Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We Are Being Healed

heal v. 1. to restore to soundness;cure. 2. To set right; repair. 3. To restore (a person) to spiritual wholeness.

We are being healed. We truly are. I have shared some thoughts on this once before, but this morning while our family visiting from Louisiana are taking time to shower and such over at the bunkhouse, I have a few moments to share some of my thoughts on our healing.

The year 2011 was a true challenge. Adjusting to a move, starting a couple of businesses, managing Garrett and his meds, schedule, respite care and just daily issues of his were all very exhausting and extremely emotionally taxing. Meanwhile we have two daughters who are completely amazing and beautiful and smart and my HEART!!!!

But now the dark cloud of change and emotion seems to have lifted, and Grouchy and I have clearer vision of our dreams as well as business and personal, family goals. I prayed 2012 would be a better year....the best ever!!!! Last year was the first really, truly hiccup year of our lives. But we made it!!! And now I can see that all of our healing is coming from the One above, but much, much of it He is sending through our son, much like God healed all of us through His Son.

I watch other families with their kiddos. Sure, there are rifts and struggles with discipline, but they get bent up around the little things. And yes, we still do that. Take last night for an example. We had been skiing with our visiting family, and when we finally got home we were all wet and tired. When we started asking Addie and Ainslee about their small pet and farm chores, they grew very whiny and defensive, and Grouchy and I reacted and sat down starting to go down a negative road of wondering if we should thin the animals some so there were not so many things for the girls to whine about if they didn't want to care for the animals as is required. And no, we would not go turn the bunny loose, shoot the horses or free the cow herd of two, but we could sell off some things for sure! Instead, we took a deep breath and when things had settled down and our visiting family went to the bunkhouse, we just took time to sit on the couch and watch Addie, Ainslee and Garrett do a "show" for us in the living room. They danced together and laughed, and in the end we did to, realizing that our girls are just being tired, silly 9 and 11 year old children who sometimes just need to be themselves!

There's a peace with Garrett we have not had in the past few years. I think 25% of it is his maturing and improving, but the other 75% is having the personal care services ever afternoon after school for 3 hours and then 22 hours per week of developmental therapy with Shelby in our home or out in the community with Garrett. Grouchy's tone has settled more, neither of us get as frustrated as quickly, and even the girls seem to be spending more time WITH their little brother really playing with him and even working to try to teach him things. They are sharing more. The have more patience and peace......largely because they see their grown-ups holding it together more.

But all of this healing and change is directly related to living with, loving and being blessed with Garrett. Here are just a few things we have learned:

1. It truly does not matter what others think.....
I parent my children and you parent yours. Period. I will do my best, and you just do yours.

2. Happiness comes from within but through Christ.
My mom told me this over and over and over, and yes, Mom, you are right....still!!! Happiness isn't where you are, but where you are focused and how you look at things. Some of the most joy-filled people throughout history were imprisoned because of their faith, fighting disease, or caring for a loved one. It's a frame of mind.

3. Life is short......even when it feels like the current moment will be more than you can handle.
When it is all said and done here on earth, life has only begun. Eternal life, that is. If I could just keep this in the front of my mind every second, then I would be better at #2 above!

4. I can always choose my reaction.
Again, my mom always said, "You can't control anyone but yourself." And OH HOW RIGHT she is there! You can be around grumpy people, stuck in a bad situation or be treated rudely or unfairly, but YOU CAN CHOOSE how to react. You can choose to join the crowd in grumbling or choose to be light and life in any situation.
This reminds me of my dear friends Bert and Tricia. Bert is battling a recurring brain tumor and all kinds of complications from treatments as well as the tumor's imposing seizures, falls, loss of balance, but every time he posts on Facebook or sends messages to me, he is ALWAYS thankful and praising God. He is learning and leaning...leaning and learning. He says he will be praising God coming and praising God going!

5. Challenges help us grow in all areas......IF we let them.
Our friend Alan, Shelby's daddy, once told me, "Be careful if you ask God for patience because he will send more tough situations and people to help you practice being more patient." How true!! Just because I asked for patience doesn't mean God will just pour it into my hand and SHA-BAM it's all better!! He instead builds us. He molds us, and we have to be malleable. That's my challenge!!! I have to be willing to change and let myself learn. But typically I am just plain stubborn and resistant! True!
While challenges are many times frustrating and tiring, I must admit that I have learned pretty much nothing from smooth sailing! But through challenges I have learned that during smooth sailing I need to stay on my knees in thankfulness!

6. March to our own beat.
My beat may be chillin' with Garrett while others have to be traveling the world or seeing their kiddos make first team local competitive sports or such. But I am truly fine hanging with my little buddy while others conquer the world. We are working in our world, with our limits, and we are becoming very happy in that skin, finally.

I am sure I can add many other things we have learned, but above all, take from this that our sweet Garrett, who can be called challenging, slow, sometimes impossible, confusing, frustrating and a football bat (that's another post for another day, but one of Grouchy's descriptions of Garrett), is the very one who has taught us so much.
Without Garrett in our family, I think we would all be more selfish, rushing through life, not noticing the magic of the little things and much, much more selfish. God sent a baby into the world to save us all......the least, smallest, weakest. And into our lives, God sent Garrett.......unexplainable, yet now not taken for granted. The future is uncertain for us all every day. And Garrett's is even more uncertain. And therein I realize is yet another dose of this healing medicine we have been granted. We should love deeply and treat each moment as it should be treated. Lauren Alaina, American Idol Season 10 runner-up sings a song that sums it all up beautifully called 'The Middle.' You can listen using the link below...
My favorite part says:
Take each day and make it last because you turn around the future is the past. Here and now is all we have. The beginning and the ending mean so little, but what matters most is what's in the middle.

From our healing home to each of your lives and hearts, look for the little things, the challenges, and the tiny chances to learn and grow and overcome yourself above all, keeping your eyes UP!!

Love and Godspeed,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Never Know How Strong You Are.....

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

Think about it. "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

I have tried to say something like this many times as people will sometimes comment that they "don't know how we handle this" or "cannot imagine what a challenge it must be" to deal with Garrett, Mitochondrial Disease, mental issues and so horrifyingly unknown future. But this quote says it all. I think I say, "I really only do what you would do, which is all I can do.....keep going!" But this new quote is so much more friendly to the ear and sums it up perfectly.

My prayers tonight will be focused on each of you who read this and struggle with your own weakness or challenge at this moment. You are not alone!!!!!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Garrett's Grandmothers Are CRAZY!!!

Yep, there, I said it! If you are related to us or close to us at all, you know that's a compliment in our family!! Boring, dull folks sit around and never do anything adventurous. Well, that doesn't mean they are not cool people, but let me get to the point......
This summer while my parents were here for four months (still cannot thank them enough!!!), Grouchy's mom came out for a week and we ALL went rafting!! Well, Garrett didn't get to go because he's still too little, but Addie, Ainslee and I went and we had Cousin Sarah here and met our sweet friends Jana and Shelby there. It was COLD water but so much fun! We even had a guide cool enough to let us float a long, long ways in the water on the calm sections of the trip.
The grandmothers are in the back of the boat just in front of the guide. My mom on the right and Grouchy's on the left.
SO there, they are BOTH CRAZY, but that's something I wouldn't change for the world!!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Upcoming Trip to Seattle Childrens

I finally made reservations for air, rental car and hotel for the upcoming visit to Seattle Childrens for our first appointment to see Dr. Saneto. While there, he has Garrett getting a sedated MRI as well. We arrive Sunday the 4th of March and leave Tuesday, March 6. If any of you northwest Mito moms or families want to get together, let me know here in the comments. My sweet friend Heidi has volunteered to come meet me for Garrett's Monday morning appointment with Dr. Saneto so Garrett will be entertained while I talk with and listen to his impressions about Garrett and his plans for Garrett's care. He already has all of the records he needs, so I think we are ready to go!!!

One of our personal care workers stopped showing up, but then the agency sent a wonderful lady about the age of my parents. She has more energy than I have!!!! She is so amazing and energetic with Garrett. I think it helps she has worked with all age ranges and has an autistic grandchild, so she "gets" it.

This weekend, Grouchy's sister Elizabeth comes out for her first Idaho visit and brings her two kiddos. One is a year younger than Garrett and the other is a sweet girl Ainslee's age. They will all be a mess together just like they are when we visit Louisiana!! We have been counting down the days for about, oh, two months!!!! The bunkhouse is all ready, and we have reservations for a sleigh ride, tubing, a hot spring, and tons of other things the kiddos have planned!!! It's Mardi Gras week in Louisiana, so they get the week out of school, and we will enjoy their vacation too!! AAAAHHHHH.......the beauty of home schooling!!

Not much more to report besides Addie's show rabbit arriving soon. She is slightly excited......understatement of the YEAR!!!!

Blessings to each of you and yours and thanks again to those of you who purchased bracelets!! Still stringing beads to fill an order of 25 for one person and 45 for another!! I have to get on the ball and pull a late-nighter it seems!!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Is the Doctor Going to Cut MINE Off ???......and other recent funny stories

Is the Doctor Going to Cut MINE Off?
Addie's Pug puppy, Eli, was neutered on Tuesday. I picked up Eli from the vet with all three of the kiddos in the car. When Addie walked out to the car with a very, very droopy and groggy Eli, Garrett asked why he was at the doctor.
"Is Eli sick, Addie?" Garrett said.
Addie answered, "No, he is not sick. He had to have a surgery, Garrett."
"But what did the doctor do to him? He looks sad. Did he get a shot?" Garrett asked.
Addie explained, "Garrett, you know those things that hang behind your penis? Well, the doctor had to cut those off so Eli cannot make babies."
And Garrett exclaimed, "I hope the doctor doesn't cut my penis off!!!!"

DSi Smuggling and Higher Thinking
Thursday morning as the bus was coming up our driveway, I asked Garrett to put down his handheld video game, the DSi, and he just stopped and held it and was thinking. I asked him to just put it on the living room table, but he still stalled for a moment. Then he took off running down the hall with the DSi. I yelled,"Garrett, come put the game down and get on the bus!!!" He yelled back,"I have to go hide the DSi so Shelby won't take it away when I have to do my work!!" When his developmental therapist, Shelby, comes over, he has to do work she gives him and take part in activities she plans that coordinate with his IEP and plan with the service provider. So he knows when she comes he has to hand over the game until he earns time to play by doing his "work!"

Successful Hiding
Remember the story just above about hiding the DSi before school? Well that same afternoon when Shelby arrived, he grabbed his DSi and ran back down the hall to his bedroom. Shelby asked where he was going and he shouted,"I am going to go to my room and hide my DSi in my closet so YOU CAN'T FIND IT!!!" Okay, so we need to work on the complete concept of hiding, but at least his little mind is letting us see how much is actually going on!!!!

And I am sure more stories will surface soon!!
Godspeed and don't forget to look for the awesomeness of the simple things your kiddos do!!!!