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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DAY 18 IN ICU...DAY 35 POST BMT...DREAMS...

June 20 (2am)

Andrew remains stable and his lungs are clearing up nicely.  He still is dependent on a respirator for breathing.  The fluid removal via dialysis is set a steady rate of removal.  The theme of his treatment in ICU seems to be slow and go.  The pain/palliative team have changed up his pain management to reflect the elevated pain and discomfort Andrew is showing.  When asked, he gingerly and barely noticeably nods or shakes his head to say if he is pain or not.  Jennifer has been as the hospital the past few days and she seems to think the change in pain management is allowing Andrew to get more restful sleep.  He has been fever free for quite sometime.  Andrew remains on many meds and in particular the meds to treat his serious liver issues.  The liver bilirubin levels have remained steady and out of dangerously high levels.  I long for the day to have Andrew fully awake, off his respirator and able to speak to us about his wonderful dreams he dreamt while being sedated.

As a parent, we all have dreams for our children.  Dreams for them to be prosperous, happy healthy, joyful and at peace.  From the day I set eyes on my Andrew, I fell in love with this gentle and precious boy. I fell in love with his infectious and precious smile.
Still smiling in the midst of his trials!


Andrew's wonderful and beautiful smile!

I wished and prayed all the aforementioned for Andrew.  Ever since my children were babies, I have prayed a standard prayer for them.  I have prayed they would be blessing to others whatever way they can and that other's wold be able to bless them as well.  Furthermore, I would pray they would know the love of Christ and what that means to them.  Well, God has answered those prayers.  Andrew has grown to be a gentle and kind wonderful young man, who has blessed so many people by his demeanor and presence. Anyone who has met this special young man would concur.  

I remember so many special moments with Andrew, but I think of the special times when Andrew and I would lay on the driveway, ever since he was a young boy, where ever we have lived and gaze at the stars.  I showed Andrew some constellations and in particular the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).  I remember those clear nights where we would have our heads lying together pointing to the sky in awe and being super excited to find the Dipper.  This not happened on the driveway, but the times we went camping when it was only Andrew, myself and God's wonderfully natural creations.  Why am I bringing this up, I am on my patio and looking at the Dipper as I write this.  It's been the constant through Andrew's arduous young life.  But it reminds me of the ultimate constant, God!  Many of you know I am a Christian and I  have made that claim through my blog posts.  I have not shied away from this fact, because my relationship with Jesus Christ has given me a modicum of peace and hope during the turbulent times, whether it was my horrifying divorce,  the years of trying to get Andrew better, financial turmoil or trying to figure out my lot in life and my identity.  And the constant, God , has showed me my true calling: to be the best father and steward not only to Andrew but to Emily and Bry as well.  You see, most people that know me well, know I love children and relate well with them, whether it's been coaching my kids sports team, at birthdays or just interacting one on one with a child.   I was lead to believe to be a failure when I didn't succeed in certain endeavors, but as I have grown older, I have learned by the grace of God, my calling is to be the best steward of my children and other kids I can help shape.  This epiphany has directed to my next challenge or endeavor in my life, to become a teacher.  I don't regret the path I have taken, because the past has shaped me into the man I am today, a child of God, who has been lost but now is found.  So a few days removed from Father's Day, I am blessed to have God place this responsibility of guiding my children and pointing to the constants in this life, whether it's the Big Dipper or more importantly the only one who can give peace that passes all understanding, Jesus Christ.  So, many people have marveled at Jennifer and my resolve as we go through this incredibly hard journey with Andrew and life's circumstances, but we can't take any of the credit.  It is the hope and belief in a God who, so aptly put in the words of the son Amazing Grace, that have saved a wretch like me.  


My dreams for my children and in particular Andrew my not have materialized in the way I wanted, but I know God's plans and dreams for him are so much more grand than I can ever conjure up.  The bible states:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jerimiah 29:11


So as I basque in God's great wonderful night time sky, I have hope God is placing wonderful and peaceful dreams as Andrew lays in critical condition and is fighting for his life.  I so wish, as a father, I could take this all away from Andrew, but I know God ultimately has a plan to use what he is going through to bless others.  Yep, that has and is been my prayer from day one of Andrew's short life here on earth.  God has honored those prayers and I know so many have been blessed with how resilient, strong and courageous he has been as he faces life's brutal barrages.  I have written about Andrew's friend Anna, who passed to away to be with our Lord little more than a month ago after a long battle with cancer, and on how profoundly she blessed others in her short life here.  She never wavered from her faith, often times telling others of her faith in God and how others should trust in this gracious God.  So as I speak of dreams, that is my dream and hope for others, the dream and hope other's would see in the midst of the turbulent seas, there is a life boat and the life boat is called Jesus Christ.  I am in no way trying to legislate my faith on you all, but I  just want to tell of my testimony and the testimony of my precious son.  


Ever since Andrew has been a little kid, I would call Andrew, "Champ".
Well, folks, he is the true definition of a Champ!
Andrew, your daddy loves you so much!  I have loved you since day one and If I could die so you could live, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I have dreams for you my son and I pray as you are sleeping God would grant you dreams of peace, dreams of heaven, dreams of vibrant colors, dreams of the stars and the Dipper and dreams of how God has your back.  I long for the day when you wake up with that infectious and beautiful smile you possess.  Until then, dream my son, dream of the stars!  I love you!
Thank you for the best Father's Day gift ever, your strong squeeze of my hand.  The squeeze showing me you are a true champ and fighter!  


As I end this post, I am reminded of another answered prayer I have prayed for Andrew.  The prayer that others would bless him.  Well, my friends, family and loved ones all over this planet, thank you for the blessings upon Andrew and our family you have given.  To my Deerfield High School classmates, I hope to see you all this weekend for our 25th reunion and to  thank you all individually for your prayers and support! Thank you all for the hedges of protection you pray for our family!  XOXO!


Goodnight everyone!  May God give you wonderful dreams tonight!


Bye for now,
Joe

4 comments:

  1. Again Joe, thanks for sharing and being a blessing even when you are going through this difficult time. Hang on to Jeremiah 29:11 - HE has THE plan! We are constantly praying for you all!

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  2. Beautiful post, Joe. I am continually amazed and inspired by your faith. Faith is the handle on this journey that allows you to hang on! Never let go.

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  3. What a blessing post. Thank you so much for sharIng, brother. We're continuing to pray for you all.

    -Brian

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  4. Thank you for sharing- your faith gives me faith that there is really something bigger than me out there.
    I have always enjoyed stargazing, and share that with my children as well... (you know that I was always the science geek in school)!
    I have hit my knees a second time today – out of sheer humbleness, I pray!

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