August 18 - Day 65

As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. -2 Corinthians 6:10

Last night, the nurse put a thermo vent over his trach which is replacing his trach collar. The goal is to remove his trach completely and this is part of the weaning process! He's maintaining his oxygen levels well and his secretions are clearing up. We spent 2 hours outside under the gazebo and his brother and family joined us for lunch. I've been thinking about some objects I could use to help stimulate him the past few days and was excited to have our car brought today. I made my first trip to Wal-Mart this evening and it was a struggle to be away from him. I rushed through the aisles like a whirlwind getting supplies such as balls, cars, Leap Frog piano, blocks, squirt gun, paper, foam letters, comb, whistles, weights, animal figures, balloons, hammer, wrench, marbles, metal cups, etc. and soon I had a full cart. It was an entirely different experience 105 days ago, when we pulled into the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Anchorage, Alaska. I fondly remember clinging to Dean's arm with no agenda but to love him as I floated through the aisles for the first time as his wife! Tonight, I shared with Dean that I was just investing in our future as I showed him the baby toys I picked out for him to use. A few weeks ago, I shared with him some baby names and I am waiting to hear his thoughts. I keep on dreaming of a beautiful life with him so I remind him of the life we just began together with all our hopes and dreams!  Even though Dean is a rationalist and I'm an idealist, I readily hop onto his train of logic. His trains stay on track and mine grow pontoons to float across the seas. He fascinates me in so many ways as he introduces reality into my dream world. Yet, he makes my dreams come true! He never crushes my dreams but speaks gently to them. This song comes to mind as I write about Dean. Here is a portion of "When God made you" by Newsong:

Its always been a mystery to me
How two hearts can come together
And love can last forever
But now that I have found you, I believe
That a miracle has come
When God sends the perfect one
Now gone are all my questions about why
And I've never been so sure of anything in my life

I wonder what God was thinking When He created you
I wonder if He knew everything I would need
Because He made all my dreams come true
When God made you
He must have been thinking about me

One of Dean's many hobbies is competitive shooting. A few years ago, Dean and his brother, Devin, took a memorable trip out west for a competition held near Gillette, Wyoming. The competition ended with the Golden Egg Shoot giving competitors one shot to hit a chicken egg-sized target from 500 yards away. Dean was amazed himself for being the only one to hit the Golden Egg even though he has nystagmus which makes it visually hard for him to focus on objects at a far distance. (The target is pictured above.) Often times, when we drive in the car I read the street signs. I've never liked the word "lucky" in terms of fortunate chance for I rather view life in light of God's providence and blessings. Dean and I would talk about the meanings of words, faith, and ideas that define our lives. A few months ago, we discussed "luck" and he shared this phrase, " Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" -Seneca. He constantly challenged me to grow in knowledge. Dean really prepared for that shooting competition and put hours into practicing. He excels at focusing on any given task and perfecting his ability to accomplishment it. Dean is very familiar with handling, detailing, and cleaning guns along with reloading ammunition. Since he can't play with his real guns, I bought him a small squirt gun in hopes of him recognizing a familiar object. I explained what it was and placed it in his right hand. He pulled the trigger with his index finger several times. It was exciting to see him do this on his own. My goal is to see him pull the trigger on command. His attention span is short so I take advantage of whatever time he seems awake. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. -Galatians 6:10

Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.   
--Art Buchwald

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
--Sir Francis Bacon


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