Light The Way Home

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Took this photo of the kids to add to the wonderful #lightthenight for Tracey. 

I don’t quite know what to write tonight.

This whole ordeal has sent our family into a spin, but also united us like nothing I’d ever have anticipated. I’m staying at my brother’s place, where his beautiful wife and his not-bad-for-an-oldie MIL are keeping me in clean clothes and coffees. To add some perspective to that, they’re moving into their new house this week so they’ve been packing around me. But that didn’t stop them from welcoming 18 family members into their house last night as we rallied behind Tracey at the hospital.

My sister has even flown down from Cairns to help my parents with the kids, and Tracey’s parents have been juggling time with their grandkids with time with their daughter.

And then there’s Tracey’s sister, Belinda, who has stood with me most days in the ICU waiting room, and her husband, Jason, and their kids who have been with us every step of the way in distracting our kids and willing Tracey better.

Meanwhile, Master23 and his gorgeous girl, Charlotte, have taken time off work and come down from Gladstone, and Miss20 has flown over from Perth.

I love these guys. Every single one of them. And I needed them when I broke the news to the kids about how serious this whole situation is for our family in general, and their Mum in particular. I love how they react when someone in the family is hurting and needs their support. They rally.

Speaking of which, the support from the Gympie and BFLI community has been amazing. I’ve had so many messages I can’t possibly reply to them all, and my Facebook page is positively on fire with candles for Tracey.

And maybe it’s all working because either Tracey’s run of poor luck has finally bottomed out or this is the calm before the storm. Obviously, I’m hoping for the former.

Despite the hits which kept on coming, throughout the first couple of weeks of this ordeal I was able to maintain the positive attitude I knew my wife would have insisted on, but finally things deteriorated to a point where I gave my fears permission to run amuck. It wasn’t without a reason. We’d been prepared for the worst and expected to receive it.

Only two days later we still haven’t.

The surgeons trying so wonderfully to save Tracey’s life went in to look at her bowel today, to see how things have progressed. Such is our experience with this sort of procedure and the aftermath, we drove the kids home so we could deal with the emotions ourselves before giving free reign to theirs.

But they sort of, kind of, maybe had okay news.

“Things haven’t improved with her bowel,” we were told this afternoon, “but they haven’t gotten worse either.”

For those unfamiliar with ICU, that is what is known as A WIN!

In fact, the day before surgery was described to us by a member of the ICU team as, ‘her best day since she’s come in here.’ Which immediately made me suspicious of how today was going to play out – but in the end, both myself and Belinda did a little jig on the way down to the car. Things were stable and not worse. Perfect.

Although I immediately worried about this.

The whole time I was positive about how this would work out things spiralled faster and faster towards the ground, but the moment I thought it was all over red rover things calmed down a bit.

So I’m now trying not to be so upbeat about the good news. After all, we might need another 34 days of these, with a few maybe a little better, if Tracey is to have this licked.

Which is another difference today I’m really happy about – the doctors are talking about things further down the track than the next day.

“Her recovery might take six weeks or more,” they told us tonight. By way of example, a much better sentence than, ‘We’ve done the best we can but…’

The doctors have told us if she makes it she’ll be fed through a tube and will have bags and all sorts of stuff we don’t care about – the only bit we care about in that scenario is we’ll have her.

Although…

“I hope Mummy doesn’t need a wheelchair when she comes home,” Miss8 told us yesterday.

“Why?” I asked her, a little shocked by this. “I don’t think we’d care how she came home, so long as she does.”

“Yeah,” agreed Miss8, “but if she had a wheelchair I’d get jealous.”

Odd, but not as odd as a conversation I had with Tracey’s lovely grandma.

“Does Tracey like magpies?” she asked me.

“I don’t think that’s ever come up,” I said.

“It’s only there’s been a magpie hanging around these last two weeks and it left ‘a gift’ on my windowsill yesterday and so I haven’t washed it off.”

So for luck, as well as all the candles, there’s a also a bit of magpie shit on a windowsill on Southside.

I really can’t see how she can’t come through this now.

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“If your photo doesn’t turn out,” said my brother, “I took one too.”

~ ~ ~

Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.

75 Comments

  • Best. News. Ever!! Thank goodness!! Here’s hoping to many more good days and a lot less bad days. She’s definitely fighting for her beautiful family!! Thank you Bruce for finding the time to keep us updated. Big hugs for your lovely family xo

  • Wow great news so happy, l am still praying & thinking of you all every day, l have a candle on for all of you, you all have the nation behind you, small steps in the right direction, thank you for updating us Bruce.

  • Tears of joy!! We lit candles, we’ve been speaking of this wonderful strong woman, cooper has been meditating and picturing the rainbows and butterflies and healing energy reaching into Tracey every night when he goes to bed, wishing for a miracle, and people all over have been doing similarly. I reckon the strength of that wonderful woman, your families love for one another and the positive energy from so many others is working!!!
    Awesome!! Keep it up everybody and you’ll all be home and happy again before we know it!! ? GOOO team Devereaux!!!

  • I see you one shit on a windowsill and raise it to two shits on a Superman shirt… that was being worn by a three year old at the time. Getting shit on by a bird is meant to be lucky so I guess we’ll just share that Tracey’s way. Uh, but without the germs and bacteria and, well, crap, that it involves. Just the luck, that’s all you need, right?

  • I now have a new appreciation for “Magpie Shit”.
    We will take whatever “Shit” it takes to bring our Sleeping Beauty home?

  • We care so much and we hope so fervently Bruce for the same things as you.
    I’m also mightily impressed by your sense of humour, and your capacity to express it here in the face of adversity. You just keep doing what your doing, I think you’re doing a wonderful job.

  • Still walking alongside you and your family Bruce. I think you’re right….let’s take anything remotely postitive. You’re doing a great job.

    Come on Tracey……….

  • Thank you for the update! Keep the prayers going people for lovely Tracey to recover and go home. I’ve not stopped thinking about you and your family today, been worried and sad for the suffering you’re going through, hoping for exactly an update like this and at the same time hugging my kiddies and hubby closer. Xo

  • Prayers are with all of you at this time, you will not ever be alone at this difficult time. God bless each and everyone of you

  • Staying up all night at work, praying every minute for Tracey. Can’t light a candle here though, its a petrol station 😉

  • Stable is the best kind of word! Thank you for the update! I am not a practicing Christian, but I don’t think prayer can hurt, so I added Tracey and your family to my son’s night time prayer. He’s 7 and wanted to say that he’s going to keep you all in his thoughts today, but he is most upset for Miss3 because “She’s just a baby, Mom, and I really wish Australia wasn’t around the world, because I really want to give her a hug.”
    So lots of love and virtual hugs from,
    Marisa and Liam (PA,USA)

  • Wow
    Thank-you for the update so many of us tune in not knowing what to expect, so to hear this is awesome!
    Praying Tracey continues to recover and get stronger every day, stable is good news. It is neither up or down but half-way up!! ? ? ?
    Awesome so much family support and you only know half of the other support going on right now if you knew/lknow it would blow your mind!!!! ??

    Prayers and blessings Bruce, Tracey and family

  • I have thought of little more this week than yourself and your beautiful family, I am praying for a fairy tale ending when your sleeping beauty wakes up. I am glad to hear that things haven’t got worse, like you said take any positive, hold onto that hope, you are doing so well considering and Tracey what an amazing fighter xx

  • Thank you Bruce! And thank you higher power! This is fantastic! So strange isn’t it when I feel relieved and jubilant that someone so precious remains in an ‘unchanged’ state. Yet there it is. Hope. Real hope!

    I think we’ll all take that with immense gratitude.

  • yay go Tracey . One day at a time you show those doctors you can do this. I’m so happy to hear the doctors talk about her recovering wonderful news. You hit rock bottom no where to go but onwards and up. Wishing and hoping for your family constantly.

  • Hi Bruce- just learned of your situation last night and read most of your posts as my heart goes out to you and your children. You mentioned you are agnostic. I agree we will never really know the truth until we die, however I can’t deny the proof in my heart and my life that God loves me and so I believe. Would you dare to take a chance and invite God into this situation? Psalm 118.. Pushed to the wall, I called to God, from the wide open spaces, he answered. God is now at my side and I’m not afraid…
    I have asked God to give you the strength to continue to lead your family through this situation.

  • Yes yes yes! Cartwheels! The most amazing things can happen. Tracey is in the best hands at ICU, and that team will fight for her every chance.
    My Mum rescued a baby magpie and flew to Adelaide and left it waiting for me to look after. Such a spooky coincidence, as my car seat now has magpie poo on it. Magpie poo for the win!
    Belinda, thinking of you chickpea. X

  • Heres to all the prayers and good thoughts continuing to bring Tracey back to the lightness and brightness that is her wonderful family <3

  • Such great news Bruce understand taking a day at a time but I would be jigging too… Amazing what the power of people may be able to achieve …. Wishing and praying each day sees a little improvement for Tracey… I am with your Grandma I would leave the bird shit there too the candles will continue to burn x

  • Thank you so much for keeping us updated we as a community have gotten so involved and feel so sad and heart wrenched at what has been happening to you, Tracey and your beautiful family. We will all keep praying and lighting candles until your beautiful & strong wife comes home to us.

  • I go to your Facebook and here 10x or more per day. Each time I pray before the page completely loads. Get well sweet Tracey.

  • Oh Bruce. Six weeks into the future. Cling to those words. Keep fighting for her. We all are, whether on bended knees or happy thoughts. This photo so broke my heart, esp Miss 11. She looks so vulnerable here. Let the kids know that everyone misses them at school, and in each one of their classes I miss seeing a little Devereaux face. All my love and prayers xxx

  • Hang in there Bruce. Tracey’s illness has united so many strangers who have radiated so much love and best wishes. She will be going home to her wonderful family and friends. ;). Pam. Elk

  • A much better post than previous. I have pesky magpies that come into our garage and eat my cat’s food and they shit everywhere!
    I just filled her bowl up for them!

    Joolz xx

  • Oh Bruce, I do hope she gets well! Still praying to Saint Anthony the miracle-worker… I promised him something if Tracey gets well.
    All our love and thoughts and prayers,
    Suzanne

  • You have a wonderful family – even the non photographers – it made me laugh – I am so glad that there is no worsening!!!! We will keep praying and checking in!! Love and prayers from our family to yours xxxx

  • Loving prayers for Tracey this morning and your loving family. I have had some interesting convo’s with God the last few days. Answer to prayers, God is so good and loving to those who reach out.
    You and your family are doing an amazing job with coping.
    Will continue to light up my angel every night until Tracey is back home in the loving arms of her family.

  • We are all thinking of you and your family. Your blogs have brought me to tears. You don’t know us all personally, but you have always been such a positive person, always friendly and helpful whenever we saw you at the bank. I am sure I can say that you have every BOQ gympie customer thinking of you through these days. Best wishes to you and your family and we hope Tracey will be back with you soon.

  • I’m so glad you’ve had some positive news Bruce. I’ve been thinking of your family constantly and hoping you all get your miracle. I’m sure Tracey will be fighting as hard as possible to get back to you and the kids.

  • Oh Bruce, reading your blog this morning has made my day! As you said, this is a win in ICU terms! Yay!!!!!! My heart is smiling on the inside knowing that Trace is still fighting & that there is hope she’ll recover! Your family, Belinda & the Lawrence family are constantly in our thoughts. The whole of Gympie is hoping & praying that she’ll wake soon & come home to her beautiful family xox

  • Thank you Bruce. You are amazing. God is giving us all the miracle we have been praying for. Thank you, thank you, thank you God. One day at a time now. We won’t stop the prayers for this miracle and soon it will be prayers of gratitude. So happy to hear the kids have been close by. I truly believe their presence will help Tracey. Keep up the great job you are doing Bruce. You are amazing!

  • My thoughts are with your beautiful wife, you and your children Bruce. With the support you have from your wonderful and loving family, things can only get better. Sending you positive energy,.

  • Tears & prayers for Tracey, you & all of your families. Sending you strength, love & light, from our family to you & yours. And blessings to the head of ICU for giving Tracey another chance.

  • Thank-you so much Bruce for sharing your journey with us all. For your family and friends, especially you and the children and Tracey I am praying most fervently. I too, have walked that path of fear, needing an emergency bowel resection. It hit me just like it hit Tracey, but I was in a restaurant when I keeled over and knew something was drastically wrong. I’ve just got back to work after another episode a few weeks ago. The Doctors and staff at both hospitals, I learnt to call my Guardian Angels. The prayers of my Family and friends, I believed were paramount in bringing me home. I was treated conservatively this time and so far, I’m on the mend. Frighteningly,the fact is that it can sneak up any time and reoccur. But I live for now.

    I can’t just go without telling you of my experience in the ICU Unit. It was 2010, forsaken and abandoned, at that time by family and friends and after many surgeries on my knee, looking as though the choices I had was to lose my knee or save my life. The caring Doctors were pessimistic but sometimes optimistic. I felt as though I was on a never ending roller coaster ride that was speeding out of control and getting ready to derail at any given time. I, myself, after six weeks and five surgeries had lost all hope and my faith was severely tested. With nowhere to go and a dismal future to face on my own, my God reached me where I was. Alone, behind a curtain, waiting for a PICC line insertion and with tears flooding down my face. As I saw the the curtains draw, expecting to see a Doctor, I shook my head as if to wake myself up. This tiny, deformed man, in a self propelled wheelchair was sitting beside my bed staring quizzically up at me. I said not a word until he turned and pointed to the huge sign above the Nurses’ Station. He said, in a quirky but friendly, little voice, “Do you see that sign out there,” pointing to the huge letters which said ‘ICU’ Unit above the Nurses’ Station. I nodded almost in disbelief that this stranger had pushed behind my curtains and was now speaking to me. Who was he, where did he come from. Perhaps he’d been visiting someone in another cubicle was my thought. His voice became more insistent, wanting me to answer what I thought was a rhetorical question. “Can you see what it says” once more he insisted. Hesitantly I replied. “Yes” I said. “Well what does it say?” he continued. Ever so softly and slowly I said the letters out loud, “ICU.” “Yes” he said,”And I’ve come here today to tell you that you have a God in Heaven, and He is the Great Physician and He is looking down on you and He is telling you, ‘I.C.U’ and He will be with you always and you are going to be OK!” With tears streaming down my tired and stress-worn face I turned my head to wipe them on the pillow. Then I opened my eyes and he was gone, my curtains drawn around me and nowhere to be seen. I asked the nurse when she came in, not a minute later, where this Rumpelstiltskin looking little man in the wheelchair went to. She looked at me quite perplexed. “There’s been no man in a wheelchair in here! and I’ve been here all morning!”was her reply. So today, I’ll light a candle for Tracey, to help guide her home to you and your precious family. Remember, come what may, God is saying to you today,’I.C.U’. God Bless.

  • Stable is awesome! Glad she’s holding in there for you all. I hope she pulls through this! 6 weeks is nothing in the time and space of your whole life together ???

  • I don’t even read your blog regularly but can’t help but she’d tears for your situation and prayers for Tracey’s recovery. You’ve touched so many people and we all want the miraculous outcome for you all. Thank you for taking the time to share progress reports. I keep finding myself scouring facebook for updates, praying fervently that you still have her.

  • Finally a blog that didn’t leave me feeling like crying. You bought a smile to my face a couple of times with this blog. I feel like a big relief has come over me even though I know Tracy isn’t anywhere near out of the woods yet. I do so hope tomorrow is even better for you all.

  • I’m not really the praying kind but I’ll still send up a few words just in case. I’m so glad for your ‘win’. I very much hope there are more wins to come. xxxx

  • I wish you both and your family all the best. Having grown up in Gympie and knowing both of you I pray things go your way.
    It’s wonderful seeing the amazing journey you guys have taken from first moments of dating to what you have now. True love is hard to find.
    From my family to yours we watch and wait with you. X o x o

  • I ve been praying for Tracey and you all since last night. I asked for mercy and grace that this beautiful mummy might come home to her husband and children. I prayed for angels to surround her bedside and protect her from anything else going wrong. I prayed for healing. Thinking of you all and continuing to pray! Chrissy

  • I’ve been afraid to check your blog to see bad news but someone told me things are looking up for your beautiful wife. I can just feel how much you love her in every sentence and word you write. When she comes home I’m sure she will love to read your entries and feel that love just as I did <3

  • Bruce – the old family at Simple Savings are all behind you with hopes, prayers and well wishes for Tracey to pull through! i have been reading your blogs since they were on SS and then here, you are an annoyingly funny husband and father whose take on parenting leaves alot to the imagination, except how much you love your family, and that shines through, maybe in bucketloads of magpie shit!!!
    May you continue to see Tracey’s health improve and see those gorgeous children smile for their mummy

  • This is awesome news! It might take time, but at least there is some hope. We are all hoping and praying for you and Tracey. You’ve done a phenomenal job so far

  • I held my breath all the way through until I read the word recovery. Hold onto that one word and DO NOT let it go. The medical team facilitate mircacles but Tracey will make it happen. I said before, all hands on her. Hands heal, it why people say love and light. All hands on deck.

  • So desperately hoping Tracy gets stronger and stronger in her
    battle with the bowel. So happy today was a little brighter for
    you all. Praying hard. Following your journey with great hope.
    Keep up the good work Bruce and extended Family. You are all
    awesome. Good Luck.

  • No words. I just feel your pain. Having done the icu cha cha with my dad, and faced the awful outcome, I am full of grief and worry for you and your beautiful family. C’mon Tracey! Get thru this and give your hubby what for for that terrible hsir combing 😉 sending all my healing prayers. X

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