This is a day I will forever be thankful for. We were living in Dubuque, IA at the time. My oldest daughter Aleela was less than two years old. She had been playing outside in front of our house on a beautiful Fall afternoon. The yard fenced in, I let her sit out and play by herself quite often. She was playing so sweetly that I decided to snap some pictures of her through the window of our living room. I remember the moment like it was yesterday (now some 23 years later). I was overcome with the feeling that she was unsafe. I set the camera down, walked through the house to the back door, walked along side our home to the front yard and quickly picked her up. Just as I turned around to walk back, a pickup truck smashed into the front of our home. You can see by the post in the second picture, compared to the post in the third picture, the truck landed exactly where she had been sitting. The man driving had suffered a seizure and missed his turn, driving straight through our fence and into our yard. How life could have changed in that instant. How thankful I am that it did not.
This is a picture of Leer Lutheran Church. One of four that my ex-husband and I served in over the 22 years that we were married. It's a chapter of my life that is filled with bitter-sweet memories, but that is a conversation for another day! Leer Lutheran Church was the first of the four congregations that we served in together, and it will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Some of the most loving people I have ever known fill its pews each Sunday. And although my spirituality has grown in a much different direction, I will carry their example with me for all of my days. Like how to take a two inch slice of homemade bread, top it with butter and freshly canned jelly and cover it with fresh cream....oh yeah. Life at Leer was simple and good.
This is a picture of Emma and Sara, our twins, taken in 1996, less than a week after they were born. They were the last of five daughters, and I have since been blessed with two beautiful step-daughters. (And a granddaughter on the way!) There has been no lack for hormones in our home. This picture is clearly indicative of the personality of each of these girls. Sara, my Type A, borderline OCD child, spends most of her day organizing our days (thank goodness) and fretting over life in general. Emma...well, Emma is just Emma. Much to her sister's chagrin, Emma can cruise through just about anything. They are each other's best friends, and they bring nothing but pure joy into our lives. Those of you old enough to remember The Odd Couple, Sara is most definitely Felix.
This little bugger is the root of all evil...well, maybe not the root of all evil. But it sure feels that way sometimes. In my world, they call it the drug you love to hate. Prednisone is a miracle medication, relieving inflammation, reducing pain, supplying energy to extremely fatigued muscles and bringing back a sense of well being. It heals painful sores, shrinks knuckles and knees back to their normal size and basically makes me feel human again. It also keeps you awake for days on end, makes you think you are starving all the time (hence, unwanted weight gain), increases sweating, creates drastic mood changes, weakens tissues in the body as well as the immune system and causes osteoporosis...to just name a few. It's never a good thing to be on prednisone too long if one can help it. Two years is too long, and so I have once again begun my journey to taper off. I've tried it before, unsuccessfully so, becoming too ill to continue. It takes a long time to get off this medication - months or even years sometimes. I've made my way down from 60mg to 5mg, at which I am now loosing my hair. Keeping my hair is one of the benefits of prednisone for me. Definitely one I am willing to give up so my bones don't break!
So, there you have it!
Keep warm and have a wonderful weekend!!