Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wow! It's been a while!

It's 2:43 am and for whatever reason I can't sleep. So, I check my email. I have a thank-you-for-participating message from the St. Niklaus 5k in downtown Indianapolis the Josie and I participated in last weekend. (my first 5k ever - so fun! We ran in the snow!). Anyway, it was a German event. Started thinking about Germany, then about our friends at Berlin Heart, then about their web site. Decided to check in on that again and found a great story about Bailey's experience with the Berlin Heart. Awesome life-saving experience, I might add. Look it up! Go to and click on "For Patients" and then "Patient Stories" and then, my favorite, Bailey Hunsberger. They gave a link to the blog at the end of the story and I started thinking about how I hadn't been on it in SO long, and then . . . well, here I am.

Bailey's doing absolutely wonderful! She is 1 week away from finishing her first semester at Indiana University! She loves her biology class! She really wants to go to med school at this point. Is exciting to watch her mold her career. She's still on 14 different medications and sees Dr. Darragh (her cardiologist at Riley Hospital) on a regular basis but all continues to be stable. We like that word. Stable. So non-eventful and non-emergency. It allows for the development of routine and sometimes mundane, now that we're not the emergency, which is SO exciting, and then the gratitude and awesomeness of life itself as an everyday gift from God quickly pounces all over the routine and the mundane . . . and we're back. We don't see Dr. Turrentine (Bailey's surgeon) much anymore and that's a good thing health-wise, but we do miss him. He got us where we are today. Incredible man.

Been a year of changes for me. My boss retired early in the year and let's just say I'm still adjusting. I did work for one incredible woman, and now I work with 4 guys. (it took 4 guys to do the work of one woman. Heehee!) Then my dad was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome and then pancreatic cancer and passed away only 3 weeks after that diagnosis. His last days were so very difficult for mom and me and my 3 sisters but we all prayed for whatever was best for dad, and we do believe that is what happened. He was 79 years old, led a very active life - even having had polio as a kid - and had a family who loved him very much. Lots about my dad that I admire. But the best part about the year is I have a real hobby! Actually 2 new hobbies - i'll explain the second one later. But Bailey was given a hot air balloon ride through Riley a year ago this past fall and I became so engrossed in the world of hot air ballooning that I joined the crew for the best balloon pilot and crew chief ever! They're a husband and wife team that has taken on a mission to raise money for Riley. What better fit could there be?! We have SO much fun together- we've all become great friends. Bailey has even been out with us several times on flights. Mark organizes the hot air balloon portion of the Indy Air Show which, again, benefits Riley. Come out and see us this year! Weather permitting, there will be about 10 balloons in the sky just after sunrise and a glow event at dusk. I'm working on a balloon-themed quilt to raffle off too! Just found out they moved the air show to May next year. Don't know if I can get it done that quickly. We'll see.

My second and most recently acquired hobby is running! Haven't ran since middle school. That's about [ahem] years ago. But enjoying it very much. Josie usually joins me - when she's not studying. When we were with my dad in his last days at the hospital, my sister Cindy and I made a pact that we would make better use of our legs in honor of dad since he couldn't use his. It also helps us cope with his death - a tribute to him. And so that's why I was getting a thank- you-for-participating email from the St. Niklaus 5k event . . . And here we are. It's now 3:30 in the morning. Glad tomorrow . . . er, I mean . . . Today is Saturday.

Boy! This was mostly about me. Sorry. Josie is a sophomore in high school making straight A's, singing in the choir, and playing on the school and the church volleyball teams. So proud of her! And Marissa is in the 5th grade and playing point guard on the basketball team in two different leagues. So proud of her! Life is good, God is merciful and full of grace, and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderfully Happy New Year! (A little-known fact, my mom's maiden name is Mary Christmas. It's true!)

Good night everyone!
Until next time,