She recovered well, and started to gain weight and we were so thankful. As her needs changed, we adapted. Things which seemed a bit scary from a distance were not so bad when we faced them and each time we need to face something new, there was strength there at the right time. She recovered so well, and was really a pretty healthy little girl. Victoria was special to us from day #1, but as the days passed, she became more and more a special part of our family.
|This was taken on Victoria's 3rd birthday.|
We went camping with her and she was a great little camper. Top two camping pics were in 2010, the middle at Gooseberry Falls in 2011, and the bottom two August this year. We took her out blueberry picking...yes, she did try mushed blueberries. :) We took her along hiking, to parades, fireworks, shopping, the fair, church, weddings for long walks...
We also enjoyed winter with Victoria. She came along to Bemis Hill...and though she hung out mostly at the chalet by the fire, I did walk down the hill aways and give her a short sled ride. We also pulled her in the sled...in Marie's arms..a perfect outing for a sunny winter day.
In July of this year, Victoria had a bit of acid reflux. Giving her a bit higher position when she was getting her morning feeding quickly solved the problem, and we were thankful it was such an easy solution. In August, we travelled out to Munising, MI where we met up with Bruce's brother, Steve and his family.
During the next 3 weeks, she did well. She was recovering and comfortable. She was gaining back weight which she had lost when she was sick. I started looking forward to gaining back strength to the place she had been before she got sick...and then to move ahead. Somehow after that first 3 weeks of relief, she changed. She started to sleep more and when we would pick her up, she would let her arms dangle...that was new. The thought flitted through my mind that she might be getting to the end of what she could do...but it was a passing thought and it flitted away as it had come. She was still comfortable, digesting her food well, not dealing with constipation, she didn't have fever and she was still swallowing fine when we fed her the little we did each day...we had always tried to feed her at least a little orally, though she had a g-tube. (We didn't want her to forget how to swallow)
|Father's Day 2013|
It was getting a bit harder to bring her out, because getting her in and out of her seat was a little more difficult when she was more limp. I could see lifts and special beds in the future...but I knew that God would be there and give what was needed for each step.
The last week, she still was digesting well, had no fever or pain, and was actually doing quite well with her oral feeding. She got a full 2 ounces a couple of times that week...which was really doing well for her. Still, she wasn't perking up like she should have been. The thought crossed my mind that if we didn't see a change for the better fairly soon that we might need to connect with hospice again. Still, it is hard to know...there isn't always a perfect pattern...though, of course there are little hints. Friday night when I tried to feed her orally, she didn't want to swallow. This confirmed what I had been thinking...that hospice was on the horizon, and my mental list for the coming Monday included getting an appointment with Victoria's doctor.
|Victoria on her 3rd birthday with Grandpa and Grandma Krahn and Esther|
|Grandpa and Grandma Mitton (when Victoria was 2)|
|Mother's Day and Father's Day 2013|
I am thankful for Victoria. I like to think that when she woke up in Heaven, she ran straight into Jesus arms for a 'twirl hug'. She now actually has the right to say, "Life doesn't get better than this!" She knows no pain--no sorrow--no fear. She knows joy and peace in a place of complete perfection. She has begun to experience LIFE...life which will not end...true life. She is with Jesus, the One who gave His life for her, showing the ultimate love. She knows perfect unconditional love. Oh, yes...I also love to think of her running, twirling, jumping, hopping, swinging high in the air and down and chattering away in wonder at all she sees...and maybe asking one hundred questions. : )
You need to know that our God is amazing. He has walked with us each step of our journey. In the dark days, He has given strength, He has given wisdom when we didn't know what to do, He has given comfort when our hearts have been sad. He has given peace which goes beyond understanding. He is so good! He has been there with just what we have needed at just the right moment. In our pain, He has carried us. He has taken out His special bottle and collected our tears...they matter to Him.
"Gracious is the LORD and righteous; yea our God is merciful. O praise the LORD all ye nations: praise Him all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us..." (Ps 16:5 & 17:1&2a)
My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of Thy name.
Jesus, the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.
Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, your loosened toungues
employ; ye blind behold your Saviour come, and Leap, ye lame, for joy."
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all...