Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In Our News

A Nephew Is Born

Sunday, May 10 (Mother's Day) Calin was born to Matt and Amy. He is my first nephew and he will probably be my only nephew. He is very cute with dark blue eyes and lots of dark hair. If he is anything like his older sister though, his eyes will turn a lighter shade of blue and his hair will turn blonde. He is very loved and I look forward to watching him grow up and witnessing him and Andy form a cousin bond being that they are only one year apart. I have to admit when I was holding Calin I had a small wave of baby fever intrude upon my heart. Not enough to make me want a baby at this very moment but the thought has, uninvited, crept into my mind. We will have to really think and pray hard about adding another child to our family. We can hardly keep up with the small child in our home as it is. I would like to have a girl but that is up to God.
Another thought I had while I was holding Calin is how I remember wanting time to stop for just a little while after both my boys were born. There was so much controlled chaos going on during the births that I just wanted some time afterwards to soak up the monumental gift that I had just been given. Time to study their little faces and count their fingers and toes. But the seconds kept ticking into minutes and their little lives began the growing process independently from my body. Hours passed then days and now years have gone by with something new to learn at each moment. And time just seems to be going by much faster.

Gramps Well Despite Chemotherapy And Radiation Treatment

Gramps finished his daily Radiation treatment late last week and has persevered through it with grit and stamina. He has two more Chemotherapy treatments left, one coming up next Monday and the last one in mid-June. Gramps will have more scans to determine how much of the cancer has been eradicated and I do believe his oncologists and surgeons will then decide if and when surgery will be performed. He has maintained nutrition and hydration so well that he is only required to have blood drawn once a week and some weeks he doesn't have to have it drawn at all. My mom has gone to Illinois to be with him when he receives his Chemotherapy and next week will be no exception.
I remember my grandma's last Christmas when she was dying from cancer. I had no idea what to say or how to act so I ended up ignoring her, but watching in morbid fascination at what was happening to her. It was just too out of the ordinary for me. I felt like she was a stranger. It wasn't obvious that I was ignoring her and I didn't even realize that's what I was doing at the time. I didn't recognize the feelings that I was experiencing. I just wanted her to be back to normal with her notorious energy and not dragging around an oxygen tank to help her breathe. I find myself fighting the same stupid behavior with Gramps. I have to force myself to call him and acknowledge the brevity of the situation. I don't want to dwell on it but I need him to know that I am aware that he is fighting for his life. I need him to know that he has my support. So instead of pretending nothing is wrong I will pray for him and reach out to him with sympathy and compassion.
Anyway, Gramps so misses his beloved Cubs that he is planning on trekking to Wrigley Field to see a game next weekend before his Chemotherapy treatment. My mom will move Heaven and Earth to go with him. I wish I could too. My Gramps is full of understated stubborn tenacity. He is my hero and I love him dearly.

Soldier Mick In Iraq

Back in February when I tearfully watched from my desk at work the troops ride away on buses to begin their tour of duty, I committed to step out of my own little world and get to know someone who is serving our country in Iraq. Little did I know that commitment would be in the form of my third cousin Mick. As I was doing some research as to how to get in touch with someone in Iraq, forming a pen-pal situation of sorts, Mick found me on Facebook. I read a comment on his page that he wished that he would get letters from home which got me thinking and praying. I wasn't expecting God to choose someone I already knew to send encouraging words and thoughts to but I do know that God is chiseling away at my hard, judgemental heart so I wasn't surprised by His plan. I began a letter and three pages later signed it and sent it off. It wasn't long before I got a letter in the mail from Mick. He answered all my questions and told me some things about Iraq. Even though it has been weeks since I received his letter, I still haven't written him back. I will take the time soon though because it is important to me. And I suspect it is important to him to know that somebody cares.

Hostess Cupcake Really Is Russell Tradition!

This past weekend Chris's parents, Barb and Bob, came up from Wisconsin to celebrate Andy's first birthday. Barb brought along Chris's baby books in which I read that he joyfully devoured a Hostess Cupcake on his own first birthday. Ok, the whole 'joyfully devoured' part wasn't really in the book but he did have a Hostess Cupcake.
Also in the book was a picture of Chris when he was one and, I must say, Andy looks an awful lot like his daddy.

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