Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dad's Day Out...

So sorry on a break from blog updates! I (dad) am always sensitive to writing about my family and the presumptuous thought of people actually taking the time to read. However, God has created such a great story in every family that perhaps we should all share those moments more frequently with one another. After much prodding from my friend, Scott, and many others, we have allowed too much time to pass as many of you desire to read about the great progress in Brooke’s life. Keep in mind, that while Scott’s stress-test in life is shopping for what type of pancakes to make for their dogs (yes…feed them as well with a plate and fork) my stress-test consists of Wal-Mart visits at 1am trying to recall if Brooke is Toddler #4 size Pull-Ups or now a #5. And once you purchase the Pull-Up, how do you know the front from the back??

There are those days in life where one desires time to stand still…. away from a cell phone, away from email, Twitter or Facebook! The way it used to be!! (my kids ask…what do you mean, they can’t imagine a phone with a cord!). I enjoyed one of those days last week in spending a precious part of a day with Brooke. The day was one of reflection for me as the similar moments with my other children are as vivid today as they were when they occurred many years ago.

I have a picture I love of my old Mazda beater truck, me lying under it doing my own home maintenance and my then toddler daughter, Allison trying to peer under the truck to help her daddy.

Or the images of my older daughter, Meredith sitting in the same highchair that Brooke sits in today, commanding the home as she was so capable of doing (still is). Or the image of Victor and Cole on the inner tube behind the boat, wondering who would be the first to go down, or Erica helping me on projects such as painting and making sure I dripped as much as she did so she would know it’s okay.

I recall the days of Brooke’s surgery and my email posting on a few days in life you wish to pass quickly…ie Brooke’s recovery after such an incredibly invasive surgery… while other days you savor and wish for the power to make time stand still. My finite mind quickly concludes we will never understand God’s sovereign plan and to take delight in each moment God brings our way.

The moments in the hospital...that you wish you just fly by!!! 

On a truly special day with Brooke last week, I felt like a young father in my twenties again in delight of my gift of of the ‘make time stand still’ days! One would suggest at the age of 50 I can justify having my oil changed, however I’m old school and still tinker on all my car maintenance. Brooke insisted on helping ‘Baba’ (although now calling me ‘daddy’ as well) and took great delight in bringing (and taking) my tools and running around the car in her delightful giggle. If that wasn’t pure joy, we later enjoyed a dad’s day out visit to the tire store and she had a great time exploring the merchandise! What a special time!

Dad's best helper!!

Finish it off with a dinner date!

Medical Update!!!

Brooke’s medical update remains nothing short of amazing. We met with the cardiologist this week and rejoice in Brooke’s blood-oxygen levels at 98%...essentially where mine are! He took her off her nightly diuretic which assisted in keeping fluid retention to a minimum so the Pull-Ups I mentioned earlier may no longer be 5 pounds in the morning!! She essentially has no limitations and will have her next visit in 6 months and yearly following. Isn’t it great to be able to share God’s faithfulness in Brooke’s little life? Please continue to pray for Brooke’s dear China friend, Lily who had Brooke’s identical heart surgery but continues to have some follow-up complications… God’s timing is perfect but please continue to pray for Lily and her family during this time!

In closing, I recall a flight I worked early this year departing from Dallas, TX to Seattle, WA. A relatively long flight for the MD80 typically 4 hours or so in duration. During the boarding process, an anxious woman peered into the cockpit and was in disbelief at the gate agent’s announcement that WIFI would be unavailable on my particular flight. “Is this true?” asked the woman who appeared to be in her early to mid-40’s. “Yes, I’m afraid it is” I answered and expected the conversation to be concluded. However, our anxious passenger remained in the cockpit area and was serious in her question to herself…and perhaps me… “What am I to do for four hours?” Cognizant of her worried state, I asked her to step in to the doorway and specifically gave her the assignment for the flight….”First,” I exclaimed, “I want you to be sure your window shade remains open to savor every sight that passes by. Second, strike up a conversation with the person next to you and just enjoy non-electronic conversation, Third, I want you to read something.... just for fun.” Half brushing off my suggestions and perhaps half offended that I answered her perhaps rhetorical question, she uttered a thank you and made her way to her seat.

Four hours later…. our anxious passenger asked to step into the cockpit and stated
“Captain, may I speak to you?” I obliged and listened as she teary-eyed said that was the best advice she has had in many years and how she enjoyed her flight, realizing the distractions of life as day-by-day rushes by.

I need to listen to the choir I’m leading and enjoy more of the windows of life that we are given to enjoy. Savor the walks and eliminate the needless cell phone talks. Perhaps less texting and more time spent writing a hand-written thank you to those who have been faithful in prayer for our family. More time looking my children in the eye and enjoying their comfort and a moment of timeless joy than being on the computer anxious over an election poll or unanswered emails.

Savor the short windows of life God breathes into our every day… be sure, like my passenger, to put away the distractions and find the joy God provides if we’ll just stop to listen, and rest in his sovereign plan. He has been faithful in Brooke’s, and He remains faithful in yours as well.

Enjoying the moment...watching the fish :)

She thinks she can read now :)

Love and Thanks to all of you!

Larry for the Toerings

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”

PS…an interesting article on Brooke’s surgeon, Dr. Nikaidoh:

Brooke with her surgeon, Dr. Nikaidoh! 

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