Sunday, October 31, 2010

What a Dissapointment

We spent last night in the ER at St.Joseph's hospital and let me tell you, it is so true that the freaks come out of the woodworks around Halloween. We spent the first part of the evening at our ward Halloween party. Matt wasn't feeling too well toward the end of the party and by the time I got home he needed to go to the hospital. He was having positional headaches which are something that the doctor told us to look for specifically. We had the most frustrating experience at the hospital. They did a CT scan and an x-ray and found that the shunt was working fine. The neuro-surgery resident came in and told us that everything looked good with the shunt and that he didn't doubt that Matt was in pain but that he thought it was "phantom pain." I have decided that I just do not like residents. He then called down the neurology resident and told them that he was signing off on the case and that it was their responsibility now. The neurologist did not agree and said that she thought it was in fact a surgical matter. I have never seen such a childish display in my life. They were literally fighting over who's responsibility it was to care for my husband. I just started to cry. We ended up coming home with Matt still in pain and no answers. We were told to call the doctor who did the surgery when in fact it was her that sent us to the hospital. I was amazed at the lack of empathy for his pain and suffering. It takes years of schooling to become a doctor and it all of that time I believe that somewhere along the road they loose sight of what matters and that is the patient. Is it not true that they take an oath to do no harm and to help others? I believe that somewhere in all of those years of schooling there should be some sensitivity training. Some compassion should be taught. I was grossly dissapointed by the health care system. It frightens me to see the upcoming doctors that will be caring for us and our children.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun Times

Last weekend we attended the Hanjin Shipping fall party. Hanjin is where Matt works. It was such a fun time. The kids had a blast and we got to know new people. It was nice to spend the day at the park. The weather has finally started to cool off and fun was had by all. Last night Ivan lost his first tooth. We were very suprized to find that his permenant tooth was already growing in behind it! Today was also a fun event for us, Nora had her first preschool Halloween party! Ivan was able to go to and they had a blast playing pumpkin games carving pumpkins and decorating cookies. Here are some pictures from our fun times.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Disaster Protocol

Disaster. By definition a disaster is "a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune." To understand this, one must understand the word irremediable. ir-re-me-di-a-ble means "impossible to remedy, correct or repair." This brings us back to our original subject, disaster.
A disaster is not just a bad situation. It is not your average, everyday situation, yet disaster can be found all around us. Disaster comes in many forms. Disaster has many faces and is prejudice to no one. To find disaster one need only step outside, turn on the news or read the paper. Disaster is a phenomenon so common and so powerful that there are entire organizations devoted to it. The job of any relief organization is to intervene when disaster occurs. There are protocols to follow. First comes the assessment of the situation. That in itself is a large job. Any one person can asses a situation but who decides if that assessment is correct? Who decides just how minor or severe a situation is? Generally there is more than one individual involved in a situation, so uniting the assessments of each individual into one grand assessment is and amazing accomplishment. The second step in a disaster protocol is to issue a proclamation. One must bring to light the situation. One must tell the world what has happened. Often proclamation can become a messy job. It is not merely the responsibility of delivering bad news to the world but also the burden of absorbing the shock of individuals involved. It's staring into the face of the situation and having the courage to find a voice and make others aware of what has happened. Next comes the job of recovery, picking up the pieces and trying to place them where they belong. This is a tiring, sometimes hopeless process. Although recovery can be made and people and places touched by disaster can be mended, they are never the same.
This global disaster protocol can be applied to many situations. It can apply to natural disaster, financial disaster and even emotional disaster. To call something a disaster is not a simple ordinary statement. Often we use the phrase "this is a disaster!" when referring to something as minor as a windstorm that has disrupted the order of a yard (natural). Sometimes it is as simple as bouncing a check (financial) or as unpleasant as ending a relationship (emotional). In truth, none of the above are truly worthy of being described as a disaster. Yards can be cleaned, bounced check fees can erase monetary mistakes and new relationships can be made.
To qualify as a disaster the situation must far surpass any of these examples. We have experienced a disaster. My little corner of the world that once safely housed the emotional stability of my family and my heart has been touched by "a state of extreme ruin and misfortune." Without even being aware of the proper protocol we have begun to follow the necessary procedures. An assessment was made, a diagnosis confirmed and was deemed "impossible to remedy, correct or repair." This assessment was made by very qualified individuals. I wonder if Dr. B paused a moment during Matt's surgery when the damage was discovered. I wonder if only for a moment she thought about what this meant for my young husband, for our young family and for the wife and children who love and need him so much. I believe that somewhere in her assessment, somewhere amidst the jumble of Matt's mind and the surgical instruments she paused for a moment and thought of him, of me, of us. I believe this because it is what any good person would do and I believe her to be a good and kind person. Next came her duty to proclaim our disaster. I wonder how she felt about delivering the news. She knew I was waiting. If it was nearly as hard for her to tell me as it was for me to tell Matt then my heart aches for her.
Next comes the recovery process. We have not commenced recovery just yet. For my family we are stuck somewhere between assessment and proclamation. Each day brings new challenges and with it the need to re-asses the damage. Each day there is a need to proclaim what is happening to us, of only to one another. Recovery is something that I believe will come to us over time and only through the tender mercies of our Savior. I personally am struggling somewhere between all of these steps. I am still assessing the damage to my husband, my children and myself. Each day when my assessment of the current situation is made I struggle to proclaim what is happening and what we need. It is a large burden to bare but an even larger one to unload upon others. I see the sorrow what I feel reflected on others faces. I see my own shock staring back at me in their tear filled eyes. I know that I am not alone when I see this but I also know I have pulled them into our own personal disaster and it doesn't seem fair. If only there were a rapid response team ready each day for us. Perhaps there is. It does not come in ordinary form. It may not always come in the form of volunteers ready to clean and mend. It comes in the form of celestial comfort. This celestial comfort can be found in the darkest and smallest places, ready to clean and mend doubt and fear. It comes in the form of my child's prayer as he asks the Lord to "help Daddy to get better." I know that recovery will come to our family. We will be cleansed and mended but we will never be the same. I wish I could "proclaim" that all is well and that I am not frightened. I wish I could "proclaim" that my husband will be okay but I do not have this luxury. I can "proclaim" my love for the Savior and his sacrifice that we might all be mended in time. I can "proclaim" my thanks to the Lord for bringing comfort in the form of friends and new days where we can start fresh and my ability to make memories so that when my husband can't he can rely on me. I am grateful. I do believe and although I am frightened and sad and even angry at times I am never alone and that is what will one day bring us the recovery we need.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Memory That Cannot Be Erased

I have started this post a hundred times in my mind. I was hoping it would be something moving, something great but in the end the only way I can start this post is with all honesty. I have always been a person of doubt. Faith has never been something I was good at or even fully understood. To me, people who possessed faith were those whom I had nothing in common with. I was never one to accept things the way they were. This in turn made me a very complex and difficult person. I am still a very complex and difficult person and some people love me in spite of this. Tonight I had a temple recommend interview with a member of the stake presidency. Before the interview he asked me what had brought us to Arizona. I thought about this for a moment and told him that my husband had been transferred here from Utah with his job but that ultimately it had been the Lord that had brought us here. We talked for a few moments about various things and then he asked the big question, how was my family doing? I have learned that this question is not an easy one to answer. One minute we are fine and one minute we are not but we always end back where we started at...fine. I did explain our situation to him. I explained that we were struggling here in Arizona right along side almost everyone else. I explained my desire to go back home to spend the remainder of Matt's lucid days where we began our family. I don't know why that seems so important to me but it seems only appropriate given our situation to end up back where we started. It has become a pattern with us. I have come to terms with what will most likely happen to my husband and I explained to this man that although I still had very rough days I knew that we would be alright. He in turn told me that I had great faith. Is that what faith is? Have I been missing the point all along? Is faith merely the willingness to accept what is happening to us and in turn seek comfort from the Lord? That is exactly what I have been doing. People are always quick to tell me that there are miracles all the time and that we should not worry about what "might" happen. I get so tired of hearing that. It is not that I don't believe in miracles or that I am ungrateful for their support. It is merely the fact that we have already seen great miracles. I feel as though they are not only trying to reassure me but themselves as well. I know that the Lord works miracles, I have seen too many in my short time here on the earth to believe otherwise. I will be so relieved if Matthew continues on healthy and happy with only the little memory loss that he is showing now but I will not feel cheated if what the doctor told us comes to be. Friends tell me that I need to keep going, to keep having faith and believe in miracles. I do. Just because I do not expect a miraculous healing for my husband does not mean that I doubt the Lord. It means that I am already amazed at the miracles we have seen and I feel selfish to ask for more than that. It means that I have sought and found comfort from my Father in Heaven no matter what happens to us. I wonder if people expect me to be angry at God. Have I been angry about all of this? Absolutely. Have I cried and thrown furniture and dishes? Yes and it felt great to get that anger out but that anger was never directed at God. I do not believe that God had "done" anything to us. I do not believe that he has brought a plague upon us. I believe that God allows us trials and this just happens to be our trial. Does it seem unfair? At times yes but no more unfair than the loss of a child to a tragic accident or the loss of a mother to cancer. No more than the trials of most of the people we know. No more unfair, just different. It is exhausting to have to reassure those around me that my faith and love for God has not been tested but rather increased. It has been uplifting and comforting to bare my testimony to those people however and I know that by doing this it has been strengthened. In the past the words "we will be okay" are one's I would have said because they were expected but right now, in this moment I mean them. I don't know how we will be okay. I don't know how we will manage but I have been given a tremendous amount of comfort from the Lord and I simply know that we will be okay. Is it possible that I have had the faith I needed all along? Is it possible that for me, faith is as simple as accepting what might happen and not questioning why? It seems that this trial, this change in our lives has opened new doors to what my mind and heart can understand. I will not claim to be happy with the lot that has been placed before us. I would like to see things be different but I have come to terms with the alternative. I will have my black cloud days when my tears are unceasing but I will also have the days where the sun shines through. I am thankful to the Lord for providing me the comfort that I need. I am not angry at the Lord, I do not believe that Satan is trying to ruin my family, I believe that just like everyone else we have been handed a trial and we are going to be held accountable for how we deal with this trial. I would like to stand before my savior and have him know that I did the best job I could with what trials I was given. I do not want credit for the ways in which I do or do not handle these trials, I simply want understanding if I fall short. Even now as I lay in bed alone because my husband is once again too tired to climb the stairs to our bed I am not angry. I miss the way things were and I hurt because he hurts but I am not angry. The truth is there is no one to be angry at. It is said that Love conquers all and I believe that the love that my Savior and my husband have shown me over the years has been a key to keeping me standing through this storm. Even if my husband cannot remember me at the end of the day, I know that he will never stop loving me. We are eternally bound by covenants with God and that is a memory that cannot be erased.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Little Less Lonely

Today was a good day. Matt and I were able to go to lunch together and it is the first date we have had in a very long time. We had a good time talking and shopping together. When we were at lunch I was a little emotional. We started talking about how vulnerable we are as people. I had posed the question "why does Heavenly Father make us so emotionally vulnerable when he knew such hard things would happen to us here on earth?" I immediately answered my own question. I know it is because if we sailed through life without the trial of heartbreak there would be no need for faith. If emotion did not prompt us to question what we know we would not have the opportunity to grow and progress. I just hate that my heart is prone to feeling more than it can handle at times. I couldn't help but cry a little when we talked about how unfair our lot seemed but in the end I know that our lot is no more unfair than anyone elses. We were able to spend the remainder of the afternoon with a very kind and genuine family. The kids had so much fun playing in a bounce house and playing with all of the other kids. It was so good to see Matt interacting with the other fathers there. At one point he turned to me and said "Ivan is 4 right?" When I told him Ivan was 5 he looked at me like I was crazy and said "no he's 4!" I said "no you have to be 5 to be in kindergarten." Matt thought he was still in pre-school. It was a hard conversation to have because it was clear that Matt could not remember and when it became clear to him that he could not remember he apologized. This is all such a hard thing for me to process, I can't imagine what it is like for him. How much is he grieving knowing what is happening to him? It was hard but it helped that we were surrounded by friends. It is becoming easier to deal with his memory lapses and I believe it is a matter of adjusting. I am grateful that the Lord is helping us adjust to what is happening. It was so nice to be a part of someones family today. We were able to spend the day with some of the funnest and most genuine people I have met. I am so thankful for good friends that make our lives a little less lonely.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Me: what am i going to do when i don't have you to chase me around anymore?
Matt: you'll finally get some sleep and see me chasing you in your dreams.
Me: (sobbing)
Matt: I'm so sorry

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. ~Albert Smith

Enjoying What We Have

Wow, today was a trying one! The kids were on one and I don't think I have ever wished harder that they had "off buttons." It is finally quiet (or as quiet as it gets in this house) and I have time to reflect on the day...and I don't think I will. I think I will let this day go to bed along with the children. We are doing rather well, considering everything. Matt's mood has lifted so much. One of our biggest fears was that he would have this surgery and he would still feel as depressed and defeated as he did before. Thanks to small miracles, God and Dr. B he is back. I love this man. I love that he is my best friend. I love the kids even though they are completely crazy! Claire has re-discovered a friend that she had in kindergarten and that friend has been upgraded to BFF status. They have been inseparable for a while now, especially the last two days and they are so cute together! They played all day yesterday, had a sleep over last night and played again all day today. We had to pry them apart tonight and it is so fun to remember being that way with my friends when I was little. She also has another loose tooth and is already planning what she will do with the dollar that the tooth fairy will be leaving. Ivan is completely jealous that he is not having sleep overs of his own but unfortunately he is younger and so are all of his friends. It is fall break and so they are trying to fill every moment with friends and I love it. I am tired but I love it! Nora is starting pre-school after fall break and she is super excited! She can't wait to go to school like her brother and sister. I get to take her shopping this weekend for some new school clothes and a new backpack. She is starting the year a little late because we were not sure we could afford pre-school but things are looking up a bit and so she can go! Naomi is growing so fast! She is going to be crawling anytime now. We are expecting her bottom teeth any day now as they have yet to make an appearance. She is starting to self-feed with cereal bites and I can't believe that she is already almost 7 months old! Matt is working and doing much better. His job was so hard before the surgery. He would come home so exhausted and sad and now he comes home and is able to leave work at work and just enjoy being home. Now for me. I will say that this summer has been sooo lonely! Now that the weather is cooling down I have had the opportunity to get together with various people that I have never spent much time with before and I am loving it. I have started scrap booking so that we will have tangible memories for Matt when his fails and I have quickly become addicted! I am proud of the way it is all turning out, especially because I have never really done it much before. I miss home but I am also starting to feel more at home here. Matt and I have been talking about the possibility of a trip. We want to take the kids on an unforgettable family vacation. We are thinking Disney Land or Disney World but Matt does not have any time off for quite a while. It will give us some time to save up and prepare. We just want to do something big before he is unable to anymore. I will admit that I have started praying for a miracle. I have started pleading with the Lord that Matt will not loose his memory as early as they are predicting. I am not getting my hopes up but I have to have hope. In the meantime I am enjoying what we have created together, our own little family that means the world to both of us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Will He Remember?

The last two days have been hard ones for me. I did so well last week. I felt so much better than usual but the last two days have been filled with tears. I think it's going to be like that for a while. We will have good days and we will have bad days and you know what??? It's okay. Today I have been thinking so much about my relationship with Matt. I have been so blessed to marry my best friend. When I have news, good or bad he is the first person I want to share it with. I plan my days around his breaks so that we can talk on the phone. Usually we don't have much to say but just hearing his voice is enough. I am hoping and praying that when/if all of this happens somewhere deep down inside he will remember me. I am hoping that I will be the one thing that he can hold on to so that the world is not a lonely place for him or me. I watch him everyday and worry. I try not to be overprotective but everytime his memory fails him I think, "oh my gosh is this it?" I have noticed that he has been having more and more trouble with his memory. It is just little things and so I am not too worried but I do live in fear that it will progress faster than I can adapt. I have so much to do before he can leave us. How does one prepare for something like this??? I am more thankful now than ever for the plan of salvation and my relationship with my savior. I know that it is him that is going to get us through what is to come. The truth is I am trying to remain positive but I am also being realistic. I am terrified. I will not pretend otherwise but just like every other trial I have faced in my life, I will take it one day at a time. I just wish I knew what to expect. I wish I knew what our lives are going to look like 10 years down the road. I want to know if he will be able to dress himself or feed himself. Matt has always been so strong, he has been my rock and I just can't see those roles being reversed. Today I took the kids to church and Matt came a little later. I had a hard time keeping the kids under control and all I could think is "I am not ready to do this on my own." How am I supposed to take care of 4 children alone? Mostly I am just afraid to lose my best friend. I get angry sometimes but there is no one to be angry at. I lay next to him in bed and talk to him and wonder how much longer will we be able to be like this? How much longer will he remember who I am? I just need him to remember me. If nothing else, just me and together we will make the rest work.

Human Emotion

The human heart is an interesting thing. In all actuality it is merely a part of the puzzle that is the human body. It is not capable of emotion. So why then is it capable of breaking? Somewhere in the depths of the human soul there lies a tie to the human heart and it seems as though when one aches the other follows suit. Human emotion is likely one of the most difficult things to understand. What I am having trouble understanding is how can sadness and devistation turn so quickly to anger? When you are told that your whole life is going to change, that your best friend is going to leave you it is a feeling that cannot be described. The day of Matts first surgery will be one I will never forget. We were so hopeful and even excited. I felt guilty for wanting him to have the surgery so bad, I did not want him hurt but I knew it would make him better. I kept asking him if he was nervous. I must have asked him a hundred times. It was one of the last things I asked him before they took him into surgery. His answer was always no. The truth is, I kept asking him because I was terrified. I wanted to be in that OR holding his hand, not because he was scared but because I was. After they took him from me I didn't know where to belong. I couldn't stay in the pre-op waiting room but I couldn't quite face the family waiting room by myself either. I felt akward and so alone. If ever I needed a hand to hold it was that moment. I checked into the waiting room so they could find me after the surgery was over. I felt as though I were being cataloged. I sat to wait and waiting soon turned to worry. I found myself thinking of all the things that could go wrong and what would happen if they did. I didn't have long to worry before the surgeon entered the room. It had not been the 2 hours she said it would be and immediately my heart began to pound. She smiled and sat down next to me. We were surrounded by other families of other patients who were waiting for their good news. From her smile I could tell it had gone well. She told me he was done and headed to recovery and that the operation had been a success. There was good indication that this first surgery would be the solution we were looking for. I sighed with relief and thought about how silly I had been to worry so much. He was fine and our lives were going to get better as he did. I was so busy doing a happy dance in my mind that I was completely unaware of the news that was to come. I was broadsided, I never had a chance to see it coming. She began to explain that when they entered his brain cavity to perform the third ventriculostomy she found that the part of his brain that stores memory was paper thin. I didn't know what this meant. She went on to explain that the tissue should be thick and healthy but due to the chronic hydrocephalus it had been damaged. I felt a wave of shock hit my body. We looked at one another and then she said the words that changed the course of our lives. "you can expect him to lose his memory at an early age." what did that mean? I didn't want to ask but the words slipped out and sounded like they belonged to someone else. The whole experience felt like it should belong to someone else. "how early?" I asked. "within the next year to two years is what I suspect." she answered. The numbness began at my toes and spread like wildfire through my body. I immediately thought of Claire in her wedding dress. What a funny thing to think of but it was there and clear as day. The numbness reached every part of me but the heartache broke through and so did the tears. If the human heart is incapable of feeling emotion I wondered why my chest hurt so badly. I blinked hard as not to let the tears escape my lids but it was too late. The salty drops ran down my cheeks as the surgeon told me we were going to try to remain positive. She shook my hand and then she was gone. Just like that she was gone and everyone around me could see my naked shock and my tears. I fled the room. I didn't know what else to do. I called my sister. I needed someone to calm me down and she was who came to mind. After speaking with her it was phone call after phone call repeating the same information to too many people. I knew the worst was to come, I knew I had to tell Matt. When they took me back to recovery to see him he looked so much better than I thought he would. Our roles had changed however and without either of us knowing it, I had become the caretaker and the bearer of bad news all wrapped into one. It took me nearly two hours to tell him. I knew I had to tell him before the doctor came to the ICU to see him but I wanted us to be alone for this conversation. In the movies there is always that moment where the bad news can be given in private so as to spare some dignity of those involved. We did not have that. There was nurse after nurse and so the news spilled out in spurts as they entered and exited the room. When I finally did tell him he began to cry. "is this going to kill me or just make me crazy?" he asked. I didn't know how to respond because I knew that no answer I posessed would bring him comfort. We cried together. That was the beginning of the rest of our new lives. It's amazing how quickly ones vision of
"happily ever after" can change in an instant. Nothing could be worse than this, not even the second surgery just one day later could top the anxiety and despair of that day. Now we live with a ticking timer in the background of our days. Counting every lucid second we spend together only we don't know when this timer will run out. Now i find myself mourning the time that we will lose. My sadness often turns to anger before it turns to despair and this brings me back to my original conclusion that human emotion is likely one of the most difficult things to understand.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moroni's Promise

You know, I have never really question the validity of the scriptures. Even as a rebellious teen I knew they were not merely the writing of one man but the words of the Lord given to the prophets through revelation. I have always known of Moroni's promise in the Book of Mormon, that if we read and pray with a sincere heart the Lord will gives us a surity that they are true. I have never felt the need to take advantage of this promise. I realize now that although I know the scriptures are true I have not applied them in my life, especially for the last few years. Matt and I have always read with the kids and I have been learning the stories but I have not been having individual scripture study. Last weekend was a very difficult one for me. Who are we kidding, the last two years have been very difficult for me. On Sunday I prayed for the Lords help. I pleaded for patience and comfort. I finally had Matt give me a blessing because I was really struggling. During the blessing I was admonished to read my scriptures and pray daily. Personal prayer is something I have been struggling with too. I have tried in the past to read my scriptures everyday and it has always fallen second to other things like kids and homework and laundry etc. Because of this I know that it is just a fault of mine that I can't MAKE time for scripture study. So I prayed to the Lord and asked the Lord to make time for me. I prayed for remembrance so that I would not forget to take the time to study my scriptures. For the last week I have gotten on my knees every night to say my prayers and during the day I have experienced the scriptures either by reading them or listening to them on my iPod. While I do the laundry or the dishes or other chores I have been listening to them on the Mormon channel on my iPod and it has made such a difference in my days. I find that by listening to them I am able to block out external distractions and really focus on what I am hearing. It is so true that if you will take advantage of the scriptures and prayer that the Lord will help you with whatever your struggle is. I have had patience with my children. I have spoken kind word to them and kept my cool when they have been at their most difficult. I have not been frustrated by the thing that are expected of me and I even feel like I have more energy. I now have a sure knowledge that the scriptures are not only true but also that if you read everyday, even if it is only one verse that your burdens will be lighter, your mood will be better and life won't seem quite so hard. How loving our Heavenly Father is to provide us with such a simple way to be nearer to him. I am so thankful not only for the blessings that the Lord has given me but also for the trials so that I can learn from them and grow stronger in the gospel as well as in my daily life.


I have been amazed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that we have felt from those that are aware of our current situation. Since that fateful day when the surgeon told me that my husband will most likely only be lucid for another year or two I have spent a tremendous amount of time praying and crying. Somewhere in the hours of the day I find the courage and strength to look this monster trial in the face and challenge it to a battle of endurance. Our lives have not been easy thus far but we have been blessed beyond measure. I know that the Lord has great things in store for my husband and I feel blessed to be a part of it. My patriarical blessing stresses the need for me to endure lifes challenges well. I may not understand the challenges but enduring them well is something my Heavenly Father knows I am capable of and expects of me. Some days I understand them and somedays I am overwhelmed by them. Through all of this I have felt myself drawing closer to the Lord. I have felt the need to make our lives count. To make every second count. Am I scared? Yes. Am I worried about being lonely when faced with the prospect of losing my best friend and companion to dementia? Absolutely. My future looks lonely but I know that the Lord can guide us through this trial just as he has so many others. Not only am I worried about losing him, I worry that my younger children will not remember all of the love and joy that their father brought to them. I worry so much that Matt may not be able to baptize Claire next year. I worry very much that our little Naomi may never know her father. Despite this worry, I know that the Lord will guide our family and comfort my children as he has comforted me. I know my limitations and have come to a point where I can no loger carry myself or my family through this trial alone. Now more than ever I need help and guidance. I am seeking help through a professional counselor and resting my burdens in the hands of the Lord. I have found myself in deep despair but I have also found that I do not remain there long. I have a loving Heavenly Father that knows my needs even when I am not sure what they are. So while I am frightened by what the future may bring to us, I have no doubt that with the Lord we can endure this trial and endure it well. In the meantime the surgeon and the Lord have given me something I have so desperately wanted for years. They have given me back the man I married. He is smiling again for the first time in years. What more could I ask for than to spend what time we do have left smiling with one another.