We had a wonderful Christmas and were thankful to be home. It is definitely a unique perspective when you spend so much time in hospitals! Our break has been slower than usual with much less “going,” which is a nice change of pace.
I would be lying if I said that I loved 2017. It was tough—probably the toughest we have had. Abby spent time in the hospital for 7/12 months for repeated rod infections and a large wound that just wouldn’t close, and losing the rib rod proved to be catastrophic for her. The rib cage collapsing wreaked havoc on her tiny little lungs, putting her in lung failure. All of this also had a profound effect on Caleb, who hates when we aren’t all together and worries so much about his sister.
But I learned a lot this year too. One of the biggest lessons was not to get too comfortable in your situation, because it can change at any minute. Abby did fantastic in 2016 and we were thrilled with her progress. We thought the hard days were behind us...and then this came along. You can’t count on modern medicine, or good days, or health...all you really have is God. Thankfully, He is truly all we need and He carries us through some really tough months.
There were some highlights of 2017 though, despite the hard times.
January: Caleb turned 10 and had a laser tag birthday.
February: Abby had her first school presentation, teaching her class about red pandas.
April: Caleb performed in The Little Mermaid as Grimsby and had his first solo!
May: Abby got her halo off after 5 loooong months and we enjoyed some warm days at our local beach.
June: Caleb went to a day camp with his cousin. Since Abby couldn’t go as planned because of her health, we had camp here! Each day had planned activities and a surprise playmate to enjoy them with!
July: We celebrated Matt’s birthday and visited The Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey. We got to see an adorable penguin up close!
August: Caleb participated in a performing arts camp and Abby had lots of cousin time!
September: With the start of school, Caleb began 5th grade and Abby began 1st grade with the home-hospital program. Her wound FINALLY closed at the end of the month and she enjoyed her first real bath in over a year! She also started piano lessons, which she really enjoys.
October: Abby turned 7 and celebrated with a trip to see The My Little Pony movie. The kids went trick-or-treating for the first time!
November: Caleb was selected to be part of The All-County Band, which he was really excited about. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with family. Santa gave us an early Christmas present of tickets to see The Lion King musical! Everyone loved it.
December: We were chosen to participate in Fantasy Flight, which took us to the North Pole to see Santa! It was pretty amazing and definitely a precious memory. We celebrated Christmas together and favorite gifts were: Kindle Unlimited (Caleb), a Kit doll with her dog (Abby), knobs for the kitchen cabinets (Julie), and tickets to see Les Miserables (Matt).
In 2018, we are looking forward to Abby getting a surgery that will hopefully improve her breathing enough that she can go back to school. As always, we are excited to see Caleb perform in band and chorus concerts, as well as Lafeu in Beauty and the Beast. He has become quite the performer and we love to see him develop as a musician, singer, and actor. We are hopeful that Abby’s health will improve so that we can take a special vacation as a family this summer and make more memories!
We are thankful for lessons learned and precious memories, but we are certainly ready for better news and health in 2018! Here’s to new beginnngs!