A couple summer highlights... boy, has it been a summer. To think that a year ago, my sweet Caleb had never run outside (or anywhere), or climbed a tree, or seen the ocean. In those days, he didn't know any home other than his hospital room and he wasn't even strong enough to step up onto his physical therapy mat. That sick boy is gone. Instead, I have a rambunctious little 3-year old who spends his days playing on his swing set (the love of his life), wrestling with his daddy, and chasing his big brother everywhere he goes. Tonight I was fixated on this picture of Jonah and Caleb at the park a few weeks ago. I couldn't stop staring at it because I still am not used to watching Caleb run and play, a strong and healthy little boy.
It just NEVER gets old.
So we've been busy, making up for lost time. We went to Florida and played at the beach for a week. We went to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and played in the mountains for a week. We've biked and hiked and gone to the zoo and eaten ice cream and gone to the State Fair... it's been wonderfully exhausting. Here are a few of my faves from the last few months...
Oh, I do have a baby daughter as well. Poor Lucy, third child. Here is some proof that she exists, so that she can't say we never took pictures of her. She's 10 months old next week, crawling and pulling up and always trying to get in on the action when her big brothers are playing on the floor.
I am pretty obsessed with that face.
Caleb has continued to do SO well. Since spending the weekend in the hospital over Easter, it has been smooth sailing. We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of Caleb's heart transplant, which seems hard to believe. As this milestone approaches and we are gearing up to celebrate, we also are preparing for some tests at the hospital as well. Caleb will go next week for his first full heart cath since he got his new heart. He will also have his fifth biopsy since his transplant. I am just assuming all is well and expecting all good news. But of course it's unsettling to think about waiting for test results, and it's always emotionally painful for us and physically painful for Caleb to go through these procedures. It is, though, a part of our life. We can have the most wonderful days and weeks and months that go by, but in our hearts we always are aware of Caleb's reality. We don't dwell on it, or worry about the future, but we are aware. We are aware that the average heart lasts around 10 years (we have also heard 13 years)... we are aware that he will someday need another transplant, and we are aware that some kids don't make it to that point. We are aware of all the possible risks and complications from years of having a compromised immune system. We are aware that there will be more bumps at some point in Caleb's life. We are aware that our finances are going to change when Caleb's disability Medicaid coverage ends in a few months. We are always aware. But it doesn't change how we live our lives, except that it makes us thankful for every single day. We make the most of our time and we laugh a LOT. Life is good and we are living it to the fullest.
I don't see myself continuing to blog much, maybe not at all. I'll never say never, but for now, writing is something that played a very important role in a specific time in my life. When I go back and read what I wrote over the last couple years, I am amazed at my own story and can hardly believe that was me writing it all! Writing has been therapeutic for me, both because it helped me process all the pain and joy I've experienced and because it allowed others to go on this journey with us. I know that so many people have been touched by Caleb's life. And what a blessing to know as a mother that so many now share in my son's story. I am so thankful for all the good that has come from this blog. I never would have dreamed that the words I was typing would go out to so many and you will never know how much strength I gained from all of you following along. Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring and praying and sending us your love. This blog will always be a significant part of our story and I will go back to it often, I'm sure. I invite you too as well. When you need to remember that God is good even in our pain, stop back by. I will be praying that our story continues to be a source of joy and encouragement for ALL of us. Blessings to you and much love from the Kinnairds.