Monday, April 18, 2011

Gloriously Ruined

I love a good story.
I love a great blog.
And I love to see how God moves people in such a way that their life is never the same. The life of comfort and ease that they have grown accustomed to is changed . . . it's ruined . . . gloriously ruined.

Our family has several friends that have had their lives ruined forever. One family has just returned from South Africa where they served faithfully for the last 2 years at Ft. White. And another family just returned from Ethiopia where they were able to put "skin" on their dreams when they got to see their new daughter for the first time. And the other is a young single woman who is devoted her life to caring for orphans in Uganda - we've never met her, but her blog and story has moved us.

So for Philip and Becky, Eric and Laura, and Mandy, I write this for you.

You have been gloriously ruined. You will never take for granted a paved road, a stocked grocery store, consistent electricity, a full tank of gas (even at $4/gallon). You will never see life through the rose-colored, self-centered, materialistic lens that have become so comfortably ensconced on the faces of most Americans. You now realize that the pursuit of the "American Dream" is a bit useless when the rest of world has so little to call their very own. And when you look at people, you no longer see the color of their skin, but only the light in their eyes.

You now know that it doesn't matter how much dirt you can carry in on your shoes at the end of the day - cleanliness is NOT next to godliness, but godliness is wrapped in how willing we are to get dirty.

You have taught me that God moves in very mysterious ways. Sometimes that includes selling all you have to move to South Africa for several years; sometimes that means opening up your heart and home to child on the other side of the world; sometimes it means caring for children and babies with HIV and bringing home one more baby to care for when your house is already full.

You have been willing to put up discomfort, pain, financial difficulty, (home)sickness, and loss of all the comforts that I so easily enjoy. You have even had days without a consistent, high-speed connection to the internet. And yet, you survived, you persevered, you learned, and you have grown. And I would wager that the life and dreams you thought you had so gloriously planned for yourself (and family) has been ruined because you answered one simple question. You said "Yes" when God said "Go!"

You have taught me that life is meant to be ruined . . . gloriously ruined for the sake of following Christ and not following self.

Philip and Becky - I know you have left a part of your heart in South Africa. But the example you have shown of a family that is fully sold out to God has changed lives all over the world.

Eric and Laura - I eagerly anticipate the day that your beautiful daughter is in your arms forever.

Mandy - I have never met you, but your words/pictures and dedication to the orphans in Uganda breaks my heart every time. You are the hands and feet of Jesus in a world full of disease and poverty.

Thank you for reminding me that's what life is all about.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Quiet Evening

This is one of those busy months. It seems like we have something almost every night for the last week and coming up for the next few weeks. With Titus in the hospital last week, then the wedding over the weekend, this week was looking to be packed every evening.

But Becky re-arranged her GEMS meeting to next Tuesday so that we could have tonight off. . . just family . . . with nowhere we had to be. I left work earlyl to make sure I get home early enough to enjoy the evening (althougth I did have to stop at the bank and the dry cleaners). I walk in and dinner is out on the back porch - pork chops, rice, and broccoli were a perfect complement to the 78 degrees and nice evening. After dinner, I sat and held Titus while the kids played in the backyard.

After 30 minutes of nice conversation with my wife, we had just gotten up to begin clearing off the table when I hear those familiar sounds - a child's cry - the type of cry that means "I'm hurt", followed by another child immediately apologizing then saying "Tucker, run to dad NOW."

And as Tucker is running to me, I see the trickle of blood running down his face. I have him remove his hands and look at his eyebrow which has a nice gash and I knew - "yep- that's about 2 stitches worth".

I pick him up, take him to the bathroom while telling Becky to get prepared to take him to the ER (with specific instructions to take him to the one that takes our insurance and not the one who "says" they take our insurance, but their doctors who bill out through another agency do not.) I clean off Tucker's wound, put a rag with ice on it to for Tucker to hold there and then get Tucker to the car along with Noah. I stop for moment, hold him close, and pray in his ear for courage and strength to be brave. By now, the bleeding has stopped, but the gash is still pretty big.

Becky calls me on the way and questions "do we really need stitches, or can we just butterfly it and see how it goes?" to which I reply, "this is Tuck's 2nd trip to the ER for stitches in 6 months and at this rate, he's going to have the nickname Scarface by high school." Reason wins out, and off they go to Children's Legacy campus.

A few hours later, Tuck calls me to let me know he was brave and on his way home with 2 stitches.

And, that my friends, is a quiet evening in the Daily household.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wedding Weekend

Titus has been home for several days, and he is doing quite well. As in the past, as soon as we put Titus in the car at the hospital, he started smiling and babbling. And as soon as we walked into the house, he knew he was home and was so excited and happy to be home. Becky had arranged for nursing care to be there for the next 72 hours, and that has been a great help in letting Becky get some rest.

Tucker, Cade, and myself have also came down with the same virus as Titus has. Tucker and Cade keep running a fever off and on. I only had fever for a day, but now it's settled in my eyes and throat. It looks like I have pink eye and my throat is still pretty sore. So we've been a pretty sick lot around here.

But, it was also a wedding weekend. My oldest nephew, Nathan, married his lovely bride Bailey last night. I volunteered my 'floral' services to my sister for the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and spent most of Thursday/Friday getting things ready for that party. Thursday morning, my delivery of fresh roses, gerber daisy's, tulips, hydrangeas, and lily's arrived. The house smelled wonderful. Friday afternoon, everything was setup with enough votive candles to light a bonfire for a beautiful and tasty rehearsal dinner.

Saturday, we rested as much as we could, and then drove downtown for the wedding. As much as we wanted to take Titus, we knew it was best for him to stay home. All the boys got dressed up and Becky was smoking in her new blue dress. Tucker and Cade rallied enough to attend the wedding, but we sent them home prior to the reception. The reception was the Hickory Creek Annex, and old, converted warehouse downtown. We had an awesome bar-b-que catered by Eddie Dean and then watched as the dancing began - even Aidan and Noah (and my mother joined in). I have to admit - I have NEVER seen my sister or my mother dance.

And in 3 months, we get to do it again when Jeremy, our other nephew marries Lauren in Waco.

Nathan and Bailey - congratulations! It was a beautiful and fun weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Home Again

It was a very crazy and rushed day yesterday and I didn't get the chance to post. Titus was released to come from the hospital yesterday. By the time I was able to get down there, get Titus loaded up, and make it home, It was closer to 8pm.

Tucker, Cade, Noah, & Aidan were all so glad to see him. Quita was finally calm and has not left his side (or bed).

Tucker and Cade are still fighting the same fever that Titus had, and I have been fighting it the past few days. It's been a long time since I felt this miserable, so I can only imagine how Titus has felt over the last week.

We are so fortunate and loved. Becky has worked out 24X7 nursing care for the next few days at home.

And, it's also a wedding weekend! My oldest nephew, Nathan is marrying his beautiful bride, Bailey tomorrow. Everyone is resting up so that we can enjoy the celebration tomorrow. (I even gave Tucker dancing lessons with the reminder - "put your hand on her hip, not her thigh).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Medical City: Day 6

Titus continues to make small strides of improvement, but he's just not quite there yet. His fever comes and goes, but he is much more alert like yesterday. I do believe he is getting board with the hospital and would much rather be back in therapy and school.

And because it's just never a dull moment around here, Tucker and Cade and myself are all running fever. Fortunately, Tucker & Cade have stronger immune systems and for now, it's just fever (and feeling lousy). And since it's viral, there's not much to do but rest.


If you have met my boys, you know that each one of them have a distinctive personality. And I will admit, each of them make me laugh in their own way. Since the boys haven't seen their Mom too much over the last few days, and since Becky needs her boys, I taped a few videos of them.

And because they make me laugh, I just have to share them.
Here's Aidan and Noah . . .

And here's Tucker & Cade.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Medical City: Day 5

Titus is on day 5 at the hospital (which is Monday by the way). My updates have been hitting later in the evening, so those who get the email update are getting news about a day behind.

Titus did have a better day. He was alert, awake, and more responsive today. He is still running a high fever off and on but his cough is getting better. Today, I was there for at least 45 minutes before he coughed - and considering he was coughing every few minutes, this is a huge improvement. They are still suctioning out some pretty thick gunk though (try not to be to graphic here, but as we know, all mucous is not the same - sometimes it's clear and runny and sometimes it's snot). They did do a deep lung suction this morning for a culture and to see if anything else has developed, but after 3 days of rocephin, any infections should be clearing up.

Since he has a double-whammy virus (as the doctors have named it), it has to run it's course. And, like most viruses, they have their own timetable. They have put Titus on a constant slow feed, so he's getting his nutrition and is tolerating it (unlike last week when he just wasn't digesting).

But, it was good today to walk in and see him awake, playing with his toys, and alert. You could tell he's feeling a bit better.

Thanks to all for the prayers, support, and food.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Medical City: Day 4

Titus is making slow progress, but is showing some improvement. He still has a strong cough, but it's not as frequent. His oxygen has been turned down from 2 liters to 1 liter. And he has been tolerating small feeds today. By the end of the day, they have brought him back to full feeds to see how he is doing.

He is still running a fever off and on, but this is all just part of the virus. He is resting and getting some sleep, but you can tell he just doesn't feel good. Titus did give Becky a smile this morning, but he just isn't interested in playing with toys - he just wants to rest.

So, today was a quiet, restful day for him.

Meanwhile, today was Go and Be - our church's annual Sunday in which "the church leaves the building". We were involved in the Garage Giveaway this weekend. Aidan and Noah helped with unloading donations and setup on Friday and Saturday, and then today, Aidan and Noah left the house at 6:30am to help with setup and loading. I was up there yesterday with the boys and as I left, the thought that kept going through my head was "the church in action". This is what the church really is - not sitting in a building on Sundays, but out in the community serving. And, I am so proud of my boys learning to serve and make a difference in their world. They are developing a servant's heart. I love watching them serve, I love to serve them, and I love to see the church in the action.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Medical City: Day 3

This is the 3rd down at Medical City. Titus has parainfluenza and adenovirus - a double whammy as the doctor describes it. In laymans terms, the flu and upper respiratory infection. His constant coughing is slowing down and he is only coughing every 5-10 minutes and not crying after each cough (that went on for 2 days).

Titus is on an IV to keep him hydrated and they are also giving him meds through the IV (rocephin - which is pretty high-powered). As the doctor said, rocephin should wipe out any infections he has going on, but since the flu/adenovirus are more viral, they have to run their course.

Becky is noticing a slight improvement each day - and starting yesterday, Titus was able to rest and sleep more. His fever is still intermittent, but at least he is more comfortable.

We anticipate he will be down at Medical City several more days. We know that he will need to be back down on his normal dose of oxygen and back to full, g-tube feeds before they let him go home - and we haven't even started that process yet.

We appreciate the prayers.