After 2 good days, I feel confident enough to title this entry. I was so thankful today to see Ryan's smile had returned. It hadn't been around the past couple of days, rightfully so, and today it was back. He seemed much more happy today, really only subtle differences but a change in the right direction. He didn't need his relaxation medication since 6AM today and had a lot of "happy" wake time. The last two days haven't been a breeze but much better than the previous three. He has had only minor O2 sat drops and as everything usually is, those were put into perspective by the events that happened earlier this week.
So, we are breathing a little easier tonight and have also gained quite a bit of insight from our experiences this week. It is very clear that minor illness has a major impact on Ryan. Even though we really have no exact explanation about why things happened this week, I do believe it all was because his little body just can't handle much more than what he is already battling. I am thankful for the summer months when illness is pretty scarce and understand all too well that we just have to take life with him one day at a time. So today was a good day...
I also wanted to share something I realized today, but didn't realize until I spoke it. Nancy Forth, our neighbors that moved recently, surprised me and came to help me out today (her mother goes to our church and was signed up, but sent Nancy in her stead, a very nice gesture). Anyway, we were talking today about pictures because I have been working diligently on a memory book for our family for the year 2008 while Ryan naps. I have scrap booked in the past but obviously don't have much time to do it these days. But, I really like to have something to look at, not just our pictures on the computer. I discovered the memory books that you can do on-line and fell in love with the idea instantly. It is soooo easy to do and takes me a fraction of the time to put a book together. The more I worked on it and sifted through the pictures from that year, the more I treasured them. I have always enjoyed looking back at old pictures and reminiscing about when they were taken and the significance of the picture.
I showed Nancy the book I was working on today because we had shared a lot of memories together, her family and ours. Those memories are very special to me. And then I said, "I think I enjoy doing this so much because despite the really hard times we have gone through in the past few years, we have oh so many more good times and that is what I want to remember about life."
I spoke this out loud and believed it when I said it. It felt good to say it. The joy in my life is so much greater than the pain. It spills out on the pages of photos in the book. There were so many good times that I wanted in the book that I even used the max number of pages allowed. Our lives are overflowing with the joy God has given us. And even though we are going through some very painful times right now, I can honestly say that. We have shared so many smiles with family and friends over the years, watched our daughter Charlotte growing up before our eyes, met countless people that have impacted our lives forever. Hadn't we taken this path, I don't know that those friendships would have been made or those moments been lived. I am very happy tonight realizing that I am not talking myself into thinking the cliche' "life is good". I really do believe that our lives have been blessed beyond compare. We have been given the unique opportunity to really appreciate life for all that it brings. The pain has taught me so much about thankfulness, something some people may never really understand or appreciate.