Sunday, April 1, 2012

#106 Auto-pilot

Danae and Zane are crossing the ocean now at 36,000 feet. The pilot has put the plane on auto-pilot.

I’m waking up. I’m putting Lyol on the toilet. I’m wiping his butt. I’m smiling when Lyol offers, ‘Daddy crying? Here you go Daddy. Drink some water.’ I’m giving him his vitamins. I’m dressing him. I’m getting him breakfast. I’m forcing myself to eat a little, even though I don’t feel like it. I’m going to work.

I’m thinking of what I want to tell Danae when I get back to the house. Then auto-pilot kicks off and I remember that she’s not there anymore. I prefer auto-pilot.

I’m smiling and talking to staff, patients, families. I’m saying fine when people ask how I’m doing. I’m treating patients. All of this I can do without switching on my brain.

A baby cries. Auto-pilot comes off. I’m alert. I’m looking for Zane. Oh, right. He’s not here. He’s sick and on his way home. Home? Where’s home? Isn’t home where I am? This is too much thinking. I’m more comfortable on auto-pilot.

I take Lyol out to the garden to help me water plants. We go on a walk.

A baby laughs. Auto-pilot comes off. I’m alert. I’m looking for Zane. Oh, right. This happens again and again. It’s just so much easier on auto-pilot.

I thank Lyol when he offers me toilet paper to blow my running nose and wipe my tearing eyes. I give him a bath. I put on his diaper. I put on his pajamas. I read him a book.

Then I finally see him, really see him. Auto-pilot comes off. I squeeze him. I tell him I love him. I pray with him. I lay in bed with him, exhausted, yet unable to sleep.

Seriously? There are so many stronger, braver, more deeply-rooted people that could handle this. Not me.

I pick up toys. I shower. I brush my teeth. I walk back to my own bed. I’m back on auto-pilot. I like it this way.

Don’t ask me how I’m doing. What do you expect me to say?


  1. Dear Olen,
    I pray that the Lord will allow you to sleep as you wait.

  2. Dear Olen,
    Waiting is so difficult. We cannot even imagine how you must be feeling. Please know that so many people are thinking of you every minute.
    We love all of you and will continue to pray for safety and health.
    Tracy & Albert

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  4. Mr. German! I so wish I could help somehow. I will continue to pray. You ARE strong. You ARE brave. You ARE deeply-rooted in Christ. I know this to be true from the ways God has used you to touch my life. Breathe deep and take heart, You, Danae, Lyol, and most of all Zane, are in God's caring hands. I love you guys!!!!!

  5. Dear Lord, Please be with Olen tonight. Help him to sleep, give him peace. Put your arms around him tonight Lord and may he sense your presence. Be with his wife and baby son as they wing their way to the USA. Protect them and keep them safe and may help be just around the corner for baby Zane. Let them all know how much they are loved.
    In Jesus' name,

  6. You would probably never know it, because I've been absolutely terrible at communicating it, but you, Danae and your precious boys are never far from my thoughts and prayers. My heart is with you, my friend. I cry for your heartache and tears, as do countless thousands of people who also know and love you, and hundreds of others who don't know you at all but are touched and blessed by your devotion and your transparency. I am realizing why I never write you, because there are so many things I want to say and I haven't the slightest idea how to say them. I wish I could give you a hug. :) Praying. And Ani is too. Love you all. ~Nicol

  7. Dear Olen - I saw a friend's fb post re your dear son Zane. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. Please know that so many of us are praying for you and your family during this incredibly rough time. I also am praying tonight that you can get some sleep. May God bless you all. - Charity

  8. While our situations are different, I had to do the opposite of you where two weeks ago I left behind my beloved 2 year old in East Africa and I returned to the United States to secure life for my new baby. My heart is broken. I truly understand how your heart is broken. And I so deeply sympathize with feeling alone-- even while people are everywhere around you. I understand how you can't see the future. I sympathize with you as even for myself, I just hate when people ask me how I am doing. How am I doing? How are you doing? How are any of us doing when our metaphorical hearts get ripped out of our chest but life demands we keep moving as if our "heart" was snugly placed where it is always supposed to be??? I won't tell you that "it will all work out" or "God has a plan". I don't know if God has a plan. Of course, I can hope. But I don't presume to be God. I do know that if reading and hearing words "We're/I'm praying for you" brings you comfort, CLING TO THAT! And if words "this sucks" brings you comfort, cling to that also. And its ok to reject the words that should normally bring you peace. I have learned over the last few weeks that those with the best intentions want to share the most positive words they can. And its so unbelievably nice. But in the midst of pain and darkness, sometimes those loving, nice, encouraging words are hard to read/hear. So take the words that YOU need to hear and hold on to them. Set all the other words aside. One day you will be able to process all the beautiful messages from family, friends, and even strangers. But for now, if you can't process them all... its ok. We can all walk in darkness or in light with you.

  9. All I can say is I pray for strength for you Olen and peace! may God grant those to you!!

  10. “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Psalms 126:5-6

  11. We are so sorry for the fear, sadness, and uncertainty that you and your family face. Remember, in the moments that we are most confused, that we have the least amount of faith, it is then that the Holy Spirit carries us closer to our Heavenly Father. He sees Zane's suffering, and He weaps with you. Lean on the hearts and minds of the many who are praying for your son, and hopefully, find that Still Small Voice.

  12. Our family is praying. I also have Ozark academy prayer team praying and our sabbath school praying also. Please know you are being prayed for and thought of continuously. Love, the Deisch family

  13. You are all in my prayers. Know that others are helping to carry your burden just now. Ruth Roberts

  14. Montana and Tennessee are praying for you, Danae, Zane and Lyol. I pray you can feel God's arms holding you...I pray...I pray...I pray...

  15. Alerted our med school prayer team (people from our class who had not already posted) to keep fighting the battle on our knees so that Satan will lose his ground...
    Jim and I are in constant prayer for you 4.