Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's a Good Life

Today, my "baby" boy turned 42. That's so hard for me to believe. We had everyone over to the house for dinner to celebrate. Yummy (totally unhealthy) meal of roast, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, yeast rolls and yum yum for dessert - cherry or chocolate, your choice.

I can't keep my mind from wandering back 42 years ago, when that precious baby boy was born. I was 19 and totally excited to be a new mom. He was such a perfect first baby. Easy-going, good eater, not demanding or given to fits of temper. He was sleeping 12 hours a night when he was two weeks old - unheard of nowadays. A good "starter" child for a young woman who thinks she has it all together (but, in reality, has so much to learn). I loved being a mom. We were very strapped financially, but I tried to make good times for us anyway. Hubby worked straight afternoons, so it was Jeff and I together for long hours most days. We sang. I read stories to him. I got in the floor and played with him. I taught him, and he was so eager to learn - EVERYTHING!

The teen years brought some heartache and indecision on our part. We weren't certain how to handle him all the time, and I think he knew that. But we all survived.

Forty-two years have passed. He's grown into a wonderful man, and his life encompasses so much - loving husband, caring father, successful businessman, Godly example to his family. A man of integrity. Who could ask for more?

I reflect, and I thank God. We haven't always done things right, but we've always had hearts after God. Seeing who and what our son has become makes me proud. Life has been good - to us and to him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

Today, we spent a couple hours at United Access in St. L. having the EZ Lock bolt taken off Don's loaner chair that he's been using and put onto his own personal powerchair that we received Friday. While there, I noticed a family (husband, wife and son) who were also waiting on a vehicle to be serviced. She and I struck up a conversation. It seems that her son, Daniel, was born apparently perfect. He caught on well and was picking up words right on schedule. But, when the time came for him to start trying to walk, it simply didn't happen. The doctor said the child was just lazy, but Kate's mother heart knew otherwise. He did finally learn to pull himself around in a clumsy crawl that was more like a bunny hop than a crawl. The doctors took another look, diagnosed him with CP, and told them he probably wouldn't survive past childhood. When he was 17 months old, he went into a seizure and seized for four days and four nights. When the seizures finally passed, he had lost all physical function that he had developed and his speech had completely digressed.

In the meantime, Kate became pregnant again. She carried the baby girl full term, but the child only lived a short time before dying. They never really found out the reason for her death. This young family was devastated. The doctors assured Kate that the chance for another child they birthed to have CP was remote, so she and her husband decided to try to have another baby. Rachel, too, was born with CP. She lived 16 years, most of which were very painful for her. She was a bright child, but was trapped in a body that was twisted and pained. When Rachel was 16, she needed a serious heart surgery; Rachel didn't survive the surgery.

This past February, Kate had a seizure. They still haven't figured out what happened to her, but the seizure left her unsteady on her feet and with memory problems. She had to quit her job as a high school teacher.

Daniel, who is now 30, became more than they were able to care for at home, so they have had to place him in a facility that specializes in independent living for the handicapped.

I spoke with this lady for quite a while and assured her that we would put her family in our prayers. She asked if we could exchange phone numbers, because sometimes she just needed someone to talk to. How could I refuse?

Sometimes God presents us with very special opportunities to minister. I feel like He placed me where I was this morning just so Kate would have a listening ear. Or, maybe it was more than that. Maybe God wanted me to see my own situation from a different perspective. Once again, I'm feeling blessed and highly favored!