Rob (Charles Robbin Hudson) and I met for the first time in Sunday school as young children in the Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore, MD; we met for the second time, 37 years later, in Chestertown, MD, having come through significant healing of deaths and divorce. Rob had a 50-year history of alcohol use; I experienced nine significant deaths from ages 25-40 and am more flawed in being a slow learner than he, I am certain. God decided to bring us together on February 14, 2003, and, for some incredibly blessed reason, we continue to learn and to be made whole every moment, each and together.
We celebrated and began our 12th year together on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014. Robbin is learning to walk, again: on July 6, 2012 Rob suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, followed by a craniotomy on July 7, 2012, in the extraordinarily skilled hands of Neurosurgeon, Perry Ball, M.D., at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Rob was in a coma and semi-coma for nearly 3 months, during which time he moved to acute rehab in Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, NH, under the excellent care of one of the hospital’s founders, Medical Director, James Whitlock, M.D. From the initial, very skewed CT scan of Rob’s brain in July, 2012, to the second CT scan in November, 2012, showing complete alignment, Dr. Ball said, “This is wonderful, it doesn’t get any better than this [for anyone], all we need to do, now, is to keep all of the therapies working.” At NE Rehab, Dr. Whitlock said, “I want him (Robbin) upright and walking, and there is no reason he can’t.” On March 13, 2014, Rob said to me, "This is new; for the first time, I used my brain to tell my leg to move, and it did!" Profound; more grace.
Over 95% of people who experience hemorrhagic strokes die within 24-48 hours. Rob is approaching his 22nd month of healing, grace-upon-grace; we are thankful, and we recognize, understand, and know in our hearts and minds—in the untold miracles of healing Rob is experiencing, now, that God has, is, and continues to bless us, bringing peace and joy through every seemingly impossible obstacle. We press on, and, yes, we are given the gift of love and laughter, walking in God’s faithfulness, each day.
Rob has received medical care in 5 sites: 3 hospitals and 2 long-term care/rehab facilities. Rob has Medicare and Medicaid; he had a decubitus ulcer (sacral wound) over his coccyx bone for 10 months and a wound-vac for 7.5 of those months, and was in great pain, with significant difficulty in being able to move, be turned in bed, let alone do any work in physical therapy. I have held my ground, persevered in insisting that Rob not be given any addicting medications, no opioids or narcotics; now, Rob is on 3 medications while, formerly, for over a year, he needed or had been prescribed 15-18 medications at a time.
Currently, Rob is under the care of a Physiatrist, Margaret C. Tilton, M.D., in Exeter, NH, who has given Botox injections in his very weak, atrophied, left leg, and left arm, thus inhibiting “tone” and seizing muscles from being able to be strengthened: first, he strengthens his muscles; then, in standing, begins to balance and trust that he can balance; then, he begins to walk. Medicaid now limits the very care, physical therapy, Rob needs because his gains are slow, “catching-up” to what he would already be doing had he not been given the decubitus ulcer for such a long time. Robbin is becoming stronger, moving far more.
Our need is this: my 401K is gone; I still buy the orange juice, as we say; my only debt, $59,000—the balance of my Ph.D. school loans is, to me, quite significant since my funds have continued to go to us over these 11 years (and nearly $25,000 of the $59,000 is accrued interest over that period of time). The error is mine: I did not see the alcohol use, it was confined to (my) work days such that our weekends–especially for the first several years--most often were enjoyed with Rob’s great children. God brought us together, a long time ago; I was not looking for Robbin. My children (early miscarriages), Anna, Maggie, and Sam, are with God, true blessings--only God’s healing could and did bring these relationships to life in my heart and mind.
Now, in order for us to find and be able to afford a home so that Rob can leave the long-term care/rehab facility (Medicaid will take any property remaining in Robbin’s name: “it is always the apple Medicaid will claim,” said one Health and Human Services administrator; and, the home I could have afforded when we met no longer is possible), it has become imperative to pay down/off my only debt, the balance plus interest of my student loan.
Robbin is a life-long Master Bladesmith, his knives and rare swords in use and in private collections throughout the world; he will always be among the top 5-to-10 (of over 7,000) bladesmiths around the world; he and Bill Moran, now deceased, being in those top two, preeminent, positions. I am a psychotherapist (30 years down the road from beginning my Masters in Clinical Psychology, entering Episcopal seminary, completing a Ph.D. from Loyola University in Maryland that combined clinical psychology and theology) and the author of one book about core healing of grief and loss, following the nine significant deaths in my life.
Robbin and I are not special. We are beyond thankful to God for abundant blessings, for Rob’s healing, our healing, for us as we deeply understand God in our midst. This request is not easy for us to make; clearly, lovingly, it is what the Holy Spirit guides us to do, so as to offer a healthy life to Robbin—yes, for us, and for all of those we love, with whom we hope to celebrate life, life forever changed and found, again, honestly, in joy, wherever God calls us to be in Christ, to love and serve one another. We continue to surrender, to trust, to keep the faith, knowing God has saved Rob, us, for God’s purpose.
Many sacred causes, needs for help, are with us all. We help, too, guided in prayer. Your generous heart makes possible a place, our home, next steps, so that we can press on and continue to serve the Lord, just as the loving actions of each one of us are eternal.
May you be blessed. In whatever way you can join us, know you are in our prayers, forever – and those, God gives us to do in peace. Joyous Valentine’s Day and Easter blessings+
In Christ, our thanksgiving for you.
Rob and Sara