4 Years ago…

God is good all the time and all the time God is really good. This Thursday, February 21, we will start hear 4 of “God’s Journey”. I say “God’s Journey” because Dave and I have much different plans for our “Once upon a time and they lived happily ever after journey. “Be patient! God knows what He is doing. God know what is best for us. He can see the end result, we can not. All the problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays – all the things that make us ask “WHY” one day will be cleared in the light of God’s love.(Rick Warren). Those have been some hard words to swallow. Alot of friends have called to say that Dave has been idle on his “computer therapy” lately, but we have been gone since May and came back the end of December, JR, Heather, Little Milo and our new grandchild we had yet to see Baby Lennon came in from England and Kasey and Matt came in from Fl so re-adjusting to our home and processing our family was a lot for him. He was very tired, cried a lot and was scared so it has taken quite the time to re-adjust. sometimes it is hard to believe that just 3’years ago we were on top of the world, just spent 5 weeks traveling to FL for our son in law’s ordination and then on to Hawaii for the birth of our 1st grandchild Milo. Dave and I met in Hawaii some 43 years ago, never dreaming that our son would live there, let alone our grandchild would be born there, Dave was the happiest “pop pop” ever. Then we came home February 15 and 6 days later our world was turned upside down. Dave was in a coma and the doctors were telling me to call my children home because he would not make it I still can remember them saying that just like it was yesterday. The type of stroke he suffered is very rare and so far no one has lived past the coma stage, in fact we were sent to check out nursing homes for him to finish our his days.
Jonah 2:7 “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord”. To endure the unendurable you must see the invisible – Jesus.(Rick Warren). Back in 1970 when I met Dave in Hawaii, he wrote me a song “Life is more than just troubles”, my daddy was going off to Vietnam again, he was going to miss my 16th birthday, my senior 
prom and my high school graduation, and in the song he wrote “Life is means more that just troubles, love means more than no worries, happiness is more than together if you will only follow me. When our road comes to an end that’s when our love just begins and all around will be so still, then you will see Love can be real if you just give me the chance to show you life is more than just troubles”. I have the song framed so I can see it everyday and thru it all he still shows me “Life is more than just troubles”. Doctors are still amazed at what he can do because there is nothing in a textbook to help them. The past 3 years have been tuff, 5 floods, at which during 2 different ones, I was crying ( adding to the water problems) and nine months apart I tripped over his wheelchair and broke the same ankle. Jeremiah 30:17 “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord”. We have many “misfires” some that have put him in the hospital, others we have had to just work thru, not always easy, had to call upon many neighbors to help us get thru them. Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affection, faithful in prayer”. He rarely says more than 10 to 15 words a day, down on GA we did get more but almost everyday he wants to go to work,be it the Police Dept, Code Enforcement or he still thinks he has his construction company, some days by the end of the day I am ready to take him to a job. He can not process the past. He still sleeps some days 18 to 20 hours, but he can not make himself to wake up. Those days are hard and scare me, they are the lonely times. Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. We have had a major set back when I had an accident and he witnessed it. a couple days later he was the diagnosed with PTSS. He was once again hospitalized and a big set back that once again changed our lives. I will be honest I do get mad at God very mad, I question why he did this to a man that loved the Lord with all his heart and made a difference in many lives. I read Susan Gregory “Daniel Fast” 1Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”. Dave still have a great deal of trouble socializing with people, he can not process a lot going on around him. He still cries everyday. He can not understand that tv is not real and we are, so if he has popcorn or something to eat he wants to know how those on tv will react or are they hungry. He has a lot of child like actions. I have to always remind him to brush his teeth, shave and shower, to eat and drink. He does not know what to eat except he would eat Subway everyday if he could. there were times that he did not remember me and that is a hard one for me. There have been times that he has wanted to go up and ask another woman for a date. Everything he is learning he has to learn thru repeating things over and over again. He has to be retaught everyday how to us the remote control or the phone. One of the hardest things is just looking at him and sometimes his eyes are so empty and it is hard to understand once again why God why. I have my tears and remember Psalms 31:24 “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord”. There are days he does not remember how to dress himself and I really have to stop and live on faith, that is sometimes very difficult. Hebrews 11:1″Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see”. I have to say that one several times a day.
Dr. Charles Stanley says “Circumstances can be painful but even when situations seem overwhelming, believers can trust that our sovereign Lord knows all, He is in control and lovingly works everything for His children’s good. we can rest confidently knowing that the unchanging God of all creation is taking care of us”. FAITH FAITH sometimes is all I have to get thru the day. God has put many trials may way, I have to and still having to make decisions and I am not good at that. I keep saying what if one day God just says Dave you are healed and he starts looking for his construction equipment, what about his construction license, they are hard to get if you let them lapse. I have had the things breakdown, but Dave could fix it. I am learning, who knew that water was in the hose hooked to he washer even if you were not using the washer – hello I learned at 1:30am when I got up and walked in the kitchen and heard a “water fountain” sound and flooded the laundryroom, bathroom and half the kitchen. So during the crying and WHY LORD WHY ME I am moving furniture out on the deck at 1:30 in the morning, Lord how much more, then wow one more trial I backed out of the garage with the door down – yes crying then really crying.
Once again I needed the words at the right time to keep my faith, in “Daniel Fast” Susan Gregory writes that TRIALS are a part of life and in the grand plan of life it is just a season. I would never wish my trials or Dave’s stroke upon anyone. Our family, friends and especially our children have been priceless helping me get thru to TRUST in God and His faithfulness when I didn’t even TRUST myself. God defines victory, NOT US.
1Peter 1:7 says that the result of our trials may resulting. Praise, Glory, and honor when Christ is revealed – that is Victory in Christ, TRUST in the Lord who always win. The old Dave taught our children a 
special gift, he gave them unconditional love, taught them to have a sense of duty, gave them a reason to keep working hard and share God’s plan of salvation. Dave is the breathe of fresh air even during the time of “just existing”. He does not laugh much, he may ask you if you are saved, or where Heaven is and sometimes even ask if you can help get a job. And then finally he will ask you if you need him to help you with anything.
We have placed Dave into the hands of God. We remain faithful in trusting the Lord, we know that He is in control and He is good all the time, and all the time God is good. The last few weeks I will admit that I have looked out the window a lot and seen our neighbors coming and going and I WANT THEIR LIFE, I see couples talking to each other and I want that, I want Dave to hold my hand, I want Dave to drive me somewhere I want I want I want but then James 1:2-3 says we should consider it a great joy whenever we experience various trials knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurances. We are choosing to consider our trials as a great joy, our trials as a blessing because it reminds is that we need God everyday and everyday and consider our trials as an opportunity to bring GLORY to God. I hope soon Dave will be back on the “computer therapy” we will be leaving soon to go to FL for the birth of our 3rd grandchild, this will be our daughter Kasey’s baby, the one the Dave wanted her to have a baby because she is 36 and he said that she is only getting too old, but we will be there for Baby Windsor Grace’s arrival. Since his happiest day Jan. 19th becoming a grandfather for the 1st time, He now has 3 little girls. He does not connect with them yet but we will praise God in every situation. Dave has made me who I am today, he still has a heart of gold and tells me he loves me everyday. Our ONCE UPON A TIME starts every morning and goes minute to minute, and Our HAPPILY EVER AFTER ends every night when we pray together and thank God for His love, mercy, and beautiful grace, and for being our rock and strength to make it to our next ONCE UPON A TIME the next day.
Thank you all for praying that God gives us that peace that passes all understanding, and for the Lord carrying us thru the storm – it is so much better than walking by ourselves. 
Love Kim and Dave Booker.

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To Have and To Hold from this day forward, for Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and in Health to LOVE and to CHERISH till death us do part.

“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.” Happy 40th anniversary Dave. When I typed those words I remember we can do this, it was like some of these words only happen to older married people not so hard to even think about them. you are the smartest man in the world, can learn faster than anyone and I could cook and clean so woo WE HAD IT MADE. Big dreams, a lifetime of big happy dreams. I have learned that the other words may change our dreams but the words TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH will never. “Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness”. Proverbs 14:22.
Wow 40 years and we are still young. We have been in a ruff patch for about a month so was not very sure if Dave would know what the ANNIVERSARY was He did (God is Good ALL the TIME.) He was upset because he first said I don’t have a job to buy you something and I can not drive a car to take you on a date, please help me he said. If ever I need you Lord please help us find Comfort for Dave. “The Lord your God is WITH you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with SINGING. Zephaniah 3:17. After many tears and telling him we will celebrate different, just a trip down wedding memory and of course his favorite – his subway sandwich – great gifts start now —- I told him our life is so full fuller than any ocean is deep higher than any mountain and rich – richer than all the money in the world because we have memories priceless beautiful memories and he does not have to drive anywhere, they were all over the house, our faces and in our hearts. Praise you Lord. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity”. Proverbs 3:1-2. That is what we have built our memories on, so hear are some of Dave’s gifts to me. As you know I adore Dave singing more than ever now because it is a way to communicate on some days. Songs have always played a big part in our lives, maybe you don’t know but Dave had a band called Indigo Deep in Hawaii, that is how he paid for his college, then he was Associate Choir man, and that is where I come into his
Life – no never as a singer but his best fan. June 1970 my daddy had dropped off our family in Hawaii to live while he went to Vietnam. Dave came visiting and inviting at the time there were six teenage girls at our house. He was asking us to come to
youth choir. He was starring at this blonde learning to play the ukulele (that would be me). He said if I came to choir that he would teach me to play Welcome To My World by the time my daddy came back from war 13 months I am a slow learner and I had to join choir. Well my daddy came home and Welcome to My World and Dave Booker were both hits. We went on to use that song in our wedding. Heather & JR brought me a new ukulele Dave got the uke out and did a great job with it. together we were able to remember the words to a beautiful song Tears were on, I had not really realized how beautiful and fitting that song really was until now “Welcome to my world won’t you come on in, Miracles still happen every now and then. Step into my heart, leave your cares behind Welcome to My World built with you in mind. knock and the door will open, seek and you will find, ask and
you’ll be given the key to this world of mine. I’ll be waiting here with my arms unfurled waiting just for you. Welcome To My
World. then a few ore oaths down the road in Hawaii, my sr class song was “We’ve only just begun”. He tried to play some of it on the keyboard still just makes y heart skip a beat, he remembered “We’ve only just begun to live, white lace and promises a kiss for luck and we’re on our way, We’ve only just begun, before the rising sun we fly, so many roads to choose, we start out walking and learn to run, sharing horizons that are new to us watching the signs along the way, talking it over just the two of us—working together day to day together together. And when the evening comes, we smile – so much of life ahead, we’ll find a place – We’ve only just begun. Wow 42 years ago and the song reminds of places we went, food we ate and how if we got married
that is our song Yep. Dave you give the most beautiful presents. “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another, amen. John 1:16. As our journey continues he remembers one more song that he wrote to me when my daddy had to go back to Vietnam- called Life Is More Than Just Troubles”. he said that it would make him upset because he misses my daddy, so the song now hangs proudly in the den. ” You understand. o Lord; remember me and care for me. Jeremiah 15:15. Then Then there was the day in 1971 that Dave and I went to see Don Ho and he helped tom put me on stage as I became “Tiny Bubbles”
Don Ho sang to me, now we have a precious granddaughter that calls me BUBBLES (we dropped the Tiny) Dave smiles and cried when
thinking of another song. In 1978 before Kasey was born we went thru 1000 of names and nothing just hit us so one Sunday afternoon we went to the movie “You Light Of My Life” at the end of the movie credits was a name Kasey, she was the girl who actually sang the title song in the movie and we had a name for our new STAR. KASEY, An what an honor, “You Light Up My Life” was played at Kasey’s wedding in 2009. (Thank you Bob the DJ man). “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3John 1:4. Kasey has always been able to light up our lives. Dave is getting tired but is still looking at photos. Can you help me with JR name? Ready! it was the season of WHO SHOT JR and Dave was#1 fan, if we have a boy (this is 1982) JR it is –well JR it was, but the theme song for Dallas was just a music score and nothing more. Three days before having JR Dave and I went to a Captain & Tennille and they played Muskrat Love – over and over we sang about Muskrat Suzie
and Muskrat Sammy, how they did the jitterbug out, and they whirled and they twirled and they tangled singing and gigglgling in Muskrat Love, Dave and I laughed and when we got home we had no way of tying JR EWING to Muskrat Love, so JR Is John (for my daddy) Robert (for Dave’s daddy)and Muskrat Love was just sung to JR to get him to wiggle and giggle and make our hearts go potter patter, sorry JR. We did no use this song at JR’s wedding but Dave did sing it to me and we “laughed” “Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:4. Dave is trying to sing the song that Kasey and JR sang all the way out west and back east from the Little Mermaid, he is chopping the heads off and smiles at you JR, you know the picture. Well Dave thru the tears today I want to thank you for telling me how you like our “Wall of Gifts” and for my trip down memory lane, my first hand wrote Anniversary card and God knew then what He knows now, You wrote God send you enough JOY to keep your heart singing….God send you enough SORROW to make you understand…. God send you enough
HOPE to enrich your life…. God send you enough TRIALS to keep you strong…… god send you enough LEISURE to refresh your spirits…… God send you enough LOVE to make the world more beautiful…. I consider it the greatest honor to be loved by you, for all those times you stood by me, for all the truths that you made me see for all the joy you brought to my life for every dream you made come true for all the LOVE I have for you and for always making God 1st in our lives, you are everything still to me. “For I know then plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GREAT. Thank you all for your love hugs telephone calls and most of all for your prayers and giving God the Glory.
sing a song today for a special someone.
Your Family love Dave & Kim (working on 41)

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Update #57: A new hope and an answered prayer.

This blog update has been one in the making for the last couple of weeks, and I’m excited to finally share it! I can’t believe its been 7 months since the last update and that was the year anniversary of Dad’s stroke. Up until about 3-4 weeks ago, not much had changed with Dad. He would have moments where he would recognize he had had a stroke and would ask a lot of questions and know what was going on, but that would fade within a day or so. Looking back, its interesting to see how God protected my heart and mind in not getting too excited during those moments. It’s one thing to get excited that he is having “break-throughs” but, its another to bank on those “break-through moments” and think that the major, vital part of his brain reconnected and that he is completely healed. Although we did celebrate those “break-through moments” even if temporary, we still trust that God is in control and is working in our family’s life through this journey.

In July, I had the opportunity to go home for a quick visit and during that time, I was able to attend one of Dad’s doctor’s appointments with his neurologist. It was a very somber day. Dad was anxious and very emotional, while Mom and Nana and Papaw tried so hard to stay focused and remain calm. It was during this appointment that the neurologist shared that Dad continues to look great but, we had come to the point where he (the doctor) had done all he can do. He suggested the next step would be for my Mom take Dad to see a psychiatrist for the behavioral problems (ie. side effects: crying, anxiety). This was very disheartening to us all. The last thing we wanted was to take Daddy to another doctor to be prescribed a pill for his emotions. I just don’t understand why no one can guide us to a place where Dad can receive any kind of cognitive therapy. Why was this such a hard thing to find? I felt so defeated that day…I can only imagine what my family feels like on a day to day basis.

A while back, my brother JR received information via facebook from a friend whose father had suffered a stroke a couple years ago. She shared that her dad was going to a place called the Learning Connection in Memphis and that it had been very helpful to him and their family and encouraged JR (Mom/Dad) to check it out. At the end of July, JR, Heather and Milo were in TN visiting, so JR actually made the phone call to see about getting Dad an appointment. I believe initially they were booked and would not be able to see Dad till mid-September, but then as God would have it, a door was opened and he was able get an appointment that very week. The family met with the doctor and she explained that they would do several evaluations with Dad to see where he was mentally and the capacity Dad’s brain had to focus and retain information. She also explained that the cognitive therapy she does is with a computer. After running a series of tests to see Dad’s abilities, this would tell us which program Dad would need to begin for his therapy. The doctor also shared with Mom, Nana and Papaw how to talk to Dad. She said that because Dad struggles with short-term memory and processing, that they should try not to ask him direct questions. Dad has a difficult time processing the first portion of the question that the ability to understand the last part of the question and process it in order to answer that question was a major task for him. This explains, why he doesn’t really respond to much or in much detail when we ask him questions. Thankfully, this wonderful doctor has been able to coach the family in how to talk to Dad and this has been a huge help. This is a real, major break-through for our entire family!

Dad has been in the program for about 3 1/2 weeks now and Mom can already see an improvement. He does his computer therapy every week- four to five days a week for one hour. He has one-on-one sessions with the doctor three times a week for an additional hour. During this time, she evaluates his computer work and does classroom work with him. Dad also has homework he has to do every night, so as you can imagine- these are big changes for Dad (and the rest of the family). He is doing really well though. The first part of Dad’s program focuses on the hearing and processing of learning. As Mom and Dad met with the doctor today, she shared how well Dad is doing. When it comes to retaining a series of numbers, Dad is already up to recalling 3-4 series of numbers at a time. He was not able to do this before. The doctor encouraged Mom and said he is doing really well and can tell that Dad is working hard. When you ask him what he thinks of his new computer therapy, he usually answers that question by asking if he can just go back to work and drive his car. I tried to explain to him that if he does really well with his therapy program and does everything he should do, he might find that he will be able to do more in time. I also explained that this is his job right now…going to school! It’s like going to college all over again, but he gets to live at home with Mom.

The greatest thing to come from this program is the guidance the doctor has been able to provide our family. She is able to direct our family in how to approach things with Dad so that he can understand us and vice versa. This is a MAJOR answer to prayer! Now, Dad is still very quiet, he still does not say very much, but he is now in a program that will help continue to bring healing and live life to the fullest. I shared with my family that if this program is only able to teach him how to have conversations and understand us when we talk, then thats a WIN. I’m happy with that. I want my Mom to have her husband, her best friend, someone she can talk to. I want my Dad to understand me when I call him on the phone…those are the things that I pray for. I hope this program will help Dad to get to a place where he can understand again.

We are so incredibly thankful for this new hope that we have received and we praise God for answering our prayers. Its amazing to hear the excitement in my Mom’s voice, the joy my Nana has and the additional words Dad will give me on the phone…oh its the the little things in life that will bring a smile to my face, and give me the assurance that God is still in control and He is still working in my family’s life!

Specific ways to pray for Dad:
* Please pray that as he continues in his therapy program, his brain will continue to show signs of healing and progress will be made with the “hearing/processing” portion of therapy so he can move forward.
* Pray for the team of doctors & teachers in the program that they would be encouraged and given wisdom as they work with Dad and the other patients.
* Pray our family would continue to be patient and strengthened during this new stage of healing.
* Pray that the disability would come through and the financial aspect would be covered for Dad to continue in this program as long as he needs it.
* Please pray that God would continue to be glorified EACH step of the way through the journey He has our family on.

Thank you again for your prayers, love & support.

Kasey

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Update #56: A year ago today…

A year ago today our lives changed forever. I will never forget, I had gone to work at Give Kids the World and received a phone call from my mom who was crying. As she cried, she explained how she called 911 and how an ambulance had come to take Dad to the hospital. My Dad had gotten sick over the weekend. We all thought he had the flu; little did we know this flu turned pnuemonia would cause a mid-brain thalamus stroke that would forever leave our worlds different and our faiths deepened.

Just the day before, my pastor had preached a sermom entitled “Are You Desperate For God”- wow, how this would be the theme for my life every day thereafter. For many of you, you have walked this journey with our family. You have prayed for us, cried with us, and served us in ways we can’t even begin to express our gratitude. You have made meals, cut our lawn, sent cards, facebook messages, blessed us with gifts and the list goes on and on. We would not be where we are today without your love and support!

Just as doctors promised, it has been a long road this past year. We have had good days, bad days, steps forward, and a few steps back, but continue to be amazed at what God is doing in Dad’s life every day. I’ve been blessed to have my family here with us today. For the last week, my Mom, Dad, Nana and Papaw have been visiting me and my husband in Orlando. It has been a really sweet time together and hopefully a relaxing time for my family. It has also been an emotional time. It’s hard to sit with Dad and try and get him to say more than 3 words. It’s hard to see him so confused at times. I don’t understand how he can remember a police story from 20+ years ago, or remember something that happened earlier in the day, but will be amazed at light switches or ask if he is eating something correctly. It just doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t talk much at all. In fact, if he says more than a total of 20 minutes a day, that is an accomplishment. Besides crying, he shows little emotion. This is also hard. I miss Dad’s laugh and his over-the-top cheesey ideas that JR and I used to make fun of all the time. For the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about “at this time last year…we were all in Hawaii or all the different memories I had before February 21, 2011.

Things are much different now. Life is much different. I know that God is still in control. I know that God is still sitting on His throne, hearing and answering our prayers. I know that even though Dad has no words and I sit so incredibly confused when looking at this life—this by no means confuses God or gives Him a loss for words. For whatever reason, my Father in Heaven answered our desperate prayers last year on this day and allowed Dad to survive his stroke. He also proved countless doctors and medical science wrong when they said he’d never survive. He would never walk, talk or be able to live at home with Mom. As we have all said a million times this last year, my Daddy is a miracle. And many times, just like today, I have to remind myself that this miracle is not complete yet. God still has work to do. (I’m very impatient, I wish He would just snap his fingers and heal Dad instantly–He hasn’t decided to do that, so I must continue to trust that He will give me and my family the grace to endure, until He does decide to heal him completely.) There is a reason why we still have him here with us. Each day I try and encourage my family on the “what we haves” not the “what we don’t haves”….and seeing first hand the challenges my mom and grandparents go through on a daily basis—this can be very hard at times. But, we serve a big God, and I know that He still hears our prayers. I know that God is using this time, even now for His glory. I know that given the opportunity if God were to ask my Dad if he can be used to radically change someone’s life for God’s glory- Dad would respond with the BIGGEST smile, “let’s do it!”. I also see more and more each day that this is not our final home. I see what is important and what is not. I see that so much of life is just a distraction.

This past Sunday, my pastor preached a different sermon. He asked “what MIRACLE do you need in your life”? Ask God for the impossible. Believe God for the impossible. My family was at church and we all heard that message…I think we are all asking for the same miracle…for God to do the impossible and bring complete healing to Dad. In the meantime, we are praying for the grace to get through each day that He does give us.

Before I close, I do want to say thank you again to everyone who has reached out and extended love to our family. It’s difficult to thank every one individually because we are just so overwhelmed by your love. Please know that from the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate and love each one of you. To our FBC Millington church family- you have continued to display God’s love and kindness to our family and we are truly grateful. To Don Edgerly and the boys from the youth group that came out to the house last month to do some clean up and visit with my Dad- that made his day! To Mr. Carter Hooker who picks my Dad up each week to go to prayer breakfast—thank you! To my Mom’s Sundays School class, her friends, the choir and so many other friends who offer a smile, a hand shake and a silent prayer- thank you. To our neighbors who continue to come over and check on Mom & Dad, cut the grass and send cards- thank you! To our Facebook friends and family all over the world—you brighten our days with your messages and words of encouragement! (Keep it coming- you never know how much it can change a bad day!) To my immediate friends and family who barely know my parents who continue to reach out and show love—you are such a blessing. On behalf of the entire family, JR and I cannot say thank you enough for all you do for our family. Through your continued acts of love and kindness, God answers our prayers and helps us each step of the way! We love you and thank God for you.

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Update #55: More Thoughts From Kimmy…

January 20, 2011: We flew to Orlando. I must tell you–the night before, when Dave got home from class, he took the first email picture of Baby Milo we got and put it on a shirt to wear on our trip. We boarded the plane and he quickly removed his coat at the pilot’s door and immediately started showing his brand new grand baby to the WHOLE PLANE and told all the passengers, “THIS IS OUR NEW GRANDDAUGHTER BABY MILO!” He was not quiet or shy about it. (I was thinking, “Dave, did you forget 9/11??”) He got the whole plane clapping and asking how he got the shirt so fast and he would explain our business “Sew Name It.” It was truly a great plane ride.

We had the most wonderful blessed time in Orlando and Dave was as proud as any Dad would be of our son-in-law Matt when he was ordained. He really enjoyed attending the church that Matt was pastoring at and he was so proud that our daughter Kasey was by Matt’s side. The whole Orlando trip was great. Matt you ROCK! We are so proud of you.

January 25, 2011: There are no words to describe Dave on this day. Guess what? Yes, he did he wear that Milo t-shirt on the plane again and yes, he had to show it to everyone on the plane. This time, though, the pilot announced over the intercom about Baby Milo. He even told people if they had yet to see the shirt, they should go see the passenger in seat 16A. It was a hoot!

The first time we saw MILO (in Hawaii): Seeing JR and Heather was great, but oh Milo just made Dave melt.  After 38 1/2 years of marriage, BABY MILO was the icing on our cake. I wrote in our trip journal that night about our walk on Waikiki Beach. While we were walking, Dave said that the first time he was holding our precious Baby Milo, he prayed in his heart and thanked God for our children. He said that as parents we should stop and pray 1 John 4:4 (“Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them; because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”) I cried and he just said, “No tears, GRANDMA!”

Many of you may not know, but Dave and I met while I was in high school in Hawaii and he was in college in Hawaii. Our Dads were both stationed in Hawaii and the rest is history. We never dreamed that we would ever have a child living in Hawaii. One day Dave and I were walking on “our old beach”; a place we walked many days 40 years ago. I said, “How did we get so luck? A beautiful Christian marriage, two beautiful children that married Christians and live a Christian life, both loving and living life?” We talked about how we had reached a point in our life that we were able to make a lot of decisions and do things that Dave had worked hard in life for to make it comfortable and rewarding. We have our home business which Dave loved; he taught at IEC to wonderful young men looking for a career in electrical work; he was a Sunday School teacher, loving his young students; he served as a deacon; he was a man that every evening sat on the couch with me for “date night.” Even if we were just watching “MASH,” that was OUR time. The phone always rang at least five times, but it was KIMMY time. He just looked at me and said, “Never doubt God and always remember God is good all the time and ALL the time God is good. I love you and I hope that I am good to you all the time.”  I never got tired of hearing that.

After Kasey arrived in Hawaii, we all went revisiting our “dating” spots. I saw a tear in Dave’s eye as he was getting ready to take a picture of Kasey and JR in the exact location of a picture of him and me 40 years before. I ask if he was ok. “Never better,” he said. “Just thanking God for this moment. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28) and everyday that goes by without spiritual training in our life is a day that can never be recaptured. That is what we tried to raise our kids by.” And then, he snapped the picture.

The rest of our visit was ALL ABOUT MILO. It was beautiful, wonderful, and a most magical time: remembering our first meeting…where we went to prom…where our first kiss was…and the church that brought us together. So many memories, but Baby Milo was the best. Dave was just in awe of Baby Milo and as the days went by we tried to cram so much more time with Baby Milo (and of course Heather, JR and Kasey), but time was up.

There were many tears the evening we said goodbye. Seeing great big smiles on Heather and JR’s faces as they held up Baby Milo, I knew that that Acts 17:28 was a job well done.

Our flight home was broken up by a 2-day stay in Las Vegas where we visited the many beautiful hotels and saw a couple of shows. But, we spent most of our time talking about our trip and how wonderful it was. Dave pointed out several little things that would bring a smile to my face because I would never have thought a man would think of those things.

February 14, 2011: We headed back home to Memphis and the long ride home was not really so bad we looked at the 1,000 plus pictures of Baby Milo and Hawaii, plus about 100 of Matt and Kasey in Orlando. We arrived in Memphis in snow. Yes, snow…after four weeks of 78 and above temps. Dave settled back into teaching, working on his babies (monogramming machines), getting excited about a new machine he was going to purchase and displaying Sew Name It at Open Marketplace (his second home).

God is good all the time and ALL the time God is good.

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Update #54: More Thoughts From Kimmy…

“FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU” DECLARES THE LORD, “PLANS TO PROSPER AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE.”   Jeremiah 29:11

January 30, 2012: This was the Bible verse that started mine and Dave’s New Year for 2012–from the devotional Jesus Calling, one of the most warming books I have ever studied. I knew the verse existed, but I never knew until February 21, 2011 how the verse would come into my life; sometimes just re-reading it to be able to function on a day-to-day basis, sometimes minute-to-minute. Many of you ask me questions such as, “How did Dave get this way?” or “What exactly is wrong with him?”, “Why does he cry in church?” and then some of you may just think, “What you see is what you get…he walks, talks and sings in the choir, so what in the world is wrong?” I agree–seeing Dave is GREAT– and what I have is GREAT all things considered, but I hope to answer these questions so that the next time you see Dave Booker you will say “Yes, Lord, yes” and know what God says: “And you shall serve the Lord your God and he shall bless thy bread and thy water and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exodus 23:25)

Over the next few weeks, I will use my journal and what memory I have, to let you see how we got into our “new world.” It is not the the world Dave and I planned. 24 hours a day, I have to continue to put my faith in the Lord and what Jeremiah 29:11 declares for us. Once again, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

January 19, 2011: Dave wrote on his calendar on his desk at the top: “Class tonight and maybe a baby today.” Later he added, “Thank Jesus, Praise the Lord we have a granddaughter! Baby Milo born today in Hawaii and she is the most beautiful baby ever (Kasey, JR you two were not bad looking). ”

January 20, 2011: He wrote: “Leaving today for Orlando for my son-in-law’s ordination on Sunday– what an honor –God, life is just so good and so are YOU. Thank you again for loving us.”

January 25, 2011: He wrote: “Kimmy (a new grandma and me a new grandpa) will be in Hawaii to see Baby Milo–Oh from the mountain tops I shout “God is GOOD All the time and ALL the time God is soo GOOD. ”

Except for the next four weeks of Dave writing whatever you write on vacation, this was the last of MY DAVE’s writing as we knew him before February 21, 2011. You who know him well know that he was always prepared, whether on paper or on the computer (he lived for the computer). I am not a writer like our daughter, but I will try to give you a first hand look to see God’s miracles. And to see that even through all this tragedy, He is still working every minute of the day–and some have not been pretty days.

So many days I have to remind myself that God loves us and is gracious. He does let me know that nothing happens,  not even this tragedy, that does not first pass through the Father’s hands. I try to keep a journal. Some days are so bad that I can only read what I have written on good days. If this happens, I  just write this verse for some peace and also to remind myself that God is in TOTAL CONTROL AND HE DOES work miracles.

By sharing more of our story, I hope you will understand Dave and how God has worked a miracle in him, as well as how this tragedy has made a good difference in other people’s lives.

GOD IS IN THE MIRACLE BUSINESS.

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Update #53: Words from Kimmy!

My mom tells me all the time that people are asking when I will update the blog next. My brother and I have tried encouraging her for months that she should really be the one updating the blog. It’s hard for me to update it, because I am not there. Mom is the one in the nitty-gritty of it all. She can tell you first hand how things are going for Daddy and where he stands “progress-wise”.

Well, after much prodding Mom finally wrote her side of the story. She emailed me last night and asked if I would proof it and then post it to the blog. She shared with me about how much of it might be repetitive because she is telling the story from the beginning, but I told her that was okay. I wanted to encourage her that this was just as much for her as it is Dad. She sent me about 2-3 blog updates, so I am still going through and editing it for her.

Today was a really rough day for her. and dad. Without any prodding, she went straight back to the computer and wanted to share more for the blog. She told me the bigger reason is because she was reminded again that people/friends/neighbors just don’t know how Dave is doing “now”. How can they help “today”. The following is the email she sent me today. Obviously this is out of order (not the first email she sent me for the blog) but as you will see, I find that maybe today’s is what should be shared first. (especially for those who may see them at church on Sunday!)

Words from my Mom…
February 6, 2012: As you can see I have skipped way ahead, but only because there is still alot of hospital to go as well as rehab. I will continue that story, but I think you should know alittle about Dave Booker today. Today what can I say except, “God, when will you give us a break?” Dave was not really feeling great today, but we have those days.

Dave was supposed to have a very close retired police friend come over to visit, but he was just not up to it so we cancelled because he was just so tired. Some days Dave may sleep til 1 in the afternoon and a couple of hours later ready to sleep another 4 to 6 hours. Remember, his brain is still healing so they say that a sign of healing is “sleeping”. Today was rough, I checked on him about 11:00 am and he said “they are cold” I ask what was cold and he just pointed to his feet. I told him to say feet but he would not. I gave him a pair of socks to put on one at a time and he put the sock on his hand. I told him they go on his feet but he just couldn’t comprehend where his feet were. I finally put them on him and then asked him if he was hungry and once again he asked what that was and then said he did not know what “eat” meant. When I explained, he just said I want to sleep. So I let him sleep. After walking in circles and crying, I went out to check the mail and to let the dog out and saw a neighbor playing ball with his granddaughter, another neighbor working on his truck and it just felt like my heart had just been ripped out. I cried and walked around in circles outside, it just was not fair. Dave would not have been playing ball or working on his truck, but he would of been doing something – and the saddest thing of all I can’t remember life before. I kept thinking what might Dave be doing now and my mind was blank. I came in and Kasey called and as always she is my strength. Even though she is not here, she hurts so much every minute, but her faith is strong and she takes wonderful care of me. I went back in to give Dave another drink of water (he has to stay hydrated) this time he did not know me and just closed his eyes. This happens a lot; you would think that I would be used to it, but some things are never easy. I then went into the bathroom to cry some more and there on the mirror is a verse: “Cast all your anixiety on him, because he CARES for you” 1 Peter 5:7. A verse I see everyday, but today it just screamed at me as I cried harder and harder. God why do I make it so hard, Dave would have just put his arm around me and quoted me this verse or another one and said remember “God is GOOD all the time ALL the time God is sooo GOOD” let him take care of it – but right now my Dave does not know me, or know his feet from his hands and what it means to eat. A little more quiet time and taking down Christmas decor (yes Christmas decor) Dave wanted it left up, so I did, but I asked him if it was time to take them down sometime this past week and he said OK.

Betty and Walter Hollyfield came over for a few minutes (I probably was not of sound mind) the visit was good – Palin ran down the driveway again and Keith Barger stopped and got him as he was out walking. He asked about Dave and I shared with him about our rough day. He asked if it would be ok if he came down sometime to visit and maybe take Dave for a walk. All I could think about was, “Cast all your anixiety on him because he Cares for you” Oh Lord you are true to your word. Carter Hooker is also so good about picking Dave up and taking him to prayer breakfast and choir and Dave comes back feeling comfortable. This is a big step because he does not have another “Booker” with him – We love you CARTER. JR then calls and he could tell from my voice about the day. I told him about Keith and he said “momma, Kasey and I have been telling you to call and ask other men to visit so that Dad can have more interaction other than you, nana, and papaw”. I guess it is easier said than done. Most people see Dave but do not know how he is right now, so I don’t want to put them on the spot. After a sweet visit with JR and before I hang up he always reminds me that “I am doing a super job” no better words to make me feel better.

I finally go in and ask Dave to wake up. He does and needs help dressing, but that is OK- at least he knows me. I ask him if he is hungry, he still doesn’t know. This is a brain “processing” problem–trying to get the message from the brain down that he is hungry – it is a big hurdle. He tells me HE LOVES ME and wants to know what day it is and if it is day or night. He says he would like to just sit with me and watch TV. I go into another room to cry – I can not understand after 49 weeks how I can have any tears left, but these were happy tears. I tell him we need to do our bible lesson first and he says OK. I have him read (doctors are still in disbelief that he can read). I should have read our devotional at 5:00 am before I started this day. It said, “Come to me and Rest, I am all about you, to bless and restore you.” It goes on but, another line is “Slow down and cling tightly to My hand, I am teaching you a difficult lesson learned only by hardship”. WOW! I would like to suggest for everyone to get the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Our beautiful friends, Gary and Shan Kroff gave me this book while Dave was in the hospital and it took me about 6 months to start it. I went back to February 21, 2011 – the day our world changed and it said TRUST AND THANKFULNESS WILL get you thru this day – Keeping your eyes on Me is the same thing as trusting Me. WOW again! So now we have had dinner and are having our date night watching TV “BlueBloods” a favorite of his. He is here and praise God! Today was tough, but DAVE is on a date with me and that is important, he doesn’t talk much, but we are supposed to be watching TV. Dave is excited about Sunday School and Church tomorrow. He always looks forward to it. For those of you who see him, first of all this is a BIG STEP for him. He brain does not process getting out in big crowds easy, so sometimes he is scared, but he wants to go. Also if you see him cry – his tears are the most delicate tears that one could ever cry. He has always loved to sing (once again doctors just don’t understand HOW IS HE SINGING) – Just ask Dr. Edgerly, sometimes the MIRACLE you see is right there in front of you. Every song he sings has a stronger, deeper meaning than most of us will ever experience. Every word holds a promise that God loves him, God is with him on this journey and God is and forever will be his Lord and Savior. He does not comprehend what has happened to him, he does not understand life before – but what an AWESOME GOD he does allow DAVE to worship in a way that touches me. You will see me cry because to stand next to my husband and see him read, hear him sing is probably the most beautiful experience that I could ever have. My heart breaks, but at the same time is so filled and overjoyed that I don’t want it to end. It is an experience that is hard to put into words, but my husband DAVE BOOKER loves the LORD and loves to sing his PRAISES and I am sorry that it has taken something like this for me to realize all of this.

Please,take time now while you have your time to experience the beauty of praising and loving GOD with your loved one. Don’t wait till one day you can only hope that your love one understands how beautiful sharing GOD is. And for all of you in the choir, DAVE BOOKER LOVES YOU! Coming home I quiz him about YOU and he looks at me with tears in his eyes and ask “was I really up there with them, could I sing as pretty as they do?” Talk about love – he loves you and every week “to God be the Glory and praises with the Choir” he says. Yep -and the orchastra – he always says “wow they were good”. Sundays are hard, but worth it! My momma gave me a card that says “Like a shepherd provides for his sheep, I will provide for you. You are special and valuable to Me. Rest in my love and I will carry you in my arms and give you great peace.” I am ending with this because on Sundays or anytime at Church even when Dave is scared, there is no greater place to rest in love and have great peace, but with a family of God like each and everyone of you. And if you are not part of our church, but a loving friend from our many walks of life, we feel the same for you and thank you for your love and understanding and most of all your prayers. We make it minute by minute because God loves us and you do too.
Believe in Miracles.

Till later – God is good, all the time and all the time God is soooo Good.
Kim and Dave Booker

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