggest lessons are from all that you’ve endured over the years? What lessons do you treasure dearly?
I have learned that God loves me as i am But more important he likes me. And not to worry about what the world does, stay focus and seek to be close to God! not let pride get the best of me, and most of all slow down and be tuned in to God and wait for God to answer my prayers. don’t ask for God’s help and then go around and try to solve the problem.
I have more patience, and that God wants us to be close to him and he desires to be close to us
Amen! What a beautiful testimony. The Lord truly works in marvelous and mysterious ways to guide and protect us on our journey through life. I’m so glad the two of you get to travel the road together. 🙂
Me too! Still haven’t figured out what I did to deserve Barry!
Thank you for the kind words!
You’ve had an impressive few years. May the rest of your life be pleasantly peaceful and thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you! You too! Sorry it took me so long to respond!