Merry (belated) Christmas!
(Ian wrote this in December and it is me who failed to get it out to you all! I was on Hawaii time! Please forgive me.)
I have made it to three months with my new heart! I have successfully survived a three month period learning to take my 17 different medications, get biopsies, and endure regular blood draws. You have all been praying that this new heart would feel at home in my body. And I’m happy to report, that we are getting along very well. This period would be the period when I would have showed signs of rejection. But everything is just perfect from my last biopsy. My Dad was saved from his tumor during this time and we are doing ever so good.
It is a few days before Christmas and all through the house, everyone is stirring, even the mouse.
It is true we have many mice in our house, that is a problem too. But we have made it through two horrendous, yet teaching moments. I’m sure we can deal with the mice. We have had a long year and most of the time I am writing to God about what our Savior has done. Now I’m thinking about all you have done. Sitting here on what seems like the other side, I am still thankful to Jesus, my Lord. Here I am going on about things I can’t see to my God who I can’t see. But there are many of you who we CAN see that we are thankful for.
Because God does not reward you as much if your help is advertised, I will try to thank you by church. Be forewarned, so many people have helped us that I can’t even remember all of them, just like all the times God has helped me. You have all been Jesus with skin on. We feel the love especially around the birth of Jesus.
To Wintersburg Church,
We are thankful for your gifts including but not limited to; Love, Joy, Patience, Kindness, food, and house cleaning. You brought us meals every Monday and Thursday without fail and continue to do so for 6 long months. All our friends, including ones I have never met, took time out of their busy schedules just to take care of us. We were weak but you were strong. Thank you for giving me gifts; things to keep me busy and coming yourselves to distract me from my pain. Thank you for the money you gave to me that surely made me feel loved. Thank you to the Men’s ministry and Women’s ministry for their generous donations of cash money. Thank you.
To Crossroads Community Church,
You held us up. You were my visitors from so far away. You donated gifts and money straight to us and continue to just give. As a church you wrote us many nice letters and encouraged us through every dark time. You came as whole families to visit us and light up our dark hospital room. You lead us through worship every Sunday even when we were not physically there. Thank you Uncle Paul for face timing with us every Sunday and Saturday worship. Thank you for face timing me when I needed an IV or a small operation. You loved me and talked to me through the whole thing. Not more needs to be said except that Crossroads has our thanks.
To our Community Bible Study,
You also Joined with us in this experience. You gave what you had: bible studies, prayer, visits, food, sunshine baskets, caroling, and good teaching for Micah and Kaiya. Jesus is happy with you. All of you joined in with finances, notes and gifts. Every one of you blessed us. Your sacrifices (by which I mean my Mom’s teaching skills) were so great I do not know what I would have done without your prayers and my Mom.
To Saddleback Christian Academy,
Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your encouragement and lenience on my Mom’s part. Thank your for not getting fed up with us and for being a teacher for Micah. Thank you for making it possible for me to do school in the hospital when I felt well enough. Thank you for video taping the classes so I can watch and learn when I did feel good. Thank you for your prayers and letters and anonymous donations. Thank you for making our case known and for not ignoring us.
To our nursing staff, at USC, UCLA, CHOC, and UCSF.
You brightened every day. Thank you for being supportive and charming. Thank you for advocating for us when doctors want to give us evil painful injections everyday. Thank you for praying with us sometimes, and being soooooooooo friendly. Thank you for doing what is best for me when I don’t feel well even if I don’t like it. Thank you all for rubbing my legs, and not letting me lose my limbs. Thank you for doing the night shift so my mom could rest. Thank you for laughing at her jokes. Thank you for chewing gum when you came to my room. Thank you for listening when I wanted my picc line cleaned a certain way. Thank you for smiling even when you were tired. Thank you for being extra careful to keep my lines clean and sterile. Thank you for letting me flush my own IV and encouraging me to eat well for my body AND my soul. Thank you for keeping our paper work up to date so we didn’t missed our offer for the perfect heart for me.
To the doctors at USC, UCLA, CHOC and UCSF.
Thank you for working with us through hard times. For being with us and doing your very best; for never giving up. We thank you so much. Thank you for all the years you have invested into medicine and for persevering through all the losses and challenges of your career. You bear so much responsibility with each decision and we don’t take that lightly. Thank you for working as a team with social workers, child life, nurses, and fellows to make a well run machine. Thank you for skipping meals so you could stay available to all of your patients. Thank you for supporting my mom and dad through some big decisions and helping them make the best ones.
To the support staff at every hospital,
Thank you for cleaning our room and emptying my trash every day. Thank you for keeping my room well stocked and comfortable. Thank you for bringing us extra chairs when I had extra guests. Thank you for keeping the gardens beautiful and fresh. Thank you for serving my meals with a smile and a polite gesture to help in any way. Thank you for offering water and coffee to my mom every morning. Thank you for heating up our meals at any time of day. Thank you for replacing my 60 ml bottle over and over when I dropped them on the floor. Thank you for checking in our guests and making sure I was safe. Thank you for making us great food to eat in the hospital and letting us share with each other.
To all the famous people who came to visit,
Thank you Kristin Wiig for coming to the hospital with your movie and for coming to my room to help me count up my days to heart transplant. It ended up only being 38 days and it could have been a year! Thank you Wasabi, Dean Johnson, and Mr. Segal. Thank you Miss Teen California for coming to serve Dairy Queen to me and my friends. Thank you to the San Francisco Symphony for doing a special concert just for me when you found out I couldn’t stay for the actual event. Thank you for coming back to shower me with CDs and gifts. I can’t wait to come and see the full orchestra one day. These unexpected treats in the hospital make bright memories during dark days.
You’re all famous to us and we appreciate all of you for coming in so close to our journey! We can’t say Thank you enough, but we will keep on trying! See below for our first attempt!
I have probably left some things out, and you can reply to me if I did. Our Family will need their own page of thank yous for all of their up-close sacrifice.
God did work here in our lives and on Christmas. As we wait and watch for his second coming we will celebrate the very first time Jesus made a way so we do not die but live.
We are all Dying, and we are living, Just because my Jesus came and rose again.
Please JOIN US for a
Thank You Celebration
Saturday, January 28th 6-9pm
@ Crossroads Community Church
25991 Pala, Mission Viejo
Worship, Sharing Our Story, and Main Dish provided
Please RSVP by Thursday Jan 26th if you can,
but don’t let that stop you.
Bring a side dish to share!