So much has happened since my last update. It seems life has gotten in the way of blogging, which is not necessarily a bad thing... it's just, well, life.
October was a tough month in many ways, but overall it ended well. We made it past our one year anniversary of our last inpatient visit. That was reason to celebrate! Our trip to Maryland went very well and we are very thankful that we have NIH as one of our resources now. Mary was able to successfully complete getting blood work done, which is HUGE! The good news is that her lithium levels are right on target. The bad news is that her thyroid is very slow... i mean VERY slow! And it is probably due to the lithium. Boo! Thankfully there are good medications to regulate the thyroid without having to take her off of the lithium. We have already seen an improvement in her energy level since starting the synthroid. She continues to make progress in school, even with the thyroid issues which just goes to show how well this program is working. The pdoc was surprised that she could put 2 cognitive thoughts together with thyroid levels where they were, and yet she was making progress. Praise the Lord!!!
We were able to spend Thanksgiving with wonderful friends and had many moments of laughter and joy. We are so thankful for the great friends that God has put in our lives. They are always so supportive and encouraging. We are going to need that more than ever as we face the next few months... which leads to my pondering on death.
On Friday, November 25, 2011 my sweet mother-in-law went home to be with her savior. It was very unexpected and quite a shock to our whole family. God was merciful in that we were all able to go to the hospital to say goodbye to her and Mark was able to spend all day with her while she was still awake and alert. We are so thankful for her life and the influence that she had on each one of us. She was a prayer warrior. We know that she is rejoicing to see her husband again after almost 9 months of life on earth without him. We know that he was waiting eagerly to greet her as she arrived in heaven and has been busy showing her around the snow-making factory. There is evidence of that today as we are having an early snow here in Georgia. It is not much snow, not accumulating at all. But enough that my little boy came running in from recess to tell me that the snow was falling and had stuck to his jacket. He knew that grandpa was smiling and celebrating that his bride was with him again. At the same time, her death leaves quite a void to those of us left behind. Mary is taking it especially hard. She is sad and angry all at the same time. Life and death just do not make sense to her right now. Why is there suffering here on earth? Why did her grandparents have to die? She is grateful (as are we all) that her grandmother did not have to suffer, and knows that was better for her. But she wanted more time to say goodbye, to prepare, as if one can ever fully prepare for the death of a loved one. We would appreciate everyone's prayers as we navigate the next few months and try to help all of our kids process this in healthy ways.