Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Price of a Priceless Life

Ahh Spring,
 new growth, the big changes that are in store~ 
 Earlier this week I was looking at our yard.  The grass in Texas really sucks.  Our grass really sucks.  I cant tell you how hard we (meaning Doug) have tried to make it 'pretty'...It just isn't the same as the grass in Washington State- it never will be.  My severe frustration drove me to call Doug at work.  I went off about the grass in our yard for a good 5 minutes.  'It is embarrassing... We need to fix it... blah blah blah'-   I went on and on and got Doug all worked up about it-  surely he would succumb to my annoying whining right?  After all isn't it just so important to have great grass?
Call me puddle.
Reality check. Bigger problems in the world.
Feb 15th Heather, a dear friend of mine, received a phone call around 9:30pm.  It wasn't good news.  Heather is a divorcee mother of 4.  Her X husband, Brent,  has parents with a ranch in middle of nowhere (hunting grounds) Texas.  Her sons love to go up and hunt with their Uncles, Grandparents, and friends.  Garrett, her 15 year old, has been driving on the family ranch grounds for some time.  It is legal on private property.  He was driving in his fathers Tahoe with his 13 year old brother and a friend from school. You don't need the details of the accident.  It was an overcompensation by an inexperienced driver.  The Tahoe flipped 3X and landed on Garrett who , after being bashed around inside the car, had been thrown from the car.  The accident occurred 4 miles away from the home, on the Ranch.  Braeden, the 13 year old, was banged up but heroically went for help.  There was a 2ft radius around the car with cell phone service, walking past the car on any side there wasn't any service for miles.  Jonah, the friend, used his phone to call Garrett's father in Austin.  Brent received a frantic screaming childs message.  He directed Jonah to sit Garrett up and not let him sleep among other things.  Garrett had broken every bone in his face and jaw.  He was bleeding out of his mouth, eyes, nose, and ears.  Even though Garrett was in unimaginable pain he was worried about everyone else.  He kept on asking if Braeden was back and apologizing for the accident, He was second guessing the decision to send Braedan for help.  o concerned that they had sent Braeden out in worse condition than they had thought, maybe he had passed out...
After waiting for over two hours the helicopter finally located them and was able to Medivac them to the nearest hospital.  Everything, although horribly bloody, was extremely optimistic.  No concerns other than broken bones.  A big phew right?
The accident happened on a Saturday night-  Things were going really well, they scheduled Garrett for surgery (they basically rebuilt his face and jaw) Wednesday.  They placed him in a drug induced coma to help his body deal with everything the best way possible.  They pushed the surgery back to Friday.  He was having trouble with the tube down his throat.  Garrett was in pain but such a trooper.  When not in the coma he wrote notes to his parent, he apologized about how much money this was going to cost them... he joked about things, he shared Ipod music with his nurse.  He was regular (just a smidgen banged up :) Garrett.  Garrett is incredibly athletic, funny, family loving, and very respectful-  he is a GREAT kid.  Girls adore him ( didn't mention he is very handsome) and boys love to call him their friend.
After surgery things seemed to be going well.  He on the road to full recovery.  His parents had called his HS soccer coach and relayed what had happened.  They said he would be there for the last game of the season.  They explained he couldn't play but would be suited on the bench for his team. 
After the surgery the medical staff instructed Garrett not to fidget or pull out the intubation tube.  He was well warned.  His mom was in the his room after a nurse came in to change the tube.  She changed a couple of  things and left the room.  After a few moments, Garrett started to throw his hand up to get his mothers attention, motioning to her that something was wrong with the tube- a motion that looked awful to her- she feverishly called the nurses in to fix whatever was going on...The nurse casually walked in and looked at the monitor.  She reassured Heather that the numbers looked fine...  while blood was coming out of Garrett's mouth.  After this continued for a minute more the nurse realized she had neglected to connect the hose to the other part of the hose- no oxygen was coming in.  He was suffocating.  After attaching the hose Garrett began to vomit all the blood that they had neglected to clear from his stomach-  Garrett coded.
Fortunately, they were able to bring him back.  The doctor that oversaw Garrett told Heather and Brent that he was not going to give Garrett a trachea- otomy  because he had never trache' d (sp?) a child before... He was not a pediatric surgeon.  This was concerning to Heather and Brent, after all the tubes had been problematic since the beginning.  But Doctors know best, even in Hicksville Texas right?
A few days later Heather was sitting bedside.  She saw Garrett's tied down arms bounce up and down off the bed.  She saw his white knuckles as he grasped the bedsheets.  He was arching his back.  He knew better than to touch the hose.  He had been warned.  Heather screamed for the nurses.  They filled the room quickly,  they struggled for over 5 minutes to try to fix his tube-  when they couldn't they escorted Heather out of the room and closed the door.  They continued to try to fix the tube, ultimately, after 10 minutes, they preformed an emergency trachea- otomy.  Once again he coded, Once again they brought him back.  This time it wasn't the same. Things will never be the same again.
Garrett has since been awake yet non responsive.  Because of the lack of oxygen he now has an Anoxic Brain Injury.  He cannot control his body.  People are exponentially less likely to recover from an Anoxic Brain injury.  After so many tender mercies from our Heavenly Father how can the mistakes of his caregivers win in this battle?
My heart is broken.  I cannot quit thinking, racking my brain- how the heck can we help?  What can we do.  So many tears and prayers for this amazing boy and family.  Their struggle and journey is going to be so difficult.  I am so angry.  They have been robbed of their Garrett.  The world has been robbed of Garrett.  This should not have happened.  This wasn't supposed to happen.  How could those doctors and nurses screw up so horribly?
Times like this (and ONLY times like this ) I wish I were famous.  I wish I had the clout, money and big business support that philanthropists like Oprah and Ellen have.  If Ellen were my friend I know she would get her people to help- that is one of the first things my children said...'call Ellen'.  I wish I had people.  The hospital bills are already beyond the 6 digits and this is only the beginning.  They have to prepare a handicap accessible home for Garrett to come home to.  Disability takes 3 years.  How can a single mother of 4 (3,9,13,15) without a home of her own make this work?  I am baffled- I dont understand-  I told her to get a lawyer right away-  She is so calm and Christ like.  She explained she does not have any extra energy or time to give to anything outside Garrett and her kids right now.  How do you put a price on such an enormous tragedy? 
 I am going to open an Charity for Garrett.  I don't know the exact protocol yet but I will figure this out.  I hope and pray there will be many Angels in our midst.  I hope and pray we can help right his wrong the best we can.  When it comes down to it you don't have to be famous to make a difference.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
Seeing Garrett for the first time since the accident the other day-  Looking into his beautiful eyes- was beyond heartbreaking.  It was as if he was trapped within himself, fighting, pleading for help.  I want to make a change outside the walls of my silly little yard.
Please Fast and Pray for Garrett and his family.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happily Ever After-

17th Anniversary this past month!

18 Years together!

Seems like

Yesterday and Always...

I Love and adore

My One and Only

my Forever

Thanks for putting up with me all this time-

dream a little dream of me...Lyrics

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "i love you"
Birds singin in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me
Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me youll miss me
While Im alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kissIm longin to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars shining up above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "i love you"
Birds singin in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Yes, dream a little dream of me

Thursday, May 6, 2010

lil' H

I have come to the conclusion we have a thug for a 2 year old. He likes a heavy beat to dance to, He loves to pack heat around the house- Laser gun- I'm talking tilting it to the side for the 'Kill shot'. Before he starts dancing he likes to say 'o yeah' quite comical. Very entertaining.
A few weeks ago we DVR'ed the movie Hitch beginning at the part where the chubby guy in the movie shows Will Smith his moves. In the movie He named his moves 1) Start the Fire, 2)Make the Pizza 3) qtip 4)throw it away and the best of all 5) and if it doesn't work you hit her with a little of this...He finishes his set of moves with a solid' o no- you cant stop this, cant stop this....' Hayden say each of those things before he proceeds to dance like a thug. I am going to tape it and put it in You tube. We cry because we laugh so hard each time he does it- too cute - the white baby can dance!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Little Pebble Big Ripple

Spring is so inspiring. So many changes on the horizon. So many motivating factors for change. Alas the many motivated people at the beginning of Spring- Or so it seems. It starts with Spring cleaning, a purge of all the excess accumulated throughout the winter months. there is get ready to wear your swimsuit exercise and diet go time- once again getting rid of the excess from the winter months. The children are winding down from the school year- The older ones looking into which Summer jobs and plans are most advantageous to their 'future'. Whether it be in combination with their future academic schedules, their social schedules, or their collegiate interviews to come- these decisions as which route to take don't come easily. Spring Training for Sports. Trying to decide which team to devote your time (and mom and dads money) to. Mom and Dad trying to coordinate their schedules to spend the most time together as a family- Make the most of the time allotted for Memory making... When I lay it out ike this it sounds so exhausting...
But don't you just love Spring?
Over Spring Break the kids and I took a trip out to Lufkin Texas. Doug was working a contract weekend job there and we wanted go have dinner with him. Haven't heard of Lufkin you say? There really is no reason to hear of Lufkin. It is about 20 miles South of Nacogdoches, close to the Louisiana border. Tiny little town. Not a cultural Mecca calling anyone's name. Not an academic Utopia. Not a lot to it.
The drive there was breath taking! It was like we were in a different state. Forests, every shade of green, color all around. Hills and Horses. There were flowers and beauty all around. Dont get me wrong, I think Austin Hill Country is a sight to be seen in Texas, l but there is something about getting a little further off the path most traveled that allures me. There were enormous Mansions neighboring Tiny Shacks. Antique stores, Mom and Pop produce shops..o yes and it is Texas, so every 30 miles or so there was a Walmart for all your fashion essentials. God Bless Miley Cyrus fashion inspirations. We drove through a few ghost towns. It reminded me of the movie Cars. I wondered what wonderful places that those towns probably were at some point of time. Looking at the buildings- thinking at some point of time those businesses were people dreams, their futures that most likely entailed some serious sacrifice. All the abandoned buildings in the downtown area, all the broken windows in between the beautiful columns, It was really quite sad. So much wasted. I wondered if these peoples dreams were fulfilled? Why did this town fail? What happened?
Wouldn't it be great if everyone saw the beauty of these towns. Their potential. People could farm and trade. Become self sufficient. Help and teach each other. O wait, I guess that is only done in places where perverse men marry multiple little girls and have oodles of children all in the name of their God- Too bad- I could see their potential. With so many towns like that why dont we pour money into rebuilding them for welfare reasons-Have people pay back their (private) student loans by working for a year or two in town being rebuilt- fix the houses- Have the people farm or choose a trade to barter pay back their loans. Education/vocational training must be criteria to live there. Wouldn't it be great for people to learn the value of their dreams and education and the power of service for our fellow men...
Spring- I realized once again how much we as Americans discard as excess- The saying one mans trash another's treasure- Maybe these Ghost towns can be someones treasure...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Epic fun

Today I sat down.
I am 37 years old! I really don't feel it and I am absolutely sure I don't look it. Even harder to believe is the fact that our baby, Hunter, is turning 16 this month!
Hunter is an amazing daughter. I have soo much fun with her. I have great respect for her and her choices. Wise little grasshopper she is. I fear my little partner in fun is getting to that age when it is no longer 'accepted' to want to go shopping with your mom rather than your friends every now and then. Although I know my fashion sense is far superior to any of her buddies, I must accept this new phase in life and embrace watching her tackle the many things that life will throw her way. Lately the after school questions are met with very short answers more so than the conversations I am accustomed to. When I am taking her and her buddies places I am now merely a fly on the wall. That is fine, I will take what I can get.
For those of you who don't 'know' my Hunter let me tell you about her.
She is perfect.
She is an athlete. She is a leader, from the time she was 3 she has been a Pied Piper of people. People want to be near her. She is a scholar. She is a perfectionist. She is very intuitive. She is caring and kind. She is a protector when she feels as if ,she, her friends or her family are being mistreated or disrespected. She believes in treating adults with respect and courtesy. She is incredibly artistic. She is driven and ambitious. She is an overachiever. She believes in winning or getting the highest possible mark- Just finishing a project isn't enough for her- She will have the best project. She is the best big sister a brother or sister could ask for- She does her sisters nails and hair, she reads to all her siblings as much as possible. Her smile lights up the room. Her giggle will make you laugh. Her smiling, crystal, blue eyes draw you in with their beauty. She makes her family and friends feel loved and important. She is Love.
Like many Sophomores in H.S., Hunter is getting letters from schools across the country. Invitations to visit the campus this summer. She is trying to envision where she wants to be and choose which path she will take for her Major. She knows she will be successful at whatever she chooses to pursue. I am heartbroken knowing my baby will be leaving the nest in 2 years. But I cannot wait to watch her soar.
Thankfully she asked to go on a trip with me for her 16th birthday. I am so excited. She is equally excited. A European Adventure (I choose not to call it European Vacation due to the horrors that happened to the Griswolds...dont act like you don't know what movie I am talking about, Classic) awaits us this summer. Having lived in Belgium we were able to travel to many countries and loved taking a breath of the different cultures. Unfortunately we never had the opportunity to visit Italy. So Italy and a few other countries are on our itinerary. O the memories we will make- the pebbles we will take.
I sit down. Reflect. I am so amazed. My beautiful husband was more than encouraging about our adventure. All that he provides. His Love. I look and listen to the world around me. I am humbled and filled with gratitude. I pray my choices in life are compassionate and Christ like. I want to give as I have been given.
I am soo excited for this new chapter in the big ole book of life. The stories we will have to tell of our adventures.
Next month is Rachies Birthday, May is Jordies and Hayden's, October is Cole's...I look forward to many adventures with each of our babies and my hot babe of a husband. Wish us luck! For all of you who have visited Italy... pointers, tips any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Be careful what you pray for...

Wow- once again a lot has happened since I last blogged. Everything is in a constant state of change. I keep waiting for everything to get back to normal after each ordeal in our life... I guess ordeals are what is normal in our household. Nothing major or catastrophic. Just constant change. Our kids are movers and shakers- we are moving three different directions at once. No complaints- Just trying to enjoy the ride as much as possible.
Biggest wow that happened...
You may have heard before that Doug was slated to ship out to Iraq. We had ample time to get ready for this ordeal. Almost a year of preparing, waiting and fretting. I kept on reminding myself what a great duty it is and how thankful I am to have such a wonderful husband that loves his country and the soldiers that fight for our freedoms. Blah blah blah. He was anxious but ready to go. The month before deployment I started to unravel inside. Doug is my best friend. I adore just about everything about him and everything about us. He is such an amazing husband, friend and father. I cant imagine life without him in it. Preparing meant getting ready for the worst to possibly happen. Life insurance, Wills, me taking over the bills. Things I honestly wasn't ready to grasp. I didn't let the kids see me unravel but one night I let it all out with Doug. I was a little more at ease once I let it out. I didn't want him to think I wasn't going to be able to handle it. I know I can, but I also wanted to let him know how much I wasn't looking forward to him not by my side. Thankfully he kinda fell apart with me too. I didn't feel like such a dunce.
The countdown was on. One Sunday night Doug officially signed out of the hospital and into the Unit that he would be attached to in Iraq. That night he came home after a day of PT and paperwork. Late at night he started to complain of a pain in his back. He couldn't lay down comfortably. It sounded like kidney Stones... I suggested we head to the ER. I expected Doug to shoot that idea down. Instead he agreed and we were on our way to the hospital at 1am.
To shorten this Epic saga- Doug spent the next 3 days in the hospital. He had multiple pulmonary embolisms. He is now on an anti coagulant and is non deploy able while he is on it. The say 6 months on the meds and 3 months after for the re evaluation for the deployment.
I looked at Doug in the hospital and apologized for all my prayers. I so didn't want him to go. I prayer for him to be able to return to us safely. I prayed for him to be able to stay- I now know you have to be careful what you pray for...I just wanted some young gun without a wife and kids to go experience this deployment... not my cutie. oops. On the brighter side the doctors cannot attribute the embolisms to anything. Many test have been done and he has a spotlessly clean bill of health. Doug is active- he runs 4 miles a day, swims every other day, he is not a couch potato- No explanations for this. I guess the Lords will was not the Army's. Thank Heavens!

So there you have it. My guy is home! We have a full house. On the downside- all the things this little mouse was going to do while the cat was gone are out the door now. Months of planning...