On June 6 Zoey turned 2. Can you believe it? Where has the time gone? Of course I've said that on every single one of Madison's birthdays too and she just turned 9. We just did a family celebration for both of the girls. Madison wanted to go to Alabama Adventure on her birthday, May 23rd, so we went and she took a friend. It poured down rain the whole day (that's why there are no pictures because our camera is not waterproof), but she had fun anyway. For Zoey we went to the park and had a picnic, then came home played in the baby pool and then had cake. For her it was the perfect day, spending it all outside, her favorite place to be. Too bad the heat index now is 105 because it is too hot to go outside unless you have a pool, which we do not.
The week preceeding Zoey's birthday Vince and I went to Maine for a week, just the two of us. My parents kept the girls. It was a well needed and deserved vacation if I do say so myself. We had an amazing time. If you never been to Maine, you must go. It is so beautiful. The people were so nice, the places we stayed were incredible. It was wonderful. I would love to go again or become a snowbird and stay there in the summer when I retire (haha like that will ever happen). We saw 4 lighthouses, Bush's compound, we went sailing, saw some beautiful landscapes and ocean views, and had a terrible rental car experience (don't ever use Dollar). The weather was perfect, no rain, cool temperatures, and lots of outside time that was quiet, peaceful, and relaxing!
Last Sunday, June 14th, my cousin Jacob who has had a lifelong battle with a congenital heart problem passed away at the age of 21. Several of you have been following his journey on his carepage over the last few years. This is his "About Jacob" that I took from his carepage:
"Jacob was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) while in utero in the fall of 1987. After considering our limited options, we decided to fly to Philadelphia, PA and have Jacob delivered at a local hospital and then begin a three staged series of open heart surgeries at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) performed by Dr. William Norwood, who pioneered this series of surgeries.
Jacob came through each stage with minimal complications and enjoyed a "normal" childhood (if you consider regular short-term hospitalizations for caths, check-ups, pacemaker implants, and assorted other related surgeries "normal").
In the late summer of 2004, Jacob was diagnosed with Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE) which was rapidly weakening his heart. Throughout a fall of treatments and hospitalizations, Jacob's health quickly declined to a point of being placed on the heart transplant list. On December 21, a heart was found and transplanted into Jacob.
Jacob's health progressively improved and he eventually returned to regular school activities and a newly energized social life.
In the fall of 2007, Jacob began to feel weak and it was discovered that his body was rejecting his new heart. Treatments failed to stem the tide and consequently Jacob was placed on the transplant list once more. On November 15, Jacob received his second transplanted heart.
Since that time, he has once again resumed his course work at Shorter College, enjoying the college life and preparing himself for adulthood.
Update (6/19/09): After a short stay in the hospital, Jacob's health deteriorated with apparent rejection. On June 14th, following the beginning of an aggressive treatment, he went into cardiac arrest. After a valiant attempt to save his life, he was pronounced dead around 7:30pm.
On June 18th, his earthly body, with all its scars and infirmities were laid to rest and we celebrated his acquisition of a perfect body in the presence of our Lord."
Anyone who knew Jacob was touched by his incredible joy in life, his joy for life, his love of Christ and faith, and how strong he was. The most saddening part of his passing for me is that I didn't know him as well as I should've. He was my first cousin and many many people knew him better than I did. Please keep his family in your prayers during this time of healing.
For those of you who have mentioned it, I promise I'll try to update more regularly! Hope everyone is having a great summer!