Friday, August 29, 2014

10 years of heartache, 10 years full of hope, 10 years of pictures, 10 years of God's amazing strength

Luke's 1 year old picture done right before his 1st Birthday

This blog post has been very challenging to write, looking through all our pictures from the last 10 years to pick out the one's that I posted was not an easy job. I was sobbing at one point while I remembered all the memories from those blessed days before his accident and through out all the days that followed after that fateful day. 

I often tell people that if I could go back and change the day Luke drowned of course I would, the heart ache and pain we've all experienced in watching Luke go from a healthy little guy to a medically fragile boy has been excruciating at times. But then again I think I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for Luke's accident. I don't think I could go back to being who I was before that nightmare day, not that I was a bad person, but I would never know Jesus like I know him now, I wouldn't have met all the amazing people that I've met through these years, I wouldn't have become the advocate that I've become for those that are similar to Luke, I wouldn't have the faith that I have because of the hours I've spent in prayer, I wouldn't of known the generosity of so many people that have given our family so much, I wouldn't be involved at our hospital like I am now, I wouldn't be on the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council that I'm a part of now, I would of never started this blog that has opened up doors to so many friendships through the years. . .  I realize that's a lot about who I am today and I know that life is not all about ME!! I have learned to comfort those that walk the same journey we walk with an empathy that I never would of never understood before, I had never even seen a child with a trach let alone had one in our family, these things have changed all our family for the good. I also believe that Luke has a special spirit that is inside of him, people love being near him, he draws people to his side, I really believe they sense Jesus living through Luke, which may of never happened if he hadn't gone through the suffering he's experienced.

I know that I know that I know that without God's amazing strength and help I wouldn't be writing this blog anymore, I've gone through times of great grief, times where I've shouted at the top of my lungs to God, shouted why God, when God, are you still there God, do you hear me God . . . There have been many times that I have completely surrendered Luke to God believing in my heart that God was going to take him to Heaven, while at the same time knowing that God is able to raise Luke up to walk and talk again at any second. I love Luke for who he is today, as a friend of mine said recently I don't let Luke's handicap dictate who he is, we talk to him like any other person, we include him in places that we go, we've always tried to keep him a part of our family without always making him the center of our family which has not always been easy. That said, while I love him for who he is, I will NEVER, EVER stop praying for him to be completely healed here on earth, many of us in our family pray every single day for Luke to walk again and talk again, for his brain to be completely healed and restored to perfection. I can not stop believing that God is the God who heals, for I know that the Bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, the same God who raised Lazereth from the dead, healed the blind eyes, opened the deaf ears, is the same God I serve today. I know he is able to do ALL things!!

There have been many times that I feel like giving up, I've been so very tired and worn out, but I'm so thankful to say that God has always been by my side filling me up with His amazing strength, he is faithful to do what we ask. I wonder at times why Luke's healing is taking so long to happen and then I think of how far Luke has come. I would encourage you faithful friends that have prayed for Luke all these years to not give up on Luke's miracle or for that fact your miracle. We all have something in our life that seems impossible, but I know that I know I serve a God that does the impossible!!
Luke enjoying his 1st and only Birthday cake he's ever eaten
Luke playing in some rocks a month before his accident
Our family in Mexico a few weeks before his accident. We were picking up Daniel, Amy and Natalie after a missions trip they had just finished.

This is the last thing I remember Luke doing before he was found dead in our pool, he loved to read books. He still loves listening to books to this day and will tell us by yelling if it's a book he's not enjoying.
Luke at Disneyland a few weeks before his accident

Luke loved to swim, this was a few days before his accident

A day after his accident before he had a trach put in

This was his last picture before his trach surgery

He's still in the PICU right after his tracheotomy surgery

Here he is leaving the hospital after his month stay
2005 a year later sitting in our trailer getting ready to go camping for the first time after his accident

2006 His first smile after his accident while we were in California getting ready to go to Magic Mountain

2007 his first time to Sunday school

2008 at the YMCA playing soccer in his new wheel chair stroller

2009 He's getting bigger

2010 No front teeth, we are at one of his many appointments, this one was up at Seattle Children's Hospital
2010 A Christmas photo for the calendar Amy made that year

2011 One of the many times he had pneumonia that year
2012 Luke's first time back to Mexico after his accident
Luke at Mt. Rainier
January 2012 Lily reading a book to Luke in the PICU, he was very sick with the flu
After being on the design committee for the Mary Bridge Hospital new pediatric wing I was asked to speak at the grand opening, here we all are in front of one of the beautiful murals
Luke had surgery on his knees to get them to bend once again after not bending for 8 years, the surgery was a success the healing process took months of open wounds and we just received a bill from the hospital for $1642 because his insurance refused to pay for the wound vac that finally helped to close up his leg wounds. After spending  hours on the phone I believe I've finally gotten that bill taken care of thank goodness. If I got a dime for every hour I've spent on the phone trying to take care of medical bills over the last 10 years I would be a very rich lady indeed.
Our family received free tickets to a Mariners game where we got to go onto the field
2013 Carefree days camping
January 2014 Luke began this year once again in the PICU this time on the vent after giving us a huge scare on January 1st, thankfully he only spent 2 days on the vent, the flu lasted 3 very long weeks which resulted in an additional stay in the hospital, not a great way to begin the year.
Luke at one of the many appointments he's had this year
Luke's best vacation ever, first time since his accident he didn't get sick at all, it was AMAZING!!!
Luke right after his ankle surgery, which he is still recovering from to this day

Luke today, he's smiles, he laughs, he cries, he lets us know what he likes and what he doesn't by yelling at us if he doesn't like the show he's watching or the book he's listening too. He's been pretty healthy lately, once he recovered from his recent surgery. We feel so blessed to have him here with us after the scare he gave us at the beginning of the year.

Luke's journey these past few years have been made easier by so many, thank you to each one of you that has faithfully prayed. Thank you to my wonderful husband who has been by my side through the nightmare nights and the horrible days, for continuing to get up to go to work everyday to provide for our family so that I could be Luke's full time care giver all these years. Thank you to each of Luke's siblings that have always gone the extra mile in helping to care for Luke, thank you to my sister Cindy who has helped care for Luke, going the extra mile to learn and take classes on being one of his caregivers, also Alexis, Jonathan, Susan, Nicole and Savanna, you have all made my life so much easier with your compassionate care to Luke over these many years. Thank you Mom and Dad for your never ending prayers, thank you Yoli and Juan for opening your home to keep Luke over night many times over the years so that Gordy and I can have a much needed break, thank you to the staff at Mary Bridge Hospital we have always received the most amazing care at the hospital and the clinics there. Thank you Joe and Rena, Pam and Hal for your generous donations at the beginning of our journey to help pay for all the extra medical expenses and to so many others that generously donated to our family, for the meals, the help with the remodel, the many times you helped with our other children. The danger in saying thank you's is there are always going to be some people that you miss, I apologize if I've missed you, we are truly blessed by so many in our lives. May God richly bless each and every one of you!!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

PS I realize that I don't blog often, I will be truthful to say I use Facebook more then the blog. If you want more up to date updates on Luke and our family just ask to be my friend on Facebook, if you can't find me e-mail me at and I will ask you to be my friend.

PSS Last but not least I recently asked people on Facebook to write Luke a card/letter to let him know that you are still praying for him after these many years. Luke and our family has been blessed by receiving cards of encouragement from quite a few people that are still praying for Luke, thank you to those that have taken a minute to write, we really appreciate each one of you! We'd love to hear from you too, if you have a minute to send Luke a card we'd love to receive it:-)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

If it's true that a picture can say a 1,000 words then this post is the longest post I've ever made because it's basically all pictures

For my 50th Birthday I wanted to spend the day in Paris, I got my wish I spent 10 hours in Paris on my way to Denmark with my sister Cindy to visit my brother Ray and his wife Lis.
I can honestly say that while I enjoyed our time in Paris it was way too fast. We didn't even have time to have some of the wonderful food you usually have when you visit Paris.
Lis and I on a walk through the dunes on the way to the North Sea
In the middle of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, it was amazing to see the two Sea's intersect

Bud, Lis and Cindy at a beautiful lighthouse, that is sadly falling into the North Sea.

Bud and Lis
It was still light at midnight, it does something to your mind to have it light that late.

We went to a deer park in Aarhus. Do you see that white deer it was an albino, I've never seen anything like that before.
On one of them many walk/hikes we went on, behind us is the Baltic Sea
One week after getting back from Denmark our family took off on a camping trip to Oregon. We had so much fun at Mt. Hood, OR. We spent one day at Skibowl which was a total blast for the kids.

Luke went on quite a few 4 wheeling trips through the woods and on the beach, this was a river at the campground we stayed at in Mt. Hood

We discovered a new beach Cape Kwanda in Oregon
We spent some time in Newport one of our all time favorite places. Luke was so healthy our whole trip, the first time I remember going on a vacation where he did not get sick once and he actually went swimming at least 6 or 7 times.
Amy and Lance joined us in Seaside and we had a great time down at the beach in Gearheart, we actually got a small baseball game going.

We built a huge bonfire down on the beach in Seaside for the 4th of July, getting Luke down there was by far the most challenging places we went to as the sand was very deep.

We went to visit Cape Meares Light house
More highlights of our vacation. I especially love the top picture of Luke in our van, I caught both Lily and Ezekiel holding his hands at the same time, the smile on his face was priceless.

After we got back from vacation Luke had a bunch of specialist appointments scheduled, thankfully they all went well with good news at some of those appointments.

3 days after getting home Luke had surgery scheduled to have the tendons in his ankles released to help his feet to loosen up so that we could stop his feet from pointing up towards his legs.

This is him right after the surgery we went home about 8 hours after the surgery, which I thought was a good idea until we got home and he began crying on and off through out the entire night. He had to wear these casts for 6 weeks, what was I thinking to have this done during one of the hottest summers we've ever had.
The kids had some friends over after one of the days they spent at VBS,they all signed Luke's casts:-)  There is also some pictures of Luke at PT, he was having so much fun playing with another little guy there.

My sisters Jill and Lori and Lori's grand daughter along with Lily and all went for a walk at Chambers Bay

Luke's casts filled up with signatures and pictures
Luke ended up with pneumonia after his surgery, I'm pretty sure it was due to the fact that he was sedated for 2 hours during his surgery, he was back on oxygen 24/7 for quite a few weeks. He is just now getting back to not needing the oxygen all the time.

Gordy and I celebrated our 31st anniversary by going out to dinner in Steilacoom and then went for a walk down to the waterfront to watch the sunset.

Me and my precious grandson Iwan on Daniel's birthday.
Daniel and Sarah celebrating their birthdays together.

My Parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary
Here is Luke and Penelope hanging out together
After dropping off Ezekiel at camp, Lily and her friend Ellie and I went to Crescent Lake
The kids and I plus some friends went on a hike up at Mt. Rainier, it was a gorgeous day!
Our family was invited to a 70's Party. Luke got a new wheelchair but the specifications on it were all wrong so we are waiting for them to order a new one, which will be a good thing because he has out grown his current one.

Natalie, Abigail and I went up to visit Daniel, Sarah, Penelope and Iwan one of the days that Natalie and Abigail were here for a wedding that Natalie was a bridesmaid in. It was wonderful day, which ended with a walk to Sunset Park in Ballard to see the Sunset.

Luke finally got his casts off, as you can see by the picture on the top Luke was ready, but after getting them off he screamed and cried for close to an hour, it was heartbreaking to hear. He is finally getting better, I think today was the first day he didn't have any crying.

The kids and I went to the beach for the day, it was a very foggy cold day, but we had a good time in spite of the bad weather.
Luke's first outing after getting his casts off. He did pretty good only cried once.


I'm actually planning to write another blog very soon as we are coming up on Luke's 10 year anniversary of his near drowning accident.

Luke's Mommy Sue