Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Memorial Box Monday...Polymyowhatis

There are stories that we want to pass on to our kids. Times that serve as milestones and memorials that mark the faithfulness of God in our lives. This is one of them:)

It's a story that is real to us because we lived each and every moment of it. It is a big part of how God worked in the lives of our family in the months that came and went after May of 2004. Andrew and Clayton don't remember what it was like when Grandma was sick but we want them to know that God has indeed been faithful and brought healing and for that we are so thankful. Our little guys aren't so little anymore and we want them to know how God has been faithful to bless us in giving us the mom and grandma that we have today. The Grandma who, just today, stopped by to take them out to lunch and to the cemetery to visit their great grandparents graves. The Grandma who has pitched them countless whiffle balls, makes them homemade pies, and plays Pauls Missionary Journeys with them.
{Dad and Mom with Hadassah, Clayton, Judah, and Andrew. May 2004}

In February of 2004 we temporarily relocated to a small town in Northern Ohio where cashiers weren't just there to ring up you lettuce and milk but to get your life story as well.

After several months of a life that that was new to us, May rolled around Andrew and Clayton were very excited that Grandpa and Grandma would be visiting from California. We made the very familiar drive to Loren and Betsy's house so that we could all spend a few days together before Dad and Mom returned with us to Ohio.

On the way back east, Dad and Mom had spent a few days in Texas at a cousins wedding and Mom had noticed that she had a hard time walking up stairs at various places. Then at Loren's, she would get down on the floor to play with the kids only to find that she had a hard time standing back up. She's always been active and worked hard and it was more and more noticeable that simple things that she had always done without thought were becoming difficult.

One morning while at a nearby bike trail she would discover that she no longer had enough strength to peddle a bicycle well. She had to work hard to climb the stairs that led to the bedrooms in our house and when they left Ohio and Indiana all of us were wondering what in the world was going on...
{Mom and Hadassah. May 2004}
Upon returning home, she was quickly diagnosed with polymyositis and referred to a specialist. The months that followed my sister and I would discover how very un-fun it was to be half way across the country as mom's muscles continued to weaken and we wished we were close by to help. In July, Betsy and I were both able to leave our families for a few days and make a trip home to California for Uncle Ed's funeral. God worked out the details (Nathan's parents were in Ohio visiting and took the boys with them to visit family) for us to not only attend a funeral of a special Uncle but also spend a few days with our parents.

We were glad to find that Mom was ready with a list of things that she could no longer accomplish by herself and we spent a few days together cleaning and working around the house. While the diagnosis was quick and efficient the next months we would see the effects of the polymyositis further weaken her muscles as treatment seemed slow to take affect.

{Christmas 2004 when mom was still on large doses of prednisone and methotrexate}

Meanwhile, we are so thankful that God orchestrated even the "little" details...like when we heard that she had walked outside to get the paper one morning. As she bent over to pick it up she realized that she didn't have the strength to stand back up and so she sat down in their driveway. Without her cell phone in her pocket she was rather stuck. Thankfully, Kristen and Seth both stopped as they drove by on their way to work! So.so.thankful for friends and family that live close by and could be that hands and feet of Jesus to mom that morning!!!

In October it was time for us to move across the country and back home. While at Craig and Kim's in Texas, we got the call that mom had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. We returned to California several days later to a mom who's muscles had been so affected by her disease that she could no longer stand up from a chair on her own or step up onto a curb as she shuffled across the parking lot to enter a store. She was seriously skin and bones with a nice puffy face from all the prednisone. After reaching this low point Mom began to recover. The crazy amounts of drugs she was on were slowly able to be tapered off as we gratefully saw that God was indeed healing her body and restoring much of what she had lost. We would thankfully celebrate each call from the Doctor that revealed that even as the drugs were discontinued her counts stayed down and her body continued to heal. She eventually was able to stop taking all her meds and now 8 years later is still doing well!!!
    {Dad and Mom, December 2012}

Today we are so thankful that our kids know their Grandma has the heart of a servant because they see it in her everyday life. They know first hand the dedication shows in ministering to women in crisis pregnancies because they've gone along with her and know she is at the crisis pregnancy center several times a week.

They know if we want to have a crazy fun movie night that Grandma will be there teaching us how to fry 200+ donuts and then cleaning up the kitchen for us too.

They don't have to listen to our stories of "what Grandma was like before she got sick" because they see her living and serving Jesus today, just like she did then!!!

Read more about Memorial Box Mondays HERE:)