My grandfather served in World war II, and so there were 2 soldiers there who honored him. I’ve never been to a funeral service for a veteran , it was quite the experience! Watching those 2 men fold up the flag with precision and respect was very moving! Then one marched off 50 feet away to play the trumpet,… it was amazing! For some reason it made me cry!
I have been very at peace with his passing, and have not really cried over it because he has lived a long fabulous life. So it surprised me that this military service effected me so much!
It was very beautiful!
My grandfather was an amazing man! I don’t know of anyone who could say a negative word about him!
He always had amazing vigor, even at his age! I remember visiting him one day when his friend came by and told us that it was the first year he had not played golf with my grandpa. He had just turned 90 and decided it was time to quit! I was amazed!
As a young child I didn’t realize he was not my biological grandpa. He always treated all of us with such love and tenderness, there was just no question about it… he was my grandpa!
I have so many fond memories of going to his house to visit him and grandma! They had toys we could play with, and even arcade games in the basement. My grandma let us play with her old hats and old gaudy jewelry, which entertained us for hours on end! It was always fun to visit grandma and grandpas house!
And of coarse we can’t forget his candy dish on the counter, that was always full of goodies! We always felt welcome in his home! Their home just radiated with love!
Christmas time was always an especially fond time at grandma and grandpa’s house! They always had fun gifts that were things that showed that he knew us and loved us! We almost always got something silly too! So that was fun!
I can honestly say I don’t remember any specific gifts, it was never about the “stuff” we got, it was more about the warm fuzzies we got.
I know its probably not good to put people up on a pedestal, but in my eyes, that’s where he has always been!
Every time I visited my grandparents house, he always expressed how proud he was of me, I will always remember how he made me feel!
Over the past few months grandma and grandpa had to move out of their wonderful home into a retirement home, and that is the only time I have ever seen him unhappy! I could see and even feel his anxiety over it, but it needed to happen! My poor sweet grandma was no longer able to care or herself, and he was becoming frail enough that he could no longer care for her himself, and I’m sure that was a large part of his anxiety over needing a retirement home. Losing ones independence can be devastating!
Then he stressed over the well being of his sweet wife, which caused him to suffer physically.
Then when my grandma’s health improved they were finally back in the same place together, he was finally happy again! Their love was very tender to see!
The way that they loved each other was deeply moving and inspiring!
I love my grandfather and will miss him very much!
It has been a long hard journey for us these past 3 months!
Now, with a little perspective, I want to recap the ordeal our little Kiera has gone through.
(CLICK ANY IMAGE TO GET A LARGER VIEW. THEN CLICK AGAIN TO CLOSE IMAGE)
The very first week in March Kiera got a high fever of 104 and slept for 2 days. Then she started to feel better on the 3rd day, so we planned on taking her to school the next morning. I woke her up, and told her to get up and shower, and the moment she put her legs on the floor she screamed and started to cry and shout that her legs hurt.
Mark and I monitored her for a couple days, then we took her to Primary Childrens Hospital. She stayed there through the whole day, and they told us that the blood work showed she had a very high build up of enzymes in her legs due to a rare reaction to Influenza B. They put her on IV fluids to help flush it from her system.
About 4 days later she was back on her feet and doing fine! That next week was her birthday and baptism. We were so grateful that she was walking for her baptism!
Then 2 weeks after that she got a small virus, basic small cold, and as we sat in sign language class she leaned over to me and told me her legs were hurting like when she couldn’t walk. Then within just a couple minutes she was crying.
So, back to Primary Childrens Hospital we go! Another full day of tests & IV’s. This time it didn’t seem to be the same thing. It was a little different from the first time.
Test after test after test and the doctors seemed more and more perplexed.
They ended up giving it the name “Post infectious neuropathy”. Which, when we got a second opinion we were told that it basically means unexplained nerve pain.
We ended up going to the Hospital about 7 or 8 times in this 3 month span, and most of those times after the tests they ran came back negative, they would say “Go home, and in a few days if she isn’t getting better, or is getting worse, bring her back”.
Her school teacher was amazing through all of this! She made a couple different visits to our home. The first one she brought a care package with a book series called Junie B. Jones, coloring books, activity books, crayons, markers, and goodies.
She also brought a HUGE poster board card that the entire class made for her!
This card she kept close to her for over a couple weeks, and looked over each name a few times a day. And she showed everyone who came into the house her very special card!
She also brought a couple different bouquets of very nice flowers for her!
This teacher has really gone above and beyond what any normal teacher would do!
I am amazed at everything she has been through! She has had 10 IV/blood draws, an MRI, 2 x-rays, a bone scan, and a painful & traumatizing set of tests in the neurology department!
Kiera had been in “home hospital” during this time, and was getting a tutor coming to the house twice a week to help her with school. Then we were told she could qualify for a program that would help her get into school with the help of an aid to get her into restrooms and whatever else she was in need of. So, we got her qualified through the school district, and she started school on a Monday. Tuesday she was starting a physical therapy session at school, that the school district provided, along with a child size wheel chair for her to use. (Talk about Rockin Awesome-sauce! What a school!!!!!!)
Then, Wednesday after school Kiera was doing light stretching at home in the evening, and for some reason when she was stretching at home, she was suddenly hit with severe pain in her legs that made her scream!! And at the same time she was struck with a severe head ache, nausea and dizziness. This lasted 3 weeks.
With this head ache stuff she got, she could not sit up.
When she needed to sit up, to use the bathroom, she would cringe and cry because of the amount of pain it caused her little head! We would carry her into the bathroom in a cradle position to try to reduce the time she had to spend sitting up.
The doctors sent in a prescription for a medication that is a anti nausea and migraine combo. We are unsure if it was actually doing anything, but we kept it up.
She was also on a medication for her neuropathy. We think that was doing her good!
She still had a desire to be part of what was going on, and wanted to be able to have fun. As long as she stayed laying down she seemed to feel ok. A couple times we carried her outside onto a blanket with pillows, so she could be with the puppies when we started taking them outside to play in the grass.
The kids all wanted to play Wii Band Hero, so we found a way for her to be involved too.
Every now and then Kiera would have partial days where she could sit up without a lot of pain. She still would suffer from head ache and upset tummy, but she would take those opportunities to try to be a normal kid again.
On one of these days Kiera’s teacher gave Kiera another care package. It was HUGE! It was full of another book series to do with Fairies, and more art activities she could do, laying down, over the summer. Wow she was SO excited!
A couple weeks ago our bishopric came into our home and assisted Mark in giving Kiera a blessing. Before they left they asked if we would feel comfortable if the ward held a fast on Kiera’s behalf. We were very touched, and honored! So, they announced it in church that Sunday, and then the next week was fast Sunday.
At this point Kiera had 4 good days in a row. The most she’d had since her head ache thing. Her legs have been improving! Not as much pain, and she has taken the opportunity to try to walk whenever she can. We have found her little legs & ankles are weak. I bought ankle braces for her because she hurt both her ankles on different days trying to walk. So this is very encouraging for all of us to see her on her feet!!! It has made me cry on occasion to see her on her feet! I’m filled with excitement mixed with a stress relief feeling that over flows into my eyes! :)
Sunday morning we woke up and Kiera was again struck with the head ache that kept her flat in bed.
I stayed home with Kiera, and Mark and Savannah went to church.
I was So sad, and worried because it seemed as though she was finally over the head ache thing, and then BAM, it was there again!
That morning Kiera slept till 10am, which also worried me too!
When she got up, she said she only had a small head ache. I was surprised!
All morning I felt sad that I was not able to make it to church to be a part of this special event for Kiera, but I felt as though I could feel the prayers of the whole ward even though I was at home. It like I had been drinking hot chocolate, I was warm inside, and feeling calm and relaxed! To say I felt ‘warm fuzzies’ is an understatement!
By afternoon the head ache was gone!
Mark and Savannah came home from church, and shared with us stories of how many people share their concern and love for Kiera, and how every prayer that was said included our sweet Kiera. Even in primary every child that prayed included Kiera in it.
Mark and I were so moved! Our spirits were lifted, and we felt a sense of hope, that we had not had in a long time! We felt that all would be well!
It’s hard to put to words what we felt that whole day! We could definitely feel everyone’s love and prayers! It was a very special experience for our whole family!
I know that the prayers offered by all those people in our lives have made a huge difference for Kiera!
Thanks everyone for your love, prayers and support!
We have truly been lifted up through the love of others!
Also thanks to EVERYONE who has made special efforts to help Savannah get some special attention during this ordeal! She had a few friendly “kidnappings” where she got to go out and do special things with special people in our lives! It was VERY good for her!
THANK YOU ALL!!!
We talked to her pediatrician who said that if its not gone, or better, by Saturday to take her to Primary Children’s Hospital for blood tests.
Kiera and I spent all day at Primary Children’s, and no answers.
A few days ago we had some blood work done to test for Lime Disease. She has MANY of the symptoms I researched, so it was a possibility to check for, even though its rare in Utah.
Today the results came in, and its negative for Lime Disease. But the pediatrician stressed that there are often false negatives or false positives. So…. where we go from here is a complete mystery!
They did approve a cute little walker for her, it has a seat in the middle for her to sit, but you can’t use it as a wheel chair, because if you hit the smallest crack she flips backwards, and the adult pushing her falls on top of her. Yes… I have done this!
She likes to be able to get outside and go for walks, so my friend lent us an adult wheel chair and it has been VERY liberating for both Kiera and I!
She LOVES to get in the wheel chair and push the wheels herself to get herself around. As soon as we got it, she immediately found a new sense of freedom that really lifted her spirits!
This morning I took Kiera to her class for a quick visit. She hasnt seen most of her friends in 5 weeks, and she has really missed them! Plus it gave me the chance to see how wheel chair friendly the school would be for the possibility of getting her back into the class room.
We got into her classroom just before school started, and the teacher, after giving her a VERY warm welcome, found a desk that would work well with a wheel chair. Then she started talking about how much she has missed her in class, and how much her friends have missed her.
Then the bell rang, and all the kids started pouring in.
I was completely overwhelmed at the welcome that she received by her class mates!
ALL the girls ran up to her with the biggest, warmest grins on their faces, and embraced her with the most tender hugs! “Kiera I’ve missed you! I’m SO happy to see you! Are you staying today?” Those were some of the things we were hearing from her friends.
So, when she got surrounded by these adorable friends, all showering her with love, I totally lost it and started crying. I tried REALLY hard not to cry, but I just couldn’t help it. I got some funny looks from some of the kids too. hehe
The teacher had Kiera at the front of the class and tried to get her to talk about how she has been, what she does with her time, and how her legs feel. But with every question the teacher asked, Kiera would get a little pink in the cheeks and shrug her shoulders shyly.
Then she gave the kids a chance to raise their hands and ask Kiera questions they had. She actually answered these! hehe
After this fun visit, we went to the office and talked to the receptionists there who were very excited to see her! We also got to talk to the principal, who has been trying to find out if Kiera qualifies for a program that would allow Kiera to come back to school, and they would assign her an aid to be with her and help her around in the wheel chair. So we talked about the process, and what we both need to be doing to keep the process going.
A couple hours after I got home I got a call from the district, and Kiera has now been approved!! WAHOO!
Monday I meet with a district lady at the school, and hopefully they will have an aid hired so that she can be trained for all of Kiera’s needs.
She told me that the aid might actually be a physical therapists assistant, and she said that they will be having this aid give 15-20 minutes of physical therapy to her at the school. Just having her do simple movements and things to help encourage her progress!
Oh, AND when I told the lady from the district that the bathrooms might be tight, because her wheel chair is an adult chair, she said “Oh, well, I’ll bring a childs wheel chair for her to use and take home for as long as she needs it!”
At this point my chin dropped to the floor, and my excitement was through the roof!!!!
So, Monday Kiera might actually be able to have a full day at school with her friends!
Every night for at least a week, if not the entire time Kiera has been hurting, I have had dreams that really match my stresses.
For example; one night I dreamed that I took Savannah to school, tired and emotionally drained, I went to the front office to tell them Kiera wouldn’t be there again. As I told them this, I heard Kiera call to me. She was walking, slowly with a bit of a limp, to me saying she had finally been able to start walking. I was SO happy and relieved I started crying and ran up and hugged her.
Every single night, its either one dream, or dream after dream about Kiera finally being out of pain, and being able to walk.
So, from this I can see how much the stress of this situation has effected me!
This morning Kiera told me she had “Wonderful dreams”! She then told me that in her dream she was able to go back to school, and how much fun it was! And in her other dream she said she was flying, and how Great it felt!
From this I can see how the stress of her situation is coming out! I can see that she wants to go back to school, and that she is tired of being couch and bed bound! (Who wouldn’t be sick and tired of that!)
Over the years, I have read a couple of books about dream interpretations. Now keeping in mind that it’s all guess work, and not an exact science, I found it interesting that flying seems to be the minds way of dealing with and getting relief from the stress in life.
Have you ever dreamed of flying?
I used to have those dreams ALL the time, especially in high school! It was the most freeing euphoric feeling I have ever felt! It filled my entire being with such care free joy and excitement, in that moment Everything was wonderful!
With that in mind, thinking about sweet little Kiera, and all the pain she has gone through these past 2 weeks, it breaks my heart to think about it!
She has been so strong, and has acted like life is just fine, other then the fact that she can’t walk, and is in pain all the time…..
She is so brave and strong!
She gives me such strength, watching her little body go through all this!
For those of you who don’t know, the latest update on her is we were told she might have something called “post infectious neuropathy” Basically nerve pain/problems, due to an infection she had in her body when sick.
Recovery time, unknown at this point. Possibly a couple weeks to a few months.