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July 14, 2013

A New Beginning...

We have updated our blog address for while we are here in The States. We will keep the African Endeavor blog open for the future.

The new address is:

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We have just posted an update so please go there now!

April 20, 2013

One Month Later...

Although it has only been a month since our last update, it feels like six. We have so many things to report that it is difficult to decide were to start.

In case you have not already heard, on March 24 mom left this world to join Jesus in heaven. Six days after an infection took hold of her kidneys, her little body finally lost the battle. We were blessed to have had the whole week to be by her side at the hospital until she peacefully took her last breath. We had a small memorial service that seemed more like a family reunion than it did a funeral service. We knew mom would have wanted it that way. Although sad she is no longer on this earth with us, we are happy that her battle against the disease is finished.

After 54 years of marriage, we expected dad to be a mess with her passing. But he took things well. He is obviously grieving tremendously, but he too is happy that she is no longer fighting the disease.

Dad has had a rough ride as of late. He was finally released from rehab, 5 months of living in the center. He came home to a new apartment, one that is handicap accessible. He had been keeping himself busy trying to figure out where to fit things in a way he can get to them. It is easy to take for granted our ability to reach the cupboards above the kitchen counter. Being confined to his wheelchair, he is unable to use those cupboards. Regardless, he was starting to show real progress in arm strength and ability to stand on his one leg. He received a prosthetic leg and had just set appointment to work with the doctor on walking with it.

Then two weeks ago, the incision where his bypass stint was installed in his remaining foot started to bleed. We took him to the hospital where he had to go into emergency surgery to remove the bypass (he was bleeding out). This is the same thing that happened to his right leg in December. Now his left foot is not receiving blood and will eventually die off. To avoid life-threatening infections, and excruciating pain, the other leg would have to be amputated. For now, and for a range of reason, he has decided he does not want to cut off the leg. At this point, we are not sure what to do. We have seen dad suffer so much in the last six months: gall bladder surgery in Oct, surgery on his right foot in Nov, amputation in Dec, heart attack in Dec, bypass surgery on his left foot in Feb, mom passed in Mar, and then this last surgery. We ask for prayer for him. At least now he has enough stamps on his surgery card that his next one if free (a little humor needed here).

Our days are long. Jeanine leaves early to be with dad at his place all day. She runs his errands and takes him to doctor appointments and things. Mike goes directly from work to dad’s place. We eat dinner together with him and hang out until bedtime. Depending on how dad is feeling makes a big difference on his mood. It is sometimes very suffocating to be around his negativity (which he understandably suffers from).

However, we do want to report that there are some very good things and happy times while here. We are getting to know Jeanine’s brother and his family better. They are a fun bunch to be around. Her sister comes down from Maine to visit often.

We also get to hang out with her other sister in New Hampshire. It is good to be around family. We are also truly happy that we get to have this time with dad. We were grateful for the time we had with mom before she left. It has helped us realize how valuable the time is. We are cherishing each moment as much as we can.

With love,
Mike and Jeanine