Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful for the one I love...

As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a few minutes to express how extremely grateful I am for my wonderful husband. This month marks 10 years of knowing each other. What began as a million questions from me as I tried to learn about his culture & country, turned into a wonderful friendship and eventually a love-filled marriage. 

Have you ever had a time in your marriage when you can actually feel your love for your spouse growing deeper?  That's what I've experienced these last couple of months. Through the pain & fear of what we've faced with Kip mine & Eric's love & respect for one another has deepened immensely.

On our wedding day we vowed to be with & support each other through good times & bad. On October 7, 2015, 2 months shy of our 5 year anniversary, we stood in a hospital room with sobs in our voices and verbalized our commitment again. We were facing the scariest thing to date of anything in either of our lives. Our little boy had a tumor in his spinal cord. So many questions surrounded the news...questions with possibly very scary answers. We pledged to put it in God's hands & get through this together.  

Over the next few weeks Eric was with Kip & I at every appointment, he took calls from the hospital & set up appointments, he postponed as much work as possible in order to be with the kids & I. When I had my weak moments when fear would set in, he held me & let me cry, then gently encouraged me back to a positive mindset. I relied heavily on his gut instincts.  When I needed to be left alone to dig through scriptures & talk with God, he gave me space. 

Those first few days after Kip's surgery I was basically in the bed with him full time, with space & movement restrictions due to keeping Kip comfortable. Eric did everything he could to help me out. He'd get up & down from the couch or chair a million times a day & night to help...never complained; never said 'this is the last time'; never grew impatient. 

After moving to the rehab facility, Eric has begun to split his nights between home & here. Our typically sweet & self disciplined Kory seemed to be taking advantage of our crazy circumstances right now. In his loving way he's been able to show her the attention she needs while at the same time laying down the law because the girl had about lost her mind I think!  I've been so proud of how he's handled the situations that have arisen. By the time I know about an 'issue' and start to put my 2 cents in, he's already addressed it the way (or better than) I would've. He continually impresses me as I reflect on how he's grown as a father since I've known him. 

While I can relay these facts & events to you, what I really can't put into words is the way my heart felt as I watched him hold Kip looking at the trainscape in Children's for literally hours just after we'd discussed the realm of possible outcomes due to surgery; or the tug my heart felt when Eric's face showed the regret he felt as he had to leave for work each day after he'd put off as much work as possible to play 'one more game' with the kids; or the way it made me feel when he looked at me and said, "You're being so strong" when I felt like I walked around as if I was a ton of broken pieces barely held together with tape just waiting to fall apart.  Those are the moments I felt my heart grow. Those are the moments my love grew. Those are the moments my respect deepened.  Those are the moments I'll treasure forever. 

As I moved to Dallas in 2005, I never would've dreamed that I'd meet someone from Kenya that would eventually become my best friend, my loving husband, my help mate. I'm so thankful we can celebrate a 10 year friendshipaversary this month & a 5 year wedding anniversary next month!

Today and every day I'm grateful to God for this wonderful man that I get to spend my life with!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Story #1

Although this is story #1, it's not the beginning...

Along this journey we've been on the past couple of months, we've met many people. I love to get to know them & listen to their stories, although my heart always aches at some point for what they're going through or have been through. Sometimes when you're in the middle of the journey, it's hard to reflect & see something positive. As I listen to new friends' stories I try to point out the blessings & provisions of God I hear. I love to share our story & point those same blessings & provisions out. As Eric & I reflect, we're constantly in awe of how God's stepping stones have been laid for us...I'll post about that another time. 

On the day of Kip's surgery, we were blessed to have close to 30 people gather with us throughout the day in the waiting room. So many brought snacks for us to share and we enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship and reflection over the course of the 8ish hours we were waiting. Eric & I are so thankful for all those that sat with us that day. The conversations and love made a very difficult day a little bit lighter. 

At the end of surgery, when Dr. Weprin, our neurosurgeon, took Eric & I to a consultation room to fill us in on the surgery, I think the waiting room was silent as our 20ish friends & family anxiously awaited our return to the waiting room with the report. As soon as Eric & I walked back into the waiting room I announced "He's breathing on his own!"  We all celebrated & embraced with tears of joy streaming down our faces. We circled up and had a prayer right then  thanking God for His faithfulness of seeing Kip safely through surgery. 

As we finished up our prayer I noticed someone from our group was talking with a gentleman. The next thing I knew, we were circled up again in prayer for his son that was currently in surgery. 

A little bit later, I met the man we'd just prayed for. His name was James and he and his mother & one son were there waiting while his older son was in surgery. His son, James II, had broken his leg and through that they'd discovered he had lymphoma...cancer. My heart went out to him. Here we were celebrating our blessings while he was facing what could be a life or death situation with his son. The most wonderful thing though is that he was joyous for us. He and his mother both were so thrilled for the news we'd received. 

Over the course of the next couple of days, our family discussed James & his family, wondered how James II was doing & what was next for them. My sister put together a basket for them & brought it to the hospital in hopes we'd find them or at least be able to have it delivered. One afternoon my mom happened to see James wheeling his son down the hall. She got his attention and they visited, then she brought him to see us & meet Kip and got his basket to him. The next several days at the hospital were busy so I wasn't able to contact him again. 

Today, a little over 2 weeks since we transferred from Children's to the rehab facility, we had our follow up appt with Dr. Weprin. He, like everyone else, is thrilled & impressed with Kip's healing & progress. We will have an MRI at the end of February and see him the following week. He took time today to show Kip his X-rays with his plates & screws in his neck. Then he showed Kip some models of spines, heads, & brains. Kip was impressed by it all. I'm thinking we may have a future medical professional on our hands. He insists on medical terms rather than 'baby slang'. A doctor asked him the other day if she could see the "boo boo" on his neck. He replied, "It's called an incision."  During occupational therapy, he's been having electrical stimulation to aid his left wrist. They call it "tickles" to all the kids. Kip calls it "e stim" like the adults do. Lol. Anyway, he was enthralled & listened intently as Dr. Weprin spoke to him. 

Back to James...

Today when we got to Dr. Weprin's office, the tech brought Kip a gift bag. It was from James and his family!  Imagine how shocked & touched we were!  I immediately sent a text updating him on Kip & thanked him for the gift & asked how they're doing. Later when he replied, he told me that they're doing great and the best part...NO CANCER!!!!  There was evidently a misdiagnosis...or maybe, just a miracle.  ☺️

One of my favorite songs right now is 'My Story' by Big Daddy Weave. I tried to link it here but had technical difficulties. If you don't know it, look it up...We all have a story, but mine is because of His story...

B :)

Pictured: My little story loving, superhero acting boy trying out his soon to be new wheels. But as he'll tell you, he won't be needing it for long because he's going to be walking soon. 😜