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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It has been a while

I haven't been posting because life was difficult for a while. My father passed away from cancer. Cancer came on sudden. He had been struggling with health since he had a heart valve transplant two and a half years ago. I have shed many tears over my father's health. We thought he was going to die many many times over the past few years. He had been in and out of the hospital. He almost didn't survive the surgery. His heart crashed four times during one stay. He got pneumonia. His lungs kept filling up with fluid. He had and a very fancy pacemaker installed that basically shocked his heart when it stopped which did happen. It has been so hard watching him decline. He was only 57 when he had the heart surgery. He became very old over the past few years. Then cancer had to rock our world. He was diagnosed almost six months ago. I had mentioned a family illness in a post once but my dad didn't like to discuss his health publicly. He didn't want the sympathy or for people to feel bad for him. I understand where he comes from. I just operate a little differently.

He fought hodgkins lymphoma at age 20 and almost died. The cancer has been in remission for so long and decided to rear it's ugly head in a new very nasty form. There was no treatment. No hope. He went downhill very quickly. My sister moved her wedding up so he could attend and we are all thankful because he wouldn't have been able to attend one month later. My mom took care of him until he died. He was able to stay in his house. I visited weekly with the kids. It was so hard to watch him die. It was hard to watch him lose his dignity, his strength, everything but his mind. I am thankful for that. We talked for hours and he was able to say his goodbyes months before he passed. He had his ups and downs and we never really knew when he was going to die. He passed away on my Birthday but he was a fighter. The cancer was in most of his body when they found it. His spine, bones, lungs...just everyhwere. He was given a few weeks to a few months. He lasted almost 6. It know it was hard for him to hang on so long but I think we are all thankful we had those last months.

Goodbye dad. You can finally rest in Peace. We buried him yesterday because he was cremated. He is gone forever now. It is very hard to lose a parent and now my sister and I have to take care of my mom which we question!

RIP Dad 12/27/51-9/15/11 He would have turned 60 this year and my parents would have been married for 40 years.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My baby is turning 4! Special Olympics!

I can't believe my youngest is turning 4 years old! Brendan has always loved his little sister to pieces. They are super cute together. She wants to go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday so we will all go there to celebrate over the weekend. The kids love playing the games so they will all really enjoy it. We need to go Apple Picking too! We tend to go too late every year. Apple picking just sneaks right by us. We like sticking to yearly traditions and this is one of them so we will have a busy weekend.

Two mom's started a Special Olympics program in our town. I am the treasurer but haven't had to do much yet. We had 15 kids join right away so we are at our max right now. They range in ages from 4-9. They don't compete yet but the kids are really enjoying it. They meet every Sunday for 9 weeks from 3-4pm. Each child has a buddy or two that helps them with the sport. This is great because I am not involved with Brendan. He has been doing great with me just watching him. It probably helps that his niece volunteered and works with him but years ago even that wouldn't have worked out! I am very proud of him. He LOVES it! He shouts "I'm gonna win!" and then when he gets the soccer ball into the net, "I win!" The first day he looked up at me and said "mom, I am plaing soccer!" with the biggest grin on his face. That was pricelss. He loves being part of a team and the fact he is actually playing sports. They play tennis, track and field, and soccer. It is really great to watch. We have 19 volunteers just to work with the kids and then we have coaches who also volunteered for each sport. It really is amazing to see everyone pull together for these kiddo's! I will post a few pictures now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 Things no one tells you about raising a child with special needs

1. You will have a very special bond with your child that you can not explain. Maybe it is from all the hours you spend together at Dr. appointments over the years, numerous hospital stays, hours upon hours of therapy sessions or just researching and over analyzing everything about your child. Whatever it is, it is beyond special.

2. You cherish every single milestone no matter how small more so than with your 'typical' children. It sounds bad but it isn't. When your special needs child sits up on their own, says their first word, or is even able to feed themselves with a fork it is a HUGE milestone. I still get beyond excited when he does something new or even talks with improved sentence structure. I think it is because we know how long and how hard they tried to get to that point.

3. You have less sympathy for your other children. After seeing your child endure major hip surgery and where a spica cast for 6 weeks you don't baby your other children as much when they scrape their knee or take a tumble, at least I don't! I take care of them but I also teach them that they are just fine and it only hurts for a minute.

4. You become a helicopter mom but never admit it. You are involved with everything in their life way more than you ever anticipated. Between school, therapy, and meeting around a hundred doctors over the years you know way too much about your child and it probably will never stop.

5. Last but not least.....You become a Supermom! You can handle up to 7 appointments in one week. You learn how to give your infant a bottle so that they don't choke, you can lift a 45 lb wheelchair up a curb or into the back of your van, and you can somehow carry your 45lb child (that doesn't hold on to you in any way) into a store, buy something, and get them back to the vehicle without passing out or dropping them! You try and do everything that you would do if you didn't have a disabled child even if that means you will be exhausted by the end of the day or the end of that vacation. You try and give your child the best life possible. You make them wear horrific night time braces but also give them breaks from them every so often. You punish them just like you would any other child when they disobey or are disrespectful. You do it all and then some because you are a Mom~one very special Mom!