Dear Friends of Tony Campolo,
We promised an update when we had news to report, and I am happy to tell you that Tony is making some real progress in his therapy sessions. The new focus is on what therapists call “life skills” – things Tony will need to be able to do in order to make a smooth transition to living at home.
Recently, the therapists brought Tony to our apartment in his wheelchair to see what changes we might need to make before that happens, but happily, no major construction will be necessary.
After his visit home, it was hard for Tony and me to accept the fact that his coming home to stay will not happen right away. For now, he will remain at the health care facility where we live and continue to work hard with his truly amazing and wonderful therapists. He is so kind and patient about everything these days, and obviously has a large measure of what the Bible calls “the peace that passes understanding.” It is a great comfort to both of us to know that Tony will be coming home eventually. I cannot wait to live with him again, and I will get whatever help I need when that time comes.
I have struggled with both grief and fear since Tony’s stroke on June 20, so it was both strange and wonderful to realize I actually felt good several days ago, after observing a therapy session in which my dear husband had made significant progress. Peace remained with me for the rest of that day. I went to bed hoping it would still be there in the morning. It was there, and along with that peace, I felt joy and thankfulness that Tony was alive and would be coming home.
The next day was my birthday, a day I had been dreading. How glorious it was to wake up on the day I turned 83, and actually be looking forward to the rest of my life. As I thanked God for the great gift I had received, I was reminded of so many blessings: our son Bart and daughter Lisa, who have been with us in countless ways through this crisis, our dear family and friends who have stayed extra close, even when I was unable to return their calls or answer their letters, and finally, all of the wonderful and caring people who have sent us encouraging words and stories of Tony’s part in their lives and ministries, many of which we had not heard of before.
COVID-19 precautions still keep me out of Tony’s room, but I have a chair in a cozy spot in the bushes outside his screened window, and a big Eastern University umbrella that makes it possible to be there in sun or rain. Beginning just this week, I can also meet Tony for 45 minutes each day in a lovely garden, albeit while maintaining social distance and wearing masks. Together we read the wonderful emails, cards, and notes you have sent. I tell Tony that he is enjoying the kinds of tributes that too many people wait to send until the person they want to thank is dead!
Thank you for giving such joy to Tony in the here and now, and for continuing to pray for us.