With this post is a pic of my family. They are the ones who stood by me and basically carried both Kristen and I for the last 8 months. As Kristen and I spent most of the 8 months in the hospital...they were the ones who were left without a mother and a wife. They were the ones left with a sick sister and daughter. I was blessed to have 6 children. Katy is 28 married to Charlie and has 3 beautiful children. Rick is 25 married to Lisa and has 2 children (sara was born 2 weeks before the picture) Kristen in next and is 23 followed by Kamie who is 20 then comes Kim 18 and Ryan finishes up our family at 15. Richard and I have been married for almost 30 years. Richard never complained over the last 8 months, (I wish I could say the same for myself) He woke early everyday, made sure Ryan was on the bus then off to work he would go. He worked all day, came home, showered and drove the 30 minutes to the hospital. He then would stay sometimes till 11 at night then venture home to reach bed by midnight then start all over again the next day. Kamie and Kim soon became Ryan's mom, getting him to football and then baseball, getting him something to eat and then making sure his homework was done. Kamie and Kim also kept the house, picked up groceries and never did they miss a day of coming to the hospital for a visit. This time was hard for Katy and Rick as they both wanted to visit, but having small children, we decided it would be best for Kristen if the kids stayed away at least while her counts were low. I could go on and on about my amazing family, I just want them to know how much I appreciated how they all stood tall and did much more than was expected of them. We as a family are changed...forever changed. We stood shoulder to shoulder doing what we knew had to be done. Living in the moment and taking steps into the darkness knowing that we would be led...and led we were.
A quick note about the pictures. Kristen had just finished round 1 of chemo and had spent the last 6 weeks in the hospital. We were all together for my mothers birthday and I felt it was important that we get a picture of all of us together. As you can see we are quite a bunch of clowns, especially Ryan, no one was really happy with the way they looked, nevertheless, we are all together in the picture. I had the pic made big and it made each trip to the hospital where Kristen could look at it often.