On Life, Family, and that time Molly Mae was an only child

"However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names."  
― Henry David ThoreauWalden

Life sure has a crazy way of revealing itself and reminding me of the lesson to appreciate what we have when we have it, because as my dear friend Allahna says, "You can have it all...just not at the same time." Just this week, Molly said, "now that I'm in first grade, I want to go back to kindergarten, but when I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a first grader." I said, "So what's the lesson?" and she said, "just go with the flow." Yes, that and appreciate what you have when you have it. 

Anna Cate has finally gotten well and is out of these horrible cycles of GI troubles that landed her in the hospital five times. She was so proud to send me this picture  that the inflammation and swelling finally went down!!!

Anna Cate (and my family) persuaded me to let her stay in Centerville through Halloween and I'm happy that they all get to have some good times there. She has loved the special times with her cousins. 

Mom sent me this picture of her in her costume. 

We are so grateful to my family for their sustained concern and care for Anna Cate, and ensuring her recovery, with he help of amazing doctors at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. As my brother and I concluded, my father has been uncharacteristically compassionate and my mother has been uncharacteristically rational. It reminds me just how we rise to the occasion for family.  Anna Cate returns home to us in Virginia next Wednesday, November 2.

Life has certainly been odd as we've adjusted to a family of three with BJ home recovering from surgery. He cleans, prepares dinner, and organized the play room.  I like having a house husband! :) His surgeries went well. The first surgery  was the major one where the electrodes were placed, and when they hit the right spot, the tremor stopped and he became emotional on the table. Here is his description in his words the day of the surgery:

"In an operating room at Georgetown this morning, "Amazing Grace" was sung. Literally the nurses, my surgeon, my anesthesiologist and I all sang. My anesthesiologist and surgeon have never performed this surgery without each other. Coming from Vietnam, a Buddhist himself, this was the first song the anesthesiologist sang at the church that sponsored him to come to America in 1983. He said it was his favorite song and he said that was a big day for him when he came to this country and said,  "this is big day for you so let's sing Amazing Grace." Once we knew the surgery was a success, we sang. They say it is a tradition for this procedure for people to sing but no song has ever sounded so sweet to me!!!"

The next week, he had the receptor placed in his chest, 

And on Monday, BJ visits his movement disorder specialist to get "programmed," and we can start to see benefits from the whole ordeal. It has been an unusual, difficult Fall and as we are going through the motions for Molly, I'm finding myself thinking just how precious she is. 

Pretty much, I think she is such a perfect only child. She has been kind, patient, strong and in her element. 

But the truth is, there is definitely someone missing in the picture. 

Soon we will be together again, but in the meant time, we are not letting time pass without enjoying life, and we are thankful to Molly and her spirit for constantly reminding us of all we have to enjoy.

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” -CS Lewis