To all our dear friends and family!
Thanksgiving is coming! Where do I begin to say thank you?! How can I sum up these past six months of travel, of overcoming obstacles, of seeing Kris go to CORE (where the care is outstanding), and then traveling across the country because we felt secure in her care and her healing now? How can I say thanks to my hubby for all he does to make things work, and find time to help keep Kris’s spirits and mine up through laughter? (He’s such a character!)
George and I are actually on our way back to our home in Florida as I type this update, and I promise to be as concise but informative as I can. (Did I actually say concise?!!)
First, the greatest news from Austin, Texas about Kris is that she is constantly on the go! Yep! Judy, the activity director there, continues to plan great outings and, since I was there with Kris the first week of October, she has been on a fishing trip, gone to an art show, continues to do therapeutic horseback riding once a week, continues to go bowling on the Sundays the folks don’t do something else, and she has been to a lovely, little tourist town not far from Austin. That’s just what I can remember hearing about! Just today, they went to the University of Texas Tower at Austin. The 307-foot UT Tower was designed by Paul Cret of Philadelphia, and completed in 1937. It has become a landmark and symbol of academic excellence, and the observation deck offers a spectacular view of Austin in all directions. When I called to skype with Kris tonight, the care supervisor said the group had just returned at about 5:30 CT, and Kris had a great time along with everyone else. It must have been something!
Well, the bottom line is that Kris has established herself as quite the traveler and is busy, busy, busy! That tells me, too, that she is really becoming VERY independent and her own person. PEG-tube feedings and a wheelchair are not holding this gal back, and I say, “Hooray for Kris!” The attached photo shows Kris in a red sweater and little Christmas earrings. The case manager who took the picture emailed it to me last week because she said Kris wanted me to see it. It was so good to see her in red and, we thought, getting excited about the holidays. Then I realized she had her glasses hanging on her sweater the same way I wear mine! When I asked Kris if that’s what she wanted me to see, she shook her head yes!!! And then she grinned! Many thanks to CORE and the direct care staff who work with Kris every day. I love you all!
The latest news from the care planning meeting is that Kris continues to learn how to maneuver and manipulate the motorized wheelchair. She’s coming along on that, too, and will soon have her own, I hope. She is still working on trying to speak and I understand she said her daughter’s name (Andrea) two times very clearly the other night when Kris was Skyping with her. Tonight, when George and I Skyped with her, she wanted to tell us something so badly, she called us back after we had visited for some time on the computer. The care person said she called us back because she was still trying to tell us something. Through numerous tries and adapting several scenarios to her thought processes, we discovered Kris was trying to tell us she had a new PEG tube. It was important for us to know it and she was determined to tell us.
The beauty of all of that is that Kris is just doing her best to become all that she can be, and we are so very proud of her. All her sisters and brothers are pulling for her, too, and we were blessed to be able to spend such quality time with all of them these past two months. The month of September was full with singing engagements, and we actually added a few more since we stayed almost an extra month in Pennsylvania. There was a reason for that.
The week before I left to go visit Kris in Texas (the first week of October), Diana was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on her thyroid. Surgery was set for October 31st. Of course, we were not about to leave until we knew all was going to be okay. Many, many thanks for all the prayers by those who knew about it, because God does hear and He does answer! This past Friday, at a return visit to the surgeon, we were told everything went very well during the surgery, and there is no cancer. Half her thyroid and the tumor were removed, and she won’t even have to have therapy! We drew a sigh of relief and huge thanks be to God!
So, as I said, we’re heading home to Florida now. We have been so wonderfully blessed through the entire summer road tour this year; met fantastic folks, revisited places we’ve been to before, heard wonderful stories of healing (because people always want to share how God has helped them, too), and traveled to beautiful places we’ve never seen before. While we have no idea what will happen next year, one thing’s for certain: we will go back to Texas to be with Kris in the late spring. If possible, I’ll go out in between for a week or so, but we’ll be there for her birthday again in May. Beyond that, we’ll leave it in God’s hands to lead and we’ll continue to ask for your prayers. You have been so faithful and, truly, prayers are answered!!!
All our love and many thankful blessings,
Carol and George
1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.