Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Luc....I miss you!

November 20th, we said goodbye to our best friend, our baby, such a great dog. He will never be forgotten.

A little over 15 years Daddy and I were sitting in our mobile home with the door open and all of a come these two black and white balls of fur barrelling through the living room. Susie, my sister in law, slipped then in the door and oh my what a surprise! We fell in love immediately! They were beautiful, Old English Sheepdogs. They were so much fun. We named them Curley and Moe! That didn't last long though, We were teaching them NO and other commands and Moe thought we were saying NO when we were calling him and he just got confused so we named him Jean Luc after a Star Trek captain....geeks I know! They were so easy to house train so we kept them inside most of the time. One Sunday morning early we put them out in the pen while we got ready for Church. We went out to get them to bring them in and they both were acting funny. I noticed there was some meat in the pen....we never gave them scraps. They both were shivering and being lethargic and I gave them both gatorade thinking that might help. Nothing helped and Curley was not able to stand up. We jumped in our Suzuki Samari and headed to Hickory to the Emergency Vets office. Curley died in my arms on the way there. We took both of them in and I remember us crying on the floor over our 'babies'. They tested them for several poisons and nothing matched, and the tests were 80 dollars each so we told them to just treat Luc and save him. We were young and financially not able to pay a whole lot for all of this, so they started an IV and gave him all kinds of medications. They told us they had to keep him over night and then we had to come and transport him to our regular vet on Monday. I didn't want to leave, but we had to get Curley home to bury him. It was so sad, we burried him at the edge of my parents garden. The next morning we went to get Luc and take him to our vet, we paid almost $300 dollars to the ER Vet and got him to Morganton to Dr. Anton. They kept him all that week, we went every day to see him and they would call us at night to let us know how he was. Friday came and Dr. Anton said we could take him home on Saturday. I asked him if I could pay payments, knowing if one night was 300 dollars...a whole week would be WAY more! He said sure and Saturday morning I went to pick up Luc and the nurse came out to give him to me and she handed me the bill...38 dollars! I said this is a payment right? She said no that Dr. Anton is writing off everything else, all we had to pay for was the medications. I cried and sweet was that!

We got him home and he was soooo clingy and such a big ole baby. His little leg where the IV was trembled from that time on. We never found out who poisoned them, though we have an idea...but it was too horrible to really accept. Luc went to the grave and would lay was like he knew!

We kept him shaved in the summer and I thought I could do it one time....and I cut his little never healed together so he always had this little slit in his tongue...I didn't really try to cut him again! We took him on trips, he was the closest thing to a child we have ever had. He moved with us to Myrtle Beach this last time and he did great, one day the exterminater came and sprayed....and within a few days he didn't have complete control over his bladder. Coincidence I don't know. We brought him home to my parents...and they babied him so much. Daddy kept him in the laundry room with a bright warm light for him to sleep under. When we moved home we brought him to live with us again, tried to keep him inside...but he really couldn't hold his bladder at all anymore. He was sitting on the floor and peed while he was sitting there.

Dr. Anton said he wasn't in a lot of pain and while he had lived a long time, if we kept giving him an Aspirin and watching him he should be ok for a while. That was a year ago and he had more and more trouble getting up and down so we knew that the time was coming. We got a puppy and on the 17th the puppy and Luc were playing...He was up playing and galloping with the puppy...barking and just full of life, I was so shocked....wished I had taken pictures. Scott had gotten him a new lead so he could get up on the porch since it was getting cold. Luc came up to the porch behind a bush.

I knew something was up on Monday the 19th. He barked all day and never got up from where he was laying that I know of. When Scott got home he tried to get him up but he had no control over his back legs. Daisy wouldn't even go down the steps hardly at all that she was scared. Scott came in crying and told me what he saw and we both bawled knowing that we were going to have to take him the next day to put him to sleep. Scott took Daisy out later that night...almost midnight to pee...Luc barked and it scared Daisy so much that she peed right there on the porch. I woke up to take Daisy out the next morning...around 7 and when I walked out there I saw his little furry ears at the bottom of the steps peeking around the corner...but he didn't move when the puppy went down...and didn't move when I yelled for him. I walked over and looked off the porch and saw he wasn't breathing.....I cried and cried all day, Scott barely went to work...but he had to. I called my mom and dad and told them, mom cried with me...she loved him too. Brad came that afternoon to take him out to bury him near Curley.

He was such a good dog, he was protective, sweet, loving and he had a way of always making me smile. He had one blue eye and one black eye. He was there when we started our fertility treatments and when I would be so sad because of a negative pregnancy was like he knew I was sad and he would climb up in bed or on the couch and lay with me....hugging me almost. I never knew I could love an animal like I loved him. I still cry thinking of him. We had a family portrait made with him...he was part of our family.

This is Luc and old cat of handsome!
This was at the beach with Allan's son Ryan
2 years ago when we got a little snow here in NC

Our family portrait...awww

Beach pics Last Summer
Chirsten and Caleb after a MAJOR shave....grrr I fussed at PetSmart!
his little notch in his tongue...bad mommy!

Thanksgiving with the Pons family!

Thanksgiving this year was *sigh* a little tense I guess you can say. Mom wasn't feeling up to doing the whole meal thing this year, so Todd had planned on having a meal at his house. That is all well and good, but not all the family would be there. Mom tried to plan a meal at her house that evening but she just wasn't up to it. Johnny then planned a meal at his house at lunch time, which thrilled mom so much. I know she was so happy to get to spend time with him and Susie. I wished we could have went, but the timing was off. We always to lunch at Scotts' parents.

We made it for dinner at Todd's and it was great. We really didn't eat that much just my moms turkey dressing....TO-DIE-FOR!! I didn't really feel up to taking a lot of pictures, GASP...I know, hard to believe. Lisa and her mother were there as well, Mom, Dad, Brad and Marquita, Cara and Randall and Illan, Todd and Scott and I. It was relaxed and nice to be with them.

Bradly had buried Luc for me on Tuesday and he got into poison Ivy or Oak and his face was all swollen and itchy...he looked so pitiful. Also this week Illan had his eye surgery and it has helped so much. He is such a happy little baby, I still can't pick him up....*pout*. Daddy had to leave a little early, he teaches at the prison on Thursday nights and he wouldn't miss it for anything. Brad ended up going to the ER so Lisa took him and it was just a few left.

We came home and crashed....little did I know that Scott was making plans to go shopping the next day. We did go, I sat in the van while they all went into the malls to shop....I watched DVD's and it wasn't tooo bad.

Looks like he is belting a song out huh? He loves his paw paw!
My sweeeet mom and my sweeeeet brother.
Bradley alll puffed up....aww so sorry honey!
She has that pregnant glow! Love her!

The road home...I loved how the sun was shining through the clouds. The road ends pretty much at my parents home.
Cara and Illan...look at those cheeks!
aww...he is all over the place!
Illan and his pawpaw!

Thanksgiving at the Lail's

Thanksgiving was pretty good this year. Even with all the things going on, it was nice to see family and be thankful for the good things in life. It started out at my in-laws. John and Lena always have lunch on Thanksgiving. We get there early this year! One of the first times ever. Chris and his fiance' and her son were there as well. The food Lena cooks is amazing, she has such talent when it comes to food and desserts.

We had fun, eating and laughing at our dogs. We took Daisy and Chris' little dog was there..Lily is her name...funny dog. I took them outside to potty, I asked Chris first if she was ok to take out without a leash...oh yeah he said! 10 minutes later she is soaking wet and Chris is red faced haha. At first things were ok, but my dog is a bit bigger and they were chasing each other playing and barking. John and Lena have a fish pond, and it is covered with leaves. Well, Lily was being chased by Daisy and came to the pond...Lily stopped just short of going in but Daisy was on her tail tooooo close and BAM...Daisy hits Lily's butt and pushed her head first into the pond. It was soooo funny. I was laughing so hard, I couldn't take a picture.

Shirley was there too, she is so sweet...I wish we could spend more time with her.

Loook at all that food and did we survive it all???!!!???

That after turkey glow...haha
Jake working off that turkey!!
Jake and Mommy Jen being all artistic!
Lena and Aunt Shirley
Me and Chris...those are fake grins...we are about to explode!

Chris being a big kid....Mr. Transformer!

John and Chris and Lily.
Scott and John...after dinner...laying back and trying to catch a few winks.
Lily and Daisy...trying to plan their escape!
Daisy inspecting the competitions package!
The pond....funny thing is Lily took a test dip before she got 'pushed' in!
Daisy is always in high gear...look at those ears!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Infertility and Holidays

It wasn’t even Halloween yet and department stores had Christmas decorations out. Halloween is difficult all by itself, all the moms deciding what their child will be, decorating and taking them trick or treating or to the various fall functions. I can, like most people facing infertility, avoid Halloween pretty much. Turn the porch light off; avoid the candy aisles and also the costume aisle. Stay home and listen to my husband watching horror films. Easy enough I think.

The pumpkins and fall decorations are coming down, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Thanksgiving, a family time to eat, talk about Christmas and watch our parents and family wrap each other up in love and that common thread that family represents. Seeing that my niece or nephew has my brothers’ eyes or his hair. I can even see a bit of me in my nieces. I choke back the tears that there is no little me and my husband running around. Touching my back pocket making sure my compact is in there so when I go to the bathroom to let the tears fall, I can cover it all up.

I wonder if there will be another Thanksgiving to share with my parents whose health is failing and their age is catching up with them. I always pray for one more Thanksgiving so maybe next year, my hopes and dreams are realized and there is that true reflection of my husband and me to share with them and my family. Maybe next year my child experiences my mother’s turkey dressing, not to mention my mother in laws desserts and hear my brothers play music and watch my nieces and nephews play and joining in. One more year, I say that every year, God please let this coming year be the year that the pain ends, the constant want and hunger is satisfied. Each year my arms are empty and while family and friends have quit asking and have just accepted that we will probably never have a child, that desire and craving has not waned at all.

After all the turkey and dressing and family time is over, my husband and I will go back to our home, boxes of Christmas decorations waiting to be displayed. Everywhere we turn, there are children. Christmas time is all about children, family get togethers, and toys galore. But at our house, in our little corner of the world…Christmas is painful and as much as we try to be happy and join in all the functions – it hurts. I still hang the stockings, just two and one for our cat and one for the dog. No going out and getting special kid friendly things to put in them. Just cat nip and rawhide bones.

We play all the Christmas music, wondering if we will ever share Silent Night or Jingle Bells with our child. We get a new ornament each year and we still want to buy that ‘baby’s first Christmas’. We go shopping for family and friends, avoiding the center of the mall where Santa and countless children and their mommies wait to give their list to Santa. All of this reminds me of the fact that I may never have my own family to share this season with.

We go to Church to see the Christmas play and always wanting to be the one in the audience with the camcorder so proud of our child being one of the great wise men or a beautiful angel. I can remember the plays at my parents’ church, the baby in the congregation always being baby Jesus – I couldn’t wait until my child was the one that would be baby Jesus.

We suffer silently, rarely sharing our hurt with anyone during the holiday season. We watch as our brothers children grow up, and have children of their own while we still sit alone, empty and still after 15 years holding on to hope that next Christmas it will be our Christmas. But Christmas after Christmas our dreams die a little more.

It is so hard to explain to people that can get pregnant without even trying. We get all those helpful solutions to our ‘problem’. Why don’t you try not to worry about it, it will come. My cousins’ mothers’ sisters daughter took some natural herb and got pregnant right away. Maybe God just doesn’t want you to have a child; maybe you are supposed to be something other than a mother. This world is a bad place, it is probably best. I can think of so many answers for each of those and so many more comments. If they just knew all the tests, all the medications, injections, embarrassing calls to the doc, all the negative pregnancy tests.

As painful as the season is, as much as it hurts – we smile, we enjoy our families and friends. We can’t let the opportunity slip by of spending time with family. We aren’t promised another day, even my personal pain won’t keep me from spending time with them. We take breaks to take a deep breath, to slip to the bathroom to let the held back emotion come out just before it overcomes us in public. No one knows, no one really knows what we are going through each Christmas and I guess that means we are doing something right.

We put up the decorations, it is hard but we do it. He loves the season and hopes that all the twinkle and sparkle might put a little sparkle or twinkle in my heart and eyes. He does this, not the decorations. I can get through all of this because of him and his love for me – mother or not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jubilee - Sunday

It was so sad to know this was the last day of Jubilee and by mid-day we would be on our way back home.

We get their early and I go back to the choir room to practice a bit and leave a note for Doug. We go into the service, you can feel the energy in the air. The sanctuary was filling up quickly and it always takes my breath to be up there in front of so many people while singing. The Whisnants sang a song, they are so amazing. Their piano player is sooo great, and such a character. The pastor introduced Roger Mullins, he is always our closing speaker for Jubilee. He and his family are Hope for the World - Albania he presents a video of the children. It is always so touching.

He gives his sermon, he always has a great mixture of heartfelt moments, funny moments, and Biblical moments. At the end, he turns it over to the pastor and then the magic of Jubilee begins for real!

The pastor tells us that the Jubilee cost the church 35,000 this year. Let me back up a bit. The church, the singers, the speakers, the missionaries....everyone does this Jubilee on FAITH! And for 18 years God and His people have came through...usually in around 10 minutes. This was the 19th Jubilee and the miracle is about to begin. The pastor announces how much the church needs, and the ushers put tables up with offering plates on the tables, and in the center is Karen with a calculator keeping tabs. The pastor and Roger Mullins is encouraging people to give, the lines are long...young and old. The singers all get up and sing together and the miracle of Jubilee is seen right in front of our faces. 24 minutes and 35,000 dollars is raised - PRAISE THE LORD!

Wait...the miracle of Jubilee isn't only that...Sunday morning, during the invitation...Doug and Julie are praying hard, you can tell someone or something is on their hearts. (Doug is our Music Director and Julie is his wife.) Then I see wayyyy in the back, Doug and Julie's oldest son walking down the aisle with an older man. I look back at Julie, her eyes are shut....then I see Doug - the look on his face was pure joy and praise! I look back to Julie again and she is walking to the altar...meeting her Father, her Mother, her Son, her Husband, Her father in law (who is a pastor), her mother in law....all crying and praising God...her daddy gave his life to Christ! THAT IS THE MIRACLE OF JUBILEE! What a blessing it was to see Julie so happy and her knowing she would see her daddy again in Heaven.

After all the joys of was time for lunch, BBQ and chicken bog...and all the fixin's! That time was a blessing too, able to wind down and just eat and listen and watch all my church family....I miss them so much. We had to say our goodbyes to Burt and Leslie and Colin...and baby Huggins. That was the hardest by far. I barely got to spend any time with them.

Jubilee was great, I can't wait for next year.

This is a ladies trio at the church, they did so well!

These are Everyday amazing!

These are the Whisnants! My all-time favs!

Doug singing with the choir...he has such a great voice!

Burt and Colin...after the Jubliee came to an end! :(

Me, Leslie, Colin and Burt...and baby Huggins in the belly!

Majority of the Alto section haha...not really! Cindy, Allison and me....all smiles!

Mom, Aunt Gladys, John and much fun this week! They all (including my other family that was there) can't wait until next year!

Jubilee - Saturday

Saturday we get there to hear our pastor preach on 'Such a time as this'. He is a phenomenal preacher and teacher. He talked about how things are lining up for Christ to come and take us home. What a wonderful time that will be, no more pain, no more suffering...just happiness and finally getting to see our Saviour face to face. He has a favorite saying...Tonight will be a good night to fly! Funny how when our lives are going really great, we kinda hope He waits a bit...but with the trials facing me lately... I would love to fly today.

Before the Pastor brought his sermon, Everyday Driven sang and they are such a blessing. Buddy Mullins has such a powerful voice, his wife Kerri though is a powerhouse, her voice sends chills! She can go from belting it out to the softest - almost whisper and both are amazing. When she first came up on stage Friday night...the first thing I noticed was her hair. She has this thick beautiful make you wanna smack her kind of hair. It was cut really short. I was up in the choir and I said something to Nyla and she told me that Kerri battled cancer - and won!

Kerri gave her testimony that night, and wow. She talked about getting the diagnosis, how that felt and how she thought about her kids and her family. She told us that a group of women in a Bible study class asked her to come to let them pray over her. She went and she felt the power of God, they prayed over her wrapping her up in verses and praises to Him. She went through the treatments, lost her hair...but as of July, she is CANCER FREE - PRAISE THE LORD!!!

She talked about that pit of fear. And ohh goodness have I been in and out of that pit - more in than out I believe...but how fear is not of God! Whew...she blew me away. She is such an inspiration. Scott...yes, my shy Scott talked to her later, told her how much it meant to him and she told him of a book she read that really made a difference. Get Out Of That Pit by Beth Moore. He said he walked up to her to thank her for her testimony and he started talking about me...he said he started crying and telling her about all that has been going on...he is so precious, but she probably thought we were nuts. Well, we are. She will probably never know how just her words helped me out of that pit.

Saturday night was the best night for me...I loved the other nights, but hearing Pastor Freddie preach and that testimony was my highlights. I miss my church so much. That night the choir sang a lot! Doug had coordinated some songs with the Pastor's sermon and had a great impact.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jubilee - Friday

Ohhh wow, Jimmy Franks is one of the most intense preachers I have ever heard. He has stats and other information but he does not over load it so much that you are bored. He is so articulate and he knows how to get the sermon across to everyone listening. He is the president of Hope for The World.

He preached on the cross. I have notes, gotta get them out and will post more about this sermon...he is amazing and I don't wanna miss a thing.

Jeff Steele also preached, one of the most poignant things he pointed out was how those in our lives might say one of three things when this old world ends. 1. Thank you for telling me of Jesus and I accepted him and will spend eternity with you and Him in Heaven. 2. You told me of Jesus, but I didn't listen...Hell is my home, I am so sorry I didn't listen. OR 3. Why didn't you tell me of Jesus, I am in hell and if you had told me of Him I would have listened and be with you in Heaven right now. I hope to never have to face many or any number 3's. He also talked about the people we may turn away from our church's for how they look, their sexuality and other sins. We should encourage them to come to Church so they can hear the Gospel and see their sins. I was convicted of that myself.

15 people raised their hands that the made the decision to get saved that night, God is soo good all the time!

Jubilee - Thursday

Again the music was amazing, the Whisnant's always touch my heart.

We had a special speaker... Joel Penton from Ohio. He is a big time foot ball player, big guy with a heart for God and young people. He told us a few stories and then told us something that really stuck in my mind. In 100 years the only thing that will really matter is if we are spending eternity in Heaven or hell. Not only that, but did we tell our family and friends about Christ and his saving power and grace. In 100 years...that will be all that matters. I thought about family and friends that I have maybe not said too much to. WHY??? I think now about it and I am quite sometimes I don't want to turn them away from me, I don't want to make anyone upset. But, I know that I would rather have them mad at me for a while and know that I told them about my Jesus.

He really was such an great speaker and I can't wait to get the DVD so the young people in my life can see it.


Wow...where to start, it was an amazing, rejuvenating, soothing, eye-opening....I could go on and on!

Wednesday night, we get there and a new group to Jubilee was there - The Keffers. They have such a beautiful sound, so full of the spirit. I had never heard them, but look forward to hearing more! The Whisnants were there, one of my favs and they are amazing. Their songs touch the heart, bring tears to your eyes...near sobs sometimes. They sing my favorite song...Even in The Valley, it is a song so close to my heart right now...this valley is hard, but I know my God is good - ALL THE TIME! The choir and church groups did so great, if I may say so myself as I did sing in the choir. Doug was his usual phenomenal self, his voice and the conviction with it is so touching. But, as good as the music was...the sermons were all wonderful!

Steve Hubbard preached the first night, after a little comedy skit that he does he came in dressed as David. He preaches in first person. He describes himself and the things he has been through, the way the Lord has used him in his life. He first told how God introduces us to things and puts things in our lives that we have no clue why. Imagine David picking up stones and using the sling...not knowing that he would use that talent to defeat a giant in his life.

God had put things in Davids life, he defended his sheep from a lion and a bear. Then here came this giant, mocking his God. Goliath was even offended that they sent a boy with a staff and sling shot. The devil does that sometimes, planting a seed in our hearts and minds that we are ill-equipped to fight our giants.

God sent that Giant, and David ran into the valley....he didn't wait for the giant to get to him, her ran to him and told him "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands."

The valley was the battleground, and when we are in the valley we should look to Who is in control of our battles. Not all things happen like we want, but we have to have the faith to trust in God that He is in control. David had faith that God would protect him and bring him to victory. By faith our weaknesses are turned into strength! David doesn't take any weapon or armour that Saul offered him, he chose to put on the whole armour of God. We can't make the mistake of thinking, though, that David is helpless and defenseless before Goliath. Don't forget, David is a tool, an instrument, a weapon, in the hands of God. And, he goes into battle with the name of the LORD on his lips. We give our giants too much power, thinking we can't...I can't. Being frightened and filled with fear brings us to inaction...kind of like the Israelites.

We all have Goliath's in our lives. The battles rage on and the devil gets a little toe hold when we are weak in body or spirit. We look into ourselves for strength, we look to our families and friends...but we have to remember that the battle is the Lord's and so is the victory. And there will be a victory...maybe not in what we feel is the perfect time frame...but our Father loves us and He will be faithful to us...we just have to be faithful to Him!

I sat up in the choir, the tears flowing, knowing that part of my problem is giving my battles to the Lord. I have even been holding in how things are to my family and friends who really want to pray for me and need to know what is going on. I feel defeated in this battle. I have just been grinning and bearing it ... alone sometimes. I am not alone, He is forever with me. But that pit of fear, that fear that the battle will rage on for a much longer time. The fear that nothing will ever get better, the fear that I will wear out my family and friends with my pain and suffering. Fear leads to defeat and I will not be defeated.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Christian women...

My mother, mother in law and aunt arrived safely in Myrtle Beach last night. The trip was long, a bit painful but worth every minute. I rode in back with my Aunt Gladys and she is such a character. We all reminisced about my childhood and my cousins childhoods. So many funny times, like when I cut all Allan's hair off, or gave him a 'banana' pepper under the guise that it was like a banana! I was mischievous to say the least.

We get to the hotel and from the outside it looked nice, but I had never been here. I saw a couple pictures online and made the reservation. We get up to our room and ohh wow! The 3 bedroom condo is soooo pretty. There is granite counter tops in each bathroom and in the huge kitchen. The balcony is huge and is ocean front. Each bedroom has a balcony that has a great view of the ocean.

The room is so nice, the views are beautiful, the weather is much to make someone happy. But what made me and my heart smile the most was sitting around the table and enjoying hearing some of the Christian women in my life talking. Praising God for a safe trip, great room...and for each other. We got our PJ's on and turned in.

I am hurting but the trip is so worth it. I will get to see Leslie tonight, along with all my old church family. I can't wait. I have missed her soooo much, Burt and Colin too of course.

Tomorrow I am going to the hospital to see my friends and have some blood work done. I am excited to see them as well. I haven't been out shopping, I think I will wait until Scott is here. He is coming tomorrow sometime...him and John. I can't wait! I miss him so much.

I am excited for Jubilee tonight, I am hoping that tonight will be the beginning of a healing spree in my heart and soul and hopefully body too.

Ooo it is getting late, I better Iron!