three years now

“Sometimes you just don’t know the value of a moment until becomes a memory.”

                                                                                                             ~  Dr. Suess  

We knew.

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Three years now since the heart beats in the Fisherman’s chest.   In silence, we remember our donor, his family, and value of the memory of those days. 

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anniversary’s

surprise visits

great school days

cooler morning

a dog that likes to be outside

relationships growing

new beginnings

long talks with the oldest

 

 

Him & Me

“A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit. “

Desiderius Erasmus – Dutch PhilosopherForest for Lightroom

Some days I block myself from seeing, and then there are those days I want to hold on to it all.  A year ago seems so long ago; like an old pair of shoes cast away and forgotten.

We are moving on with this living thing, and I forget at times to record my blessings. . .  to visit this blog. I find myself counting and writing lazily only in my head.

Sometimes, I try to forget what has happened but then, I count the number of times a brother calls him Lazarus, see the many scares on his chest, count the pills taken in the pill box, mark the days until we travel again to check and recheck the blood work, biopsies, a little cold here and there. . . wash your hands, stay healthy, go to work, move on to the next thing. . . we have to get organized I say.

He says we have to live a little.

mountains Ceaser head

We take off to the mountains. . . leaving it all for another day.

I tell myself, “Count your blessing today, and not just in your head this time,

 I cannot forget to love more, live more.

and I watch him closely and I’m in awe sometimes when I see patience on that face, with a hint of his father’s dimple, that face of this man I love.

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1001 Gifts

486.) dishwasher turning

487.) laughing and talking coming from another room

488.) laundry to fold – I can’t forget this one pilled high

489.) working hands

490.) good reports of a healthy heart

491.) birthdays coming

492.) boys running all over the homestead – playing, having fun

493.) soft summer breezes

494.) brothers taking off together

495.) hard summer rains.

the whole picture

I  think I have fallen off my photo groove. I haven’t picked up my camera in so long I’m afraid I  have forgotten how to use it. Every time I take a shot I see so much wrong with the picture.  My settings seem to be off every time. 

 It’s to dark

It’s to bright 

I miss my mark

My mind is going in a 1000 different directions 

matthew by the lake B

It’s true, these past years have been hard on us, and there is no denying there are more hard times to come. I hold my breath, and clinch my teeth when I think about it. 

 

But  then I stop, take a deep breath and look at the whole picture. . . It’s been the best year of our lives.  So much has happened that makes everything so right.  All those things that have happened – all those things that will happen – that may happen –  just don’t seem to matter to us as much today.  This is our life. It’s not picture perfect. It’s messy.  It’s ours. 

Our son the philosopher came home last week.

And 

It was a very good week.

We took a day to go apple picking . . . all of us together.

We lived a little,

and didn’t worry about a thing.

When we got to the apple farm we didn’t find  apples on the trees.

They were already in the bins . . . all ready picked. 

 

We didn’t care  . . . 

We were together, 

and all of us knew it. 

We were together laughing,  having fun, being a family 

family

We took one of those bad family photos were everyone is not ready . 

But, again . . . that perfect picture just was not important. 

We enjoyed the day.

We enjoyed each other.

And as fitting as it was for us 

apple blossoms

we found apple blossoms

in late October. 

The girl who loves everyone said . . . “it was the best day ever”.

 and it was

 

The philosopher went back to school yesterday Matthew by the lake

I already miss him. 

Today, 

the Fisherman and I are headed back to Atlanta 

for more testing. 

 

The girl who loves everyone said, “Already? You have to go back to Atlanta already?

and the girl who loves music said . . . “It’s okay. Mom and Dad have to do this to help get Dad healthy again.  We will have fun together. “

Kathryn Liz Hendersonville October 2014 apple picking

and they will 

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I continue to count my blessings thanking God always

1001 gifts:

283.) the sound of tennis shoes in the dryer tumbling, tumbling, tumbling

284.) talks with the best Nana by the fire

285.) surprise visits

286.) the cards, letters and prayers

287.) girls laughing

288.) loving touches

289.) amazing skies in October

heart to heart

She says she like this shirt because of the heart. It reminds her of her dad and his new heart.  She tells me when he is feeling better they are going to “do lots of fun stuff together” and she can’t wait. 

 

Liz in the grass signed

 

I think of things all the time now I would like to say to our donor and his family.  Sometimes “Thank you”  just does not seem to be enough.  And then, I listen to her plans, and I think: Sometimes there are just no words 

and a simple thank you is all I have.  

St. John Paul said, “the mouth speaks to the ears, but the heart – speaks to the heart.  

I continue to count my blessings thanking God always and marveling how the ‘Eucharisteo  always precedes the miracle.’

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1001 gifts:

276.) the slow walk I took with my fisherman husband: cool winds blowing, legs pumping, hearts beating

277.) the philosophers home

278.) everyone sleeping under the same roof again

279.) Steviewonder working so hard on everything

280.) the prayers – thank God for the prayers!

281.) quite mornings at home

282.) coffee out of a glass coffee cup

Little Things Thursday

headed back

We are headed back to the Mason house and Emory tonight for another biopsy and more early morning testing. 

Always checking for rejection will become part of our lives. . . has become part of our lives. 

And we’re grateful for the ride to Atlanta – this time together – holding our breath for another “O”

seed

This also means, I wont be able to write to you until at least the end of the week.  

And then I’ll tell you more about the time my Fisherman husband had a heart transplant and we held our breath for more then three years

Love, Lisa 

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1001 gifts

269.) unexpected hugs from nephews

270.) pounding sound of pouring rain

271.) the daughter happy to see me after a spend the night bonfire

272.) beautiful messages of love from family and friends

273.) a surprise hug from a sister in law

274.) calls checking on us from our  son’s friend. . . I can’t believe this young man loves us so much

275.) an accidental bump in conversation with my husband Cardiologist – he was just delighted to hear our news

the waiting. . .

August 30, we waited the whole day,  and held our breath ~ until that very night after transplant.  That’s when I followed the Fisherman’s nurse into ICU.  I saw him there with tubes everywhere: helping to breath, helping our new heart to beat, helping fluid drain, helping to stay alive,

and it struck me

This fisherman husband of mine was truly my hero.

I knew right then and there what I have have always suspected

He is my strength.

He is my heart beat. . . my Superman. 

berries October 10 2014

And I was overcome with the love it all took to give such a gift: that gift of life – when one can’t live anymore but, keeps on giving. 

I was overcome with the love our donor must have had for his own family.

The love his family must have had for our donor. How our donor was a person, a real live person with a beating heart. Now beating inside my husband.  

and I was sad for this family.  This family that will always be in our hearts – for the rest of our lives.  

This family we will be forever connected to. 

and I was sad for my own family for all we have endured. . . for all we will endure. 

I was overcome with the love it took for my fisherman husband to accept such a gift.  This gift of life. 

and I thanked the Fisherman, and told him he was truly my Superman 

and I gave thanks to God for all: the fear,  the worry, the stress,  all that is yet to come,  my husband, the gift of more time, this incredible gift of life.  

This gift of love.  

and then the miracle came. 

He knew who I was 

I held it all in . . . until I reached that last door, and I sobbed before my shaking hand could reach the door knob.

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1001 Gifts

262.) I’m grateful for all the family I had around me that day . . . all our children, my mother, my sister, Mark’s mother, his sisters and of course David.

263.) the amazing care he received by his nurses in ICU

264.) the amazing care I recieved by his nurses in ICU

265.) the gift of time

266.) forever the gift of life

267.) the Mason house

268.) the people, so many people that simply care . . . more then we could have ever imagined

Love, the Fisherman’s wife 

August 30, 2014

I know, it’s been a long time. . .   a lot has happened since I wrote to you last. 

Long story short for tonight: 

heart b

My fisherman husband had a heart transplant August 30th. 

We couldn’t believe it!

In fact, I was still waiting for the doctors over at Emory to put him on the transplant  list, and before we knew it – the fisherman was not only listed, he was in surgery – 

FOR A HEART TRANSPLANT! 

and I couldn’t believe it was real

and I held my breath until it was over 

and

in fact . . . I’m encouraged by our doctors to keep holding my breath

so I do. 

and

There is so much to tell you . . . but, you know the rules of blogging. 

1.) When there is time to post, there is nothing to say. 2.) when there is everything to say, there is no time to post.

For now, I know you will forgive me when I say:   I just wanted to give you an update on how he was . . . on how he is. 

and the word is 

He IS Good! 

Thank God! 

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1001 Gifts:

257.) for now and forever I’ll always be grateful to our donor family. What courage they have. We will pray for them forever.

258.) the many loving friends I have met along this journey

259.) the love we have been embraced with these past few months

258.) our kids . . . oh my goodness – they are amazing

259.) my friend who flew our oldest son home to be at the hospital with us the day of the transplant – oh! my goodness – ” this simple act” as she says, it still brings me to tears.

260.) of course my mother . . . always my mother  & my sister who came rushing to be at my side to wait

261.) my friend, my neighbor, my BFF came rushing too . . . the love was is simply amazing

Much love to you, Lisa 

our lesson is patience . . .

So apparently  heart transplants are pretty involved and being on a heart transplant listing is a tricky business. You don’t just walk up to a counter and say, “I’ll take one strong heart please.”  even if it very apparent that the heart you are using is failing. 

whtie flower pool background

So here is the news for today. The Fisherman’s “numbers are up”, and he can breath. What does that mean? That means his blood count is up, and his lungs are not retaining as much fluid today.  He is breathing better. . .  today. And it’s always a good day when you can breath better.

Does that mean he is getting better today?

No.

No it doesn’t  but, it is a good day when one can breath. 

Now we wait some more, and the business of heart transplants becomes a lesson in patience.  

 and I hope and I pray we studied enough and we pass.

Love,

Lisa

1001 gifts

249.) the warm, and delicious dinner my sister sent our way tonight – she even thought of dessert

250.) the late night coffee with my BFF – yeah

251.) hearing strength in my husbands voice today. . . that should count as about 100 gifts

252.) text messages of “how are you mom?” from my sons as they hold down their end of our fort

253.) the response of much smarter people then I am who want to help, and know what to do

254.) so many loving messages of love and strength from so many loving people

255.) sleeping with my very own pillow

256.) bedtime stories from my 8 year old

Our Heart Failure

I read one day that Foxglove was used to cure  heart failure, right then and there I thought I would plant it in every nook and cranny around my house.  But, I didn’t . . . and now I think maybe I should have.

Flower for your heart failure

So here’s the story: My fisherman husband has heart failure. I didn’t want to tell you because we are self employed, and even though prayers are wonderful and very much needed, no one,NO ONE at all wants to hire a plumber they are afraid will die under their sink. So we kept it quiet . . . because we had to put food on the table, keep the roof over our heads and pay the light bill.  Prayers are wonderful but they don’t pay the light bill. Unless of course your praying for work and then prayers pay the light bill.

Three years ago he was diagnosed with CHF. I kept asking the doctors what does CHF mean?  I couldn’t remember the words Congestive Heart Failure all together like that. Sometimes it was the word failure that gave me the most trouble. It was all such a blur.  I was so confused and kept saying things like,  “what does the H stand for?”

So we changed our diet, he received a defibrillator/pacemaker and we were good.

Most of the time. . . he was good.  “For now” as we said.

This month he even got the thumbs up by the Heart Failure specialist . . . so we were good.

All that changed August 15th, and he just wasn’t good anymore.

In fact he was terrible.

It was down right scary.

Even our hospital,  Greenville Memorial, thought he was scary – so they sent him, by Ambulance, to Emory in Atlanta…and so I followed.

When I walked into the dark ICU room he gave me a big thumbs down. . .   I knew then we were in trouble.

11 days later there is much talk about a long term stay at Emory in Atlanta and, are you ready for this. . .  Heart Transplant.

My Fisherman husband is still in the hospital in  ICU with a team of doctors working and planning for his future. . . for our future.

We will know more tomorrow but, today the plan is to wait.

Wait for the doctors to decide where he falls, and if he is to be listed on the much-wanted heart transplant list.

Even though he is sick, he is healthy . . . he never had a heart attack, he never had clogged arteries, he is not over weight . . . no red flag “heart issues” were ever raised.  The doctors say this heart condition must have come from a virus but, we just don’t know.

And we thank God he never abused his body with drugs, alcohol or anything that would cause heart trouble.

Tomorrow we will know more.

Tomorrow I will tell you more.

Love, Lisa 

Our World Wednesday Little things Thursday

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1001 Gifts

242.) all the ladies calling me Baby at the Emory hospital. “Do you want room for cream in your coffee Baby?”  Each time these simple words made me feel hugged

243.) a lady bought me a cookie – I couldn’t believe her kindness. I said, “Wow! Those cookies look yummy.” She says, “Baby, I”m buying you a cookie.” “That’s what I do. I share and you look like you need a hug.” and I did.

244.) the care my husband is receiving from the hospital staff. . . Thank God he is such good care.

245.) the love and support I have received from family and friends. . . it’s been over whelming. Keeping us strong  – keeping us going – keeping us looking up.

246.) Our Priest came to visit. . . all the way from Greenville to Atlanta -3.5 hours away. I can’t tell you how much this meant to all of us. Unbelievable joy!

247.) my kids staying strong. . . doing what they are suppose to do. Going to school, working hard, staying focused.

248.) the care my youngest received while I have been at my husbands side. What would I have done without my family to drop her off to and run. . . knowing she was safe and loved.

 

Shortbread Cookies

Because of his heart failure there are not many things Mark can eat. This morning I was looking through one of my cook books and found a  little recipe for Shortbread cookies that was sodium free.

I wondered if Mark even liked Shortbread cookies.

_DSC0483edited

I made them anyway because, sodium free is exactly what we need and who knows he just might like them.

So, do ya wanna know what he said when he came home?

“Oh! Boy! Shortbread Cookies are my favorite.”  and I said, “REALLY??”

 Huuu? Who knew?  

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  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour. Mix until well combined.

Spread them on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle shortbread with sugar. Cook for 5 minutes – turn the oven down to 300 degrees bake for another 20 minutes.

Cut into squares when warm.

*** The dough is very stiff – so here is were I added orange zest and about a tablespoon of orange juice. Even though they were really good next time I’ll add more sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla.

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