Monday, February 23, 2015

"She Stood" - an important re-posting from Lexistential

I don't re-post full blog posts very often, but this story Lexi shares is important. Just last week Tripped Up Daddy and I had some unexpected changes in our own lives, but it's nowhere near the level this family is enduring. Please read, act as able, and share!


She stood

by Lexi Magnusson
I watched her as she stood. She stood. The congregation stood behind her, around her. She stood, so I did.
She stood, so I can.
Never in my life have I known someone who has been through so much and was able to stand. As I watched her, a feeling tore through me that I can't explain. A pain, to be sure, but an awe and a wonder. An awe that gripped me in my bones and said to me, "Do you know how fortunate you are to have this woman in your life? Do you know her strength? If she can stand through this, you can stand." And then the feeling pushed further, "Tell her story and give her a chance to rest."
I have been friends with Kelli for over a decade now. Their family moved in across the street from us shortly after we had moved to Washington. Her two daughters babysat for me on occasion, our oldest boys were best friends and she was pregnant with her second son when I was pregnant with Peyton. She was there for me when I was pregnant with Abby. I'll never forget watching her drag baby supplies across the street for me, or how she was there for me when Abby was born, and was as enamored with her as everyone else.
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I remember Kelli walking to my door that bright afternoon. "Guess what?" She said, "I got in a car accident yesterday!" "Oh my gosh! You're kidding me! Are you okay?" "Yes, they had to do some x-rays on my my knee...in order to do so, I had to take a pregnancy test. I'm pregnant. I find out the gender tomorrow!" She didn't look pregnant. She didn't think she was. She thought she was in early menopause.   Her baby was a girl, and we excitedly spoke of the friendship she and Abby would have after we got back from our stint on the east coast.  Her whole life now was turned upside down. The distance between her oldest daughter and her youngest would be 20 years.
Kamryn was born and for the first couple of weeks she was the same kind of infant as any of their other four kids. On Christmas eve of 2011, as Kelli was changing her diaper, she noticed Kamryn's feet were cold. After a long series of twists and turns (you can read it all on her blog, here), several months in the hospital, this tiny baby would eventually have to have a heart transplant.  If you've been reading my blog for the last couple of years, you may remember her story from way back when. You may have even donated to the fundraiser we did to help pay for all of the expenses they had at this time. If you remember, right before Kamryn was born, both Mike and Kelli had been laid off from their jobs.
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Mike was able to get back to work, but Kelli had to stay home to care for Kamryn. It was more than a stretch on their finances, but through it all, Kelli stood.
In the years since, there have been graduations, a marriage and even a new grandbaby.  Kamryn's health is fragile as she is on a lot of medications to keep her body from rejecting her heart, and to keep it beating. I'm more than sure Kelli hasn't slept through the night. They've had countless doctors visits, procedures, med changes, physical therapist appointments, etc. Last fall, Kamryn once again was admitted to the hospital very, very sick.  She had the flu, and an infection they couldn't quite pin down. While there, Kamryn had a heart attack.  Once again, this brave little girl rebounded. As always, Kelli stood.
Through it all, Kelli has had the sweet support of her husband, Mike.  He's stood with her.
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January came along with the news of her second to oldest daughter's engagement to a wonderful man.  Wedding planning began and the next Saturday they were excited to visit venues for the happy day.  Plans were put on hold. Mike died that morning of a heart attack.
There, in the packed church singing songs of faith as we remembered this wonderful man, Kelli stood. She stood and sung along. From the row across from hers, the strength I felt from her was almost palpable.  She stood and held her daughter as Kamryn pointed to a large picture of Mike and exclaimed, "That's my Daddy!"
The memorial was amazing because Mike was amazing. He was a great father, provider and support to Kelli. He was so loved by his church, his family and his community. He was a man of great faith and has raised five amazing kids.  I loved what one speaker said, "We know he's in a better place, and that's great, but I want him back here now."   We all do.
I've told you only a small portion of Kelli's story. I wish there was space for all of it. To adequately explain how amazing it is that she stands after years of sleepless nights, endless worry, and unfathomable loss. How amazing she is that not only does she stand, but she stands strong. She laughs, she works, she gives. She does and does for others.
I've told you her story, now I need your help in letting her rest.
They lost their soul provider. Kamryn's immune system still requires her to have constant care. There's a wedding this summer of a beautiful daughter who has just lost her dad. Their families and church has rallied hard to raise money. A Kickstarter has been made, but is not even quite to half the goal. I want to help get them to their goal of $25,000, which still isn't near what Mike would have earned this year. Will you help me?
The Kickstarter is here: http://www.gofundme.com/Helpmikesfamily.
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Whether or not you can give, one of the biggest things you can do is SHARE. Share her story. Share it on your social networking pages, your blogs (feel free to copy and paste this in its entirety, I don't care). If you know people in the media, please share it with them. This family needs the help, and Kelli deserves the rest.
If nothing else, remember this woman, my hero. Know that if she can stand, so can you.
With all of my heart, thank you.
Lexistential
http://www.lexistential.com/2015/02/she-stood/

Thursday, February 19, 2015

All because she's learning how to dial 911

I always realized Sunshine triplet was dramatic, but she may have reached a new high this week. Recently we've been talking to her about emergencies and how she needs to know how to dial 911 in an emergency situation if Mommy or Daddy or an adult can't do it. Like if something happens like Mommy falls down the steps, hits her head and can't wake up. You dial 911. Great skills, right?

Yesterday at school, the first day back after a 4 day weekend, she shared her news of the weekend with her teacher (perhaps even the class). Here's her imagination hard at work: "On the stay at home days my mom fell down the stairs and wouldn’t wake up. I kept trying to wake her up but she didn’t. when she was falling she told me to call 911. My dad came home and took her to the hospital. The doctors are trying to wake her up and then she will come home." (she got teary as she told the story!)

I love how I knew I was going to fall into a coma on the way down the stairs so I very logically told my daughter to call 911 before I actually hit my head! Too cute!

Perhaps the best/funniest part is how I heard about it all. I sent an email with basic info to the teacher today and her reply back was: HOW ARE YOU? Are you out of the hospital? We're worried.

I couldn't reply back for at least 10 minutes because I was laughing so hard.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - 2/11/15

A fellow blogger and Twitter friend offered these free to a good home.
How can you say no to that?! Happy Wednesday triplets!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance 2015

Tripped Up Daddy took the trio to their first Daddy Daughter Dance this past Friday. It was only possible because of the gracious help from a guy friend and his daughter (Jay & Rosemary) that we attend church with. They also happen to be teachers in the girls' church class, so they know them well and they love them dearly.

Tripped Up Daddy said the line for traditional professional photos was much too long for our trio, maybe even if we didn't have the whole autism thing to contend with. So Jay did a photo shoot in the high school lobby and then put together a video to show off the "attempts."

Enjoy "Dancing with the Starletts"

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The evening itself was a hit for all three. Sunshine triplet in her typical social butterfly fashion danced with Daddy a little and then enjoyed hanging out with all her friends. Princess triplet loved the music and the lights - as evidenced by all the stimming & running around the dance floor. Angel triplet ditched the dance floor altogether and hung out with the cookies and punch most of the night. Something for everyone!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Check us out on The Mighty

So, so excited to be a featured post today on The Mighty. This website is all about creating a community focused on changing the perspective on disability. Proud to be part of that today!

http://themighty.com/…/why-i-wave-goodbye-to-my-daughters-…/















The unedited version of this post was my Mother's Day gift to other parents of special needs kids and is featured in Happy Dream & Wave Bye Bye.