Having children in a house brings so much life to the place. Our grandson recently spent the night with us, and I tell you what, it was just like adding lights to the Christmas tree! He will be 14 years old in a few days and I thought I'd do a "twofer" (that's two for one) blog in his honor.
One part of the blog is about him and one is about an art piece I did of him. So you are really getting your money's worth today...lol.
We are privileged to be the grandparents of two grandchildren. I have already introduced you to Gracie in several posts....so today I'd like you to know Ryan.
We were, like most prospective grandparents, eager for his arrival. We'd been calling him by name for months and felt like we knew him when he came. The morning after he arrived we received an urgent and fearful call from his father telling us that something was wrong, and we were to hurry to the hospital. I'll never forget that ride...me, babbling like a fool and hubster, not saying a word. We were nervous, uncertain what the problem was, terrified that we'd lose the little boy we'd welcomed just a few hours before. Joy melted into a puddle of confusion and fear.
For nine days we took turns going into the neonatal intensive care unit. All those tubes, all that machinery and the little person lying under the "french fry" lamp caused my heart to just plain droop. But whenever we'd come to his bedside, touch or talk to him all his monitors went up...his heart would race and so would ours. My mother brought a little lamb stuffed toy that played "Jesus Loves Me" and we'd wind it up and talk to him and tears would flow. We prayed, visited and did all we could...doctors wouldn't give much encouragement...Ryan had a stroke at birth, and we weren't certain of the outcome.
He came home, still hooked up to monitors, but he was home...a hurdle had been crossed. At about two and a half years of age...he was definitively diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Both right arm and leg were paralyzed. We'd wait and see what other hurdles would have to be crossed.
A picture for every month of his first year. We were blessed by his sunny disposition and delight in everybody and everything.
Ryan helping in my flower garden. Funny, how once again, adults see "little" things from a child's viewpoint.
None of the men in the family (including Ryan) were too fired up with this outfit...but all the women thought it was precious...this was the last one like it.
Long story short: today he is a strapping teenager... he's had to overcome a lot...he loves sports and attends a school where he plays basketball and baseball.
In the summer he has played tennis, golf and swims...all without the use of his paralyzed right leg and arm. Other problems have surfaced along the way, but he's a trooper..."he keeps on keeping on." If he can't play a sport or doesn't get a chance to play when on the team, we've encouraged him to be an encourager to others who do play.
My family certainly is NOT perfect. We've had bumps along life's highway, but one of the greatest blessings God has given us is our grandchildren. When he was little, I used to tell Ryan that if I were allowed to go to "The Grandson Store" and pick out a grandson from all the other little boys in the whole world, I'd search and search until I found him. He's the perfect pick for me...no other boy...just him! We are privileged to be his grandparents. We never imagined such joy.
Thank you, Ryan, for being you and for trying so hard and for not giving up. Happy Birthday! We love you "to the moon and back" and always will!
Part II: The "Encourager" Art piece for Ryan's room.
The artwork I made for Ryan's room encourages him to be a faithful encourager of others. After taking photos of him, I removed the color and used Photoshop to add charcoal to the picture. I Mod Podged scrapbook papers and letters to the canvas and presented it to him to match a new comforter I bought him for his bed.
Let me close by saying that no matter what obstacles you may face with your child or your grandchildren, God is faithful. He gives you grace to face each day, and He will restore the years the locust have eaten...KEEP THE FAITH!!!
Linking to Polish the Stars Party & Boogieboard Cottage this week, come join us!
Blessings and Joy to You,