Monday, August 15, 2016

Mountains to climb

First off, an update on Tony! I am very happy to say that Tony is feeling much better lately. After getting over his infection and finally being able to eat again, he is able to be up and awake for longer periods during the day, and on really good days with only one long nap! He continues his Avastin infusions every other Thursday and the drug seems to be helping by keeping things constant. We are so grateful that we are able to have him feeling better and to spend more quality time together as a family. For about six weeks, everyday was difficult for him and we were worried he was beginning a long decline but now things have looked up a bit more and are staying steady. Lately he is having a lot of pain in his left shoulder and arm (which are almost completely paralyzed and have little to no movement). Since March, the weight of his shoulder has slowly been causing problems to where he now has a lot of pain upon movement. We take as many precautions as possible to give him relief and are hoping we can continue to improve ways to keep his shoulder and arm as comfortable as possible. We feel very blessed.

The first weekend of August, Tony and I were fortunate enough to go on a short trip to southern Utah with our dear friends for a few days. It was great to get away from everyday cares and to spend some good time connecting and relaxing. We left ALL our kids (including our baby!) with family, something we've only done once for our anniversary overnight and when Tony has been in the hospital recovering from surgeries.

On our way home, we visited Bryce Canyon, a first for both Tony and me. We had been traveling a good portion of the day by the time we made it to this beautiful look-out, and by then, Tony was exhausted and opted to stay in the car to rest. The thought of getting out of the car, into his wheelchair, and then back into the car can be daunting for him sometimes. That's a lot of work for him!

Tony rested in the car as my friends and myself ran up to the view point to snap a few pictures so I could bring them back to show Tony. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Many of the visitors to the canyon were prepared to hike, and I thought how it must be an amazing yet exhausting hike down and back up again. In Utah, there are mountains varying in beauty all over the state. One day I want to hike many of these mountains. Being surrounded by God's creations is like a hymn to my soul. It's grounding for me, and healing for the many difficulties we have in life. Looking out at this view, life places itself in perspective for me, and I realize that the figurative mountains I now climb can be a balm to my soul if I allow them to be.

If I turn to God and to my Savior, I won't have to climb alone. And if I allow myself to stop and take in the view of all the beauty around me, I will begin to appreciate the difficult tasks I have conquered with them and will gladly face the ones ahead of me.

Tony and I still have our nightly talks as I rub his sore muscles on his body. Tonight we watched a short video "Mountains to Climb" with our children before bed. I cannot help but feel the love my Heavenly Father has for me, and be uplifted by my Savior's desire to help carry my load. Tony and I discussed this video in detail and we came to one very important conclusion: Our plea to God is to keep giving us the mountains that He wants us to climb, for our happiness and joy lies within the lessons we learn from these experiences. With the help of our brother, Jesus Christ, we want to gladly accept the mountains that God has laid out for us and cheerfully bring our family along.

I hope we are choosing to move another foot forward each day with eyes toward heaven, hands grasping each others and our babies, with tears of gratitude in our eyes. More than anything, we want to live with Heavenly Father and our Savior again with our family, and if we need to climb these mountains and many more to make it to them, I will gladly jump up and down and shout to get on the path now. What could matter more?

Here is the video for you to enjoy!
Disclaimer: For those of you who know me well, you understand that I don't cry very often. Don't get me wrong, I'm very emotional but rarely are these emotions accompanied by tears. This video is an exception for me. You won't find me watching it in public :)  Let the tears flow, y'all!