Thursday, May 24, 2007

Brandon's Heart

Here's a letter I sent out yesterday to all our friends and family. I thought others might want to have this news as well.

Dear Family and Friends,

Some of you already know that Brandon was diagnosed with a heart murmur before we left the hospital.

On Monday, we had a check up with a pediatric cardiologist from Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. After looking at the echocardiogram(sono of the heart), the doctor determined that there is moderate to severe blockage of his pulmonary valve. At this point, Brandon's heart is strong and healthy, but this condition is one that if let go, would eventually lead to symptoms that would damage his heart. With that in mind, the doctor wants to do a cardiac catherization. The procedure is called a Pulmonary Balloon Valvuloplasty. Basically, it's the same procedure as an angioplasty, except done on the heart valve, not the arteries. This is actually a fairly common procedure, and though there is some risk involved, it is less than 1%. They will be putting Brandon under general anesthesia for the two hours it will take them to complete the catherization. He should not have any side effects afterwards other than possibly small changes in his eating and sleeping routine.

The procedure is scheduled for June 6th at 9:30 in the morning. It will be done at Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. He will have to stay over night for observation, and if his post-op labs are clear, he will be released on Thursday, the 7th.

Please keep us all in prayer. Though the doctors are assuring us of a good outcome and low risk, etc, etc, it is still scary to have our baby going through so much! Pray that we would be able to find a peace in the midst of all of this and be able to restfully trust in God's providential workings in our life.

I will keep everyone informed on Brandon's condition as I am able.

God bless,

Friday, May 18, 2007

My sons

There aren't words to express how very grateful I am to the Lord for giving me, not one, but two precious little boys to love and cherish.

I have read about several different families recently that have gone through terrible times of pain and grieving because of losing their sons to genetic disorders. Their stories have made me even more aware of how fleeting life is and how thankful we need to be for every minute God gives us to enjoy our children.

So, be thankful for every moment you have with those whom you love! We have no guarantees of tomorrow. We have no promises for a future here with our loved ones.

I am blessed to know that whatever tomorrow holds, I have a God that will carry me through and has promised to be with me every moment.

Ryan and Brandon, Mommy loves you with all her heart!

The LORD giveth, and the LORD taketh away. Blessed be the name of the LORD. ~JOB

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

For David

The Sniper

The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "Stay low."

My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
The figure stretched across the rubble, several steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of gray and brown,
That hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
But pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
Beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device.

A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
"You think he's going to set it off along the crowded street?
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said "I wouldn't doubt it,
Unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."

A thunder clap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered:
While citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
Instead he took a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
"Hey I could put you on TV, that shot was quite a story!"
But he surprised me once again- "I got no wish for glory."

"Are you for real?" I asked in awe, "You don't want fame or credit?"
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "You just don't get it.
"You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?
Before a mortar hit it, it was a grocery store."

"But don't go thinking that to Bomb a store is all that cruel,
The rubble just across the street -it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,"
His head hung low, they never ever thought a car would just explode.

"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,"
He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
"Today the fights on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"
"I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fights back at home."

"And I won't let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
Don't want to get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
Nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."

"So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
I don't care if I make the news, or if they speak my name."
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
"If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot."

"Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin:
That most of us are OK and we're coming home again.
And why not tell our folks back home about the good we've done,
How when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."

You tell 'em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
Without the fear that that tyranny is just a step behind:
Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
Or ask a soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."

He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
Then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added:
"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
That we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.

- By Michael Marks