March in Kansas can go from Snow to Tornadoes and back pretty quickly, sometimes in the same day. However, there are some days where everything just works out, and March 16th, was one of those days, warm, sunny, and calm in Kansas. It was a perfect day to play with the kids outside. The trees are budding, the Iris’ are popping up, and the grass is greening. Both kids went outside and took big breaths and commented on how good it smelled outside. It did smell good indeed.
I haven’t talked a lot about the kids in the past here, as my wife is concerned about privacy and security, but I thought I would share a bit of what is going on here this week. Because it was so nice outside, we played outside together around lunchtime. Later, during the afternoon the Kids, Rachel (6-girl) & Riley (5-boy) were crashed out on the couch in a blanket watching a movie, when Rachel all of a sudden got up and started acting really silly and wanted me to wrestle with her. She hasn’t felt like wrestling for a few weeks, so I dropped everything, and we wrestled for a few minutes, mostly tickling.
Then, Rachel wanted to play Hide-n-Seek, which she hasn’t felt like playing for a while either, so we took turns counting and hiding from each other for about a half hour. Rachel doesn’t play it well, as she calls out to me the whole time I’m searching for her, but it was a fun time. Riley giggles so much while he’s hiding that he’s pretty easy to find also, so Hide-n-Seek is a pretty easy game for me.
Then, the big surprise, was that Rachel wanted to go throw rocks in the creek down the road. I asked her if she wanted me to drive her down there, and she said, “No, I want to ride my bike.” I asked her, “The new bike?” She said, “No, I had better take my old bike (tricycle)”. My parents bought both kids new bicycles for Christmas, but Rachel hasn’t felt well enough to try hers, and Riley feels more comfortable still riding his big rubber-tire tricycle. I have been hoping for a Spring day where I could try and teach them how to ride their new bikes. That’s ok, maybe another day.
So, we headed out down the dirt road toward the small bridge with the tiny creek that runs under it. Both kids riding their big-tire tricycles, and I was pushing Rachel along while she peddled. We stopped a few times to rest, and then headed on down the road.
Riley makes it very easily down the road to the creek and back on his tricycle without help, and so he rides ahead of us and keeps turning circles in the road patiently so that we can catch up. Riley is one of those 98-percentile kids in size, the type that looks a year, or two older than he is because he is so big and strong. I hope it stays that way for him.
We made it to the creek and Rachel was throwing rocks with the accuracy she has had in the past, and we had a good time. We like to throw a floating stick in the creek, and then try to hit it with a rock, and she was able to hit it. Riley isn’t as accurate, so he goes for the shot-gun approach of throwing a whole handful of rocks, and usually some of them hit the stick.
After some time at the creek, we started riding back to the house, when Shelli (wife) drove along coming back from the Laundromat, and so the kids hopped in the car to “drive”. We have a nice front loading washer and dryer at home, but the year has been so dry we don’t have enough well water to run the washer.
The “ride” home with mom was the end of the “walk” with dad, but it was a fun time for me, and brought a lot of smiles to us all, and almost took away the “lump” in my throat, at least for awhile.
This all sounds like a normal warm Spring day for a family with a five and six year old in it, but this week it was especially important for me. On Tuesday this week we took Rachel into see a specialist, a pediatric orthopaedic doctor, as she has been complaining about some discomfort in her legs, and we have been noticing a decrease in her flexibility.
The doctor’s x-rays showed us that her bones and skeletal structure is normal. That was the good news. The bad news is that he feels Rachel has symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy. He recommended we go see a pediatric neurologist as soon as we could. He called for us, and secured an appointment this upcoming Tuesday with the area’s “best” neurologist, a miracle in itself, as everyone else waits 4-6 weeks we were told.
The news was a huge shock to my wife and I, and Tuesday will prove to be one of the saddest days of our lives, so far. After sobbing and holding each other for most of the night after the kids were in bed asleep, we became fully aware again about how much we depend on an unseen God that has the power to care for and comfort us.
I don’t remember being so sad before, and the lump in my throat and stomach has stayed all week. I had my staples removed from the gall bladder surgery on Wednesday, and was released to go back to work, but the “drive” just hasn’t been there since Tuesday afternoon. I have been so down, I couldn’t even log into lumberjocks this week. It seems like life has gone a long ways since the “M&M” funny stories on Monday night.
We don’t know what the future holds, Rachel needs a God-Sized miracle, or we are in for some major changes as a family. If there is a genetic issue with Rachel, then we are concerned for Riley’s future also.
We’ve seen these types of miracles before in our own lives, and our close family/friends, so we take comfort in that if God chooses to do it, He can. This is not a “wish-it-into-being” type Faith for us, we have seen God do amazing things in our lives, and so we truly trust in that Power.
During the Tuesday night prayer time with my wife, I laid it all on the table, so to speak, and came to the awareness that upcoming medical bills could require me to go back and try to find a job working for “The Man” to make more money. Working at my life’s dream building furniture pales in comparison to the bigger needs of the family. We aren’t sure what the future will yield, but we are trying to yield to God’s Will.
If you think about us on Tuesday the 20th, and if you believe in Prayer, please pray for a miracle for Rachel, and strength for the rest of us.
Thanks for your support and encouragement.
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com