Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy #HeartAttackComeback Day!

Terry. 1 month
after heart attack
Glacier Park - MT
December 18th is a new major holiday 
for the Allen Clan!
It's Happy Heart Day!
It's Terry-Survived-a-Heart-Attack Day!
It's #HeartAttackComeback Day!

What?! You didn't hear? On December 18, 2012, my hubby --Terry Allen-- hadn't been feeling great; however, had been keeping that fact from me for about two weeks. That morning when Terry went for a run, he didn't get very far and knew something was seriously wrong. The situation only worsened and by evening, he called me from a parking lot screaming in pain to meet him at the hospital because the ambulance had been called. Our son, Dane, and his then-fiancé, Emily, quickly met us there. 

T was life-flighted to Vanderbilt Hospital where a cardiac team quickly accessed his problem and saved my husband's life. I sat up all night in a dark corner praying, observing the attentive team and listening to the various beeps and breathing of my honey. Being a Believer in God's power for healing, I didn't need to hear comforting words of well-meaning friends, I just wanted to sense the nearness of my Savior, Jesus Christ. And, I did.

Drew & Daney.
Gotta find joy somewhere!
I can recall many details of those next few days. Too many to list. I remember waking in the waiting room to the rustling of a paper bag as our dear friend and pastor, Drew, handed me a cup of hot tea and said, "Wow. You look rough." I remember Aaron "Smiley" Farmer (my summer son) walking around the corner in the waiting room just as my emotions and fatigue collided. He brought my fave hazelnut coffee and bagels. I remember Daney fielding questions on the cellphone and becoming a man in my eyes. I remember driving away from Vandy with T riding shotgun. Kinda hard to drive with your eyes full of tears. I remember waking up early and sitting quietly with "mah mayn" in the glow of the Christmas tree reading our eReader versions of the Bible.

This year, 2013, has been Terry's #HeartAttackComeback year. In celebration of his life and the one year anniversary, I asked (um...really, I told) him when he was finished writing his post on the day before, I wanted to include it on my site, too!

Dane's Recovery Instructions
to Dad
in the Cardiac Care Unit
of Vandy
1 month anniversary
Lowell & Tami Hochhalter
Glacier Park - MT
Today I ran and walked 13.1 miles for 14 reasons... (or 13.1 reasons)

Mile 1 - Gratefulness. I am just happy to be alive.

Mile 2 - Fear...For one solid year I have thought about having another heart attack. Every morning it was one of my first thoughts. Every time I took my daily medicine. With every pain has come a whisper of my demise and I am flat sick of it. I will not be controlled by a spirit of fear. Period.

Mile 3 - 12/18 is the heart attack anniversary and I thought it would be great to do it before I go to the doctor tomorrow.

Mile 4 - I set a goal to run a half marathon by the end of 2013, and it was within my grasp. I honestly didn't know if my body could take it, but I refused to give up on the goal and not at
Terry & Drew.
Sunday following heart attack
least try.

Mile 5 - For everyone who struggles with depression. For the darkness that tells you your life is over...Don't believe it.

Mile 6 - For my Hebrews Eleven Life Group (a.k.a LifeNet). I wanted to knock out a hope target for them.

Mile 7 - For my Pastor and best friend, Andrew Wharton, who sat in the car and prayed for me, followed the ambulance, lobbied to get on the life flight and stayed up all night in the hospital with me. ICU will never be the same.

Mile 8 - For every person that has slugged it out this year to change and comeback from addiction, bad health or another life struggle.

Mile 9 - For all my encouraging friends who prayed and took the time to visit, call & care.
T & me.
Our first completed mile
toward the
Especially Jim & Bonnie Long, Lowell HochhalterTami Parker HochhalterKent & Kelley Tucker
 Steven MorganShannon Baugh MorganDavid MorganRandy Valimont, Terry Bailey, Glenn Burks, Larry Vine, John & Laura Driver, Roy & Cari Stone, Eduardo & Sandra Rocha, Jonnie & Curry Wethington...and more.

Mile 10 - Because I'm not a quitter.

Mile 11 - Eleven was for my mother and family. My father died in her arms from a heart attack afew years ago and when I had my episode she had to relive those memories. This one was for her peace, happiness and to give another punch in the face to worry for making her cry.

Mile 12 - I ran it for Dane Allen. No kid should have worry about his dad losing his life so early. I ran it to punch worry in the face for making my son uncomfortable. Don't mess with my kid.
T & me.
At Dane & Emily's wedding
September 14, 2013

Mile 13 - I ran it for Samalee Allen and for all of her incredible sacrifice this year in helping me get healthy. Honestly, I also wanted to destroy any fear she may deal with of losing her husband. We are one and I will not stand for fear in the eyes of my wife. 

Mile 13.1 - I ran it because there is "no sweeter name than the name of Jesus. No sweeter name that I've ever known." - Kari Jobe has sung that to me a hundred times this year and I believe it. "You are the light in my heart and my soul. You are the light to the darkness around me." Without Jesus and his help I would not be here. This whole journey is a testament to His grace and mercy. The finish was for Him.

I love you, Terry Allen. 
I love you 'til the day I die.
Together, we can conquer the world in love. 
You and I. 

Happy #HeartAttackComeback Day!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Gio! I've cried --happy tears-- off and on, all day! Celebrate!