Life of Normal

Two days until five years and I know they count too. 

My girl who loves music up before dawn and off to school.  I hand her breakfast & coffee for the road – thrilled for this role I play.  She’s worked so hard. . . waited so long to be back to this life of normal.

The fisherman and I slide backward it seems but not really . . . only in our minds.

We plug away at each new day, block out noise and know the ships not sinking as fast as before.                                           A sigh of relief. 

We lean into this side of transplant, self employment, joke about keeping eyes forward . . .welcome little arms reaching

text our sons and their beauties, check on homework, medications, blood pressure and such . . . plan for tomorrow, say our prayers, go to bed, reach for each other. . . and do our best to know

“the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it. John 1:5 

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Gifts:

2 days until five years – and God is better to us than we deserve.

early morning eggs crackling

I watch her walk out the the door – breakfast in hand

cool summer days to put that transmission in.

he can do anything

a beat up old truck he says he’d take to California

borrowed wheels

conversations in a barn

photographs showing his life

great school days with her

 

To have courage . . .

“To have courage whatever comes in life. . .  everything lies in that. 

– Saint Teresa of Avila

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Here’s the honest thing: I don’t know much.  I don’t know why someone’s heart beats in her father’s chest. I don’t know why after two years this one continues to heal. I don’t know why we continue to celebrate the years and life’s changing times. 

I do know this:  We are not strong because of ourselves.  We do not have courage because we are brave.  We do not do anything alone.  I still can’t say one is good without feeling gratitude from my core and saying the other. . .

Thank you, Jesus.  We are changed forever.  

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2018 Gifts

29.) Celebrating two years and 27 days

30.) hot tea in special cups by the fire

31.) little snippets of their days

32.) the younger sister helping her older sister study

33.) conversations with my oldest

34.) brisk air

35.) texts from sweet friends

36.) he can fix anything

37.) drop in visits

38.) walks through the woods

39.) laughter

40.) joyful voices from newlyweds

 

 

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

 

 

Zero is Best

Four days ago was the fisherman third birthday since the transplant. Yesterday we traveled for his second annual health check. 

For three nights we have celebrated this birthday week with meals fit for a king.

fall-and-henry-logo

and then great news comes back from transplant today . . . with rejection at 0.  

and

This is the only time in your life you want to be zero. 

On this side of the transplant life. . .  Zero is good.

Zero is best 

Zero is our hero 

and

Hurray for Zeros! 

and then I had time for a Happy Fall Y’all photograph, and Henry plopped himself right down in it. 

 So here it is . . . Happy Fall Y’all

love, me . . .  & Henry 

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birthdays to celebrate

a good school day with the youngest

dinner guests

excitement over the upcoming dance

changing weather

safe trips to and home again

great biopsy results

amazing breeze

running in soft rain

laughter in our house

homework being done

our Peter

This one.

The oldest of our clan.

This philosopher son of ours

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is headed back to school for his Masters this August.  

After graduation he took the year off to: take the GRE, to apply to colleges, to work,  to rest. The year before while he was away was rough on him as he studied a 1000 miles away from home, and worried too much about the health of his father .

He is home for this short time, and it is so nice, and we had know idea what the year held for us this past year

and then the accident happened and he never left his little sister’s side .

Having him home at this exact time was more important then we could have known.  

It’s times like these you realize what a favorite aunt so wisely says is truth, “God’s plans for you are none of your business.”  His are always better.

and

If you know this son, and you know him well . . . he will bring you closer to your faith. . . whatever that faith maybe . . .  he will bring you closer.

the crazy thing is,  he doesn’t even know he’s doing it. 

He’s our Peter.

after this year is said and done. . . it will be hard to see him off. . . but, we will. 

His future’s so bright. 

and God’s plans for him. . . “are none of my business“. I’m just so very thankful He‘s invited me for the ride. 

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Gifts

breakfast with my son two day in a row

cool breeze

her favorite dinner last night not a drop left

 heartfelt apology from a girl who didn’t mean to hurt

steady work for the hands that feed us

air conditioner in the South Carolina heat

everyone one of us around the dinner table

peace in this house

dinner by candle light with the family

 

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 Smart Guy

I know, I have been gone for way to long again, and most of you are probably wondering how we are.

Well, to be totally honest – we are GREAT!

We are just great.

My fisherman husband is healing oh, so nicely.tulips-feb-10

However

Things haven’t gone perfectly.  But, they have gone pretty darn close to perfectly.

The story is: The Fisherman has had a little infection on his arm because of a scratch or something. You and I would have slapped neosporin, and a bandaid on the thing and forgotten about it all long ago.  But, for a transplant patient that’s not so easy.

When the Fisherman showed our bald doctor at Emery the strange lump on his arm – this bald guy got a bit nervous  – and told us the Fisherman  had to have spot biopsied right away by a dermatologist. By right away, I mean the sooner the better.  So we came home, found a dermatologist quickly, and had the spot biopsied the very next day – that day in December.

And just two days  later, the dermatologist called using a voice I have become accustomed to hearing.  That voice of much concern, and maybe you should sit down for this one. Our new dermatologist  told us he would be calling our transplant team that very night, and we needed to pack our bags because we would be heading back down to Atlanta in the morning. 

 They were not sure what the infection was but, it needed to be addressed ASAP.

So we went back to Atlanta as soon as the Transplant doctors called, and we saw the bald guy again. 

and the bald guy said . . . 

he was going to call the “smart guys”.

And we sat there stunned because we thought the whole time we were with the smart guys. But, I guess like everything else: when you’re not one of the smart guys – you don’t recognize the smart guys – and you think just because someone has on a white coat, and they held your heart in their hand – they are the smart guys.

Valentine cookie, heart, love

But, you know what . . . you would be wrong too.

So they called the Smart Guy . . . and he really looked like a smart guy. I could tell because the buttons on his white coat were braided and not real buttons. I thought, “Yup! this is the smart guy.” “You’ve gotta be smart to wear a doctor’s coat with buttons like that.”   

So we were good again because we were finally in the smart guys hands.

And the Smart Guy said. . .

without being nervous at all, “Oh yeah! You have a fungi in that infection. It’s not dangers to you at all. But, you will need very expensive medication to take care of that infection.”

mushroom-febraury-3

and the Smart Guy  told us the Fisherman’s arm would not heal without the really expensive medication.  He told us the Fisherman’s arm would get very, very sore – so we needed the medication – just to take care of the infection.

It was just another day at the office for the Smart Guy. And because he is the smart guy, the Fisherman and I relaxed.

The Smart guy also told us even though the infection was not a problem, the medication “messed around with the Prograf and “we would have to make A LOT of trips to Atlanta to keep an eye on the Prograf. Prograf is one of the  medications the Fisherman is on to keep rejection away. It’s a very important drug to us now. 

So we make the trip to Atlanta sometimes twice a week together. We leave before the sun rises and are gone all day. We stop for a drive through coffee on the way up, and stop for lunch on the way back. We talk, and we solve all the worlds problems. And it’s nice this ride in the car all day . . . several times a week. . . Just the Fisherman and I 

In the meantime life is not missing a beat in this house tucked in the woods. 

The Tallest one of us got his braces off, and can’t stop smiling

and now I think I shall call him Charming on this little blog of mine.

day-12-stephen

The Philosopher will be home for spring break soon . . . and soon very, very soon he will be a college grad.

The Girl who loves music got her drivers license and that is a story all by itself.

The Girl who loves everyone started dance and loves it.

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The Fisherman is trying very hard to go back to work 

and I am back to catching our third grader up in all things homeschool – while snapping a photo a day keeping up my little 365 photo project – a photo a day for a year. 

strawberrt-and-Fudge

I must confess I haven’t been writing down my blessings the way I should –  but, hope to get back to that with the starting of Lent coming up so soon – counting all those blessings life throws my way. 

All those beautiful, beautiful things. 

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1001 gifts

340.) long car rides with the one you love

341.) smart guys

342.) and kind of smart bald guys

343.) warm place to call home

344.) talks with Charming

345.) healing medication

346.) best Nana’s . . . again and again

347.) surprise love notes from the girl who loves everyone

348.) the smell of homemade cupcakes in the oven

349.) heat in my van

350.) friends for the girl who loves everyone – playing at our house again today.

351.) people happy to see me

352.) a valentine’s dinner

353.) morning sun light – coming through my kitchen window

354.) time

Plans in 2015

Christmas came and went like a whirlwind with sparkling lights all around.  It came on so fast I didn’t quite finish my decorating. 

Because of everything we have had going on in our lives I put down my camera and just soaked in the season. Even though I am known to always be clicking, I have grown to believe there are somethings you just need to enjoy away from your lens.

and it was a beautiful Christmas with our house filled with family. . . love, and joy

Tree signed

It’s been four months now since transplant, and even though we are on high alert for calls from Emory and ready to go with bags half packed because of rejection, infection and so on –  we are starting to get down to the business of living.  Pretransplant making plans was something we learned to do without.  Sometimes just living the day to day was all we could do. And yes, 2014 was one of the toughest years we have had with many obstacles in our path – it was also the best year of our lives with more blessings than we could ever deserve or even count.  Now that the Fisherman can breath, and the heart beats like it should we are spinning with not only relief but,  ideas of: bike rides, hikes, graduations – yes two – a hopeful trip to Benedictine to see our son the philosopher walk in that cap and gown.

The girl who loves music will graduate too. She will graduate from our little homeschool high school this year of 2015. Our little school has very quietly seen two others graduate just as she will . . . with several college classes tucked neatly under their belts.

I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done.

and I think I’ll probably cry. . . because as their mother, and their teacher from the past 12 years, I know the work, the worry,  the tears. . .the fear of wondering – if we had the right material, if they knew the right things, and then of course the big one – if the Fisherman would get to see these days of graduation ahead. These days he worked so hard for so I could stay home and teach.  The day when the last of our original homeschool three would be finished with high school and all that work would be done.

Secretly, I had wondered if the Fisherman would see the Philosopher take that walk to his college degree.  I had wondered how I would go by myself because a wife knows her husband . . . and knows when he’s not doing well.  She just knows . . . and holds her breath.

2015 holds the future for this family of six. . .  “Life is for the Living” I was told my uncle once said . . . . AND the living can make plans for the future. 

and that’s the simple buzz around here. 

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1001 gifts

332.) cold rainy days when everyone is home . . . and things seem ordinarily normal

333.) the tallest of us all cleaning the stove. . . even though he has taken the stove completely apart – I am happy he is working hard. Always thinking that Stevie Wonder of ours

334.) the philosopher working with the one who loves everyone on the fishtank – he’s always teaching

335.) the fisherman eating anything he wants

336.) the girl who loves music running the vacuum

337.) quite days

338.) rain falling on tin

339.) days so rainy you don’t want to go out

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