This first Mr Linky meme is Friendship Friday. I'm not sure where or when Friendship Friday started but I think it's a great idea. One can never have too many friends! I may come off sounding like someone who has just won an Oscar and people are motioning to me, trying to get me to shuddup and sit down already. The music may begin to play and someone may start to pull my arm trying to drag me off stage, but there are really so many people that deserve mentioning. I promise my next
I'm especially thankful for my friends right now since finding out that Jessica's heart disease is progressing. So many times I have received bad news about Jessica and my heart sinks... I feel like throwing up and I go into a depression. I get angry and want to yell at God. Hasn't this child suffered enough?! I have realized that these are normal emotions and I allow myself a couple of days of mourning... a couple of days to digest the news and let reality set in. I begin to seek more information about the diagnosis and prognosis. What are our options - if any? I also begin to realize that I don't need to go through this alone. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and loves his daughter beyond measure. We have had to pull through so many devastating blows over the years.... many marriages have broken up over much less and I am soooooo glad to have my eternal companion still by my side. He is my BFF. I know, I know... many people say that your spouse doesn't count as a BFF ("Best Friend Forever" for all you non-texting people - *hi Mom!*) ... but my husband is my BFF. I am so blessed. Did I mention that I love him and that we have been married for 22 years?
We are also blessed to have family who care about us and who check in on us from time to time. I am also thankful for my other family... my church family. Two weeks ago Karl talked to our bishop and told him about Jessica's new diagnosis and how hard it is that her heart is deteriorating. The bishop asked our ward (congregation) to please keep Jessica in their prayers. Jessica's name was mentioned in very single prayer that day. For all you LDS people out there, you know that's a lot of prayers! ;-) Many people came up to Karl and offered comfort and concern. I was at home with Jessica and Karl came home with tears as he told me of all the people who were praying for us and for Jessica. My visiting teachers came over and wanted to know how they could help. I finally conceded to allow them to bring in dinner for Thurs night. (which they did. Jessica asked for tacos and they brought tacos, beans and spanish rice! Delicious!) And to top it off, later that evening another family from our ward, the Womacks, came to our house riding their horses! The Womacks are the ones who came to Jessica's birthday party dressed up as Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner. The Womacks came on 4 horses and Jessica got to go outside to pet them. After a few minutes they offered to let Jessica ride one! It has always been Jessica's dream to ride a horse. 3 years ago a pony was brought to our house but she was too nervous to get on it. This time we had 4 full-grown, BIG horses and she wanted to ride one! Karl and another gentleman from our ward helped boost Jessica up into the saddle while Sister Womack held the reins. The horse, Penny, kept stepping aside a little and there was Karl and Brother Mack hoisting Jessica into the air with her legs in a sideways "V" trying to get onto the silly horse! haha! Fortuntatley that only took a couple of minutes and then Jessica was sitting in the saddle! She was so proud of herself that she even knew to hold onto the horn of the saddle. I took pictures as Sister Womack led Penny slowly down the street, Karl walked along side by Jessica just "in case" and Justen pulled the oxygen tank in the cart trying desperately to keep up and not let the oxygen fall or the tubing get tangled. What a sight we must have been! Well, Jessica rode the horse for about a whole minute - then she wanted to get off. She didn't even want to ride her back to the house... she was done. LOL. Fortunately we weren't more than one house distance down the road so we slowly walked back to our house. (If Jessica walks very far or very fast she gets extremely "blue" and short of breath.) All this time Brandon had been holding the reins of Sister Womack's horse, Sophie. Sophie was enjoying eating our lawn. (Ok... it's not a lawn so much as weeds with some grass mixed in due to our very active monsoon season. Most of the year we have just dirt and a few dry weeds.) Brandon did a very good job making sure that Sophie didn't wander into the street or poop on our vehicles. hehe... We are very fortunate to have such wonderful friends who made helped make one of Jessica's dreams come true. [I will have pictures of that event soon. Jessica wants them on her blog so I'll let you know when they are up over there.]
I absolutely have to mention the online friends I have made. 7 years ago I got the internet in my home and started joining support groups for families with children/adults with CHD (congenital heart defects). I have come to know and love so many of those families and have even gotten to meet some of them in person! When I sent an email to those groups and posted here on my blog, I was overwhelmed with the love and support shown to me. I also received a couple of emails from families who have experienced similar situations and have used some medications. Those assisted me SO MUCH when I spoke to Jessica's pediatric cardiologist. Gone are the days when I felt so alone, bewildered and unprepared. It's true that Jessica is especially unique and that there is probably nobody who has experienced ALL the exact same medical problems that she has, but it is comforting to have families who have experienced some of the same problems or have used some of the same procedures, or the same drugs. Since I've started blogging I've made even more online friends who are just as wonderful. I don't get out much and the internet is my window to the world - my way of reaching out to people, both in sadness and in happiness. I appreciate you all so much!
I can't forget to mention all the medical people out there that have blessed our lives. I know that you've heard about the home health aid who stole Jessica's morphine and the insurance company employees who can't seem to keep things straight but that is a drop in the bucket compared to all the wonderful people who have helped Miss Jess and our family. I've had to take Jess to the hospital 3 times in as many weeks for different heart monitor placements. Today we went for the 3rd one and we keep running into people that we know from previous hospitalizations. The nurses at the hospital, doctors who have cared for her - such as Dr. Copeland who did Jessica's heart surgeries, child-life workers who have helped her through several of those surgeries and many other procedures.... Tu Nidito social workers and volunteers..... the list goes on.
And last, but definitely not least... I like to think of my Heavenly Father as my friend. I may get mad at Him at times but He always offers a loving shoulder for me to lean on. I have seen so many miracles and I have been so blessed to be Jessica's mommy, even with all her medical, mental and emotional problems. Jessica asked me recently if Heavenly Father and Jesus cry when we are in pain and when we cry. I answered yes, they do. I have felt the compassion and love from above that I have offered to my own children.... especially through all the heartaches and pain that we've experienced with Jessica. My sons are highly affected by their sister's medical issues, and they each have their own issues they struggle with, but they are awesome and are 3 of my greatest friends too.
Now it's your turn. I know it's now Saturday but I started this post on Friday! lol... but it doesn't matter. If you want to do a "Friendship Friday" or just a friendship post, click on Mr Linky and leave your information! Don't forget to leave a comment too.
Mr Linky is up and running! I set it up differently and it's working! Woot!