SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED
Surgeons, doctors, nurses and psychiatrists have fought to bring wholeness to his body, on occasions even rescuing him from the very brink of death. As with thousands of kidney disease sufferers, Mike is kept alive by being hooked up to a dialysis machine for forty two hours over every two week period. We talk about the man, his life and his faith.
He has undergone three kidney transplant operations, one of which functioned well for seven years, all eventually failed, he blames no one. Mike knows there are many he should thank. To the families whose personal loss made it possible for him to receive new kidneys, mere words seem inadequate. He will never meet them or know what circumstances led to their agreeing to a loved one's donation. What Mike does know is that there is someone who sees these things and shares their anguish
We all know that bad things happen to good people and vice-versa; no one can tell when their time is up or what is going to happen tomorrow. What we can do is live life to the full, ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘seize the day.’ Mike and his wife Maree, helped by their strong faith are doing just that, although following this latest disaster they will be wondering just what God has in mind for them.
Their move to a place in the country was like a dream come true. They certainly had a lot of help with the big shift, including the moving and setting up of a very heavy and delicate dialysis machine. Friday night they had their first sleep in their new home. Mike was excited that they were not too far from town, his wife could still get to work and he and his son could continue their computer business. He was dreaming of the peace and quiet of the countryside, a few woolies, some cattle and maybe a porker or two, it was all part of the dream.
At 5.30 am on Saturday morning while it was still dark, the dream was frighteningly shattered. A massive mud slide rumbled down the hill behind the house. Tonnes of mud, huge boulders and mature trees hit the dwelling, wiping out the entire rear of the house in seconds. Fifty yards away, the fast moving wall of mud took out Mike’s new office, burying all his expensive gear including laptops and hard drives. The couple’s son had planned to sleep in the office that night but thankfully changed his mind.
Mike and Maree awoke to the roar of the moving hillside. Mud quickly filled the ensuite on one side of their bedroom and the walk-in wardrobe on the other, bursting into the bedroom each side of their double bed, which was like an island with them huddled on top, in the middle of a sea of wet mushy mud. Mike’s Dad had been helping them with the shift. He was asleep in his camper van parked beside the house in front of a double garage. The garage was completely demolished, the wreckage pushing the campervan down the driveway. To put it bluntly and literally it is a miracle they were not all killed.
At the time of writing, the home has been condemned and is in danger of being completely flattened by huge boulders that balance precariously on the hillside. The distraught but philosophical owners have been told that it is unlikely they will be allowed to build there again.
Mike and Maree, through the generosity of others, were able to find temporary accommodation, hopefully a permanent situation has now been acquired. They are shaken but not stirred in their faith and are putting their future in God’s hands. To most folk this all sounds a little naïve but consider this… In his twenties Mike was told he would never father children and could expect just ten more years of life; if he was lucky. They produced two sons and a daughter and at the latest count, three grandkids. He celebrated his fiftieth birthday a couple of years ago.
We wish you well Mike and Maree, you are an inspiration to us all.