Friday, October 21, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

So I am sitting here on the verge of a panic attack, feeling like there is a elephant on my chest.  So in an attempt to clear my mind a little I am going to share with you some things that are heavy on my heart tonight.

The more I think of it, there has really been a series of events that have happened over the past year and a half.  

 Last Summer when I was home in California my Papa got really sick.  Unfortunately a week or so after I went home he passed away.  We headed back out there for his funeral and again this Summer to scatter his ashes at sea.

While we were home last Summer my Mom lost her favorite dog, Tyson.  He was her baby.

Also during that trip we had to say goodbye to my other Papa, Papa Dawe.  He was not really my blood Grandpa but he always treated me like he was.

A few months after we got home we lost our beloved Kitty Face.  Ok so maybe beloved is too strong of a word, but we still loved the little Pee Pants.

More recently I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life.  After 21 years of unconditional friendship, I had to make the choice to have one of my best friends put down. 

Around the same time my Dad and Mom were going through the same thing with their other little baby, Jasper.  He got real sick real fast.  He was diagnosed with Cancer and eventually they had to let him go in June of this year as well. 

On the morning of the day that we scattered my Papa's ashes at sea, we got a call telling us that my Great Uncle Marv (Papa's Brother) had lost his battle with Cancer.  That day we mourned two great men.

Fast forward to this week.  *Exhale*  This week... has been a rough one.

For the past couple weeks my Dad has not been feeling 100%.  For some reason he was retaining water and his legs were swollen all the way up to his thighs.  When he finally gave in and went to the Dr. to get checked out they didn't seem quite as worried about his swelling as they did with something else they found.  

Apparently his heart is beating two beats and stopping.  A blockage.  Or so we thought.  They set him up with a Echo Cardiogram and a stress test in the next few weeks and told us that we would see what we find out there and go on from that.

During this waiting time they ran some blood work on him and from that they moved his Echo up a week and a half, so he got to go in this past Wednesday.  All day Wednesday I was anxious.  Waiting for them to call.  I texted my Mom a few times and we cracked jokes about how he did on his stress test.  I asked her if she got it on tape... before you gasp at me you have to know that anything we said my Dad would have said a million times worse to us if he had the chance.  That's just the kind of family we are.  That's how we deal with things.

That morning before he went in for the testing I asked my Dad how he was feeling and he replied "With my hands..."  Yep, that's my Dad.

Finally the phone rang around 8:00 p.m. Texas time.  Were they really just getting out of the Dr.'s office?  They had been there over 3 hours...  I was fully expecting the news to be that he had a blockage and needed to go in for triple bypass or something like that.  Even though that would have sucked in my heart I was ready for that.  Ready to get this figured out and get him healthy.

A bypass would be welcome news over the information I was about to be told.  My Mom very calmly said "Tell Brian to add on a Mother In Law room in the back of the house."  And proceeded to tell me that the Doctor said that they found a virus in my Dad's heart.

A virus?!  Well that's good news right?  They can pump him full of medication and take care of it, right?

Not quite.  She told me that they think he's been living with this virus for the past 2 years or so and that at this point only 10% of his heart is working.

Excuse me?

Only 10%  is working?  Is that even possible?

And worse yet, once the heart stops working because of this, there is no way to get it back.  The Dr. said that they usually put people on the heart transplant list when they get down around 35% but because of his age he will not be a candidate.  

So pretty much they told him to go home, get his affairs in order and quit work immediately.  Oh and "No heavy lifting."  My Dad made sure to tell me that the Doc looked at my Mom when he said that.  He's such a comedian.  

So yeah that's where we're at... My Dad, the man who raised me, is walking around right now with only 10% of his heart functioning.  The worst part of it all is that the Doctors can't give him a time line of how long it can hold out.  They said it could be two minutes, it could be two hours, days, months...  They just don't know.  

What are we supposed to do with that?  Why isn't there a manual on this kind of stuff?  It's all so new and scary.  It doesn't even seem real.  It's more like an episode from Grey's Anatomy or something.  I mean this kind of stuff only happens in Hollywood right?

So I beg of you, please pray for my Dad.  I am not ready to let him go yet.  I sit here broken in tears for all the hell I put him through growing up.  We didn't have the best relationship when I was younger but now I see that it is because we are exactly alike.  As I've grown older we've grown closer.  It has been a joy to my heart to watch my Dad be the amazing Grandpa that he is.  My kids adore him and he loves them and spoils them (way too much).  I am not ready to loose that.  I want him to be there to watch them grow older, and tease me about how I am getting what I deserve for all the crap I put them through.  

He has one option as of now.  They will be spending him to a specialist to see if a pace maker might be an option.  From what I hear the Dr. that they saw on Wednesday didn't sound too hopeful about this idea but it's worth looking into.

Phew... ok now that I've tore through a box of tissues I've got a few more things.

First, my Grams.  My Dad's Mom.  She's not doing too well either from what I hear.  Something is wrong with her Aorta and she is in a lot of pain.  She also has a really bad shoulder that they want to do surgery on but she is hesitant because she's 86.  Please pray for her. She is a strong Godly woman and has taught me a lot through the years.  
{If you wanna know about those socks, here's that post}

As well as for my Great Uncle DJ.  I got word yesterday that he has been sick himself.  Apparently he got a staph infection in his elbow it swelled all the way down to his wrist.  They have him going to the hospital everyday to give him rounds of antibiotics.  I pray for quick and complete healing for him.

And lastly my Mom just told me that on Wednesday while my Dad was at the Doctors, their neighbor Paul passed away.  Paul and his wife Betty have lived next door (Really about a half a mile away but that's about as next door as it gets in their neck of the woods) to my parents my whole life.  I remember visiting them at their real estate office when I was younger and delivering a million boxes of girl scout cookies to their door every year.  They always watched out for my Mom since she was on her own most of the day when my Dad was at work.  For those of you who don't know, my Mom is paralyzed from the waist down and is in a wheelchair.  I remember one specific time when I was really little, probably about Ava's age 2 or 3 when Paul was a huge comfort to me. 

 I was sitting there watching TV (probably The Wizard of Oz for the 100th time that day) eating my box of raisins when all of a sudden a team of fire men burst in the door and started working on my Mom who was sitting at the table right behind me.  I had no idea what was going on but Paul saw the trucks at my Mom's house and headed over to see if he could help.  I remember him taking me outside and talking to me, trying to keep me distracted.  He showed me how you can see your veins in your hand when you stick a bright flash light underneath it.  That was amazing to me.  

In the end everything turned out ok.  Apparently my Mom had been taking her vitamins and being the over achiever she is, instead of taking them one at a time she threw like 4 in there at a time and tried to swallow them all at that same time.  Yeah, that didn't work out too well.  She learned her lesson though.

Anyways it's late, and we have a big day tomorrow (My husband's annual Family Company Picnic) so I'd better try to get these puffy swollen eyes to bed.  I am not going to proof read this thing tonight so if you've made it this far, I'm sorry.  I'm sure this post is a hot mess but I had to write.  It's all I have right now.  Everyone is so far away from me and there is nothing I can do to help.  I feel helpless and useless.  

Hopefully we'll get some answers in these next few days and things will be more clear.  Until then, I thank you for your prayers.

Over and over again when I pray God keeps reminding me of James 1: 2-4.  2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

God has used this verse to calm my heart many times and it looks like this time is no different.  He's not finished with me yet, never will be.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sit Back. Relax.

Actual Date: Friday, July 29, 2011

 Once a month my Mom has a massage therapist come out.  Her name is Renette and we've become close with her in the last 4 years.  The past couple years Renette has spent one day with us during our Family Reunion, giving everyone massages.  And I do mean the whoooole day.  There's a lot of us so it takes awhile.

There's Brooke sprucing my Mom's hair up.  We were all packed in Chelsea's salon so she couldn't resist playing with all the fun hair stuff.

The kids got bored of the whole massage thing quick so we set them up playing in the water.

After awhile I remembered I had bought stuff for one of the activities on our Bucket List.  Tie Dye! 

After dinner we had ice cream of course.

That night when I put the kids in the bath tub they were the messiest I think I've ever seen them.  That's alright with me.  That's a sure sign of a productive/fun day in my book.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fun In The Sun

Actual Date: Thursday, July 28, 2011

We got a special treat from Uncle Donnie and Aunt Ann, they took us all to a water park.  As you can see the kids were beyond excited about it.

Ava LOVED the slide, and that's putting it lightly.  

Every time she came down the slide she headed right for Uncle Donnie and splashed him like crazy.  Poor Donnie, I think he got stuck with the wildest one.   

It was a blessing to have Don and Ann there with us because there is no possible way I could have kept an eye on all three kids by myself.  They were all going different directions.

At one point some of us headed over to the Lazy river to float around for awhile.  I had Ava on my back to begin with but then the life guard said we couldn't do that so I asked her if she thought she could swim for awhile, with her life jacket on of course.  She had a grand ol' time floating down that river.  They had jets in the water pushing the water all the same direction just like a real river would.  At one point Ava turned to me and said "Look how fast I can swim in this pool Mom.  Can you even believe it?!"  I had to chuckle and I told her I was proud of her.  

I was in charge of Parker most of the time and he was easy.  All he wanted to do was "Floaty Boy."   He would just lay back and sing "Floaty Boy!  Floaty Boy!"  Anytime I tried to set him up and get him to run around he would get mad and lay back down.

After the water park we headed back to Gram's and Chel's and the kids played some more.  Brooke and Jacob got along so great.  Brooke is literally a month older than Jacob so it's fun to see them interact.  I wish we lived closer so we could all hang out more often.  It would be great to watch them grow up and go to school together.

While the bigger kids were outside, Ava was inside with Uncle Chris cleaning Fishy's tank. 

Or water jug I should say.  

I kid you not, this fish has lived in that water jug for the past 2 maybe even 3 years.  One year at my nephew's Birthday party they gave away fish as prizes.  Fishy was the only little guy left and he kinda hung out in that jug on the counter.  It's so funny because every Summer when I go home I see Fishy sitting there in the same spot on the counter.  Chris takes good care of him though.   It's funny because when Chris walks in the kitchen fishy follows him and gets excited.  It's hilarious to watch. 

We headed over to my Mom's for dinner and more importantly, Orange Soda floats (We may or may not have had Orange Soda floats for Breakfast the next morning... and maybe for a Mid-day snack as well... A wise person once told me "Calories don't count when your on vacation."  That's true, right?)

I had a few glow stick left from the Yoda Soda so I threw those in.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life's A Beach

Actual Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For some reason I slept awful Tuesday night.  I tossed and turned all night.  We were in a hotel and I was sharing a bed with Parker so that was some of it.  In the morning I had one thing on my mind, Starbucks.  Coffee that morning was not just a luxury, it was a necessity.  

After we stopped and got our morning pick me up we headed to the beach.  It was chilly and we thought we were going to just go stick our toes in the sand, just so we could say we went.

Anne, take your socks off.  You at the beach for Heaven's sake.  

Parker didn't want to have anything to do with the water when I took him down there.  But when Anne did that was a whole different story.  He loved it.

This was right after poor Bill got his feet soaked.  He was trying to back up to get a picture of everyone on the beach and just as he did a huge wave a came up and got him.

My cute little Avers. 

For some reason these next couple pictures wont flip.  Anyone know how to fix that?

Parker and I

Cindi is right in the middle there.  She was cracking me up when she got done and was emptying the sand out of her sweat shirt pockets.  

Well needless to say no one had planned on being soaking wet and needing to change before driving home, so we had to make due.  The bathrooms were way far away so we were "that" family.  

I Elle-Oh-Vee-E (love) Bill's face here.

Before we headed home we had one more thing to check off our to do list.

The kids were blown away that our car was actually floating on the water.  Ava said "Our car is not a swimming car?!?!"  She couldn't wrap her mind around it.

After we got home we headed over to my Mom's house for dinner.  

The had fun going for a hike with Uncle Chris and Cindi.

Then they came back went swimming, and went a little crazy.  

Ok, a lot crazy.

Who's kids are these?

The girls helping Grandpa make dinner for the next night.  After they had had a bath and were nice and clean... in their brand new matching jammies... which were covered in tomato juice by the time they were done.  But hey, it's the memories that count right?