Saturday, December 31, 2011

The end of 2011.... A Year in Retrospect!

The reality of 2011 ending and a new year begins!!!
Wow! 2012 is hard to accept....and yet here it is!
All the New Year's Resolutions made will begin tomorrow! Ha!
My goal is to get healthy... healthier!!! Eat right...lose more weight....and??? Not sure what else. Find a job or start a new venture??? Pray more... LOTS more!!!

This past year has been crazy!

As the year 2011 is fast coming to an end.....I find myself at a loss with what to write. In year's past - I have always been able to write about the year's events, but this last year has been far different from most!

As I began to write this, my son Matthew had just been released from the hospital in South Carolina, where he had a craniotomy, (brain surgery), November 29th, resulting from a recent stroke he had in September 19th, just prior to his 30th birthday. After several Ct Scans and MRI's, they discovered a cavernous hemangioma on his right temporal lobe. (Sadly, cavernous hemangioma's are genetically passed down and many family members from my mother's side of the family are plagued with them). Yale University was going to do a study on our family due to the great number of family who have this condition. Matt's was in the best possible location that would cause the least amount of risk or damage from the necessary surgery. This was his 2nd stroke, (but we actually suspect it's his 3rd!) in 3 years from the same area - so they had to remove it or he would inevitably have another stroke! It was just a matter of time.

I am so thankful that God orchestrated his hand in this whole situation! The surgeon, Dr. Mina, who performed the surgery was the highest recommended surgeon in the entire southern region of the United States! Matt was in very good hands! Although Matt is still in the process of the month-long recovery, we are hopeful that strokes and seizures will be a thing of the past from this day forward! Jessie, his wife, has been by his side the entire time - and won't leave him for a moment unless someone is with him. Actually, he cannot be left alone at this time!

My last year's letter left off with Chris still recovering from his November 5, 2010 back surgery where he had a triple lumbar laminectomy and fusion on his back. I am happy to say, that although the recovery period was long and painful, Chris is doing so much better now! His legs are no longer numb or in pain! He can walk and do normal things again, (within reason)! He still resides with us and recently resumed a full-time schedule at Vol. State Community College pursuing a nursing degree and has started working for our company Wilson Painting, Inc. - bidding and estimating potential job projects! He has become a huge blessing and Steve's right hand man!

My daughter Michelle and son-in-law Jay have moved from Ohio into the state of Tennessee and now reside near Sevierville, TN - which is only 3 1/2 hours from us driving time. If Steve could convince me to fly - it would take only 45 minutes - but I prefer driving! I LOVE having my grandchildren so much closer! Michelle still homeschools and does quite well with it! They just celebrated their youngest - Chloe's 2nd birthday. She's quite a little spit-fire, curly-haired redhead! But her voice will melt your heart!!! Grand-daughter Hannah, with her beautifully long and straight red hair - is simply precious! I am not biased though! Ha! Just speaking the truth!!! She will turn 5 years old in January. Benjamin is 7 now and growing like a weed and Rebekah soon to be 11 years old this month - measures herself to me everytime I visit. The new challenge is to get taller than grandma! Ha!

Recently, Michelle and Jay made an announcement that knocked me for a bit of a loop! I have no words to describe the feelings enmeshed deep within my heart when they told me that they felt God was calling them to be missionaries and were planning to move to Poland. Yes! Poland - the country, on the other-side-of-the-WORLD-Poland! Jay has talked about being a missionary in Poland for years- but Michelle never relented. However, all that has changed and they are making plans to move. I am not sure when, as they have much to prepare beforehand - and money to save in order to make this a reality! But meanwhile, they have begun their daily regimen of language lessons to learn Polish! I am not looking forward to the day that they say their final goodbyes. My heart aches and I am left with a deep sadness of loss! Poland, on the other hand, is gaining a precious family!

They also announced their news of being pregnant and having another baby. Sadly, shortly after Christmas - the ultra-sound showed that the baby had died. My heart aches for my daughter - as it's her 3rd miscarriage!

For other news, my son Josh found a good job working for a local painting company. He lived with us temporarily - but has since found a cute little 2 bedroom house directly across the street from a cemetery not too far from me. At least his neighbors are quiet! Ha! Grandson Micah is now 18 months and such a precious baby a with a sweet disposition! He can say a few words now, but I think cookie is his favorite! Ha ha! This past year though - he has been a regular weekly visitor at the doctor's office and due to his many ear infections - they finally put tubes in his ears. He is doing much better.

As for my husband Steve, he is keeping busy as he is able. Work this year has been far and few between and getting companies to pay once the jobs are complete is like pulling teeth without novacaine! Soo frustrating. I have to say that this year - above all years - is most stressful and financially draining! But we are hanging in there - and taking each day as it comes. Some years are better than others - but this year it's been a pretty dry season - but I think it has been for countless families all across the nation!

When I tried recap and remember this past year - I soon discovered that I didn't keep up with my blog very well! When I sat down and wrote out all that has transpired in 2011, I sadly realized that so many family members and friends have died this year. Heaven's reflections have truly been foremost on my mind! During one week alone - there were three funerals to attend! Steve's dad, Roy Wilson, died just before his 94th birthday!!! Also my brother-in-law, Charlie Crispin, my favorite Aunt Norma Ash, and several friends, along with my cat Snickers, who I had for 16 years!!!

But there were some good things staying at a B&B for the first time ever! My son Matt and daughter-in-law Jessie reserved our rooms and we met them there. We stayed at the Maple Lodge in Blowing Rock, NC and enjoyed ourselves completely! It was a really cool place too!

We also pulled off a family camping trip this past fall, where we all gathered together at Notchy Creek Campground in Vonore, TN! Three tents, heaters and a fifth-wheel! We froze at night - but we had a wonderfully memorable time and hope to make this an annual event!!! However, I think we'll find another campground - as this one was a tad squishy!

I hope your Christmas season was memorable and filled with family gatherings, laughter and memories to cherish! May this coming new year will be filled with God's sweet blessings! May each of us grow closer to Jesus - the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our shield and defender, a present help in times of trouble. He promises to never leave or forsake us and will be with us to the very end! May you find comfort and peace in Him. God bless you and your family always!

Happy New Year 2012!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just getting in a head-start! This will be a busy busy week! Last minute things to do, a few items yet to buy, wrap the remaining gifts, cook, prepare, cook some more!
I LOVE Christmas time!!!!!!!!
The celebration of Jesus' birth!
It makes me wonder what we'll do once we are in Heaven!
Just in case I don't get back to my blog.....

I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas! Filled with immeasurable blessings from and friends who gather together and sing! Laughter and warm memories that fill your heart! God bless you this Christmas!
Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Matt Continues to Improve...

Matt's first night home from the hospital caused quite a stir - when his wife Jessie was awakened and Matt was having another seizure! She urgently tapped on my door, and while she was trying to keep Matt on his side, I quickly dialed 9-1-1! My heart sunk and prayers of pleading began - as we waited for the paramedics and ambulance to arrive.
After an all night stay in the emergency room, they increased Matt's anti-seizure medications. By then - Matt had come back to us! At first he didn't know he had surgery or what was happening to him - but eventually it all came back!
Since then however, Matt is doing very well! His speech is good, motor skills unaffected and he seems completely normal. All except his absent-mindedness which frustrates him. But it's doable!
Continued prayers are so necessary for complete healing. I cannot wait to see them for Christmas - as Matt wanted to spend Christmas morning with us! I feel like I'M the kid now! Ha ha! Soo much to do to prepare...but I am elated to have my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas! Still praying about everyone else!!!!! Time will tell!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Matt is home from the hospital!!!

Praise God!!! Matt is finally home from the hospital! His craniotomy was successful and so far so good! The swelling on the side of his face is minimal! Now for a speedy recovery! Praying!!!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sad news

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Friend...God calls Conyer Walker home!
Conyer was our pastor and friend! Last night while getting ready for their weekly Bible Study ...Conyer had a massive heart attack and died on the way to the hospital!
Our thoughts and prayers are with Helen,(Conyer's wife), the family, and their church members! May God comfort them and give them a peace which passes all understanding!
My heart is very sad!