Spring is finally here, and the plants in my yard are all coming to life. I simply love this time of year when life seems to resurrect itself, and all the colors surface outside. Time marches on whether we want it to or not, and one look outside at the emerging growth is a tender reminder of the changes happening to those inside our home.
Brad is finishing his freshman year of college and is simply loving life. He is thriving and absolutely loves his friends and activities at Western. Travis and I were saddened to hear he will not be coming home this summer, but after Brad explained what he wants to do, we got excited for him. Brad is going to work at a camp in Missouri this summer supervising the camp counselors. It is a camp for low income kids so he will not get paid, but the experiences will be life changing. He is also going to the Dominican Republic for eight days in July during a two weeks break when he does not have to be at camp. This trip will be a missions trip with BSU which is the student ministry he is very involved with at Western. Travis and I thought we would have one more summer at home with our oldest before he spreads his wings and makes his way in the world, but we were wrong. As much as I would love to have him under my roof for just one more summer, one more period of time to love on him and spoil him, Brad is doing exactly what we have raised him to do – go out into the world and make his mark.
Sidney is excitedly counting down the days until graduation. I still shake my head thinking back to the day in October of her sophomore year when she approached Travis and me and said she needed to talk to us, that we were supposed to just listen and not say anything. She told us about her plan to graduate a year early and was just dead set in her idea. After promising to give it some thought and not make a final decision for a few months, Sidney kept to her plan and is graduating as a junior with more credits than she needs. Her drive and determination are amazing. For a long time I doubted whether we were making the right choice by letting her graduate a year early, but now I see how ready she is, how her drive and maturity have prepared her for the next step. Sidney is going to UNL this fall and will live in the dorms. I cannot wait to see how college life looks on my girl and am thrilled for the beautiful future ahead of her.
Trevor is back for his second season on the golf team and has another week before his first tournament. He is happy and content and looking forward to what is coming in just ten more days – his 16th birthday! Trevor passed his driver’s test over spring break so he is set to hop in his car and drive off. I can hardly believe he is old enough to drive, but I am very excited for the independence he will have in such a short time. Trevor is really like the youngest child and all of our “lasts” happen with him. So while I am excited for him to be able to drive himself wherever he wants to go, it is kind of sad realizing no one relies on my to transport them anymore. The only reason I need a van at this point is to get Ryan’s wheelchair from here to there. Otherwise, the back seats remain empty as the kids drive themselves where they want to go.
Ryan has had some big changes in the past few months with med changes that are slowly decreasing his seizures. We just started the transition of taking him off the Ketogenic Diet as well as it is hard on his body and has not shown any improvements to the number of seizures he has. With the new med changes Ryan is going through, he has become more talkative. We became so accustomed to him being very quiet all the time, so this new noisy boy has been fun to see again but annoying at the same time when I am trying to concentrate on something. I am not complaining because I absolutely know how precious the noise is. Unfortunately Ryan continues to lose systemic strength as his gait is more unsteady, his legs are weaker and his endurance is draining. It is the slow decline we have become accustomed to. He does not tolerate being out in public like he used to and in the last three or four times we have tried to go out to eat, one of us has ended up in the car with him because he could not handle the noise and activity much like when he was younger. It is not even worth trying to take him out in public anymore because he is so unpredictable, and we all just end up upset and disappointed. Regardless of what he can handle, Ryan is loved and spoiled rotten. He lacks for nothing.
We are looking forward to seeing the finished product in the bathroom remodel currently being done in our bedroom. It will be handicap accessible in just a few days because we need a way to bathe Ryan without having to lift him in and out of the bathtub which has become a monumental task for me. Because he is now 5’3″ and well over 100 pounds, it is difficult to lift him from a sitting position out of the tub. Our bathroom is the best option for a handicap accessible bathroom, so it is being remodeled. I’m not looking forward to all the storage we are losing, but at the end of the day, what is important is for none of us to be injured trying to take care of Ryan.
Otherwise Travis and I are doing well. So much of our lives revolves around the kids as we are cognizant that our days with them around are quickly coming to an end. We do make sure to get out and spend some time focusing on our relationship which is so very important. I can hardly believe we will celebrate 23 years of marriage in just a few short months. It has not always been easy because life is full of surprises and changes, but it has been a blessing to wake up every day and do life together. Not a day goes by that we do not count our blessings and remember all the good we have been given.
Much love to you all!