It’s September 1st and almost ninety degrees. I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me! Summer fu-lew by in a whoosh. It happens every year and every year I’m convinced it was thee shortest summer ever. This one was just wrong because it didn’t act like summer. I mean temperatures in the seventies when you should be sweltering does not count as summer. That’s Spring extended.
Then in June, about the time it wanted to get warm, I spiked a fever of 103.6 and curled up in bed with muscle cramps and hip pain that put me in a near fetal position. Four days later I was still sweating copiously then chilling and my chest felt tight and like I couldn’t breathe freely. No one wants to get the flu in the summertime, but this time it would have been nice to have it be the flu. After a negative flu swab, ruling out a septic hip and pneumonia with x rays, the logical conclusion was Lyme. I started antibiotics and the fever broke within hours.
The next day David went five hours out of town for a custody hearing. While he was gone the doctor called to say that my white count was down to 2 and I needed to go to the ER for repeat labs to make sure they didn’t miss something that would send me into septic shock. You know my love relationship with the local ER. 😉 I waited until David got home then we sat in the ER for FOUR HOURS to see the same NP we saw with Adam. It’s nice they’d already checked my blood pressure earlier. She poo pooed the whole thing and said I probably had the flu. My white count was nearing 4 and I was out of the crisis zone which was all I needed to know.
Three weeks later after shooting spasms in my hands and feet, visual disturbances, heart palpitations, crazy, crazy, crazy exhaustion all.the.time, and headaches my lyme and mono test came back positive. Apparently illnesses come buy one get one free around here. Two days after the doxycycline ended, the weird symptoms began to abate. The tiredness, not so much. It was work just to function.
Then miraculously, a week before we started school, I switched my vitamin to morning instead of evening and instantly I was sleeping better at night and feeling energetic again during the day. I have no idea if it was coincidence or a combination thing but it literally happened overnight. I literally breathe gratefulness every single day for how wonderful I feel. It feels like an enormous, gigantic, out of proportion gift from God. After not feeling well for so long, then getting so much better on Plexus, it felt like a huge kick in the gut to feel so rotten again. I know that it’s easy to make almost a god out of feeling well. Like it’s our right or something. I don’t ever want to get to that place; but I also believe that God created our bodies to function well and He longs for us to know wholeness. I can’t wait to get to heaven where we will know such perfect wholeness in our body, soul and spirit!! But for now, I am just so, so, SO grateful to be able to care well for my family and the people around me!
It’s been hard to understand why our family has been so plagued by such weird maladies ever since we moved here. Sometimes I wonder if that is the way satan is attempting to tear down our family as David moves forward in the frontlines at helping families be restored to wholeness. But the theme of God’s incredible answers blows me away. The fact that Adam has no residual damage from his terrible break, Zara’s clear MRI, Adam’s strange mark in his nail, and now the fact that I am feeling well so soon after diagnosis gives me courage to face the smaller things. Liam was diagnosed with Lyme about a week before I was. He’s still dealing with pain in his feet and sometimes knee pain. Will you pray with us about that? He dragged on and on with fatigue and stomachaches and headaches that seem to be clearing up. His eyes sparkle again. But his feet still hurt him a lot. I’m praying for complete healing for him, too.
Anyhow, back to the summer that got away from us.
I don’t know how your family does summer, but it feels like ours goes into it full tilt every time. I always dream of lazy summer days ………… and parts of them are lazy. We make the most of our non-school days by sleeping in, working and playing late, and cramming as many fun things in as possible. I think it may be impossible to actually do summer lazily when you live far enough North that summer is short. So my philosophy is to live it to the hilt!
We started summer activities early. David and I shot a wedding in Virginia Beach in April. The air temperatures were in the seventies! The boys headed straight for the water never mind that the water temperature was in the FIFTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these pictures and the intensity in their faces and body posture! You can tell they are both magnetized by the water and desperately trying to avoid feeling like an icicle.
My parents met us at the beach and took us to the aquarium on Friday and then showed the kids the greatest time on Saturday while we were at the wedding. The whole weekend just felt like this enormous gift! Getting to do what I love with the person I love most in all the world, the time at the aquarium with my parents, warm sunshine in April, and the kids getting to spend time with their grandparents.
There were a few treasured days at the lake or back at the Middle Ford or at Indian Rocks. There was the fun of introducing Zara to the fun of water.
There was the fun of hosting family and friends here for the weekend and trips out of town to visit others.
This year was especially special because we got to do an extended weekend with both our immediate families. Family is important in both of our families and our parent’s generation is still having family reunions. But I love that we got to do something more than just a day with our smaller, more immediate families.
My family came to visit us in Maryland in July. We had so much fun and proved that it is very possible to have more than 20 people in our house … at least in the summer time when you can overflow outside. The weather was finally hot for the first time this summer which was such an answer to prayer. I wanted so badly to take them to the lake because it’s one of our favorite spots. I love the beauty of the sand, mountains and water and I love, love to watch children having fun together. Combine the two and it’s almost too much to absorb. But it was so cool I didn’t know if we’d even enjoy going. Well, it turned hot just in time. Going to the lake was the best imaginable thing to do. Much as I adore watching the children having such a great time, my favorite time was late Saturday night when Christy, Beth, Mom and I got to sit on our front porch with coffee, blackberries, and shortbread. We are rarely all together and it was so special to be able to sit and talk uninterrupted.
In late August, David’s family did a long weekend at this cabin in Garrett County. While we get together for holidays and other times, we rarely stay together for an extended period because most everyone lives in the same community. It was one of those weekends that should be described in superlatives. The best food. Amazing weather. Wonderful hours to relax and talk. Kids having so much fun together swimming and playing ball. Four hours in the hot tub with my sisters in law talking life until the wee hours of the morning. I could do that weekend all over again.
And then there were the little moments. The moments that feel so much a part of life that you almost forget to realize how wonderful they are. Like lazy breakfasts because we weren’t on a time schedule.
Or reading in the hammock in the morning while the front porch was cool.
This spring the boys took a huge liking to soccer. Liam bought a soccer ball in town one day and the fun continued even when it was hot outside.
This was the summer of a baby girl morphing into a toddler.
The summer of beautiful memories intertwined with tears. Of grace covering inadequacy. Of children growing. Of laughing. Living. Loving. Much as I’d like to hang onto it and pretend that winter is not lurking around the corner just waiting to pounce …. I want so much to love the present. To live gratefully for the beautiful and embrace the rest graciously.