Today is my Dad's birthday - the first one since he passed away in February. I woke up thinking about my dad this morning and missing him. He's already been on my mind a lot the last few days - ever since Memorial Day. It feels like he's been gone for so long and yet it's only been a few months. Time has dulled the pain to just an occasional ache but I know I'll always miss him. Happy Birthday Dad. I'm so grateful to have had you as my father.
Part of his recovery was getting him up and walking around. The day after his surgery (Thursday), he could only go for about a dozen steps before he needed to lay back down again. The next day (Friday) he was feeling a little better and so that morning we went out onto the patient patio to blow bubbles - very good to clear the congestion out of the lungs the nurses said. He rode out to the patio in one of their wagons. He even got out and walked around for about ten minutes before he needed to go lay back down. After his nap, he was feeling restless and wanted to get up. They had a little trike out in the hall and he rode it up and down the halls for about 45 minutes. I was just amazed at the quick progress he had made from the day before - even just from that morning. His pain level seemed to be quickly going down and his energy was increasing. All those prayer were sure working! Here he is riding down the hall with his dad. Happy to be out and about and not stuck in his hospital bed. Enjoying his breakfast on Saturday morning just before going home. Leaving the hospital in style in one of their wagons. I really didn't think we'd be going home until Sunday afternoon and we were out of there Saturday morning. When we got home, he was running around and playing with his toys before taking a short nap. He ate pizza (his favorite meal), brought over by a dear friend and finally had a good nights sleep. Thank you again to everyone for all of their prayers on his behalf. The quick progress of his recovery is amazing and only proves that prayers really do work.
Here are some pictures of our little patient. He's such a trooper - taking everything in stride and coping very well. There have only been a few tantrums and a couple of times he's told his nurse that he thinks she's mean (but can you really blame him for that?).
Hooray! Everything went so well. Winston has a new tummy - a stronger and flatter one. His doctor feels really good with the surgery and thinks this will take care of his core muscles. After he heals, he should be able to go up and down stairs by himself, climb and run and play like any other 2 year old. I'm so happy and relieved with the outcome. Winston is so blessed - he's our little miracle. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for him. Prayers really do work.
For those who didn't know, Winston was born with a birth defect called an Omphalocele. He had a hole in is tummy and part of his intestines and liver were in a sack outside of his body. He had surgery to put everything back inside and repair the hole when he was three days old and a followup one when he was about 5 weeks old. He had to spend 10 weeks in the hospital before we were finally able to bring him home. He's been growing and doing very well in the last 2 1/2 years, but his stomach muscles were so weak from his birth defect that over time they've again pulled apart. He has limited core muscle strength and it took him longer than ususall to learn to crawl and walk. He's compensated well but still struggles with balance and can't climb or run as well as other kids his age. We've known that he would have to undergo an additional surgery for about two years but needed to wait until he was bigger and stronger. His doctors feel that he is ready and that now would be a good time for the surgery so Winston will be going in on Wednesday for abdominal repair surgery. I Hope this will be his last surgery and that there won't be any limitations on his future activities because of his weak stomach muscles. I'm so grateful we have a resource like Primary Children's Medical Center so close to home. The doctors and nurses there are amazing and have taken such wonderful care of Winston. Please keep him in your prayers throughout this next (and hopefully last) ordeal. I'll post updates as he progresses.
Being a mother is a small slice of what Heaven must be like. I absolutely love this picture my sister Lauri took of my family. Here I am in the middle of all my boys - right where I always want to be. What a wonderful gift and blessing they are to me. These boys/men inspire and challenge me. They give me so much happiness. Being their mother/wife has brought more joy and fulfillment to my life than I deserve. I'm soooo grateful to my husband for our sons and for the wonderful father he is. Just thinking about my sons makes my heart swell with gratitude for them and the incredible men/boys that they are. They've taught me so much over the years and I'm a better person thanks to them. I know that Mother's Day is supposed to be a day to celebrate mothers, but this year I'd like to celebrate being a mother - the greatest blessing in my life.
On another note, below is a poem written by my mother - the best mother in the world! My mom is an inspiration and I'm so grateful for her. Words of wisdom written by a very wise woman. I wish I had learned this lesson earlier, but am glad that I understand it now. I'll cherish and savor each day with my family.
Happy Mother's Day Mom! Thank You so very much for all that you've taught me. I'm so grateful for you and all that you do.
Today is my and Brad's 22nd anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long since we officially tied the knot. He's my best friend and my one true love and even after all these years, the sight of him and the sound of his voice still warms my heart and brightens my day. It's been twenty-two really great years. We've had our ups and downs but I wouldn't change any of it because all of our experiences have made us who we are today. I love our boys and our life together. Here's to another 22+ wonderful years to share. I'm sure the best is yet to come
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong because at some point in your life, you will have been all of these."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson