So today we had a family fun day! In four days, Matthew heads back to school and Ron and I may be slightly celebrating! What a summer it has been! Though not exactly a summer vacation, I have decided that I should look at this time as my 3-month sabbatical after 36 years of full-time caregiving. Now I just watch Ron and others do what I hopefully will be back to doing in another 2 months.
Today we headed out as a family to watch Matthew play in his Challengers’ football league. His team is the Eagles. And they are awesome! Matthew had three touchdowns today and stayed focused the whole game without disappearing to find the potato chips. I think it had something to do with his big brother, sister-in-law and baby niece also there cheering him on.
Somewhere in the middle of the game, I noted that my eyes kept filling up with tears. I am now thinking that perhaps my hormones got messed up with this surgery. Tears seem to be flowing easily. If someone didn’t quite reach the end zone (didn’t matter which team) I would cry. If a touchdown was made, I also cried. Who is this new weepy person? Same happened when we headed off to a neighborhood family fun festival. Matthew was having a blast trying to learn to juggle with one hand, blowing coins out his nose with the help of a magician, sitting in a cop’s car while keying the mic for the PA speaker and telling his mother she is under arrest, and feeding a miniature pony popcorn. And then there were the giant inflatable water slides! Matthew wanted to try one out so badly! We sized them up and just saw no way that he would be able to climb the rope steps to get to the very top. We sadly said, maybe not this year Matthew. He did not cry or melt down, he just sadly walked away and said, “Yes, maybe next year!” And yes, my tears started flowing again. I hate having him now understand he has disabilities and hate seeing him being held back.
As we headed off to watch the magician again, a young lady came up to me and asked that, if she were to get permission from the slide people, would she be allowed to help Matthew to the top of the slide. Permission granted from both, and as all Conestoga Valley community attendees looked on with bated breath, and tears streaming down my face, Matthew and Nicki made it to the top! And down of course! The greatest slide ever!!
One more incident from family fun day. I had to ask a gentleman to help me push Kari into the shade while Ron was occupied with Matthew. He said to me, “You can’t push. I recognize what surgery you had – spinal fusion. Let me do your daughter – you should not be pushing her at all!” He recognized my fashion statement belt. His spinal fusion (same surgeon) was 4 years ago. He was a construction worker who got back on a roof top just a year after his fusion – and fell, shattering his hip and leg. Fusion stayed intact but having much pain in many areas. So, contrary to what I said in last blog post, I’m giving up the construction concept. Going to keep my feet on the ground!
Our family memory verse this week, “You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house…” Despite appearances, we are full of the richness of God’s goodness! And I rejoice!