Monday, April 14, 2014

A special request for a special life

My heart is heavy and my thoughts are a mish mash of emotions today thinking about a dear family who has gone through a loss that is difficult to rationalize.
 
I live in a unique spot, next door to the house I grew up in, on the block where I spent my youth, my teen years, and returned to often. Our neighborhood has gone through the same cycles that so many urban neighborhoods have, as people fled to the suburbs for more? better? I'm not sure, but my parents were very satisfied where they were and did not leave. With all the younger families leaving, the homes with the older residents began to decline with the aging of their residents. As the neighborhood became more transient, regardless of how many people had bought or sold the houses, we still called the house by the names of the original owners who lived there.
 
That was until Zac and Heather moved in on the other side of my parents. They brought with them the same spirit of neighborliness that had once made our block such a special place to live. They brought with them chickens, and gardening, and bike riding, dumpster swimming, and sharing, and caring, and love. A path is now evident in my parent's grass as we made our way back and forth to each other's homes.
 
When it was announced that they were expecting their first baby, we were thrilled for them.
 
When little Roger William was born, he quickly acquired an extra set of great grandparents, aunts, and cousins from our family. His life was filled with love and adventure and the wonderment that only babies can possess. His smiles melted our hearts and we would feel blessed by them. At 7 months, he was beginning to realize that he could reach things for himself, to sit up and stand, and we were excited about the next steps he would reach.
 
But then the unthinkable happened and he did not wake up from his nap and his beautiful life ended too quickly.
 
The news was met with shock and disbelief, as I was sure I had misunderstood and the realization that it was true was met with such sadness for all the lives he had touched.
People ask, how? why? and for now those remain unknown. Instead the family wants to focus on the blessings received from such a beautiful life, no matter how short and they want others to focus on those things as well. They have asked others to focus on what they do know, that all of us benefit from kindness.
 
I'm borrowing the following from one of their good friends as she explains, "Being the altruistic people they are, Zac and Heather have asked that this be a day of kindness in memory of baby Roger. So, even if you don't know the Lytles, do a good deed today or perform some act of kindness in honor of Roger Lytle today. If you'd like, email rogerwilliamlytle@gmail.com to let Zac and Heather know what you did. They will read the messages to cheer themselves up when they are blue."
 
 
It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Good news/bad news

I'm having a good news/bad news kind of day.

The alarm went off at the usual time, 5:50. My foggy brain did a quick check for what day it was and I finally figured out it was Saturday. Good news, right? Bad news, I had to get up.

Grace is at an art competition today and had to be in Coppell at 7:15.

We made it, in spite of the fog and I decided to go in with her.

The teacher asked if I could wait a minute and he could tell me what time she would be finished.

Oh good news! She's in the first group that starts at 8 and should be through by 9!

Great, right? It's about a 40 minute drive from our house, so I just need to find a place to hang out for an hour or so.

Bad news? In my haste to get out the door, I did not really dress to hang out at Starbucks. My girls will cringe when they realize.

Good news - I'm attending an intermediate class on essential oils today.

Bad news? It's at our house at 10 this morning. I'm hoping no one wears their white gloves since I planned to clean after I dropped Grace off!

We'll see!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

A rough time

The last couple of weeks have been hard and I'm thankful to say things finally seem to be improving.

A few weeks ago, Annabel got in the car and said something I had never heard her say, "I'm tired." I thought, no wonder, the basketball schedule had been grueling with 6 a.m. practices and games that lasted until 9 p.m. up to 5 days a week. I was tied too. Then a couple of days later she said it again. Both girls ended up home for 2 days with congestion, sore throat, etc in the middle of us having day after day of nasty weather that went from bad to worse.

We got back to our usual routine but I limited staying after school for activities. Then the next week, Annabel got up, teary eyed, a very rare sight, but I could not stay home with her because of work so I sent her on to school. When the family we carpool with called to say they were picking their daughter up early because she was sick I had her grab Annabel too and we headed to the doctor.

The possibility of mono came up and we went for blood work. I knew she was sick when she laid her head in my lap while we were waiting, something she had never done.

I couldn't stay home with her the next day either so, thankfully I have the world's best caregiver right next door, my mom. When the doctor called with the initial test results, it looked like mono for sure. I started to call my boss to explain that I might be out for 2 weeks with Annabel, but with a quick look at my calendar, I knew there was no way that could happen. The doctor called later to say the results for mono actually came back negative but keep her home another day and see if she bounces back.

The next day ended up with more bad weather and all the schools closed but ours so after getting Annabel situated, Grace to school, I ended up at work. By the weekend the weather got better so I let Annabel get out and enjoy the sun. On Sunday I was scheduled to be at a conference out of town, a once year opportunity that I've missed for the last 4 because I did not want to leave my girls. This time it was too late to cancel and the decision was made that I would go.

Monday and Tuesday her condition did not improve but I was sure if I could actually be home with her, I could get her well. Wednesday was very quiet and I was surprised at how badly she felt. I felt badly because it was the very first day I had gotten to stay with her, working on work, but at least I was there. On Thursday I decided we had to go back to the doctor, if for nothing else but a note to get her back to school after missing a week. We didn't get to see our doctor and the new one announced she was well and needed to get back to school. Really? She can't stay awake the whole day but we tried the next day and I was picking her up by 11, in tears because she felt so badly. I had to leave her with mom again and run back to work.

That weekend she began to complain about her legs hurting and we tried heating pads, ointments, oils, anything we could think of to help. Monday I was back at work but knew we had to do something and our doctor would not be back until Wednesday. Tuesday morning we went to the er. Everything I had read said this kind of pain was when you needed to seek help and by then I was getting fearful. Annabel has a congenital chronic illness and I was very concerned about that. Lots of tests later, with no specific diagnosis, we at least knew what it was not.

The next day I had to be back at work and left my parents in charge of taking her to her doctor, which was quite an experience for them all. More tests were ordered and a decision to try half days of school was reached. I'm glad to say she made them ok since I had to be at work. This weekend she has finally seemed like herself for the first time in 3 weeks. I've missed that terribly.

My girls have been sick before and both have had to have surgeries, but this was the first time there just didn't seem to be any improvement and there was nothing I could do. My heart goes to those dealing with this on a daily basis that goes on for months. I cannot imagine the pain of seeing your child in pain for so long.
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