When somebody sees him for the first time, they are always amazed at how well he is doing. They always say it is due to the MANY prayers being said. I couldn't agree more and tell them that they are being heard and answered on a daily basis. We continue to feel God's loving touch on our lives and are reminded daily that he is in control. We have been so blessed. Even though we continue to do things on a daily basis that separates us from God, He continually forgives us because that is what He does!
Kathy Asbury and Beth Griffin have planned a benefit for Hayden that is quickly approaching. I have tried to stay out of it and have tried to not bring it up, but I have to mention just how wonderful people are and how God has been working in them. When they first asked us about it the day of Hayden's surgery, it was going to be a softball tournament. Well, due to some amazing people (MANY to be exact), the benefit took on a life of its own and people were jumping out of the woodwork to help plan the benefit and wrangle up some entertainment. Before we knew it, it was a full-blown K of C BBQ! Not really, but it was very humbling to see what people were wanting to do. It has since been scaled back and will be held at the Columbus Road Kidzone in a week and a half. It will be a more intimate gathering and Kelsea and I still plan to pay it forward as much as we can.
This past year has really put things in to perspective. There have been so many times when we felt like we had things so rough or that things were not going the best for us. However, we usually just had to leave Hayden's room in the hospital and we would pass 15 families/patients in 30 seconds who had it so much worse. There were patients in the PICU (where he was for 11 nights after his surgery) that will never leave. There were families in there who will never get to hear their child talk because of breathing tubes or other issues. Kelsea and I would get down on ourselves and feel sorry for ourselves at times, but we would quickly be grounded. We discussed the benefit (many nights) and what people were wanting to do for our family. We felt guilty because even though there have been many medical costs and future bills, there were still so many people who have bigger issues than we do. God has definitely showed us generosity over the past year and we have pledged to pay it forward and show others the love and generosity that He has shown us.
Before I leave you with some pictures, I want to ask for a special request. Hayden, Kelsea, and I have some special "online" friends in Washington and they have spent more time in the hospital than what any parents wants to do in a lifetime. I know it is part of God's plan, but I ask that you say a prayer today for Ryan, Carly, and Gavin Christiansen today and ask that it be God's will that Gavin be released from the hospital and be able to start eating and breathing without support. Gavin was born just shy of two months after Hayden and he has had a rough go with things. I take comfort in knowing that once this passes, they will be able to accomplish anything. However, they are also due for some quality family time at home again and away from the hospital. I have a feeling that Hayden and Gavin will get to hang out and play with each other one day in the not so distant future!
I honestly don't know when the next time a post will show up, so hopefully this one will hold you over for quite awhile. I enjoy writing and telling Hayden's story, but I would also rather spend my free time playing with him! Sorry, but he takes a little priority. Until next time, I will leave you with some pictures that may create your own "flashbulb memory."