Sunday, May 11, 2008

Celebrating Life

Blessings . . . I have many -- far too many to count. The one that's floating on the top of my heart today (which happens to be Mother's Day), is the one that's an answer to prayers offered on behalf of our daughter, Ashlie, by countless people who care about us. Ashlie called us on Monday night to tell us that she had seen the neurosurgeon that day and was scheduled for surgery the next day. Four months ago she was diagnosed with chiari malformation (when the lower part of the brain hangs below the skull) and pseudo tumors (pockets of trapped spinal fluid behind the eyes) both of which were causing severe headaches and distorted vision. A spinal tap would normally relieve the pressure caused by the pseudo tumors but because of the chiari, that procedure could have killed her. The only option was to insert a shunt from the right side of the brain down to the stomach. As she described what was going to happen, Randy and I felt a sense of peace. We knew we'd be getting this phone call eventually and felt strongly that we were not alone. I got on-line and booked a ticket, packed a bag, got up at 3:30 in the morning, and flew into Portland two hours before her surgery. Talking to her surgeon brought great relief as he described how well the surgery went. He assured us that she would be fine and that she wouldn't have the headaches anymore. I heard myself saying, "Thank you, God" over and over and over again. It's amazing that a person can have brain surgery one day and go home the next. It's truly a remarkable time to be alive on this earth. I'm staying until the end of the week and enjoying every minute with Destiny and Lyric. Ashlie is resting and getting stronger every day. Today she is being celebrated by her husband and two small children. I'd say it's a beautiful reason to celebrate Mother's Day! It never meant what it means this year. Life is a blessing, and we have so much to be thankful for!