happy

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it.  John1:5 

and just like that our girl who loves music is 21

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and the fisherman and his wife rejoice because once, not so long ago it almost didn’t happen. 

and with grateful hearts . . . we never forget.

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Gifts

more birthdays

family round the table

long conversations with one son

calls from the brown eyed girl

little wooden signs

a pop in twice this week

cool days

up early

solutions

walks in the woods

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

January 19

Morning light shines through kitchen window and I love it.    I scan for something to photograph before light shifts and my eye catches last night’s teacup.

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“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”  Albert Einstein

I see this quote and remember it from Emory walls.

Today it reminds me of my Girl who Loves Music off Marching for Life with that Man with the Big Laugh,  youth they love so much and countless others who care so much.

I’m proud of my girl & that Man with the Big Laugh.

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21.) fun snowfall in the Carolinas  this week

22.) warm days to melt that snow away

23.) nephew Marching on this year too

24.) early bedtime

25.) lightness and joy in Charming’s voice

26.) walk through the woods with my youngest

27.) warm house

28.) beautiful light that sets my heart to beating

 

 

November 1

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I believe this to be true.  It’s getting up the nerve that’s the hardest part. 

Liz as Ginny Weasly

She went as Ginny Weasley last night. 

and the Girl Who Loves Music  . . . 

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keeps Rock ‘n’ on! 

Gifts

a night spend with four out of the six

up and coming events

coffee with old friends

early morning Mass with my youngest

good books to read

good school days

cool breezes

pop in visits

 

February 25, 2017

Even though the surgery took longer then expected . . . things went well.

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Our patient has been released to the care of her little sister.  . . who I often say to,  “with all the time we spend around doctors and hospitals who knows . . . your future maybe in medicine. Listen up. Take notes. . . and she does.  

 It’s onward and forward from here. 

We will know more about the results in a few months. . . I’ll keep you posted. 

Love, 

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being here

dinner made & hugs from sister in laws

first visits from granma so nice

a day spent w/ the fisherman

telephone calls about photo inquires

holding hands through the night with her

cuddling with the youngest

beautiful mornings

big dogs scared of little cats make me smile

big brothers & a midnight run for curly fries and milkshakes for his little sister

phone calls and concern from big brothers from hers & mine

good medication to ease pain

little sisters watching over

best nana’s making sure a day worried is filled with fun

many messages to answer of how’s she doing 

 

there are . . .

There are extreme headaches, petit mal seizures, simple exhaustion . . . some days,  and a surgery Friday for hearing. 

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There is youth group leadership, studying hard for the next level of education, & her job that she likes where her cousin is the manager. There are best friends, amazing mentors, brothers who love, parents who dote, a little sisters to protect, a best nana who spoils, now a grandma so close, aunts who relish, teachers who care, people who pray, music to share,  eyes that sparkle, and a smile . . .  that simply shines.   

and THAT’s our girl

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photographing her

blooms from a bush that was planted all wrong

coffee with her

settling

time for me to study

new tires for him

healing

morning rain

coffee made right

progress

dreams shared

A 2017 update on our Girl

It’s past a year now since you prayed her well.

         and she is amazing.

Thank you Jesus! 

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From that accident, a year ago, with fractured skull – there was hearing loss on left side.

A year later, a new doctor tells us he maybe able to reconnect hearing bones and all should go well.

However . . . there is a tiny, ever so tiny chance he could brush nerves that control the face. . . and then facial paralyses could set in once again.  

My teeth clinch,  and I feel them shift. 

He assures us he’ll stop if he feels he’s to close 

and so she trusts and wants to move forward with this operation. 

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There was another accident two months ago.

Her fault.

She was stopped at a light. . . and that was all she can remember.  This time, nothing was hurt a Fisherman dad with magic hands, and dedication to his girl couldn’t fix.  

and we blew out a whole breath 

The next day this girl and I sat down to talk about what had happened . . . she was frightened because she didn’t know.   No more driving we said . . . until we check this out. 

more doctors were added and more tests were done – the results  Absence Seizures

We thank God only cars were hurt and doctors are on it. 

and once again we focus on the good. 

Because really. . .  what else is there? 

Time and time again we hear just how amazing she’s doing. . . and we rejoice

With her daddy as her morning chauffeur – today she started school again – out the door 6:45 sharp . . . and she’s excited for this life. 

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Gifts

the  historian visits arms & heart full with gifts

clean sheets

an art show, an afternoon spent with the best Nana

visit from the man with the big laugh

late night baking scones

a coffee date five years in the making

lunch with the girl with curly hair,  her wonderful friend & her little sister

house up early before sun

heart filled conversations in the cold

belly laughs from the youngest. . . she thinks I’m funny

excitement in the air

Grace unfolding

 

 

settling dust

It’s been two months since I picked up the new camera.  Early morning light calling me & I grab the Nikon before the light moves.

Dust settles in.

mcGuffy readers and flowers

It was a busy week last week with five doctors appointments to fill our days.

The girl who loves to dance is the one who knows where we are going and who we are seeing.  When they ask who’s in charge of the eyes . . . she knows the name and place of practice.

She’s keeping us straight.

The consensus of it all on our girl who loves music   . . . the dust is still settling.

Settled dust will give us more information.

But, over all . . . She’s doing well.

In fact I would say she is doing very well.

The face is coming back, and the eye guy gave a happy dance.

The ear guy says there is lots of fluid that needs to be drained but. . . “we must wait for dust to settle”.

So we wait.

and dust settles

and we move on

and she moves on

and

She’s moving on well.

All kinds of therapy starts tomorrow at Roger C. Peace . . .  a place for the injured. I know they will love her there. She will work hard and do what they ask of her.

She’s a fighter this girl. She’s strong. She’s ready to roll.

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Gifts

light calling me, streaming in

beautiful sky

notes  to me from the best friend ever

good morning hugs from the youngest of us

songs that make us dance in the car

listening to stories to be told from strangers

a phrase that makes her say, “now we have to listen to that song”

she discovered Bob Seger

clean laundry

celebrating birthday dinners with the brown eyed girl

stillness

walk in the woods

strength

 

and So. . .

and So we are home home and she says she feels even better.

Even though she is doing better – our girl has a long way to go. The reality is setting in for her. Among other things. . . She has issues with the nerves in her face. We are hopeful this is temporary.

She says often, she really didn’t believe she had an accident but, when people she trusted told her did, she thought she must have. 

She tells me, she doesn’t remember any of it. 

I tell her, it’s not important. “Don’t try, I say. We know you had one and here we are. . . recovering.  Thank God”

I find, I can’t say, “she is recovering without adding the words. . .  Thank God.”  

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Through this whole ordeal . . . I can’t help but think of our Donor Family and what they must have gone through when whatever happened to our donor happened.

I can’t help but think of them being told to step into that side waiting room like we were told. . . you know those waiting rooms you see on T.V. or the movies? They are there -right off the big emergency room waiting room. . . you know it’s there but, you don’t know were it is.

This is the room set aside for news so bad the family needs privacy.  It’s all blue with light and lots of chairs.

You cling to eachother

and then first the doctors come in and tell you the news. . .

and then the Chaplin.

When we got our news. . . the room spun & my only question was “Is she alive?” I got the answer I wanted

and then because we are Catholic . . . we called for a priest.

and we asked him “to bring all his toys.” 

and we prayed to the Holy Mother and asked her for strength, and to pray for us, and ask Her Son to let us keep our daughter.

and prayed to God himself . . . and prayed, and prayed and prayed.

and when I prayed the Hail Mary I couldn’t say the ending. . . “Now and at the hour of our death”  I just couldn’t.

We went to anyone and everyone we could think of to pray. . . and you fell to your knees and prayed, and prayed without ceasing. . . and then I can’t help but say, Thank God for you.

and so when I think of our donor family. . . I know they did the same thing.

But, their prayers were answered differently then ours. . . and then they saved my husband.

and people tell me we have had a hard time. . . and we have to say, No, we have had a time . . . maybe the time of our lives – we say with a smile. We have had a time I don’t want to revisit. We have had a time where prayers were answered in exactly the way we begged our sweet Jesus to answer. . . and we know that’s not a hard time. 

Thank God 

The girl who loves music knows people were not meant to have it easy. She knows this and she “offers her struggles up” as the best nana says.

She is strong and she’s recovering.

Thank God

and I keep praying for a full recovery and will ask you to do the same. . . because I know you will.

Much love to you all,

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Gifts:

early morning run alone

quite time to share my thoughts with you

the sharp mind of our girl

work for the fisherman

hugs from my “little boys” as they walk out the door

notes of love from people I hardly know

Lucy running crazy for us bringing the dinners

the dinners – oh! my goodness the dinners filled with love

and cookies and cakes

sleeping puppy

cars that work

school being done

everyone pulling together

being home to care for our girl

 

and that hat!

I dropped into a consignment store one day when I was “helping” my fisherman husband rebuild a fishing pier for a customer of ours.  

and I found a lovely, blue velvet dress for six dollars.  . . and then I noticed a blue hat for two. My heart sang when I realized the dress was a perfect fit for the girl who loves music.  It’s been so long since I have photographed her. 

AND THAT HAT! Oh! my goodness that hat! 

Only as teenage daughters can . . . she tried to burst my bubble. She told me, “velvet was out.” “And a hat! That just wouldn’t work for her.  She said, “I was out of touch.”  “I needed to get with it.” She couldn’t believe I would ask her to wear such a thing. 

I gently explained to this girl who loves music. . . my photographing her . . . had nothing to do with her.  A mother wants images of her 18 year old daughter.  The hat, the dress, the necklace. . . I knew what I was doing and if she let herself . . . she would have a great time. 

And we would have amazing images. 

Like a girl who loves her mother . . . she gave in. 

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and she rocked our photo session. 

In the end . . . She said, “Wow Mom! You really know what you’re doing.” “That was so much fun!” “and this dress is so comfortable I don’t want to take it off.”   

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1001 Gifts:

574.) time spent with the girl who loves music.

575.) dinner out just the two of us

576.) Fall

577.) good school days

578.) healing for Charming

579.) great achievements for the philosopher

580.) work

581.) clean house

582.) fresh sheets

583.) fresh towels

584.) feeling like we may have hit a new normal. . . maybe