Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Thoughts

Bahahaha! I laugh in the face of discomfort!
......and to that I say.....We're in the home stretch folks!

Let's see since I last wrote....we have had SUCH a busy week. 
In fact, it rushed by and left me exhausted,....and tonight is only Thursday ;-)
Why you ask?  Well, we jumped right back into school and the relief of routine
washed over us and energized us!
We managed to show up ON TIME to co-op for both days this week (we're not very good at that WITHOUT a body cast in tow!), and the kids included Merrick in on all the horseplay and fun at school(ahem, wall bashing included)....then we travelled to S.F. on Wednesday for an awesome field trip.  It seemed there was nothing we COULDN'T I even attempted a birthday shopping trip to Walmart tonight.   And boy was that filled with snafus (um, if you've ever had your head slammed in a car door, you can commiserate with Merrick tonight)....yet we were uber productive, so Success!
This weekend we'll celebrate Jarrod's birthday with homemade goodies and lots of family.  The result: 
All is right with the world again.

Tonight I'm just bursting with love for this little ol family of ours
We all still have our limbs, our hearts, and most of our brains (though I'm glad the helium balloons are nearly gone....I can't spare anymore brains cells trying to get a laugh with '...all the Single Ladies...') how can I NOT be OVER-THE-MOON with gratefulness for all these crazy memories, and insane moments.  Like when all 3 kids are crying in the car on the way home from Walmart because I said they'd have to wait til tommorrow for another bite of Miss Dena's Cocoa Krispy Treats.
Yes, they ALL cried.
I giggled. 
Sadistic?  Nah, just thinking that if THIS is the worst of their worries...I'll take it. 
We have more than we could ever hope for or need in this life.  Even dessert almost every night.
The rooms in our house are bursting with forgotten possessions, and we are never without.
Most of all, their daddy comes home each night, absolutely in love with us, and dying to hang out.
We still bicker, mostly while we're playing Super Mario Bros. 
But mainly we laugh together, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So now as the sun is shining.....peeking out through the clouds.  I don't want to forget.
A week ago I was still waiting for the sting of this ordeal to dull.
Now that the pain seems so distant, I don't want to forget how to live on the edge of a prayer.
Please God don't let us get too comfy that we stop being open about our trials, or forget to give Him the praise for all that we are......All that He has packed into this family of Weiners.
And if that doesn't make you smile, then I just can't help you ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Merrick the Mighty is almost healed!

(Can you tell I'm testing out nicknames?
Super Merrick the Mobile, Merrick the Mighty, Magnificent Merrick)
....I'll keep working on it!
speaking of Merrick, last week was spent in full hospice mode, so I feel like last week was a bit of a dry spell in our bloggy world. 

Dry......a complete contradiction to the weather we were facing.
Well in the midst of that dry spell many of you were wondering how our dear Merrick is faring.
Here you can see for yourself.  For the first time in over 2 weeks Merrick is moving where he wants to, WHEN he wants to.  It's amazing.  Here he lies perched halfway on the huge Poof chair we are borrowing (which I would have a hard time parting with if it didn't take up my ENTIRE living room ;)
Previously, he had been confined to that couch or his wheelchair for much of the day.

As I mentioned in the last post, something got into him this past Friday and he decided to take matters into his own hands.  So now instead of having feeling like I'm caring for a large newborn, I feel like we've graduated to the toddler stage overnight!  Although Merrick CAN move.....the question remains,
"How safe IS he when he moves?"
So I follow him around when he's pushing his walker.
And the poor boy will stop and sit on the walker's seat from time to time.  But he's SITTING!  A miracle in itself!  AND we haven't touched a bedpan all weekend!  That deserves a Halleluia in and of itself!!
So we are all relieved by this turn of events!much solid weight hanging off your leg!

Also, I mentioned before that Pathology reported the growth as a benign tumor.  Which means that further treatment will not be necessary!  Praise God our boy's discomfort will soon come to an end!
(On a logical note, we're thankful for that....seeing as how we'll be paying off his anesthesia alone .......for years to come!  But that's a story for another day.)
And the Dr actually booked our next appointment for February 1st!  That's only one week away!
He did not specify whether the cast will come off at that time, but I'm sure there will be a new xray taken to show the healing process.

So we're plugging along.  This week we will dive back into school full time.  It's been awhile!   What with the Christmas break, all of Merrick's Dr. appointments, and then the post-op.  Ian has carried on with his schoolwork, but not in the same organized fashion as before.  So tomorrow we learn with full on circle time, reading, writing and arithmetic, and lots of games sprinkled in there!  I'm also going ot introduce a typing program for Ian to begin his journey with the keyboard.  Ian meet asdfghjkl;   asdfghkl; meet Ian :D

So thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
The most humbling part about all of this is to know that the plan is greater than ourselves.  That there is so much going on in this situation, that we may not even catch on until much later in life.  But how exciting, that life continues! 
I know I can speak for all of us when I say that our spirits are high! 
We are eager and ready to greet tomorrow!
Press on dear friends, there is nothing we can't get through with the grace of God and by the support of each other!
Call me emo, but I mean it ;)

For the promises of God are Yes and Amen.
Can you see the double rainbow?
That's two promises in one ;)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Super Merrick the Mobile

(this is the tip top part of Merrick's cast .....the first thing he sees when he looks down at his it says My Super Merrick........then our Sunday School Director went and added.....Hello I'm Mr. Jerry- ahem. a little kill-joy there....but it makes me laugh everytime.  Now back to Super Merrick)

It seems atleast a week ago since my last post on this blog.  It was the night before we would return to co-op, our twice weekly school routine.  And two nights before I would attend the funeral services for Danica.
My mood was very dreary.  Not depressed like looking up from a bottomless pit, but sad at the tragedy all around me and the lack of 'life' moving about us.  So I packed us up and prepared for the worst as we attempted to put some 'normality' back into our lives. 
And I have to tell you that the next two days have been amazing!
That morning, we woke up, got dressed and loaded the car without incident.  And when I say without incident, I mean WITHOUT RAIN! 
I swear, the Righteous Right hand of my Daddy was holding back the rain while I loaded up the van.  And though I had towels, and umbrellas and a change of clothes if we should get soaked, I needed NONE of it!
The kids and I laughed in relief as we drove to 'school' for the first time in months! (what with the Christmas Break and surgery, it was November the last time we were there as a family!)

Co-op was amazing, minus one snafu that you'll have to read about on the family blog.  Suffice it to say that with enough momentum, a wheelchair can be a deadly weapon!
After two successful classes, and a party, we loaded up to come home.  And though it began to rain while we were packing up the van, none of us ended up wet.  It was a bit of a miracle in itself as the driver of the car next to us ended up soaked while she loaded up her baby and a stroller.  Somehow, I wasn't even damp even though all I had on was a hooded sweatshirt!  Very cool.

Then Friday came, and God worked out every single detail so that I ended up being able to attend an hour of Danica's funeral.  I had wanted to go, but a playdate or childcare for a boy in Merrick's state is pretty hard to come by.  Beside that, we had purchased OVO tickets months ago for my mom's birthday.  So VERY gracious friends were ready and willing to watch the kids for the final hours before Jarrod came home. 
Thankfully, Jarrod was able to work from home and I was able to leave guilt-free that night.  My mom, dad, sister and I had an amazing time watching the Cirque du Soleil show and another miracle took place at home.

Jarrod was working while the kids watched a movie, and Merrick decided to move from one 'station' to another.  He managed to STAND UP on his good leg and hop over to the couch from the poof chair!
The rest of the night became an experiment in testing his new ability.
Long-story short, I came home that night to an obsolete bedpan, and a happy boy and his daddy!
All day Saturday Merrick practiced with the walker or manuevered from place to place holding onto furniture. 
So it is with confidence that I say Merrick is MOBILE!  Woo hooo........the days of lifting, carrying and dumping bedpans should be over!  But more importantly I'm praising God for Merrick's newfound confidence and joy!
If you said it before, you are right.
This time has flown by!  I can hardly believe this is the beginning of the end! 
Thank you, thank you for your prayers!  As I write this I feel giddy with thanks and hope for the future!
God is so good! All the time :D

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Midnight babble

So many things we get through with a smile on our face.
Because this is not forever.  And we have So many things to be thankful for.   But realizing all of the GOODNESS in our situation still doesn't mask the weariness. 
There is no denying it.  We are very social beings in this house.  And I feel lazy and sad staying in with all this rain.  It's not that I don't LOVE the rain.  And we SO love the visits and meals we have been blessed with.....but there is that stubborn side of me that is still frustrated.  It's the spoiled little girl that was rarely told no while she was growing when you say I CAN'T go anywhere because it's nearly impossible not to get soaked, and it will be MUCH too difficult with this rain......well my chones get all up in a bunch and I just want to go THAT MUCH MORE!  (sorry for that terrible mental image!)

Don't get me wrong.....we've had fun this week.  We've tackled our schooling, we've painted popcorn, we've conquered new levels on Super Mario Bros., I even cleaned up our master bedroom and reorganized my closet.  All VERY big accomplishments (ahem)..... I just can't stand that there are parties going on OUT THERE...without us.  There are things that I cannot do with a wheelchairbound boy.  And things our son cannot do.  So I want to compensate for that.

On top of that my heart is sad.  I can't stop thinking about Danica, and the breaths she has stopped taking.  That morning she woke up and got dressed and she never knew that those would be the last minutes she'd have with her girls.  Or that phone call would be the last she'd answer.  And those friends would be the last ones she'd see before her car rolled over.  We had known each other for almost 20 years and we're too young to die.  And now I'll never see her again.  But worse, her girls will never see her again. 

Our babies still have so much to experience...and I want to do that with them.  I can't help feeling like we're wasting time waiting.....if only for the rain to stop.

I know that this is such a small timeframe in our lives.  But I want to make the most of it.  So tomorrow we adventure.   And I'm sure it'll be a wet one.  But a little piece of me is doing it for 'Nica.  Because she can't anymore.   And I hadn't let myself cry about that yet.  Until tonight.
So yes life is difficult, but it's still life.  Life is meant to be lived. 
All for the glory of God.  That's my motto lately.  "Hey, what's a 'motto' with you?", sorry.
If you're still reading this....thanks for putting up with all the jabbering.
I do that when I'm sad. 
But not tomorrow....tomorrow we dance in the rain.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Schedule Tardiness and an Update

8:00am-  Woke up/jumped in shower/Praised God that we no longer have to give Merrick round-the-clock antibiotics.  Last night we slept SO deeply and straight through...a first time in MONTHS.
8:30am-  Kids are fed and clothes are changed, though we have to look hard for a clean pair of pants for Merrick to wear.  He only has 3 pairs of sweats that will fit over his cast and one pair is always drying, another is dirty, and the clean one is usually hiding in a pile of clean laundry.  The sweats are retreived and we move onto brushing hair.
9:00am-  Jarrod is shaving and I'm doing Natalia's hair.  We discuss who will stay with Merrick while he's in his Sunday school class. 
9:15am- Broke up another fight over that darn Leapster...(who INVENTED these handheld video games?....SERENITY NOW!)
9:30am-   I remember to move a load of laundry to the dryer on my way out the door.
9:45am-  Bibles collected/shoes on/bags gathered/2 mobile kids in car & buckled
10:00am-  Merrick is buckled/wheelchair being loaded in back of van
10:10am-   3 blocks away from home we remember the 'bathroom' bag for Merrick and have to turn around
10:15am-  Off to church again, then Jarrod realizes that we are now too late to grab coffee at church, so he asks me what I'd like from Starbucks.  Merrick asks to go to class alone.  He SO wants things to be as normal as possible!
10:20am-  We realize that we will be going straight to AWANA after church and my parent's house, so it'd be easier if we had their vests and books with us now.......we turn around and head home for the second time.
10:30am-  AWANA gear in hand we head to Starbucks.
10:45am-  Feeling lame about missing worship AND being late, we vote against showing up at church.
10:50am-  We're driving aimlessly, longing to be at church, knowing that we can't just show up to any old church with our wheelchairbound boy....even IF they offer a later service.
10:55am-    We head out Deer Valley Road for a quick photog roadtrip.
11:15am-   We come upon Round Valley and park the van for some family pics.
11:20am-   We realize there is no where to wheel Merrick's chair except the parking lot. 

11:25am-  Jarrod picks up our boy and carries him to a short fence where I'm snapping pics of Ian and Natalia.
11:26am-  I think Jarrod is my hero.
11:30am-  We get manage to get one good picture of all of us and somehow the day seems to find it's purpose.  (Check out our family blog for the whole 'shoot.')

12:00pm-  We pull up to Marmar and Papi's to spend the day playing cards and loving on our two post-op patients.  Merrick and Marmar compared bandages and casts.
4:30pm-  Off to AWANA for the evening.  Merrick couldn't do much but he was SO glad to go and just 'be.'
7:00pm- On our way home I think of how we earned points for even getting out of the house today.  Next week, if this rain let's up, we just might make it!

**The biopsy results confirmed that the mass taken from Merrick's leg is indeed an Oteoid Osteoma.  A benign tumor that has no rhyme or reason.  The likelihood of this occuring in any young boy is like getting hit by lightning.  Our next appointment will be the first week in February.  At that time xrays will be taken and if Merrick's leg looks strong enough then his spica cast will be removed.  6 weeks of physical therapy will follow, and in the end, our boy should be just fine.

One thing is for certain, we will all come away from this experience, changed for the better.
And THAT needs no timeframe!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I posted tonight on FB that Merrick is now pain-free. Relatively speaking.  He is still in a half body cast for 26 more days, but who is counting?
I'm thanking God for the success of the surgery!

Today was a much better day.  I started off by sitting the kids down to pray (which even in a Christ-proclaiming household is not ALWAYS the way we start off the day)  Then I showed Merrick a video about Nick Vujicic.  He was amazed by what one man with NO legs, and NO arms could do.
Part of Nick's testimony really resonated in my heart.  In part he said:
There are some things in life that are out of our control. Things that we can't change but can choose to live with.  Life is is a journey.  It's all about taking one step at a time.  That's the only way to get to the other side, one step at a time.  You can't take more than one step.  Some steps may be bigger than others, but you still take them one at at time.

He went on to describe a place of crying out to God:
""Lord I'm in an impossible situation...I can't do this!... To which God responds, "Yeah, you're right, you can't!  You can't do this on your own!  But trust in ME, I will never leave you"  And the greatest lie that we're believing right now is that we HAVE TO do this on our own.  Our God is a personal God, we can talk to Him and pray to Him.  We can rely on Him for He said:  My grace is sufficient for you, for my Strength is made perfect in your Weakness."

How true.  If I must be made weak for Christ to be glorified then so be it.  If Merrick must go through this for God's strength to be known then Amen. Who am I to try to rework what God can use for good?

So today I thought I'd try to get Merrick in the car.  He had stopped feeling pain when I moved him, and I figured we should have a trial run, even if we had no where to go.  So we wheeled down our beautiful ramp and I set the wheelchair next to the van and recline the middle seat.  Then I concentrated really hard.  I had to do a spin manuever to get him in....and quickly since we're talking close to 100 lbs of boy + cast here.
The move went off without a hitch and we just smiled at each other as we realized how cool this was.  We'd be able to GO places like this.  I reached in to move him back to the chair and we both started giggling.  Now Merrick not only looks like a Lopez, but he laughs like me too :)
So we just stood there.....laughing....giddy at this triumph.  I actually had to balance him on my knee while I caught my breathe.  Then we both tried to suck in those giggles so I could get him safely to the wheelchair.  But it all felt so good.  That's our God, a God of great mercy.  He knows when I need to recharge with a laugh.

Later today out neighbor friends stopped by hoping to play.  They chatted with Merrick but soon took off to play a game of hide and go seek.  Merrick asked to be taken outside.  How could I say no?  So I padded outside in my slippers (thankfully I was fully dressed otherwise!) and I wheeled that boy all over our court as we held a neighborhood game of hide-and-go-seek.  The little girls would count and the boys would hide.  I would position Merrick, make sure his brake was on and then move far away from their 'spot' so I wouldn't be the giveaway.  Merrick was so funny, he would pull his head inside his shirt like a turtle.  You know, because if he couldn't see them, then they would miss his ginormous wheelchair as well!  Good times.

Our day ended with a visit from some dear friends who held a HUGE Get Well banner, a bag of video games, a Starbuck's for me, and a LOT of love.  The special part was the attention their one son gave to Merrick.  Everyone knows about my heartache so they are 'prepping' their kids before they come over.  Poor kids, nothing worse than coaching by mom ;)  But normally this boy would rather be alone....playing outside with a couple of dogs or something.  He's more content being 'to himself.'  But wouldn't you know that he surprised his mom and me by sticking by Merrick's side to chat for quite some time....long after his siblings had said hello.  It was a display of kindness and compassion that brought more tears to my eyes.

So for those of you that continue to pray.....those prayers are still being answered.  And just like we ALL knew....Merrick is going to be JUST fine.
By the grace of God.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Hardest Part

Home two days now and we've been showered with gifts, pampered with presents and blessed with visits.  We even managed to pull of an impromptu birthday party complete with balloons and an ice cream cake!
Our patient is recovering well physically.  He finishes his Tylenol with codeine tonight....and he hasn't complained of any pain all day!  It's so incredible!

As for our activity level......I was ok moving him around the first few times, then I tried to get him off his bed and I ended up straining something in my back. Now I'm trying to be super careful about how I lift him up.

So we conquered the mobility factor, then we moved onto the potty side. 
We were all pretty nervous about his first BM.  'Butt' even that milestone passed without great fanfare! (ahem- sorry I couldn't resist!)
Jarrod and I practically shook hands as we exclaimed,"This is EASY!"
(well of course it was for me, since Jarrod was home for the weekend and he stepped up to do MOST of the hospice while I planned birthday parties and took down Christmas decor)

So although our new reality included sponge baths, and round the clock medication still seemed doable for us.  Then I started watching Merrick for signs of wear and tear.

Now you have to know something about Merrick.  He is SUPER touchy-feely and lovable.  He is the classic middle child who initiates play with each of his siblings.  He bounces, he jumps, he is VERY physical in his play...whether it's sword fighting or wresting....His requests to play this or that, are unending.
Well, now he is very limited to what he can play and where he can go.  He is able to wheel himself around but is hindered by the size of his wheelchair and the narrowness of our hallway.  With the leg rests extended, his chair cannot go into any of the bedrooms, instead we have to carry him there.

I qualify all of this because we have had several visitors in the past two days and the results have been mixed.  Normally, when kids come over they walk in the door, greet our kids, and then the pack runs off to play.  No self-respecting 6 year old is going to hang around 'just to chat.' They are doers....not talkers. 
So several times these kids have come in, they hand Merrick a present and then take off with Ian to play.  Merrick looks at me pitifully and says, "Please carry me to them...."
It is not impossible to move him, but it is certainly not easy.  So I watched as Merrick was ditched by the same people who came to wish him well. 
Not on purpose, of course, but in his mind it was just as frustrating!

Then today he burst out crying.  He had created a game where he would block the hall or walkway with his wheelchair and then ask for a password from anyone trying to go by.  His brother and sister had tired of the game and had started to just crawl under his wheelchair.  This frustrated him to no end.  We answered to cries of "Mom, they aren't playing right!" and "They won't listen to me!" all day long!
He started to pound on his cast in frustration.
My heart ached for him. 
I could see that he was trying to control his environment the only way he knew how.
We had prepared so many things for this recovery period; ramps, clothing, schedules, etc. 
But we weren't prepared to cope with so many emotions.

I suddenly felt so much compassion for those who raise disabled children.  I can't protect him from the world.  I cannot buffer every interaction he faces. I can only love him and reassure him and help him to become self-sufficient. 
So today I challenged him to use his words more.  I also made him stretch; to reach a little further and try a little harder if something was just out of his reach. 
I made sure he was safe, but did not want to enable him beyond that. 
The Dr. was very clear that he will be crawling around, dragging that cast behind him before I know it.  And that is very normal once the pain of the surgery has passed.

Man, I feel like we have so much to learn. 
Yet, as a sweet friend reminded me, this will soon be over, 4 weeks is really very short.

So it's not the boredom that I'm afraid.  It's the scars you can't see.  The ones God wants him to work through, that I desperately want to protect him from.   I'm sad for him when his friends want to go ride their bikes and he is stuck on the couch. 
Yet, I know that this too holds a purpose. 
So be it.
And now you know the hardest part is the part you might miss if you weren't looking for it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Post-Op Post

For those who may have missed it...We SURVIVED!
Go ahead and say 'I told you so'.......then come and hang out with us next week as we adjust to Life-With-A-Horizontal-Boy. ;)
The surgery went very well.  A mass was extracted and will be tested over the next week.  Merrick was a little nauseous at first but he slept it off.  It is now 11:45pm and he's STILL playing video promised!  I've been told to guiltlessly I will!
I hope we each get some shut eye soon...but this is unlike any hospital stay I've ever's a communal area with only curtains for partitions.  Everyone here is recovering from surgery and many of them are smaller than Merrick...which means LOTS of crying and throwing of fits next door.  Merrick looks like an angel.  He really is a model patient.  If only the cast didn't itch he'd be SO content! 

He knows this is going to be hard.  But he's thankful that his pain level can now be a 2 instead of a 9 on the pain scale! Woo hoo!  Praise God for modern medicine and the wisdom given to our doctors.  Now we wait for the results.....but the good thing is that nothing unexpected was found.  Atleast that is my impression. 
The gooey yucky mass extracted is either a benign tumor or an infection....that's their story, and they're sticking to it. 

So there is our update.  I hope to sign-off soon, but I have to reiterate that we are BLOWN AWAY by the devotion to our family.  We are overwhelmed on all sides by blessings from others.  I truly feel like a rocky path has been smoothed by our friends and family.  Those are God-appointed blessings guys. Thank you for being a part of the work!

More to come and pictures on our family blog.  If you don't have an invite email me at and you'll surely be invited to the 'party.'

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away."
Romans 8:38-39

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Power of Prayer

I want to share a bit before tomorrow's surgery.
I am already overflowing with answered prayers......and since you are among those faithful pray-ers....I want you to share in the benefits :D

First of all....we head to surgery tomorrow.  You may think that is a given.
But I was very nervous about Merrick getting too sick for the procedure.   Over the weekend Natalia started with the sniffles, which she shared with her dad.  Surprisingly no one else actually got sick.  Just our little girl. 
I had sent out several requests for prayer because Merrick's pain level has increased this week, and I just couldn't see how we could put off surgery for a later date.
But God knew.  He knew that Talia would cough in Merrick's face atleast a dozen times a day, and that she would apologize, but the damage would be done.  Yet, He protected Merrick from the germs. 
Prayer one answered.  We are well enough to proceed!

The next prayer was answered before we even knew we had a need.  It started back in December when Jarrod's entire team received Christmas bonuses.......yet our mailbox stayed empty.  We tried to shake it off and not worry about it....knowing that a bonus at his company is not a given.  Then all of a sudden a check arrived dated January 1st.  Two days later we received a call from our insurance company.  We would need to bring a co-pay to the hospital the day of the surgery.  Wouldn't you know that those hundreds of dollars would exactly match the amount of Jarrod's bonus.
Prayer number two answered.  Finances wrapped up with a bow!

The next prayers we see answered in hindsight.  The result is a calm boy, super excited for surgery in the morning.  Does the cast worry him? No.  Is he afraid of 'going to sleep'? No. 
As I marvelled at his serenity, my heart stirred with the answers.
Earlier this year Merrick fell and broke his forearm.  His experience with that cast was pleasant and fun.   Though it seemed like a trial at the time, it introduced him to life with a temporary handicap.   He handled it like a pro.  Then we came to the MRI which I STRESSED over.  I hated to see him freak out, or see me freak out while the anesthesia was administered.  God orchestrated the perfect scenario, better than I could have EVER planned.  The result?  Merrick has NO fear of the anesthesia tomorrow.  He knows he can 'go to sleep' and the Dr. will do his job, then he will wake up and we will be there to greet him.  Easy peasy.
Prayers number 3 through ?......answered.  In ways better than I could have EVER explained to a 5 year old.
So you see, your labours are not in vain.  Today I busied myself with reorganizing our schoolroom.  The kids played like it was any other day, and we shared dinner with some amazing friends.  There was no hint of tension or anxiety around our home.  And I attribute that to 'the peace that passes ALL understanding.'

No matter the outcome tomorrow we walk into this knowing there are plans for our lives greater than those we could dream up ourselves.  'Plans to prosper us and NOT to harm us.  Plans for a hope and a future.'

And we share this victory with you our Prayer Warriors!

Surgery Countdown

Merrick just beams....with images of breakfast in bed and video games dancing in his head.
He is blissfully unaware of any possible discomfort.  His greatest fear was getting stitches.
To which I could honestly answer, "Merrick, you will NEVER see stitches in your leg after this surgery!"
(Mainly because they will disappear before he gets his cast off! Whew!)

So here we ready as we're going to be for the next phase of this experience.  This weekend I picked out new pjs and sweats for Merrick in a size or two larger than normal.  Then my mom and I ripped up the side seam and ironed on velcro.  This should help with wardrobe changes and potty stops. 
We're bringing breakaway pants back with a fierceness!

And you may have seen my announcement as our porch was retrofit for Merrick's hot new ride.
Daddy and Papi coached the boys through some serious construction this weekend. 
Then the medical supply store delivered this bohemoth.  And I honestly fought tears all night.  While the kids played around like it was a new toy,
I tried not to cry at the thought of Merrick being reclined in this thing for a month.
Let me qualify, this is a kid who hates the 'feel' of his toenails being clipped, or who can't stand for his shoes to be too snug.  We know his quirks and we work around them.....filing his nails and buying his shoes a half size larger.  We know that he doesn't like being uncomfortable.  On the flip side, he's also a HUGE hugger.  It's very common to have him run up to you and demand rather than ask to...."Snuggle!!"
So I'll play the pessimist for a minute as I tell you that SO much of this
DOES NOT SEEM like fun for Merrrick!  But what do I know?

And the clencher came today when I called the nurse about baseball sign-ups.
Even though the season doesn't start until March, we need to sign up the boys soon.
The nurse broke down our reality for the next few months. 
After the cast, Merrick probably won't FEEL like playing baseball.  I should expect his leg to be weak and he will need all 6 weeks of physical therapy to strengthen his bone.  All of this will depend on how successful the tumor removal well as how extensive any follow up treatment may need to be.

So pending a miraculously quick healing, our boy will need to forfeit this baseball season. 
I'm so mad at the tumor for that.
Merrick will take it like a trooper, but I'm sad for him.
Then on the other hand; 
I'm praising God that 'kids' are resilient. 
And I know Merrick is a fighter. 
He is a toughie inside of a warm, and sensitive exterior.  And this is meant to make him stronger. 
Someone tell that to my heart in another day and a half.......

I admit that this is hard.  We're carrying the load for him as we prepare.  But on Thursday at 8am Merrick will start the part of his journey that we cannot take from him.  He is the only one who can be operated on, and he is the only one who can recuperate. 
So if we appear strong we praise God for that appearance, but as his parents, we'll be the first to admit we are scared, and tired already, and sad to watch him go through this.

And I know I sound very indecisive in this post...

But there is still joy. 
Because joy doesn't go away, and it's not a feeling.  Joy has set up residency in our hearts;
with a peace that transcends all understanding.
The peace of Christ.

If you're reading this then I know you care about our family, and I know you will be praying at 9:30am on January 7, 2010.  God already knows the outcome, but He longs for us to intercede on behalf of each other. 
So thank you.  Thank you for your kind words, your offers of help and your love. 
I really don't know what to expect at this point.  All the research and questioning every medically trained person I know, has helped, but now it's time for us to live this.
And I praise God that I have a husband by my side who reassures us, and makes us laugh when we get sad.
I'm thankful that Merrick has a brother and a sister for comedy relief and for gentle displays of love. 
I'm grateful for our family and friends who have offered everything from food to bean bag chairs.
We are cushioned all around by support.
To which I say, let's get this show on the road, our boy has a life to live!