As we are embarking on another trip to Houston, trip number 8 to be exact, I am flooded with memories of the past 18 months. Where we started, where we’ve been, and most importantly how far we’ve come on this journey!
In February of 2008…
Lily was 4 and Riley was 2. Lily was in Pre K and I was worried about her missing too much school when we were in Florida. Riley still wore diapers and had a shousha(aka pacifier). Ricky and I were celebrating our 29th…ahem…or maybe 33 birthdays. We were heading down to Florida for Spring Training. He was a professional baseball player pursuing his dream. I was a stay at home mom and couldn’t be happier! We spent February in the pool and at the beach. Not to mention catching a few spring training baseball games.
In February of 2009…
Lily was 5 and Riley was 3. Lily was in Kindergarten and a love of gymnastics had blossomed in her life. Riley was in preschool and reminded me how being 3 was way worse than being 2! We were headed to Houston for the third time to meet with Dr. Yung at MD Anderson.
Ricky was on his second round of chemo. He weighed 30 pounds less than he does now. He was sick and nauseas from the chemo. He had a funky hair loss from the radiation that was just starting to grow back in. He was keeping his head shaved until the patches of hair grew back in. He didn’t get out much except to go to the doctor and church. He was still going to speech three days a week. He had a lot of speech and memory issues. He got the keys to his Tahoe back on February 7. He drove across the street and back, but was thrilled to have some independence back.
I was still a stay at home mom and loved every minute of it. I had more bad days than good. The year had it’s toll on me. I realized how much more I needed the Lord in my life than ever before. I lost friends that couldn’t handle the situation…at least I guess that’s why. My friends that stuck with me helped get me through some really rough times. The Lord placed new people in our life that mean the world to us.
February of 2010…
Lily is 6 and Riley is 4. Lily is in first grade and loves school. She is an amazing student who loves reading! Her passion is gymnastics. She is intense in school and intense in gymnatics. She puts her everything into all that she does. She loves the Lord and His light shines through her! Her giggle and smile are contagious…she lights up the room. She lights up my heart! She is a Daddy’s girl through and through.
Riley is in preschool and loves the social aspect of school. He will finally write his name but chooses when he wants to put the letters in the correct order. He gives everything 110% and is all rough and tough boy. He is loving basketball right now but can’t wait for t ball in the spring. He loves singing praise and worship songs in the car and I smile every time. “Louder mommy”…he likes the music loud so he can sing louder! Not a bit on key but precious as can be. He also loves to make people laugh! He will definitely be the class clown. He has a ton of girls that chase him at school and he loves it…I’m not as in love with that as he is =) He is definitely a mama’s boy!
Ricky and I are about to celebrate our 29th birthday…OKAY!!!…35th!! Wow! We are getting old. Ricky stays at home and takes care of many of the household duties. He is still very fatigued and naps every day. He has put all the weight back on that he lost and looks so healthy. He still has speech and memory issues but has learned how to cope with them. He is no longer embarrassed to speak to others, he is who he is! He still keeps his head shaved but not because of the hair loss. He likes his scar. It is part of him. It is part of his testimony. He wants people to ask so he can share his love of Jesus. Oh my, and how he loves Jesus! He is consumed with the Word and all that it has to offer. His life is Jesus and his family. He has slowly began to share his testimony as the Lord has allowed.
I am teaching a pre K class at The Potters House. I have thirteen amazing students who make me laugh…and sometimes cry…three days a week =) They are really wonderful. The staff I work with is amazing and I am so thankful that the Lord has placed me there. There are supportive and so positive. It is a wonderful Christian environment to be in! I am going to school for my Masters in Educational Leadership. I cried through much of the first term but have found the first few weeks of this term much more bearable. I am actually enjoying my classes now! Staying busy is good for me…it keeps my mind focused on where I am and where I need to be. Too much time to think gets me in trouble…
We have amazing friends and family that help keep our family running smoothly during the craziness that is our life. The trips to Houston every two months wouldn’t be possible without my mom, Meemaw, holding down the fort while we are gone. Not to mention Becky taking Lily to gymnastics at 6 AM on Tuesday mornings and Amy bringing her home at night. The kids stay on their regular routine and that is priceless. The Potter’s House being understanding of my taking off so much for our trips and my professors allowing me to miss class is also a huge burden lifted. Have a mentioned the most important thing…a God that gives me enough grace every day to get through!
As we head to this next appointment I would be lying to say that I don’t get nervous. I try to keep it real here, and for real, I get nervous. I trust God completely. I gave up a long time ago trying to carry this on my own. However, my flesh takes over and doubt and fear do creep in. That is when I must remember that He has got it all under control. Then I remember this verse…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God takes over and there is a calmness. One that I cannot describe. You only know it when you’ve felt it.
Please be in prayer for us as we head to Houston. Some of Ricky’s blood counts were off a bit but nothing that seems too worrisome. I have the MRI in my hand but we won’t have it reviewed until Tuesday. I will try and update sometime on Tuesday with the wonderful news…you wouldn’t expect anything other than wonderful would you?!?
Love to you all!!