As you probably have noticed, It's been a while since I've done a decent blog post. My heart just hasn't been in it. I've thought about closing down the blog, but rethought it and just decided to wait it out and see if I can get myself back to it. Here's what's up (it's been a "challenging year").
Daddy suffered multiple strokes beginning in January and we lost him in May. He was in and out of the hospital and nursing home, but we brought him home, where he wanted to be, and he died on May 12. He was just days shy of his 82nd birthday.
I had back surgery in February to repair a compression fracture. I'm doing fine for an old woman of 54. It's hard for me not to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Most of the time I do it anyway and just try to be careful. I pretty stubborn that way.
My Sister-In-Law was diagnosed with cancer when she and my brother returned to their home in Texas shortly after my Daddy's funeral. She's been going through chemo, chest tubes to drain fluid off of her lungs, blood clots, swollen legs, loss of her hair, draining fluid off of her abdomen multiple times, etc. My brother has been trying to take care of her and run a business. We haven't been able to be there to help, but all of her family live close by and have been doing all that they can. She has her third chemo treatment next week and then they will do surgery. Apparently she had cervical cancer and resulting treatments a few years ago that we were not aware of and the radiation caused massive scarring, so they can't tell from the outside exactly where the cancer is, but it doesn't sound good. I am concerned about my brother and can't stand the thought that we may loose my SIL sooner than later. It breaks my heart. But she is going to MD Anderson in Houston, for treatment. It has an AWESOME reputation, so she is in good hands.
On July 28th we welcomed a beautiful new grandson born to my husband's oldest son and his precious wife. I've known these "kids" since they were in Elementary school, even before my husband and I married 11 years ago on October 23rd, so even though they are not blood relatives, I love them just as much as if they were. They also have a beautiful little girl who is only 21 months old.
Several weeks ago, at the age of 9 weeks, this precious baby boy was diagnosed with Biliary Atrisia and has had the Kasai procedure that is mentioned in this article that I've linked to. He developed an infection and it has been determined that the Kasai was not successful. He has been put on the "short list" for a liver transplant. If he was a toddler he would be able to get a portion of an adult liver, but at this age he must have an infant liver. This means that another family's precious little baby will have to die before little Thatcher can get a liver. Not only are we broken hearted over Thatcher's health, but over the fact that he can only have an infant liver. As you can imagine, his Mommy and Daddy are taking this very hard, as is the entire family. My husband has broken down on multiple occasions at the thought of his only grandson being so ill with a life threatening condition.
Over the last week my husband as been wrestling with a kidney stone. Up until Tuesday he has been in terrible pain and on meds for pain and nausea. It started with virus like symptoms, last Wednesday, which I will not elaborate on here other than to say he was having severe abdominal and back pain. Since he had been laid off for a couple of months and had JUST gone back to work, he attempted to go without medication on Monday so he could work. MISTAKE. He showed up at my office looking green and in pain, so I took him for the second visit to the ER. He is not in pain now, but we think the stone has moved to his bladder, which the Dr. said would happen. Now we just wait for it to decide to pass. Selfishly I was REALLY glad it wasn't a virus because I would have caught it. However, I have been really concerned about him and neither of us has been getting much sleep. As I've said before, he also has a pacemaker/defibrillator and stress is NOT good for him. So of course I've been worried about that too.
While all of the above has been going on, we've caught my now 80 year old Mother climbing up on a ladder, trying to clean out the gutters on her two story home. We've also found out that she has climbed in her kitchen sink to reach the curtains at the window above it so that she could wash them. Then back up again to put them up. When I asked her, "what would have happened if you fell?!! We might not have found you for hours!" She simply said, "well, I didn't!"
So my daughter and her family decided that it might be a good idea to move in with Mom, both to help her out financially and to keep an eye on her. My daughter's husband is in construction, so he can fix all the little things that need to be fixed that my Daddy wasn't able to do the last 5 years of his life. They have rented their house to a teacher that my daughter works with and are in the process of moving in. We've cleaned out the attic and closets of Mom's house and had 2 weekends worth of yard sales. There is still LOTS of stuff left and it is all stored in 1/2 of Mom's garage. I took off work for a week to help with the cleaning and it was EXHAUSTING. But I did learn one BIG thing: I learned to be a pack rat from my parents! I don't think they ever threw ANYTHING away! As soon as things settle down I'm getting rid of everything I don't need except for everything related to my genealogy research and family heirlooms. And not my fabric and yarn stash - yet.
In the middle of the moving in with Mom, my daughter and her family went on a long planned trip to Disney World in Florida, for a week, and left all of their "stuff" scattered around my Mom's house. They've got A LOT OF ORGANIZING TO DO! Mom is used to having things in pretty good order and she was not happy!
I had a birthday on October 13th.
My daughter's oldest had her 5th birthday while they were at Disney - October 15th.
Mom had her 80th birthday on October 17th. We took her to lunch and spent most of the day with her. We wanted to have a big birthday party for her, but with everything else going on we just couldn't make it happen.
My 11th anniversary is October 23rd. I'm married to THE MOST WONDERFUL MAN I'VE EVER KNOWN! God truly blessed me when I found him. He spoils me rotten and loves me despite myself!
I've not put all this down to elicit pity. I'm pushing through, though weary of all the "drama" and could really use some decent sleep!! I know God is in control, not me. I do have to say that I have trouble with all of this being "God's will!" The God I know is a God of LOVE. I just think all of this "stuff" is just LIFE and that God loves us through it all and gives us the strength to deal with it all.
I'm asking you to pray for our family and keep praying. We've got some really tough stuff going on and it looks like it's gonna get tougher.
Pray for little Thatcher and for his Mommy and Daddy. They are not even 30 yet and having to deal with so much.
Pray for my SIL, Nancy and my brother, Christopher and their daughter Lauren, who has only recently graduated from college and started her first teaching job. CANCER SUCKS!!
Pray for my Mom, Chris, who is only 5 months past the loss of her husband of nearly 60 years.
Pray for my daughter, Amber and her husband, Vince and children Ava and Zoe as they adjust to their new living arrangements with my Mom.
Pray for my dear, sweet husband who is suffering, not only physically from his kidney stone, but emotionally as well, as he worries about his son and grandson and the rest of the family.
And pray too for my in-laws, Joe, who is 83, and Darlene who is 79. They are such loving people and this is all breaking their hearts as well. I love them like they were my own parents and Darlene thinks of me as the daughter she never had.
Thank you for "listening."