Sunday, February 27, 2005

February 27, 2005

Little Porter is doing somewhat better this week than last. His kidneys are starting to perform thier proper function, his brain hemorage is heaing, and the blood is draining from around his brain. Today at dinner Kevin pointed out that only one nurse was tending to him now -- not four like previous days. The ward fasted for Porter this week. I've had many people inquire after him, and Kevin & Elise. Our ward has been very kind.

We had ward conference today. The stake presidency spoke, Rick gave a very nice talk (as usual). To be honest, the most noteable part of the day was sitting in Sunday school with Erin. We haven't done that for well over two years. One of Erin or I are out with one of the kids (or teaching primary). Matthew stayed in nursery by himself -- remarkable! He got a little homesick near the end, but genrally speaking he did pretty well. Hopefully this becomes a trend.

We went over to the Freibergs place tonight to celebrate Sommer's seventh birthday. I can't belive she is seven years old. I remember very clearly the night she was born. Erin was over at her folks place, and I was studying for an accounting exam that I thought for sure I was going to fail (but didn't). Sean, Rick and I had a nice Sunday evening discussion while the girls watched the Academy Awards.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

February 20, 2005

I'm really sad today -- to be honest, I can't remember the last time I've felt this way. My heart is aching for Kevin and Elise, and little Porter.

On Tuesday of this week (Feb 15), Elise was admited to the hospital after her water broke in the middle of the night. The next day she delivered Porter Bryce Wolff, roughly two months early. The baby weighed just over 3 pounds. Initially everything looked well (given the situation), but sometime Wednesday evening the baby was transfered to the neonatal intensive care unit, and his health got steadily worse.

We were initially told he contracted pneumonia as a result of being born with strep, and that he wasn't producing enough white blood cells to beat the illness on his own. As is the case with many pre-mature babies, he also wasn't breathing on his own. Over the past few days he's had all sorts of trouble. His kidneys aren't working properly and he's having siezures regularly. Despite all this (and with the aid of life-support) he's hanging on to life even now.

Elise and Kevin are really hurting -- there have been alot of "lows" over the past few days. Our family has shed many tears over this situation, and we've prayed alot. Kevin and Elise are wrestling with the decision to instruct the doctor to remove the life support systems. We were with them over at mom and dad's house this evening, and talked about the decision with them. Kevin says that he feels some measure of peace when he thinks about discontinuing life support, but the very thought of it is extremely difficult. Erin and I can only imagine.

Erin and I went to the temple on Saturday with the ward. I had a hard time concentrating. We read "The Peacegiver" in the car on the way there and back. I was touched by the authors description of the several facest of the atonement of Christ -- very touched. It's quite hard to put into words, but I learned (among many other things) somewhat of how the atonement heals heartache and pain, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about this, especially in light of Kevin and Elise.

I'm sure Kevin and Elise have fasted and prayed as earnestly and sincerely about this situation as anything they've ever fasted and prayed about in thier whole lives. Kevin told me this evening that he feels no strong revelation over what to do. Grandpa Melchin once taught us that when the Lord doesn't reveal to us what we should do, perhaps we should be asking what we should learn from bearing the burden. What are Kevin and Elise to learn from this? What am I to learn from this? I'm not entirely sure, but I have certainly seen remarkable growth in Kevin over the past few days. He is growing in a way that comes only those who suffer this type of heartache. Tonight he said that he's learned what's important in life and what's not. By observation, I've learned this too.

I wish I had happier things to write about tonight. I wish that Kevin and Elise were doing thier normal Sunday evening family visit routine. I sincerly hope that we all can be changed for the good because of this.

More than once, while feeling sad, I've had the thought that there are worse things that are happening around the world today -- more hurtfull, more painfull things even than a very sick infant. After reading The Peacegiver I am reminded that Christ not only suffered the pain of sins of the world, and also for all of the pain caused to others because of these sins -- but He also suffered all the heartache of mortality -- and becasue of this suffering, He, and He alone, has power to heal our hearts no matter what mortal pain we suffer.

May He heal Kevin and Elise's heartache.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

February 9, 2005

Yesterday was Erin's 29th birthday. Everyone in the house has been sick, so we didn't do much to celebrate. (Erin took Matt's temperature before putting him to bed last night -- 104 degrees.) Gracie was very concerned that we didn't open any gifts or have any cake -- she's at the age where birthdays = parties with lots of kids.

Grace has figured out how to lock and unlock all the interior doors in the house. Evertime I go into a room, I'm stopped by a locked door. She's very excited when I ask her to come unlock the door. To be honest, it's starting to drive me crazy. She's so cute though.

We've been looking pretty seriously at a minivan recently. Since August we've had only one car, and it's been very tough. We'll be going to Salt Lake for general conference in April, and we'll be driving, so we have to have a minivan by then. I never really know wheather it's better to lease or buy -- so far I'm kind of looking a buying a used Honda Odysey or Toyota Sienna. But leasing a new vehicle definatly has its benefits also.

Last weekend (February 4-5) I went on a bit of a skiing "get-away" with Sean, Jeff Shipley and Dustin Thompson. One of Sean's patients kindly offered Sean his ranch home just outside of Radium. The place was fantastic. We skiied Kicking Horse the first day and Lake Louise the second day. The snow was pretty good both days, but the visibility at Kicking Horse was definatly poor. That said, Kicking Horse had great terrain and deep snow. It was fun to get to know Dustin and Jeff a little bit better.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

February 1, 2005

We had a very warm weekend -- something like 12 degrees. That's quite warm for the end of January.

Erin and I stayed in on Friday evening. We played with the web camera, Melinda and Micheal were on the other end. I couldn't make my computer microphone work, so M&M couldn't hear us, but we could hear them. Rick and Cathy stoped by to drop off one of Rick's broken work computers for me to look at. Cathy was amazed at the web camera.

Saturday afternoon we looked a mini-van's. They're so expensive. I'd really like Erin to have one -- it's been very tough to share a car these last few months. I hope we can get everthing in order to get a van for Erin. Gracie and Matt sayed with Rick and Cathy while we looked at vans. When we returned to pick up the kids, Gracie was quite teary. In the car on the way home she complained of a hurting ear, then of a hurting cheek, then hurting nose. She cried a very painfull, confused cry that only young children can cry when they're hurt and they don't understand why. It was so sad.

Saturday evening we went to the Gedlaman's place to celebrate Mike's thirty-ninth birthday. The same group of people were there as have been there for the past three years: Brad and Shelly Harker, Larry and Liana Kearl, Derek and Julie Kearl and Erin and I. I really enjoy Mike's birthday parties -- one of the few social outings I actually look forward to. Mike always prepares a very high end cut of beef, and Serena makes a tasty desert.

Sunday was a sick day -- for me included. None of us went to church. I got up and went to my early meetings then came home and had a nap. I woke up in time to go to Jesse Potrie's missionary farewell in the Rockyview ward. He gave an excellent report to the high council and a very good talk in sacrament meeting. Jesse is a young man who has been very well prepared.