Friday, January 01, 2010

Decade in Review

I've seen some others do a past decade in review, mostly on FB and so I figure why not, a lot has happened to me in the last decade.

1999- We were stationed at Baumholder, Germany and in March Jordyn, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with AML leukemia. We spent 6 weeks at a German hospital and then when she was stable enough we were transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She truly never slowed down and although she was an extremely sick little girl, you'd never know it by looking at her (other than the freshly bald head and the steroid round face). We truly enjoyed every single moment. Family came out to visit us and we were able to go visit my family in Kansas. In November Jordyn went to Children's National in DC. My "sister", Michele from Brazil (she lived with my family my senior year as an exchange student) came and spent a few days with us and Jordyn loved and adored her and Michele felt the same way about Jordyn! Chad's family came to visit and then my parents came to visit. Dec 15 a little over 5 weeks after she was admitted, Jordyn was released after what appeared to be a successful unrelated bone marrow transplant. We were home to celebrate Christmas as a family and welcome the New Year in together, living in Virginia, feeling like we could finally breath. I was a whopping 22 years old and Chad was 24. Oh how young we were, yet had experienced things most twice and three times our age never had or would experience.

2000- Jordyn was still alive on New Years day and we were full of hope for her life. We didn't realize a month later our world would once again be turned upside down to find out that the bone marrow transplant had not done all we'd prayed for, in the way we prayed for...the leukemia returned and we were told there was nothing left to do. May 8, 2000 my little girl, at the tender age of 2 went home to her Savior, Jesus. 8 days after Jordyn went to Heaven, we found out we were pregnant. To say we were shocked is putting it mildly. I do not recommend being pregnant the first year of grief. Grief is truly hard enough and then to add on hormone's on top of it, it was most definitely the hardest year of my young life at only 23 years old. I was blessed that year, that although I knew GOD I was extremely angry with him. I did find a group of parents who's children had also died from various forms of cancer, called Day by Day. There I met two wonderful friends, one who became my best friend. Tami and Kelly. I honestly am not sure how I would have gotten through that year without them, all of the parents on daybyday, and although I was mad at him......GOD.

2001-Late January, walking through the road of grief and sorrow we were able to make a dream of my maternal great grandma's dream come true....a grandchild born her birthday (91). Chad deployed to Kuwait for a 4 month deployment, while he was there our world would change in ways American's, especially the military never dreamed....9-11. Chad returned home, yet our world was in such turmoil. November I gave my life over to Christ completely.

2002-We went to a church for many months and then were invited to what became our home church, and where our family would grow in Christ. We began praying about having another baby. November we said goodbye to My great grandma, as she left us for Heaven to join her beloved husband of 63 years, my maternal grandma who'd died 40 some years before that and other of her children. I was blessed to be the last person she spoke with, as her last spoken desire was to see her birthday boy, Jacob. He and I were the last faces she looked at before she closed her eyes and hung on for a few more hours as she was surrounded by her family who encouraged her to go be with Jesus and Grandpa and I whispered to love on Jordyn until I got there.

2003-We started our year with celebration of a new pregnancy and Jacob's 2nd birthday. We moved to a new house on post (a 3 bedroom), met new friends, re-enlisted for Germany, and prepared for Chad's first deployment to Iraq. We welcomed Jackson into our family late August. Chad was placed on Rear-D (stayed back and worked at the battalion for a few months)

2004-Only days before Jacob's 3rd birthday Chad joined his battalion, as he gan his first deployment to Iraq. The battalion's deployment was 1 year, but Chad was ony there for 9 months, but it was not easy as so much fear loomed as we watched 9 of our friends from our company killed. Chad returned home in September, it was a wonderful reunion, but he'd seen horrors that I still do not know and couldn't ever completely understand. We celebrated Jackson's 1st birthday.

2005- We were blessed with news that Chad would not have to go to Korea for 18 months as was part of our re-enlistment for us to come to Germany, and instead were able to come to Germany in July (had Chad not deployed and went to Korea in Jan.'04 we would have came to Germany July '05) we truly saw GOD working in our lives when it came to moving to Germany.
I instantly felt like we were truly home, got involved in the chapel, and discovered PWOC (Protestant Women of the study) and found wonderful sisters/friends. October brought another deployment, this time a full 12 months. I discovered the deployment was easier than before, I allowed friends to help me with the boys, went on many retreats with the chapel and saw a good portion of Germany. Jacob turned 4 and Jackson turned 2.

2006-New friends were being made left and right as well as saying goodbye to others. The year seemed to go by fairly quickly. Jacob turned 5, and we began our homeschooling adventure, played various sports, PWOC continued and I was asked to step up and be on the board when a board member had to unexpectantly move (so goes the Army life!!), I volunteered for VBS and met who would become one of my truly best friends ever as an Army wife, B, and her son would become Jacob's best friend. Chad returned home at the end of October, just in time to see Jacob's last soccer game of the year, and he was home for Halloween. December came and we found out we were expecting a baby that coming August!

2007-We did a fair amount of traveling, prepared for the baby who we were thrilled to find out was a girl! Jacob turned 6 years old, home school, sports, AWANA, VBS, and PWOC kept me and our family busy. August came and we welcomed Emma Grace into our family, a few weeks later Jackson turned 4 years old. That year I also experienced my precious Emily have to say goodbye to her beautiful, precious Miller Grace after only 5 days of life.

2008-Jacob turned 7. In FJan. over MLK jr. day weekend, we went to Italy for the first time and spent a day in Venice! In March my dear friend Heather got extrememly sick only 1 day after her husband had deployed for Iraq, she literally died, the drs brought her back, and she went into a coma and stayed there for 5 weeks. We went to Ireland and Chad's dream came true in seeing the one country he always wanted to go to, and in May he deployed once again to Iraq. Heather came home in early July after months of recovering in the hospitaly and rehab. Late July the kids and I went to the states for the first time in 3 years. Emma turned 1 and Jackson turned 5 and we had a big family party with our friends and family in the states. We were there for 7 weeks, it was great seeing family and friends, spent 5 days with Emily who I'd talked to on the phone multiple times a day and had met once before in 2004. I for sure was ready to return home to Germany by the time we did in September. We started school back up, PWOC began, soccer started up for both boys, we traveled more around Germany and Europe (went to Prague), and I had to say goodbye to my best friend B, as her and her family got stationed in Arizona, in November, by December I'd said goodbye to 2 of my other close friends and new friendships started developing and other friendships began growing. Heather quickly seemed to step in as my dearest friend.

2009-Jacob turned 8 years old. Feb. Chad came home for R&R and we went to Salzburg, Austria. That June the kids and I ventured to Italy, down to the Pisa area and stayed on the military installation Camp Darby. We went to the beach every day and played in the Sea, ate authentic Italian, went to Pisa on our last day. We began planning on Chad's redeployment home which was coming a month early...our 15 month deployment was cut down to 14 months!
We went to France, to the Normandy region and loved it and saw a great amount of France since we drove and I planned efficiently so we could stop in various cities and see different area's. We also found out that we were expecting baby #5. We went to Berlin and explored the city over a 4 day weekend as well.

There you last 10 years summed up. There was obviously a great deal more that happened in those last 10 years, emotions, feelings, travels....etc. I've went through a mother's greatest nightmare, I felt heartache and joy. I've said a temporary goodbye and buried my beautiful oldest daughter/child, after watching her fight leukemia. I gave birth to 3 beautiful children. I moved to Germany, back to the states, and back to a different part of Germany and have lived here for 4 1/2 years now, and am now expecting baby #5, the 4th since Jordyn went to Heaven. The most important thing though, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.

This coming decade I expect to be blessed with challenges. A new baby is coming in late May. More traveling Europe and Germany. Another deployment without a doubt to a different region of the world for Chad this time, most of all I know GOD will bring so much more into our lives than we can even dream of. He'll allow blessings and challenges, but all will be for HIS Glory.


He & Me + 3 said...

It is crazy when you look back how much we can go through and still move on. You did live through a mother's worst nightmare...Praising God for your three sweet babies and the miracle on the way. God is so good.
May you have a blessed year!
Stunt Man is a May baby...maybe our babies will share the same birthday:)

Bri said...

What a decade it has been for many. All your heartache and joy, all of it has led you to this day. This glorious day in which you walk heart to heart with your Savior. Sharing your decade, I pray, will help others dig a little deeper to to see those God stops and blessings in their lives. Love ya girl! Here is to a blessed 2010! :)

Missie said...

I loved this entry. I wrote about the past year but I don't think I could remember stuff from the past 10 years! LOL

Happy 2010!

Emily said...

Love, love, love this. I am so thankful to have witnessed so much of such a powerful decade in the life of such a precious family.

Only God.