Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Darling Dear...

Just wanted to take a moment to give credit where credit is due, and to ask those that read this to be praying for our family today, Monday, and more specifically for my darling dear husband.

We have known each other for 11 years, were engaged for 2, and have been married for 7. It seems amazing to look back on and realize how long this wonderful man has been a part of my life. I thank God for every day I have with him and I am thankful for every day that I will have to come. His laughter, his antics, his singing, and his smile are some of the things that I love about him.
For those of you who don't know our personal story, let me just say we've been through a lot (my mother says we sound like a soap opera without the adultery) and are about to take one more step in the journey laid out before us.
Just a quick run through:
Tim was born with syndactyly (or webbed fingers), you can read about that more at sycactylypolydactylysupportgroup on yahoo groups. It was regarded as a side effect caused by morning sickness medication my MIL took while pregnant, just as her mother did with her. My MIL was born with the same condition; both of their fingers are deformed and twisted and joined together. But both of them fought through this and learned how to do things that still astound me.

Tim never pitied himself and instead learned to laugh at himself and even love himself, which was one of the greatest things he taught me when we were courting.
We met when I was 15 and newly returned from a two week mission trip to Peru. Long story short there, we fell in love and knew we were "the one" for each other.

Because Tim is 6 years older than I am, and we both did not want to do things the world's way, we decided with the input from my parents and his mom that we would court. We never went anywhere without one of our parents or in a large group of people. The only time we were ever alone was in the car driving to some function or family get together.
Then on my 17th birthday, we went on our first "date" to see Runaway Bride and discover what has become our favorite place to eat on special occassions, Petrucelli's. If you haven't eaten there, you should and make sure you order the cannoli for desert.

A month after my 18th birthday on Friday the 13th with a full moon, Tim asked me to marry him. Of course I accepted and we set our wedding date for the following March.
Then we postponed our wedding and felt we would receive a blessing for doing so at the request of my parents. The day before our original wedding date, Tim lost his job as the company went under.
He found another job with a member of our church and learned his new trade.

We were married in 2002, with my uncle and my father marrying us. It was simply beautiful and exactly what my little girl dreams longed for. I was especially grateful for my uncle being a part of that ceremony and covenant we entered since he has since gone to heaven.
We settled in married life with jobs, college, and my first home. Things were tight but they were good and we enjoyed that honeymoon period. Before we had been married a year, we bought a house and seemed to be moving in the right direction to our goals.

Then the day after our one year anniversary Tim was in a car accident that totaled his work truck and left him bedridden with back pain for two weeks.
Finally we were able to get him back to work and I helped him whenever I had free time from college. Then in October we found out we were expecting our first child which we had planned not to do until four years later. Let's just say birth control isn't too much of an obstacle for God! lol

By the early winter of the next year, we realized the job Tim had wasn't bringing in enough money for us, since it was in the single digits for that year. We were released from the contract Tim was in without having to pay any penalty and we parted ways with his employer on good grounds.

About a week later I was in a rather bad car accident and went into preterm labor at only 28 weeks. I had no broken bones, but I was so beat up I was bedridden for two weeks. During that time Tim had to do everything and it was a blessing he wasn't working.
Then two weeks before M&M was born weighing only 4lbs.9oz., Tim found a job. He stayed there a short while before going on to a heating and air company.

M&M was also born with the same condition as her daddy and grandma, and then we found out all about the condition and how we had a 50% chance of having another child with the same condition and our children could pass it on themselves even if they did not have it. We were astounded and a little horrified our daughter would have to have surgery.

Then the area we lived in became unsafe to us because of two families that caused a lot of trouble in our neighborhood. We planned to sell our house, but when Tim found a gun in our yard we moved out that month.
We sold our house and moved to my MIL's house until my parent's basement could be fixed up since we didn't have enough money to buy another house right away. We also knew M&M would be having surgeries and with my mom having cancer we reckoned it would be better to have each other to lean on during that time of our lives.
We stayed with my MIL for 6 months and I am so thankful for the wonderful and generous MIL I have in her! She is priceless.

Then the day after we had finished completely remodeling her bathroom, Tim had an accident at work and tore his ACL in his left knee.
It took several months for the diagnosis and then that October he had surgery to fix a really bad knee that had three different things wrong with it. Although I can't remember much about it now, sorry!
When we moved to my parents that December Tim was wearing a leg brace that was just about his constant friend.

That following February, M&M had her first surgery. It was hard and trying and something I'm glad we don't have to do again.
Tim was on worker's comp for right at two years, so our daughter didn't really even know anything about her daddy going to work.
Then he was released from that and let go from the place he had worked. We received a settlement on the case and set about planning our future.
It took a long time to find something he could do, since he was impaired with his knee and his hands and not having a college education.

During that time, I went back to work and we made plans for our mothers, who were soon to be retired, to watch our daughter and he return to work as well. M&M had her second surgery that went a bit better than the first one, except for a slight infection she had toward the end.

Then, due to my job being replaced by a computer I had to start looking for work again. We decided to take a break and enjoy our family vacation at the beach. My g'parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, sibling, and niece and nephew, and MIL, and g'mother-IL were all there in one building. A precious time we knew we might not ever have again.
While on this trip we found out we were having JJ and it was quite a surprise to everyone including us. I had a miscarriage exactly a year before, so we had changed our birth control methods to include more than one thing. Yet, here I was pregnant! If that wasn't God then I don't what is.
That messed up all of our plans for me to work fulltime, so we pushed quickly to find Tim a job. It took a long while but he ended up in the electrician's union going through their five year apprenticeship program. (he is now in year 3)

Once again, I went through preterm labor that started at 28 weeks. We were in and out of the hospital so much, the nurses all knew me.
JJ was born five weeks early and when we brought him home he only weighed 4lbs. 1oz.!
When JJ was three weeks old Tim finally began working in the union.
Fast forward through some family members passing away, I think we buried four that year...
Tim was on the jobsite of a courthouse being built and got tangled up in some rebar mesh laying on the ground where it shouldn't have been and he landed on his left knee. The same knee that had been injured before!
We went through him having another time spent at home on worker's comp.

Then that December, our son had surgery to remove extremely swollen adenoids.
Tim did return back to work, and we ended up moving to his childhood home when his mother moved out of it to take care of his ailing gradfather.
In that time, Tim was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes but was never able to control it or lose any weight that he had put on at the beginning of our marriage.
Then he found out he had arthritus in his hands and that one of the bones was fusing incorrectly to another one, causing him horrible pain. But sadly, there wasn't much that could be done about without extensive surgery.
His knee got better and he returned to work.

During this, he found out he had never been type 2 diabetic and his thyroid was fine.
Then we went through him having to take care of me on a horrible journey of migraines, and numerous discouraging diagnosis about mostly degenerative syndromes. Yet, he took that on just as bravely as he did handling the knowledge of some things that happened to me as a child and young teenager. I couldn't have been more proud of him!
This summer was very hard on him physically as he was working outside in the elements of horrible heat and muddy conditions on the jobsites from all the rain. That kind of construction is very taxing and physically demanding, but he managed to pull through.

He kept mum about his back hurting because of all the stuff I was going through physically as a result of a illness I had as a baby.
Then finally he could stand it no more and went to my doctor seeking answers. The answer she gave him was that he had a bulging disk in his lower back. So she sent him to a neurosurgeon, who said not only did he have a minor bulge in that disk, the bulge was a result of the degeneration of the disk itself giving to the strong pain.
Tomorrow afternoon, he is to undergo his 21st surgical procedure (he had one every summer as a child to correct his fingers) to add the fluids back to the disk and do some other stuff that I don't remember.
We also received notice that Tim had been layed off due to reduction of force in the company he was working for. At least with him being in the union, they find the jobs for him so he doesn't have to worry about that part. But, he has to get better first.
He can undergo three of these blocks if the first one works. If they don't then he will have to have major back surgery that may or may not work.

We have been in this position money wise and physically, but generally not at the same time. God has blessed us in many, many ways and we keep trusting Him to take care of the next things that arise. "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." We know that God will take care of us, just as he has for the past eleven years. I think how amazing it will be to look back on all of this and see just how God has turned it around to our good. When God has said, " who will go for me, to the ends of the earth? " we answer, " Send me! ".
We are learning in a way only God could orchestrate how to Live and Laugh and Love. We are glad to pay it forward, and we will see the blessings we get to give because he has blessed us! Because of his mercy, we have our daughter. Because of how gracious he is, we have our son. We have so much more than so many, and I know this moment of time that will pass too. It is just a grain of sand in the overall scheme of things God can see. He is so much bigger than our problems and although he doesn't put us through trials we are thankful for all that we learn as we go through life. I look forward to the moment that we are in Ireland proclaiming his love as we live for him. I am thankful for all the lives we will reach for him, and the amazing love from my king who died for me.
Thank you for reading this and I also want to thank you and everyone else who comes across our path: we may not know who you are, but we know God sees your prayers for us. We also know he will bless you for every prayer or supplication you give. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Friends of Mine