Monday, November 21, 2011

Counting our blessings

So many wonderful things have happened since Halloween. It's been a crazy few weeks. Halloween was way different this year. I usually dress up for work and our ward part and just because I love Halloween. I think Maddie was really dissappointed that I didn't, but I just didn't have time to put anything together after her stay in the ICU and the week that followed that, but we did put Maddie's costume together before all that happened. She was "FLO" the Progressive Insurance gal for Halloween, I loved it, my all time favorite Halloween costume. Wish I was 3 sizes smaller and I would have borrowed it for work. Anyway unfortunately she was too sick to go anywhere that night so we hung out at Grandma Burton's, ate the traditional soup, homemade bread and watched the grandkids empty their bags of candy. It was a lot of fun.

On November 2nd we had the opportunity to meet with Elder Jeffrey Holland. It was such a neat experience. Ann Smith arranged for Maddie, her son Tyler, Brandon Winger and Dylan Shaw's mom to meet with him and just talk. All of the kids have cancer and actually Dylan passed away 4 months ago from a brain tumor so his brother and mom went in his place.  We spent about an hour just listening to him give them mostly encouragement and unconditional love. I wish I could remember everything he said that day, but most important I guess is how I felt in his presence. It would take me way too long to write about what we talked about. There where many lessons taught in just a short period of time.  I will never forget the spirit I felt that day and the peace that came to my heart as he talked about trials and how we can cope with them if we continue to stay strong in the gospel. Both Maddie and I commented later that we felt like we were talking to our grandpa, he's a pretty amazing man. This will be an experience I will never forget. When we went to leave he told the kids to keep in touch that he wants to know how they are doing, and that if they ever need to just talk the door is always open. Wow I haven't ever had an apostle tell me that. After we left his office, Maddie wanted to take some pictures of the temple and luckily the boys were willing to take a picture with Maddie. Interesting how the light on the temple is directly over their heads, like an angel?? They are just that in my eyes, (angels) After we took pictures we decided to go to the Gateway and do some shopping, it was cold but we didn't care we had a blast. I hope that after this is over Maddie will still invite me to hang out with her at the mall:)

The very next morning we got a call from Kevin's brother Val that we should probably come over, that his mom was not doing well and that she slipping away. At 8:30 that morning Maddie's grandma Cook passed from this life and returned to her sweetheart. As much as we are all going to miss Mom she is in a better place, free from the physical struggles she endured with so much patience. I can't say enough about how much she influenced my childrens lives. She babysat them while I worked, up until the time they were too old to be baby-sat. I owe much of how they become to her and the lessons she taught them while in her care. She wasn't just my mother-in-law, she was my friend and never treated me with nothing but love. Until we meet again mom, we will all miss you so much.  I believe that part of the reason Maddie was blessed to meet with Elder Holland was in preparation for the passing of her grandma, I was so impressed with how she handled it, she loved her grandma so much and I know it was hard for her to lose her. I think some of the lessons she was taught the day before really helped her get through it. 

The day of grandmas viewing was little Olivia's blessing. Tom did such a great job giving her a name and blessing. I know Lindsay was worried she would freak out because she was wide awake when Tom took her up there, but no she just looked around like, what are you guys doing? she's just so sweet!!! Olivia is just another blessing that we revceived just at the right time in our lives. She definately brings a light into lives that we just can't explain. Maddie just adores her and it's funny she seems to like Maddie more with her little bald head, then when she has a wig on, it kind of throws her off a little.  We love her and can't get enough of her sweetness:) Being a grandma is the best!!!

I really should have updated this sooner then it wouldn't be such a long post. I took Maddie to the high school football game that next Friday.  Principal Davis gave us tickets that were in the skybox at the Rice Eccles Stadium, Maddie had never been to a real football game, she had no clue what was going on, but once we explained the game to her, I really think she had fun. We sat with some of the teachers from her high school, a mom of one of the coaches, some of the coaches wives and 2 administators from the district, one of them just happen to be my 6th grade teacher, Craig Poll, how ironic that we would meet some 30 years later at a high school football game. I'm sure I contributed to his grey hair, it was good to see him.

Our next adventure came that evening. The Syracuse Police and Fire departments put on a fundraiser basketball game for our family. It was so much fun. Maddie wasn't thrilled about being in the spotlight again but once we got her there, I think she had a lot of fun. They had the jazz bear, the jazz dancers, the jazz announcer and entertained us with a great basketball game. They gave Maddie a Jimmer Ferdette Jersey signed personally to her by him, a jazz basketball and a basketball signed by all the police officers and firemen. She was hoisted to the net at the end of the game and made the last shot. I couldn't believe how many people were there to support us, it was really overwhelming and touching, people we didn't even know and people we know and love. I will never be able to thank the many people that have helped us get through this year. I will post pictures of all the many things that have happened over the past few weeks. We definitely have a reason to count our many blessings and as Thanksgiving approaches we will definately have many reasons to be thankful, we are almost done!!!! I have waited so long to say this, "We only have ONE more treatment and then she gets to ring the bell!!!!! Thank you to all who have touched our lives over the past 9 months.