Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From a Flop Summer to a Fantastic One

The official summer season is coming to an end soon, and I hate to see it go.

Our summer was pretty great this year. We made so many good memories. Some summers are just a flop for us because of medical issues with my daughter but not this year. Here's a sample of what we did.

Since my husband was working in Oklahoma part of the summer, the kids and I met him in Branson for a long weekend. We had fun swimming, watching Dolly's Stampede, playing miniature golf, and doing the normal touristy things. Here we are on a Ferris wheel.

Over summer break, Jaycee competed in our state's Special Olympics for the softball throw. It was a miserably hot time with head indexes in the triple digits. Still, it was great seeing her compete. Last year, she qualified for the state games, but she came down with a respiratory infection a few days before the games. We weren't able to go, and it was disappointing. I'm so glad she was able to compete this year. I love seeing her get to do something that showcases her abilities. Gold medal!

We made the long trip out west to see my husband in Oklahoma a few weeks later. We swam at the campground, went bowling, and explored the area. We were really happy when daddy came home later in the summer. We captured this moment near some buffalo in Oklahoma.

We went camping at a local recreational hot spot for a weekend. We played on a beach, sat outside briefly (really hot summer), and walked trails.
We had lots of easy going days at home too.

I'm sorry to bore you with a list of things we did and vacation photos, but the fact that all of it happened is really nice and really rare.

Last year, the summer was completely different. Jaycee had a respiratory infection that didn't hospitalize her, but it did take some time out of our summer and canceled our Special Olympics plans. She had a surgery at the end of June and recovered from it all the way until August. Most of the kids' summer break revolved around hospitals, medicines, and precautions last year. We felt like we did nothing fun even though we did work a few fun things in during our trips to the hospital for follow up appointments.

There have been other summers that weren't so great either. In 2015, Jaycee got sick in June. She ended up on a ventilator in ICU. That illness was severe and took some recovery time at home for several weeks as she regained her strength. Our vacation plans were canceled. We settled for simple outings at home when she was fully recovered.

We have had other summers that have revolved around surgeries or illnesses or a slew of appointments. They dictate what we do and when we do it. I try to maintain positive attitudes because my daughter being alive is the most important thing, but it's a bummer when plans have to be adjusted or we're locked away in our house in isolation while she recovers. That's why it is so nice when everything works out like it did this year.

So as I reflect back on our summer, I'm thankful. I appreciate the simple things, like making plans and keeping them because she was well. I appreciate the fact that we had freedom to do things we wanted to do and not things we settled on doing because of health issues. The hard times make you appreciate the good ones. I just hope next summer can be this good!

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