What a week... Since the previous note (Can I get an AMEN!?) we have really been through some difficult things. About a week ago we received the type of news many people dread receiving. The type of news that I have received once before, but long ago. "Mom's dead"... To hear my wife say these words, after speaking to her father on the phone last week, was excruciating. We don't really have any information regarding the cause, the initial autopsy showed no cause. Vicky (I called her Vic) was in good health as far as we knew. We have really been struggling the past week (in Illinois) as we mourn together with each other and with many family and friends. It hurts... we feel knocked down. Alison's mom has been one of the people to fill a void that was left after I lost my mom as a teenager. Early on, as a friend of the family, she was this incredible woman who treated me like one of her own. Now after being married to her daughter and fathering her grandchildren there is no doubt she had filled that void for me. An AMAZING woman and mom! Kayla and Lydia have had the most incredible grandmother in the short time they had her. They, and Malia, will be missing out on years of joy they should have experienced with her. The memorial service took place yesterday and highlighted her life of faith. God was definitely center stage in Vic's life. The belief that Jesus died for her's and for all's sin gave her the hope, during her time here, that everlasting life awaited her once done on earth. That time has come, and now we push on with that same belief and hope. God please give us the strength.
We're trying really hard not to lose sight of the rejoicing which was taking place in that previous post. We received word a few days ago that Malia was still having difficulty with feeding. As a result they had an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist check her out in case there are problems with her vocal cords. In the exam they observed paralysis on one side and possibly the other side as well. The vocal cords play a role in the swallowing process, so this explains her slowness when bottle feeding. As a follow-up they scheduled an MRI to find out if the paralysis is related to the brain in any way. We have not yet received the official report from the MRI, but we did receive a preliminary call from the doctor today sharing some information with us. The two things we heard were that Malia does actually have cysts in her brain. The doc said that the size was not causing any great concern to them right now. Also noted was that they observed underdevelopment of the brain. The brain is expected, at this point, to extend to the edge of the skull and that is not the case for Malia according to the MRI. The doctors hope, and ours, is that her brain will continue to grow and develop during the next month. We still wait for more information from the full analysis of the MRI, but yea this new info isn't easy for me to swallow right now.