Sam’s medical status:  I’m here in Bethesda with Sam and Erin for a week.  Last night after flying in, I went with Erin to see Sam for the first time since the IED got him in Iraq.  Besides a few tubes going in and out of his body, he looks wonderful.  It’s hard to believe that he’s just not sleeping.  He still has a slight fever and Erin mentioned a slight case of pneumonia.  I noticed when the nurse was drawing blood, after poking him with a needle, both his legs twitched.  So, I’m thinking that is the brain telling the body that something just poked him. 

thanksgiving 2006 at mom's house

Things to be grateful for:  I was driving to a wedding the other day with a friend and we were talking about people never being satisfied or appreciating what they have.  Someone with a nice Honda sedan being frustrated because they really want to be driving an Audi or BMW.  So their mind isn’t thinking about being grateful for the great dependable transportation they have and instead they concentrate on the fact that they don’t have what they really want.  They end up wasting all their energy on thinking about what they don’t have instead of being grateful for what they do have!

As we were putting on our gowns and mask before entering the room to be with Sam last evening (he has to be cleared to insure he hasn’t brought back anything from Iraq that he could pass on to us…hence the reason for the gowns and mask even after he’s been moved out of ICU) an older gentleman walked by pushing his son.  I’m not sure of the extent of his injuries, but he was wearing a medical helmet and did not look at all well.  The Marine in the room next to Sam is permanently blind in one eye and only has about a 5 percent chance of ever seeing in his other eye.  And then there are the email’s I’ve received from the families of the other Marines who died in the same IED explosion.  These families are in a painful place that I can’t even imagine—but they are offering their support and prayers for Sam to recover.  I humbly thank them for their selflessness in thinking of our family and praying for Sam—and I pray for their hearts to heal. 

The picture in today’s blog is of my mother, my niece Trisha, Erin, Sam and my wife at our Thanksgiving dinner last year at my mother’s house.  It was the first time Sam could make a Thanksgiving dinner since joining the Marines. 

When you sit down to dinner, be grateful for your family, your health, and for the troops who have given their lives for the comforts we take for granted everyday. 

Meeting with the doctor:  Erin is going to meet with her doctor (the one in charge of Sam’s total care) and a social worker today at 3:30 PM.  I believe they will be talking about long term care for Sam after he leaves Bethesda.  I’ll hopefully have some information about that meeting in tomorrow’s blog entry. 


10 Responses to Gratefulness

  1. My prayers and thoughts will be with Erin today as she meets with Sam’s doctor and the social worker. This will not be an easy meeting. Love surrounds you, Erin; let the Holy Spirit envelope you and make you strong.

    Dear Lord, please hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them, Father, as they protect us. When they are tired, give them strength and rest. If they are wounded, Father, give them comfort. When they are lonely, may they feel you near them. Grant them strength, courage, and wisdom for their tasks. And, Lord, uplift and strengthen the families and loved ones who wait for their return. Please, Father, bring a quick end to all this conflict. I pray in the name of Jesus, our Saviour. Amen.

  2. Carol Calloway says:

    Sam and all the Military who have been wounded in this war are in my prayers. They may live but in what condition. It is not easy for some of them to survive because of the buddies who didn’t and because they aren’t the same ever again.

    Lord, for all those who are wounded and suffering because of their injuries, hold them in your arms during their pain and suffering. Let them feel your love which is always with them and ease their pain, physical and emotional, for at least a little while.

    And, please, heal all of them.


    God bless you, Sam.

  3. Robin Sutcliffe says:

    Hello and many prayers from Kentucky. I am the sister-in-law of Lindsay Christensen Morrow and heard of your family’s sorrow from her. I met Erin at Chris and Lindsay’s wedding and know of her deep love for her husband and friend, Sam. The strength of their love for one anther and faith in God is sure to bring them peace.

    I can not imagine the pain your family is going through and am overcome by tears and emotion for that pain as I am writing this message to you. I will keep Sam in my prayers, as that is the greatest thing anyone can do for you at this overwhelming time.

    Please know that Sam has respect and gratitude from so many people who don’t even know him for willingness to serve our country.

  4. ARP says:

    I look forward to coming to this site everyday and right before it loads 100%, I’ve noticed I hold my breath that I will be reading just a little bit more of good news. Slowly but surely, wins the race huh? I’m glad you are able to be in Maryland this week! I’m sure that’s a big blessing for Erin. As always, I’m praying for his recovery and I’ve thought about how he’s going to feel once he is able to read everything that you have said about him, what some of these comments say about him and just to know how many people are really cheering for him! Good luck this week! 🙂

  5. ARP, you said it! I, too, hold my breath. Love and prayers to the Neria and Nichols families during this time.

  6. Tony…I really appreciate your blog entry for today; I recently wrote an article on my personal blog site, even before I heard of Sam’s injuries. It seems that one day, I was thinking of how blessed we really are, and how that my petty griping about trivial things was shameful, and I wrote “Are You Thankful???How Thankful Are You???”

    It focuses on some of the warriors who have been injured in Iraq, and how blessed we all are because of their sacrifices.

    While our son David was in Iraq, God gave me this scripture from Psalms 18

    “The Lord is My Rock and My Fortress, My Deliverer, My God My Strength, in Whom I will Trust; My Buckler and the Horn of My Salvation, and My High Tower” We prayed that Psalms time and time again for him; we did not realize that over his bunk (at FOB Warhorse) on the wall, someone had written in black marker “The Lord is My Rock”

    Several weeks after David had come home; he and his girlfriend Ashley were sitting in our living room, with us, watching the movie “Facing the Giants”; in the middle of the movie, the main actor was praying to God, and reading that same verse! What a confirmation!

    Faith over-rules Fact is your motto; Romans says that we are “more than conquerors”!
    keep the Faith!

    I will check back in tomorrow!

  7. Uncle David and Aunt Cari says:

    Hi Erin and Sam,

    The blog made me think of our holidays out in Clarksburg and how cute you two are together. We are looking forward to the next one.

    All our Love & Prayers, Aunt Cari and Uncle David

  8. Holly Markiewicz says:

    Sam and Erin we love you both very much. Victor and I are so glad we were able to come visit with you at the hospital yesterday. I haven’t stopped thinking about our visit. Seeing Sam left me with a peace that God is in control and working in his own time. My faith has been renewed and my prayers are more true. Erin you simply amaze me. I was touched by what I saw. You are holding so strong and your love for Sam is so pure. You both are in our thoughts and prayers. We hope to see you again soon. Love, Holly and Victor Markiewicz

  9. Bear says:

    God Bless Sam and all you wonderful folks.

    40-year AF retiree

  10. Bobbie Toyne says:

    My prayers are with all of you…The family picture is beautiful…Love and prayers, Bobbie

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