Yesterday we participated in the Annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. Our team, henley's heroes, raised approx. $3,500.00 (and still counting!) and we could not be happier. Despite a tornado touching down approx. 15 miles from us, the rain and storms held out for the Walk and the day was a complete success. We even had bursts of sunshine, which I know was from all the angels above looking down over us. Courtney, Brandon and I were asked to speak once again during the Opening Ceremonies. As difficult as it was, we were honored and we will continue to do all we can to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for this disease.
Walks are held all across the US and I ask anyone who reads this to donate to their local chapter and help us by supporting their efforts in care and a cure.
Today Courtney turns 21 - where does time go?! Amidst all the sadness these last few months, I am reminded of how blessed I am to have two wonderful children.
Like all moms I can remember the day like it was yesterday. My due date was August 28th and I was almost 2 weeks late. I was scheduled for a non-stress test the day she was born. Mike had left for work and almost immediately after he left, I started having contractions. I called his office and he had to turn around and come back home. It was raining that morning and I was concerned about Mike driving home - he was so excited and ready to meet our newborn. I got to the doctor about 10 a.m., was told I was only 3 centimeters, that I should go home, drink plenty of water and walk ALOT and come back at 12:30. When I got back to the office I was 5 cm and was told to go across the street to the hospital to be admitted and get ready. Mike made calls to everyone who had been as anxious as we were. Because I was two weeks late, I actually changed the recording on my voice mail each day to tell callers that nothing had happened yet. Now we were finally able to let everyone know "it" was happening.
After a few hours, I was given an epidural and the labor pains subsided. I remember my labor nurse telling me that I was the "strong stoic" type. I had not said a word or yelled in pain - compared to the woman in the room down the hall who sounded as though she was giving birth to an elephant. I remember Mike and the doctor watching TV while I was having contractions and being really angry about that. Seriously. Mike made fun of me when I had to push and I was so scared when I couldn't feel my legs for quite some time after the birth. I was petrified that the feeling wouldn't come back and I kept looking for reassurance from the doctors and nurses.
My family all came up to the hospital to see Courtney. The staff wheeled her past them in the bassinet as they took her up to the nursery. I remember Mike being very emotional that his parents were not there to share this most joyous moment with him. I remember being even more hurt for Mike that despite living only two blocks away from the hospital, neither his Uncle, Brother and sister-in-law or Grandmother did not come up to the hospital that night to be with him. Little did I realize then that this was just the beginning of Mike not hearing from his family (During the course of his 11 years being sick, both his brothers only came to visit him once and his Uncle and Grandmother also only once). I realized that no matter how happy Mike was with seeing his newborn daughter, it could not take away the sadness he felt knowing his parents were not there to meet their granddaughter.
Courtney was born on 9/5/91 at 7:14 pm. We were, and continue to be, so very blessed!