Saturday, July 7, 2012

America calls him a Solider- I call him Dad

Somethings that's been heavy on my heart and mind here lately is" Deployments". Anyone that has spent a good amount of time around us in the last year and a half knows why....

I have lived the military life for most of my growing up years. But it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I got my first experience at what the word Deployment meant...   I didn't like it then and I really don't like it now..

We have personally gone through 3 deployments since 9/11 happened.  The first one being a year long one to Fort Riley Kansas. At the time we thought it was awful but looking back now... I would of taken that deployment over the last 2 in a heat beat...

The 2nd one was a very very long 22 months in Iraq being the longest out of all 3.

And the 3rd most recent one was a very long 15 months in Africa. It was probably the hardest out of all 3. Iraq was long and there was definitely nothing easy about it but I struggled emotionally, physically, and mentally more with the Africa one then I did the Iraq one. Just ask my best friend....

I don't know if it was because I was older and understood better, or if it was because I knew how hard Iraq was so I dreaded the Africa one more, or because of everything else that happened during this deployment. Whatever the reason may be, this one has definitely been the hardest of all 3. It was only through God's grace, and strength and the amazing love, support, and encouragement of our loving church family, friends and family in both Garden and Stafford/ St. John area, and most importantly my best friend and her awesome family that we got through it as well as we did.  The deployment was kinda the icing on the cake on top of  everything else that seemed to be thrown in our laps unexpectedly.  In less then a 6 month time span we had lost someone very very special, my Grandpa,  we watched my Grandma go downhill and get worse by the day, to her moving in with us, to me going through my first major hard break up, to continuing to watch Grandma go downhill,  still dealing with the loss of my Grandpa and in the midst of all this a deployment is thrown at us. My Daddy, of all people, is shipped out of the country for yet another deployment...  leaving Mom to take care of not only us, but now my Grandma,who is getting worse by the minute, and we don't know why. In a very short amount of time my world ,as I know it, is turned completely upside down and is never quite the same.....   Before I really had time to stop and think about it my Grandpa and in a way my Daddy, two of the most important men in my life, are taken from me and everyone was just expecting for us to go on with life as if nothing ever happened...

Less then a week after Dad arrived in Africa, my Grandma got really bad and we ended up in the ER with her, the same day my senior pictures were taken. Within a matter of minuets of getting the results from the CT scan, Grandma was air lifted to Wichita and within a couple days of that she had to have brain surgery to remove a huge tumor on her brain. Luckily it wasn't cancerous and they were able to remove it pretty easily ;) You can read the whole story Here

However, my reason for this post isn't to give you a full report on everything that happened during this deployment, but more to give you a little more insight as to what a deployment is like and what goes through the minds of the families while their loved one is away fighting for someone else's freedom  for many, many months.

Is it easy? No! It is one of the hardest things out there to go through. People have tried to tell me that they understand what it's like because they have a brother or sister off at college... umm...  let me just get this out here... having a brother or sister off at college is NOTHING compared to having someone like your Daddy or Spouse deployed for anywhere from a year to 15 to even 22 months at a time. I have a brother off at college and trust me, it is not even close to the same.

Does it get easier with time? Yes, and No! More NO  then Yes. It doesn't ever really get easier, you just kinda learn to deal with it and go on because you have to. You sort of go into survival mode for the length of the deployment and tell yourself that you don't have a choice but to survive this and be strong for the loved ones around you. You survive and get through it because you HAVE to, not because you WANT to!  A part of you leaves for the amount of time your loved one is gone and doesn't return until they are back safe and sound with you.

The love and support of friends and family becomes vital during a time like this. You may not think so at the beginning, but no matter how strong you think you are, at some point your going to need someone to talk to, to cry with, vent too, and even just share the silence with. Talking about it is important. For those of you who know me,  I'm generally a very quiet person and not one to be open about how I'm feeling and or what's going through my mind at any time but especially at a time like this. You start feeling very alone after a while. You start feeling like no one cares and your the only person feeling this way. Your entire world has been turned upside down for the time being and no one cares, at least that's how you feel. Chances are they do, they just don't know how to show it because they don't understand. Unless you've personally been through a deployment there's no way to understand what its like. However, if your lucky like I was, you'll have that one person that know's you better then you know yourself sometimes. In my case, my best friend. She became my sanity through the entire thing and I honestly couldn't of it survived it without her love and support.. She laughed with me,  she was a shoulder to cry on when I needed it the most, and most importantly she realized I needed to talk before I really realized it myself. She saw I needed her and was there, no questions asked. She knew when I needed a good distraction and was there no matter what. Having someone you can call on, no matter what, day or night is very important in being able to survive something like this. Don't try to handle it or go through it on your own. Don't be afraid to call on that special person, whoever it may, be during a time like this. If they truly care about you like they claim, they will be there for you, whether its in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. Just knowing I had someone I could call on when needed did more then that person could ever know!

Don't be afraid to talk about it. If you cry, you cry. Don't hold your emotions in and try to hide it. It'll just make you feel worse. I preferred not to talk about. I didn't want to talk about it because it was easier to deal with and didn't feel so real if I just kept quiet about it. Didn't work out so well...  you end up completely loosing it before its all over and have a very worried best friend on your hands ;) and then you both end up crying. Yes this is experience talking ;)  Everyone deals in their own way and that's okay... to a point.

On the other hand, if someone you know is going through a deployment be there for them. Ask them to go do things to get them out and about. Don't be surprised if your once very outgoing, talkative friend becomes some what quiet and reserved and just not interested in doing much. Chances are they are going to become somewhat depressed during a time like this. They are hurting like they didn't know possible. Encourage them to stay active and try to get them interested in going to do things. They will thank you! Chances are, deep down, they want too. Don't take offense if they turn you down, or if they don't act interested. Just keep encouraging them too and most importantly be there for them, even if its just to share the silence with. They need to know someone cares and is there for them.  As I said before, just knowing someone cares and is there does more then you could possible know ;)

Also, don't expect for things to get back to normal when their solider gets home.  As hard as it is to have them gone, as much as we hate when they're gone, it does become somewhat of a new normal for the time they're gone. The first 6 months they're home are just as hard, if not harder, then when they were away. Everyone's gotten into a "new normal" by the time they get back and now they are having to readjust to having them home. And the solider is having to readjust to being home. It's hard on everyone involved. No one warned us of this  and we were a little blind sided when Dad came home from Iraq. It took everyone a while to get back into a normal routine again. Because it was so hard, I spent the last 3 to 6 months Dad was deployed to Africa dreading his homecoming a little bit. Did that mean I wasn't excited about him coming home? NO! I was super duper excited and couldn't wait to have him home again, however, a part of me dreaded the transition! Memories of the last deployment home coming was coming to mind and I was absolutely terrified at times. He has been home 5 months now and things are just now starting to feel normal again. As normal as normal gets around our house hold anyway ;) There have been some pretty stressful times in the last 5 months. I'm not gonna lie and tell you its been easy, because it hasn't! However, having him home is WONDERFUL!!  As hard as it was, and has been, and continues to be at times, we're slowly adjusting and I wouldn't trade it for anything! Continue to be there for them when the solider gets home and let them know if they need to talk your there. If they need to get away from things for a couple hours, your there. Whatever they may need... be there for them!  Don't just assume since their solider is home that they no longer need someone to talk too, because chances are they do! :)

It is an emotional roller costar through the entire thing. We honestly don't know how to feel or how we're supposed to react at times. If you are going a deployment or have gone through one and you've experienced some or all of this, don't worry! Its normal. If someone you know is going through one or have gone through one and this is sounding familiar then take note and be there for them, if it all possible ;)  Even just a simple I'm thinking of you, here for you, wondering how things are going text, phone call, card, and or email can do more then you can possible know. The random out of the blue I'm thinking and praying for you texts did wonders for me. It got me through during the times when I was beginning to wonder how in the world I was gonna survive it all.

Though the Military life is nothing but easy, its also very rewarding and the sense of pride you get knowing your Daddy, Husband, Uncle, Grandpa (whoever may be over there) is  fighting for your freedom and someone else's is something I don't even begin to know how to describe! I can't say how proud I am to be a daughter of a US Solider. He is my Hero!  Some people's hero's were capes, mine wears Dog Tags and a Uniform and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

That's what Faith can do- our browned eyed, blond headed adorable miracle

Her theme song has became " that's what Faith can do" by Kutless.
She is our true miracle.

I think  the picture says it all....    She is just as ornery  as the other 5  and we wouldn't want it any other way!  She is  our  browned eyed, curly blond headed adorable true miracle.   She has given us more then one scare in the 3 years shes been alive and there was a time when we wondered if she'd  make it to her first birthday much less her 3rd birthday! But we serve an AWESOME God and here we are, our precious miracle turns 3 tomorrow! Where have those 3 years gone?  

She is the joy of our lives, without a doubt! She is my sensory challenged, dear devil, sweet, loving, cuddly, adorable baby sister! This sister didn't know it was possible to love someone so much till the day she was born and I got to hold her for the first time.  She is full of life and knows how to make you smile when you need it the most. She is her daddy's girl and her mamma's whole wold. She is full of giggles, laughs and snuggles. She will do whatever it takes to keep up with her older siblings and don't you dare try to tell her any different ;)

Here is some pictures from the last 3 years that speaks better then any word ever could.

                                   Precious Hannah in NICU a day or 2 after she was born.
       They had to keep in her a medicated coma to keep her O.2 levels from dropping.

A couple days after she got to come home

A little bit older

Happy 3rd Birthday  Miss Hannah Corrien!!!  Sissy loves you very very much and I can't imagine life without you!!!  You are a true miracle!!!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Miracle- Thats what Faith can do- Part 3

You can read the 2nd half of this story here.

We don't know our way around Wichita very well so Betty goes downstairs to ask the guys at the desk where the nearest wal-mart is. It happens to be a security guard and after looking her up and down with a look that says your crazy, he responds, your not from around here are you? She's like I'm from Stafford. He's like do you have someone going with you? She responds, yeah "my" 18 year old and my baby. He looks at her and says...your crazy!  OK so note to self...being outside near St Francis after dark is not safe apparently....   He tells her that the closest walmart he would not send her too, unless she had a full body guard with her, shes like umm...Okay... . So he sends us to the one clear over on Kellogg....   He then ask if she at least had someone that could walk us out the van...

So we ask my uncle Dewayne if he would please walk us out to the van,. he was happy too!

We get out to the van and get loaded and off we go to walmart... The road we take there is one with lots of stop lights and lots of dark creepy corners, a place YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE AT 11:30 at night!!!! We finally find Kellogg and get on there and find walmart pretty easy... We get to walmart and go in and out in pretty decent time. We decided we were going to take a different route back to the hotel/hospital. One without so many stop lights and dark...creeepy...corners! lol We decide to get on Central to Broadway which is right there next to the hospital.  Note to self..... Central does not stay central...Central turns into a completely different street...lets just say that the river was flowing on the road side of the road in the wrong direction...  we saw parts of Wichita we never care to see again.... and yes, Betty can do u- turns in her 15 passenger van ;) We finally get back over to a familiar area and we find the Hyatt ( which is where our annual home school convention is held every year) and we decide to stop there for directions... we felt that was the "safe" place to stop... the guy told Betty- do you know how many people stop here for directions because this is considered the "safe" part? and yes they do have security guards standing outside the front entrance to the hotel... ;) lol  So we get directions and get on our way again. At this point my uncle Dewayne is calling asking us if we were OK....were like ya were fine...just a little lost! I think we had him rather worried at this point. He tells us to turn onto a street ( I can't remember names) so we find it and guess what....that street does NOT go the direction we need it you know how many one way streets are in the downtown area of Wichita? WAY TO MANY!!!  So were like Okay what? We never thought we'd consider doing something illegal, such as run a stop light, or a stop sign to get a police escort back to the hotel but we did consider it a few times  HAHA...   long story short....we finally find a road that took us back to the hospital/hotel area and we find the hotel no problem. Since it was pushing midnight at this point we decided to wait and see Grandma in the morning and go get some sleep.  We entertained the family when we got back with our adventurous story.  I think this beats an another adventurous trip we've had together ( but that's another post, another time) LOL Yes, we are scary when we get together, but we always have a ton of fun!!!! ;)  We'll see what kind of trouble we can get into at this years home school convention in June ;)

We wake up bright and early Wed morning and get dressed, and get some breakfast and head over to the Hospital to see Grandma. She was pretty rough looking, as they had to shave all but one strip of hair and there was bandages and tubes everywhere, but she wasn't quite as bad as I had imagined. She was pretty alert too which was surprising. She even told the nurse Good morning and said "ouch" when they poked her foot. This was an improvement, as she was not talking at all when we first took her into the ER. She really enjoyed watching Hannah, she would follow Hannah's movements with her eyes, and her whole face would light up when we would bring Hannah into the room. It was good to see her show some good emotion and see her smile again.  We were all very thankful to have Betty there through all this. I couldn't of done it without her! ;) I think she was good for everyone!!! We even managed to have a lot of fun and lots of laughs in the processes ;) We visited for quite awhile and just hung out. Around 1:30 or so Betty and I decide we should probably head back to Stafford. We stop in Yoder on the way and eat our favorite Amish place for lunch. It was really good and a nice change after eating Cafeteria food at the hospital. We eat and get back on the road again.

It's also miss cookie-pickles ( Heidi's) Birthday. She is 6! This big sister can't believe it!! I"m not sure where these last 6 years have gone! We get home in time to wrap presents and  whip up some supper and a birthday cake for a small birthday party that evening. We came home exhausted but happy. I also come home to find out that the radiator in my pick-up decided to go out... Brad thinks he can fix it but it'll be a few days. I was planning on being back at the Hammonds  either Wednesday night or Thursday morning...but God had other plans....I enjoyed some extra unexpected time with my "other family" and we just hung out and enjoyed each others company. It ended up being Saturday night before Brad got it completely fixed. By Friday evening  Mrs Hammond was ready to come get me. We think the pickup will be fixed by Saturday morning so I tell her to hold off for little bit. He gets it fixed on Saturday but it was to late to head home by the time its completely fixed, so I wait and head home Sunday morning. I made it to Garden in time to meet Chay for lunch before we head out to her house. I enjoyed every minute I got with the Eisenhours, but I was also glad to be back! I was missing the Hammond's  horribly at this point, as I had become rather attached through all this,  and I could tell they were glad to have me back ;) Though...I can't wait for another stay at the Eisenhours hopefully sometime soon!  I adjust to being back home and get back into the swing of things at work. Grandma got moved out ICU on Saturday night and we were told it was going to be a good week, maybe longer, before she would be stable enough to be transported back here for Rehab. However, God worked another miracle. As we were sitting down to eat supper Sunday night, my phone goes off....its mom. First thing she says is: Does Dana's Tahoe have a 3rd seat? So I asked Dana and she responds yes, but then continues with but WAIT....who is it? I'm like Mom, shes like OH  OK...ya it has a 3rd seat. I proceed to ask mom why she needed Dana's Tahoe? She's like there releasing Grandma either tomorrow or Tuesday and if we have a vehicle  we can lay her down comfortably in , there gonna let her come home by vehicle instead of by Ambulance. Were all really excited at this point! We were all ready to have mom home and it was going to be great to have grandma's rehab right here in Garden. Dana is more then happy to head to Wichita whenever they release Grandma, and they decide to have my Grandma Thys ( dads mom) come with them so that encase something would happen, they'd have a 3rd adult with them ( she's a RN as well). However, later that night mom texts Dana and tells her that Grandpa decided to come as well and they have an excursion so she didn't need Dana to come to Wichita after all. I wake up Monday morning and head to work. About an hour later, Dana texts me saying that she for sure was not going to Wichita and that my Grandparents and Rebekah were headed to Wichita. They came through Garden City on their way and dropped  Jacob off at a friends of his and I also meet them for lunch real quick too. I get back out to the Hammonds around 6:00 or so that evening and get informed by Dana that now there not sure there going to let Grandma go by vehicle, that they were now saying she was going to have go by ambulance. Mom was beyond mad and said she was going to let the nurses have it. Yes, the nurses were throwing a fit, not the DR's. The DR's were completely OK with Mom bringing Grandma back, the nurses on the other hand....    Dana was getting rather annoyed at this point and was ready to go let the nurses have it her self. However, we figured with both mom and grandma thys on their case we didn't have to much to worry about. Sure enough, mom and grandma eventually won, though I guess the nurses put on a pretty good fight. Grandma finally asked them if they were going to pay for the Ambulance ride back to Garden, they all the sudden were OK with them bringing her by vehicle! LOL. They made it back to Garden around 5:30 or so Tuesday evening. They got Grandma settled into the nursing home and then came back to the house and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal that our amazing church family brought in. Grandma and Grandpa headed back that night. We were all glad to finally be back under one roof, together again after being separated for over 2 weeks. Not that I didn't enjoy staying out at my amazing best friends house, I loved every minute of it! Her and her family are simply amazing and we could not have done it without them ;) We are so blessed to have them as a part of our family.

We spent the rest of that week enjoying each others company, and trying to get caught up on sleep, along with house cleaning and laundry. We are finally caught up on everything I think. We are even getting back into a normal school routine! Grandma is doing really good!!! She doing Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and Speech therapy and so far doing really good in all of them. The Dr and nurses are all very pleased with her progress so far. We still have a long ways to go but were on the downhill slide I think. Were excited to hopefully get our old Grandma back.

It has only been by the grace of God and our amazing friends and friends that we have survived all of this. We couldn't of done it without each and everyone of them. We are so blessed! :) We serve an awesome and might God! :) Below is a song that I think is very fitting! It has several meanings to me! It is also my "Baby sister" Hannah's theme song as well... :)

That's what Faith can do by: Kutless.. ;)

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think its more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta
face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can!

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Miracle- Thats what Faith can do- Part 2

You can read the first half of the story here.

3 weeks ago yesterday, my Grandma took a major turn for the worse. It had been a super crazy couple of days. On Friday April 8th, we had our annual Fine arts. Which is a competition our home school group does every year and we compete against other home- schoolers and surrounding christian schools. I was asked by one of the ladies in charge to judge k-3rd grade poetry recitation. I judged it with another lady in our group and it ended up not being quite as bad as I had thought. I was up there from 8 till about 1 or so that afternoon. During my lunch break, my best friend Chay texted me and asked me if I wanted to meet her and her family at the zoo at 1:30 that afternoon for a couple hours. Her Uncle ( her moms brother) and his family were in town from Kentucky and they were always talking about them and I was really wanting to meet them and they were really wanting me to meet them. So I left early and met them at the zoo. It was a lot of fun! I love that family to death and they are a ton of fun to be around. I learned their extended family is just as fun and it didn't take me long to get comfortable around them and I instantly felt right at home. After we got done at the zoo I came home and helped mom finish cleaning the house. Grandma Thys was coming in that night to help watch Grandma on Saturday because I had senior pictures in Jetmoor. Mom didn't feel comfortable leaving Grandma for that long on her own, and it was to much on Rebekah by her self, as it took two people to get Grandma to the bathroom and back. Grandma got in around 4:30 or 5:00 Friday evening.  I spent most of the evening getting things around for senior pictures that next morning. We had to be at Jetmoor by 9:00 Saturday morning and it was an hour drive, which meant we had to leave the house no later then 7:45 because we didn't know where this lady lived.

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and got things around and headed to Jetmoor. Jacob  had a youth rally that weekend and he was leaving at 7:45 that morning as well, so we dropped him off on our way out of  town. We got to Jetmoor in plenty of time and found the house no problem. Senior pictures went really well. except for the horrible wind we fought all morning. We got several good outside ones, I think and tons of good inside ones, from what I could tell. I haven't actually seen them up close yet. I'm hoping she'll post them very soon. Its about to kill me, not being to see them yet.

We got done with Senior pics around 11:30 or that morning. We then headed on to Dodge, since it was only 25 miles from Jetmoor. We wanted to go look at Hobby lobby for some Graduation things and such. We also splurged since it was just mom and I and ate lunch at  A&W. It was really good. Grandma Thys called mom several times through the day to touch base, and kept saying she didn't know how Mom had been doing it with Grandma. She said it was all she and Rebekah could do to get her to the bathroom and had to practically carry her. Mom was rather puzzled as she had not been having much trouble. We got home around 4:30 or so Saturday evening. Grandma Thys kept mentioning how lethargic Grandma had been that day, and how out of it she was. She said they couldn't hardly get her to eat all day and or drink. Grandma was like, I don't care what those Dr's are saying...this is NOT DEPRESSION!!! Mom's like I know....but what is it? It was driving Grandma nuts all weekend, as she used to be a nurse for many many years. She kept telling mom that if she kept being this Lethargic she needed to get her into the ER and make sure everything was OK. Mom didn't know what to think at this point. Mom knew that for sure by Monday anyway we needed to get her into somewhere and see if we couldn't get some answers. She was going to have Jami ( a good friend of ours who is a nurse at the hospital) schedule us either a Cat scan/ and or an MRI for either that week, or the next. We knew we couldn't wait any longer. Grandma was getting progressively worse by the day, not better.

We had both had a really long, exhausting day so we decided that since Jacob was gone, we were going to order pizza and go rent a movie and just relax that evening. We went and picked out a movie at Hastings and then went and picked up our pizza and then came home. We had barely gotten back the house when Grandma indicated she needed to use the bathroom. Normally if I help mom get her into the wheelchair, mom can get her to the bathroom on her own pretty easy. However, this time Grandma was not supporting any of her weight what so ever. I finally came and helped mom, but grandma wouldn't move her feet at all. She just stood there with her eyes closed and wouldn't respond to us talking to her at all. She also had an odd color to her and was more out of it then normal. Mom realized what Grandma T had been talking about and we both became very worried. We finally got her into the bathroom but Grandma didn't do anything but just sit there with her eyes closed. Rebekah came in and informed us that she hadn't hardly drank anything all day and there fore hadn't gone to the bathroom all day. We didn't know what to do. We were really worried but we didn't want to jump to conclusions. After trying to get Grandma to answer us for about 10 minutes and getting absolutely NO response, we decided to go ahead and take her in just to make sure everything was OK.

We knew there was NO way we could get her loaded our selves, so mom called a couple guys from Church and they came and helped us get her loaded into Anita's ( moms good friend's van) Her Husband drive her van and mom rode with grandma. Anita took Rebekah and I in our Vehicle and we followed them to the ER. On the way I texted Chay to let her know what was going on. She instantly called me in a panic and I told her we didn't know what was going on, just that she was NOT acting her self what so ever. I was about in tears at this point and told her I'd keep her updated. We were in the waiting room maybe 5 minutes before they took grandma back. Mom said the Dr took one look at her, did a few things and sent them straight to CT scan! Mom wanted to hug the guy. We finally found someone that was gonna do something about it and actually run tests. Mom came out and told us what was going on. She said they were gonna do a CT Scan and admit her over night and watch her close and pump her full of fluids, as she was severally dehydrated at this point and probably release her sometime that next day. At this point it was getting close to 10:00 so mom calls a friend of her's to see if Rebekah could stay there, as she is good friend with her daughter and I call Chay to see if I could stay out there. She of course says  yes and she happens to be in town so she comes and picks me up from the hospital. We are fully expecting Grandma to be released by that next day so Mom  was planning to meet Rebekah and I for lunch after Church gets out. Chay comes and gets me and we go to sonic and get something to drink and I calm down a little bit. We drive around and talk for quite a while and jam out to music. I'm actually looking forward to staying out at her house at this point, unplanned sleepovers are the best ;) lol. Just wish it hadn't been for the reason it was. We get back out to Chays  house around 11 or so. A friend of her brothers brings him home and ends up coming in and visiting for a while. So where all sitting in the living room visiting and I'm filling Mrs Hammond in on what was going on exactly when my phone goes off.... that phone call changed my life dramatically......

I answer it fully expecting it be mom., since that's whose phone it was. It wasn't mom....   it was her friend Anita. I could instantly tell something was wrong... she then proceeds to tell me something no Grand-daughter should ever have to hear..

This is what she said: Sarah, I have some news about your Grandma. At this point my throat  jumps to my throat. She proceeds to tell me that they got the results of the CT scan and its not good. She told me they found a HUGE mass on grandma's brain and they were flying her flight for life to Wichita that night. A million questions are going through my head at this point but my mouth is dry and my voice seems to have vanished. Chay is standing beside me and could tell something was major wrong. I'm trying my best not to break down but I'm not doing a very good job of it. Mrs Hammond takes one look at my face  and motions for me to go down stairs, since Codys friend was still there. Her, Chay and I go downstairs and I manage to tell them what was going on without completely breaking down. Mrs Hammond instantly thinks of Mom being by her self  and is ready to head to Wichita right then and there. I go ahead and call mom and try to get some more details and such. She tells me that they are waiting to fly out and that we should probably just stay put for the time being. Mrs Hammond still isn't convinced and its about to kill her just staying put. I'm not exactly the calmest at this point either and still on the verge of breaking down. I try to distract my self the best I can. We finally go to bed and attempt to get some sleep...

We wake up Sunday morning and I decide to go to Church with the Hammonds instead of our church because I knew I couldn't emotionally handle answering a ton of questions at that moment. I call Betty ( a very close friend of ours in Stafford) and let her in on whats going on. She instantly goes into panic mode especially when she hears moms up there by her self. She calls our church family there and feels them in on whats going on and within a couple hours, Stephan and Tammy ( some other good friends) was  there with Mom. Some friends from the St John church also went up that day when they heard what was going on. We were overwhelmed by the wonderful love and support we received instantly from both St John/ and Stafford. I was glad Mom had them there for support and such, so she wasn't there by her self. It was killing me not to be there but I also felt like I needed to stay put so I could work and not miss anymore then I had to. I of course loved staying with the Hammonds and that's where I feel the most comfortable and at home.They became my security net through all this and I became rather attached, more so then I already was. I couldn't of done it without their  amazing love and support. I'm so glad their part of my life. I'd be lost without them!! Especially Chay- She has been the only thing that has kept me sane through this last almost year. If you know me very well at all, you'll know why! ;)

I tried to go on as normal as possible. On Sunday my Grandparents came and got the younger 2 and took them to Colorado till further notice, at the time.  I worked Monday and I also got to hang out with another good friend of mine. That was a lot of fun and much needed catch up time. You know who you are ;)Then I met Chay at the Y and worked out for a little bit- then we went out the house and ate supper then we met another friend at Dairy Queen for a little bit and hung out. It was a much much needed distraction for me.   I also got word that day, that Surgery was going to be the following day on Tuesday. Grandma was in ICU at St Francis. They did several cat scans and an MRI and learned that it wasn't cancerous and that they should be able to remove the tumor no problem. But wouldn't know fore sure till they got in there.They also said it was one of the largest tumors they had ever seen. My uncle Dewayne and aunt Kimila had flown in on Sunday night, so Mom wasn't by her self anymore, which gave this worried daughter, and her worried best friend some relief.  I wanted to be there for the Surgery and Mom wanted me to be there. So I left early Tuesday morning and went as far as Stafford and met my "other mom" and her and I and my "baby sister" Hannah went on to Wichita. We made it to Wichita about 3 hours before surgery. We found the hospital without to much trouble. We go in and find mom and she takes us to the ICU floor. They had the ICU unit in lock down the entire time which was a huge pain for all of  us friends and family, because we had to call someone to let us in and out every-time we had to use the bathroom or something. We were very surprised but they let Hannah go back into the ICU unit with us. We were very glad, as it helped to keep me calm having Betty back there with us. She helped keep the stress down and things fun and light the whole time ;) thanks "Mom"! We all sat around and visited for a while, then mom, Betty, my uncle Dewayne, my aunt Rose and I went downstairs and grabbed some lunch at the cafeteria downstairs.  Grandma was scheduled to go into Surgery at 3:00 and it was only supposed to be a 2 and a half to 3 hour surgery.

They took Grandma back to pre-op around 3:30 or so.... mom went back to pre-op with her and the rest of us went to the Surgical waiting room. Mom didn't come back from pre-op till almost 4:45 and she didn't go into surgery till after 5 sometime. They called once to say surgery was going great and she was doing really good. I of course am a complete stressed out mess at this point and am all broke out in hives. Richard came up for a little bit and sat with us through part of the surgery. It was really good to see him and have him there for support. Hannah was also a great distraction! I chased her around and read her books and just tried to keep my focus on her and not what was going on. They finally called to say they were finishing up in Surgery and Dr should be out in about 40 minutes to talk to us. About 45 minutes to an hour later the Dr finally came out and said she had done beautifully through surgery and they were able to remove all the tumor, and it was not cancer! PRAISE GOD!!!! It was a huge relief!! It's about 10:30 at this point. Betty and I were not planning on staying the night, however they said Grandma was going to be in post-op for a good hour and we couldn't see her during recovery. Betty called Brad to see what he wanted us to do. He said for us to just stay the night and come back in the morning. We were not planning on staying which meant we had NOTHING with us. We decided we were going to run to wal-mart real quick why Grandma was in recovery. They took mom back to recovery, so I texted mom to tell her we were running to wal-mart real quick.

This is where our adventure starts.... cont in next post....

Our Miracle- thats what Faith can do... Part 1

The last week and a half has been a complete whirlwind. It has only been by the Grace of God  and the amazing love and support of our friends and family that we have gotten through everything.

As most of you know, we lost our grandpa- dad- father- a horrible farming accident last August. You can read about that here. A good 6 months, maybe longer, before my Grandpa passed away we started noticing that my Grandma was not acting her normal self. When they would come visit she would just sit on the couch and not really visit or engage in conversation, she would just sit and stare off into space. Mom also noticed that she wasn't calling as often as she  normally did. Both Mom and Grandpa were really worried about her and wanted to get her into a DR but didn't know who to go with or where to start. They were also having issues getting Grandma talked into it, as she had informed them she DID NOT need to see a Dr. A couple months before Grandpa passed away, we all really started noticing a change in Grandma, she had really became distant and didn't really have much to do with any of us, very unlike her. She had also informed us she was going to quite her job at the post office. We were all shocked, as she had worked at this job for about 10 years and had loved every minute of it. We just figured she was tired of it and wanted a break but we still found it rather odd. Her last day was on a Friday and my Grandpa was killed the following Monday night.

Why we were in Colorado dealing with everything following Grandpa's death we realized just how bad Grandma had gotten. It was a shock for all of us. Mom was also pulled aside at the funeral by several friends who were around her daily. They told  mom she needed to get Grandma into a Dr ASAP, that something was bad wrong.  A good friend of her's that she worked with, that worked at another post office in a near by town told mom that in the past several months grandma had been calling her for help daily on how to do stuff she had done for years no problem. Not only was she calling for help on how to do stuff, she would forget in the middle of the conversation why they were on the phone and what they were doing. Joyce was really worried and so were we. Mom took her to her Dr in La Junta, Colorado. The Dr diagnosed her with severe depression. We didn't feel that was the problem, or all the problem anyway. But we decided to give the depression medicine a try. She continued to get worse, not better. She went to live with my Uncle Dewayne and Aunt Debbie end of September-first part of October and stayed with them till December. They got her into a Dr there in New Mexico.She could tell  something else was wrong but didn't know what. They tried a different depression medicine and her thought was maybe a stroke as well  because her left side was getting weaker and weaker. She wanted to do a cat scan/ MRI to see if we could figure out what was wrong. Grandma refused to do either one. We also thought maybe it was altimers or a type of it because she was getting really forgetful and couldn't finish her sentences or remember what she wanted to say half the time This had been going on for a good 6 to 7 months, possibly longer, and  getting progressively worse with time.  But Grandma was tying our hands behind our backs by refusing to a cat scan/ and or MIR.

She came to live with us again end of December- first part of January and we noticed a huge decline in her in just that short amount of time. She was getting to where she wouldn't talk at all, wouldn't really do anything but sit on the couch and watch TV all day long, something she never used to do. When we would talk to her or try to get her to engage in conversation, she would just stare at you with a blank, very confused stare. By the middle of February she had gotten to where she couldn't walk very well on her own. We  got her a walker. Within a week or two after that she got where she couldn't support her own weight at all so we went to a wheelchair. We knew something was badly wrong and we wanted to get her into a Neurologist ASAP. We had one scheduled but had to cancel due to bad weather. We had another one scheduled for the first of March. At this point she couldn't do anything on her own anymore. It was full time care for mom. She couldn't walk- talk- feed her self- go to the bathroom- dress her self and she was barely feeding her self. We were hoping and praying we were going  to finally be getting  some answers as to what was going on.

Her Neurologist appointment was in Wichita, which is about a 4 hour drive from Garden. We went as far as Stafford the night before and stayed with our good friends Richard and Cheryl. It was good to see them and catch up a little bit. We woke up bright and early the next morning and drove the rest of the way to Wichita, which is about an hour and a half drive. We found the place no problem and made it to her appointment a few minutes early. We didn't have a very long wait and they  took her back pretty quickly. They were in and out in just under 30 minutes- which I thought was rather quick. I could tell Mom wasn't pleased when they came out but could tell she didn't want to talk about it in front of Grandma. When we got home late that night, mom informed me that the neurologist took one quick look and automatically diagnosed it as severe depression. He told mom we needed to double up on the depression medicine and that would take care of all her problems.  We weren't convinced in anyway that, that was the problem. We felt there was something else going on and were kinda upset he didn't run any sort of tests to rule anything else out. Mom decided to go ahead and give the double up her depression medicine a shot and see what happens.  Within a couple days she had gotten much much worse, not better. Mom and I became very worried and everybody from here that was around her, knew something was bad wrong and it was NOT depression.  She was getting weaker and declining by the week. Mom took her off the depression medicine and we noticed a little change. She was more alert and with it. she also got a little stronger, but still couldn't really walk. We gave it a good 3 weeks to make sure it was all out of her system. As a result she became a little depressed again. But we thought that it might help to not be drugged up. She was doing more grieving, which was good, as she had not done much of that since Grandpa's death because of putting her on depression medicine right away. We thought if it was really just severe depression and maybe a little mental ( as we had been told several weeks before) then maybe just making her talk about grandpa and face this death head one, would help her snap out of it and help clear her head.  Mom made her talk about what was going  through her mind and got her to have several good cry's. We noticed that after she would have a good cry,she would snap out of it a little bit and be more alert and with it, as to what was going on around her. Mom decided to give this several weeks and see if we didn't notice a huge improvement. At this point she had become so weak and unsteady that we were afraid to leave her at all. The most we ever left her for was an hour or two tops. We really wanted to do a cat scan/ MRI and not give Grandma an option. She was getting one and that was finale. We needed to know what was going on!  We were tired of being tossed from Dr to Dr and being told it was just severe depression. We weren't saying that wasn't it at all... we figured she was a little depressed. Who wouldn't be after just loosing your Husband of almost 50 years. But we knew there was something else going on beside that. Mom talked to a lady at Church who's husband had gone through the same thing. They had been tossed from Dr to Dr, neurologist to neurologist who said the same thing- its depression. They knew it was NOT depression either and finally found a really good neurologist out of Denver but came to Salina  once a month. He actually listened to them and actually ran some test to try to figure out what was going on. She said it was such a relief to know they weren't crazy and that something really was wrong. As this is how  we were beginning to feel. We felt like we were the only ones noticing something major wrong and was beginning to question our sanity...

Mom called this neurologist and we had an appointment scheduled for May 11th. We didn't want to wait this long but we didn't know what else to do so we put it in Gods hands. Her Dr in New Mexico had her put on the high priority list, as she felt it was getting to be a life threatening thing when she heard how fast she was declining. We prayed that they would have a cancellation and we would be able to get her in much sooner then that. However, God had another plan in store for us....  

Monday, January 17, 2011

To the dear children of Sgt Shannon Thys: My Solider, My Hero, My Daddy

They had a "send off" for Dad at our Church and our dear Preacher wrote a very touching, very tear jerking poem to us Kids. I did not make it through without tears. I told my self I was not gonna cry and thought I had it made....till he got up and read this very touching poem...

I would like to share it with all y'all.

 To the Children of Sgt. Shannon Thys:

Thank you. Thank you for the precious gift of your daddy, I wont pretend to know the pain and void  his deployment  has created in your hearts. But I do know why he is willing to make this sacrifice and my hope is and prayer for you is that pride, honor and gratitude will help your aching hearts.

Your daddy loves his country. He loves her ideas and her heritage. He wants this country to afford you the same freedom he grew up with and cherishes. While the rest of us are recipients of his commitment to preserving this freedom, he does it for you,

Your daddy loves his fellow man. He wants others to be delivered from oppression and injustice. His love is proven by putting himself in harm's way to help secure what they are not able to secure for themselves. But once again, he does this for you. He set for you an example that we are indeed our brother's keeper. 

You should be very thankful to have a father like this. The blood he's willing to spill on foreign soil is the same blood coursing through your body- the kind of blood that is the foundation and fabric of this great nation. When you put your hand to your heart and feel it beat, just remember that your daddy loves you so much that he never wants you to have one single heartbeat that isn't free. His love for you is the highest form of love a man can have. Your daddy is a hero- never forget that.

I am probably one of the most proudest daughters of an American Solider. He is my Hero.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking a step back from Technology and deeping your intimate relationship with your heavenly father~

After a lot of prayer and thought, I have decided that I'm going to take a little bit of a "media" fast till after Christmas. I'm not going to fully give up everything ( though I probably should). I'm not going to get on Facebook. I will blog very little, if any at all. I will check regular email some ( If I don't I will get way overloaded and overwhelmed) but not very often. I will limit the amount of secular music I listen too,  I will still listen to some country ( I love my country music, it's  part of who I am :) but not as much as I normally do.You have to be careful, I admit, but not all country is bad ;o). I'm not a huge TV fan so that's not normally a issue for me to begin with.

Though I will probably think I am dying and yes, my family has doubts on me actually carrying through with this, I'm pretty determined. I have been feeling God tugging on my heart for a while that I needed to take a step back from this addicting technology and spend more personal time with Him. I am not where I want to be spiritually nor as strong as I want/need to be. I do not have that intimate relationship with Him that I so desire to have.  My prayer is that this will draw me closer to Him, and get a deeper, more personal relationship with Him.

He wants us to make Him number one in our lives and rely solely on Him for everything.  We shouldn't put any worldly things before Him, no matter what it may be. Nothing should be more important then our personal walk with Him, our personal, intimate relationship with Him.  My Prayer is that this fast will help me to grow closer to Him,and help me to realize that though yes, facebook is a fun way to keep up with your friends and family and something fun to do during your free time, it is something I can live without. I don't need to check it every minute I have free. I don't have to update my status every little bit. I don't have to read  the latest "gossip". I don't have to post a ton of pictures every time I get some new ones. Though it is harmless fun and can be used for good, if your careful, it can also become something not so good, if you let it become more important then personal time with your heavenly Prince. As much as I hate to admit it, and am ashamed to admit it, I am about to that point. It's something I've known deep down for a while but wasn't about to actually admit it.  I want nothing more to lay my life completely down for Him and let Him be in full control in every aspect of my life. I want every thought, every word I speak, every decision I make, etc be holy  and pleasing to Him in every way possible.

Worldly things may seem important now but we can't take any of that with us.  The only thing that should matter is getting to heaven and living both our heavenly  life and earthly life with the most amazing, most loving, most romantic God we can ever imagine.

Luke 9:23- Then he said to them all; if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

To me that verse is saying, that in order to fully follow Christ, to fully be a true follower of our heavenly Lover, we have to first "die of self" and completely become consumed of Him. He needs to be our ONLY focus, He should be the only one we worry about impressing and stealing the heart of.

Another Good one that goes along with this is:

Luke 14:33- In the same way, any of you who does not give up  everything he has cannot  be my disciple.

OUCH! if you ask me. Does he really want us to give up EVERYTHING? Really? How does He expect us to live without our ipods, our cell phones, our lap-tops, our money, our friends, and anything else we seem to think we HAVE to have in order to survive? Well....He's not asking us to literally get rid of it ( unless its something really bad that shouldn't be in our lives, as a daughter/son of the King in the first place) He's just simply asking us to NOT put any of that before Him, and to realize that we could live without it. We don't really need any of this earthly-worldly stuff, all we need is Him!! We cannot  find true happiness and true peace until we rid ourselves of earthly things and consume ourselves with things that are pleasing to Him, spending our every waking moment with Him and deepening our intimate relationship with Him. That should be our number one goal in life. Not worrying about the latest fashion trend, or the latest music on itunes, etc. None of that is gonna matter 20, 30, or 50 years down the road.  I feel like I've been a little all over the place but I hope and pray you are getting and understanding what I'm trying to say, even if I'm failing miserably at it ;o)

With that said, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!! I will see you all after Christmas. I'm gonna go enjoy my Family and some much needed time with my heavenly Prince.