Sunday, May 20, 2007

BACK AT LAST...Well, Sort Of

Oh my goodness!
For some time now I have not posted to my blog. First of all I just wasn't in a very jolly state of mind due to
the health condition of one of my in-laws. I know that to some that might sound as though I'm just looking
for something to be upset about. The rest of the story is that I have become very close to my in-laws and
it became apparent, as the disease progressed, that they needed someone they could depend on any time
they needed something or someone to get them where they needed to be. My husbands sister lives out west
and the other sibling is here but has his hands full already. My husband often must travel to work and often
works different shifts and therefore can't commit to making appointments, etc. I was the logical one to step
forward and do what needed to be done and was happy to do so. I want to help them now while they are still
with us because when they are gone it will be too late. In this situation, there are no "do overs"!

So, in the midst of appointments, sometimes two per week (on different days), grocery shopping, package
delivery, more shopping, preparing a house for sale, and of course trying to run my own business, SMACK!
Our eldest daughter has to be air-lifted out of state for emergency surgery to remove a hemorrhagic mass
from the left side of her brain! That was almost three weeks ago, and it was a day I will never forget. I have
given it some thought, since many people ask me what happened, how the day progressed. The best way
I know to describe the events of that nightmarish day is simply that it was like a long, slow, painful descent
into hell. Without a doubt, even considering the day my Father passed over, it was the absolute worst
day of my life!

The good news is that she is alive, which the doctors say might not have been the case if we had waited one day,
or even a few hours more to bring her in. The mass was not a tumor, it was a vascular malformation and it was
hemorrhaging and had done so previously as the surgeon found old blood stains on the brain tissue. The mass was
about the size of a hens egg, requiring an opening in her skull the size of a silver dollar. Long (very long) story
short, she is recovering, her eyesight is good, her memory is fine, she retained all motor skills and she will now
set off metal detectors when she passes through. Hopefully within the month she will once again be able to drive.

One week and one day after the eldest had her surgery our youngest had to have surgery to correct one ruptured
disc and one bulging disc in her neck. This surgery was at least not an unexpected emergency, it was planned
and I was a little more prepared. Worn out from the week before, but prepared. This daughter's surgery went
without a hitch and after one nights stay following the procedure, I was able to take her home. Like her older sister she will also now set off metal detectors. I spent a couple of days with her, trying to help in whatever way I could,
mostly making sure she didn't do too much too soon.

This past week I was able to return to my own house and to helping my in-laws. I'm still driving the eldest and
her children to ball games, shopping, etc., but my bags are unpacked and have been returned to the closet.
So, what have I learned from all this excitement? For one, I'm tougher than I thought I was. God certainly knows
how to test us, how to remind us who we really are, WHAT we really are and what is really important. I also learned
there are many, many friends, family, neighbors, Sundance family and some who are just acquaintances, who were
ready and willing to pray for my children, my grandchildren and us when we needed them.

To all of you out there who prayed for us, called, emailed, sent food and or flowers, THANK YOU, all of you.
The prayers were heard, they worked, God listens.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

My Cherokee Grandmother

My Cherokee Grandmother
Selva COX/Opal Nokomis SMITH Nolen

Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride
October 31, 2008

Daddy Cat, Jr.

Daddy Cat, Jr.
"You're blocking my light!"

Chester

Chester
Chester & Princess Out For a Ride