Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Karen's Birthday and our Anniversary

Again, apologies are necessary for my week long absence. We have been staying with my parents for the last week and a half and have not had access to the internet there. Blogger does not accommodate  mobile use so I have been unable to post. Little has happened since last week in Landon's world, which is a victory in itself. The new medication he is on has helped prevent seizures and he has gone 9 days since his last episode. As the seizures were the largest immediate concern to his health, we are pleased to see the number and severity of those episodes diminish.

The 20th of May was Karen and my's one year anniversary. As I detailed in my last post, the day was less than ideal for our little family. Karen spent the day driving to and from Topeka, hearing grave news about Landon, and away from me while I worked at my externship and picked up animals at the sale barn. We only saw each other for about 30 minutes the whole day, right before midnight. The wonderful thing about our marriage is that each day is a celebration of our love and so, while our anniversary is a fun milestone to observe, we don't need a special occasion to recognize each other. That being said, we do plan on having a night out together sometime when things settle down just a bit. Our dinner will certainly turn into a joint anniversary, Karen's birthday, and my birthday combination celebration. Karen's birthday is the 26th of May and mine is the 17th of June.

I wanted to mention the generosity of a group of young people in the Elmwood-Murdock community. Through the EMHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program, high schoolers came to the elementary school and helped them develop and operate a small business in the local community. The activity encourages the development of entrepreneurs and teaches important math, speaking, and organization skills. At the end of the year, when their small business shuts down, the elementary classes donate the funds they raised to a charity of their choice. Mrs. Kuhlman's 6th grade class surprised us by donating the money they raised selling flower seeds to Landon's medical expenses. Karen and I are not able to thank each student personally but I would like to send the group a heartfelt "Thank You!" from our whole family.

We would also like to thank everyone who has purchased a wristband. If you purchased a wristband and have not received it, my dad has them at Bits & Pieces in Elmwood or we will eventually get them mailed out or delivered. I apologize for how long it has taken to get them but we sold out our first batch and had to order more. We should have plenty now so if you would still like one, you can get them at dad's thrift and consignment store.

All of your help has been overwhelming. We will be able to pay off Landon's bills in Manhattan now and will be able to start making payments on his NICU expenses. While these are significant and make up the majority of his bill, it is a big step in the right direction. Karen and I are optimistic that she will be able to find work she can do from home as well. It is unfortunate that she had to leave her job at Pfeifley's Jewelers in Manhattan. Her employers and coworkers have become good friends and Karen loved her job but Landon requires 24 hour supervision. Karen has been generous enough to sacrifice her employment there to care for him so that I am able to continue my veterinary training and I am indebted to her for that.

We did reach one exciting milestone this week. Landon had his first haircut! Cindy Hovorka cut his hair at her shop in Elmwood. It was nice to have her involved with one of Landon's achievements because she is the mom of one of my close friends and was my "baseball mom" while I was growing up. Little Goat's hair was getting so long that his spit-up was getting in his little mullet so it was definitely time for a trim. We saved a few clippings in his memory book.

When we face a hardship, our loved ones often tell us, "Don't worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel." They want to reassure us that, eventually, this trial shall pass and all will be well again. Normally they are right and all we need is a little patience and perseverance. However, there are rare instances, like in Landon's case, where this is no light at the end of the tunnel. Landon's trial will never be over and, when it is, we will have lost the greatest love of our life. Instead, Karen and I approach this as a journey. We thought we knew what the road would be like and what the surroundings would be but we were sent down a detour along the way. The road is rougher, the scenery is different, and our destination is unknown. What else can you do when everything is a mystery but enjoy the journey?

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi

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