Gosh! Where did October go? I can’t believe we’re already in November and heading towards the holidays. Can I just make one comment about holiday decorating? Does it seem like we’re putting up Christmas decorations a little earlier every year? I mean, when there is garland hanging on your front porch for the Trick or Treaters, there is something wrong. Next thing we know, we’ll really be celebrating Christmas in July!
Down to business! Obviously, Corbin and I made it safely back from Arizona. We had a great time visiting with family and eating. Yes, it felt like we went from one feeding to another which is probably why my clothes fit a bit tighter than before. Corbin decided to cut three teeth in about five days while we were there. That was fun! He looks kind of funny though because he has his lower middle teeth and then his upper fangs. He truly was the Count for Halloween. Some of you may know, but my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary while we were there. We had a big party and most of the family came from all over to be there. It was a great mini family reunion and I was so glad to be able to be there. Many thanks to my bestest friend Dina who braved the trip with me! I love you!
For those of you that don’t know, I was invited to speak at Kate’s Cup while I was in Arizona. Kate’s Cup is a part of the Women’s Ministry program at North Ridge Community Church (www.northridge.org). Kate’s Cup was established to provide a place of support, encouragement, and growth for mothers of children within the ages of infancy through school age. This term their theme is Mommy Reality and I was honored to speak on Fear Factor. Thank you to all the Kate’s Cup team and to those that were in attendance. You all were a blessing and I pray that my story blessed you in return.
Danny seemed to do fine while we were gone. He did call every day and the further into the trip we got, the more he called. I think we had the longest conversations we’d had since his accident. It was great to talk to him; really talk to him. At first, he told me to stay out in Arizona because I sounded happier, but then he started to change his tune to “when are you coming home?.” I’m glad that I went even though I cried twice just on the airplane ride out there, but I know I’d feel comfortable traveling again since Danny did so well.
The Benefit Concert with Family Force 5 went great, so I heard. Danny had a great time, but said it wasn’t loud enough! I can hardly believe that since I’ve seen FF5 in concert and they know how to put on a good show. From what I’ve been told, there was about $2200 raised. Thank you to FF5 and those at the Dark Horse Tavern for putting on this event and thank you to all of you who donated. I truly appreciate the community support.
Since the last update, Danny has come off one of his other medications and is also completely continent. We’ve been wearing boxers since I came home with no problems. Danny has also been moving his left arm a bit more which I am thrilled to see. He actually lifted his left hand and tried to reach his face. He wasn’t much off the mark and I pray that that improvement moves quickly. I know it would do wonders for his independence and his self esteem.
We celebrated our fifth anniversary October 27th. We definitely marked it, permanently. Yes, we did get the tattoos and Danny is already asking when he can get his next one. His looks so great and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Mine is still healing, but I think it’s beautiful too. Tattooing is definitely an art form. Check out our artist at www.bornagainskin.net. I’ll put pictures up when I get a chance to get them out of the camera. After the inking, we had a nice romantic dinner at home from Steak ‘N Shake. Ha! Hey, it was better than last year’s anniversary celebration. Last year, I held Danny’s hand as I watched a movie and he slept in his chair. This time fell in between trips to the hospital for pneumonia. So, this year even with greasy take out at home, I loved every minute of it!
We’ve had some rough Danny-wise times. He has had an attitude thing going on and the worst of it came out a couple weeks ago. I’ve never seen him act so badly. He was out of control and it really scared me for him. I know it might sound crazy to you, but I really feel like the episode was a possession of sorts. Is Danny demon possessed? No. But, I do believe that because of his condition, he is more vulnerable to attacks from evil. Anyway, before I get off on that track and you all think I’ve lost it, I’ll continue with the story. We all made attempts to calm Danny and when I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere, I turned to the only thing I was confident would work. I prayed. Once I started praying, Danny kept his mouth shut and when I was finished, the storm was over. Oh, he was still upset, but he was ready to order some dinner and he even invited his parents to play dominos afterwards. It’s the most bizarre thing to witness and even more bizarre that Danny doesn’t remember a bit of it. In fact, when I told him a few days later how he’d been acting towards all of us lately, he started to cry and ask why he acts like that. How frustrating to be stuck inside a brain that fights against itself! I can’t imagine how difficult it is for Danny.
Anyway, since then, we’ve had great Danny days. There have been no more outbursts and he even seems reasonable when he doesn’t get to do what he wants. I’m hoping this is evidence of things to come. From what people have told me lately, they can see improvement in Danny regarding his conversation skills, memory and movement. It’s good to hear from others what they notice. Since we see Danny everyday, sometimes it is hard to pinpoint positive change.
Speaking of positive changes, this past Sunday The Crabb Family sang at church. Now, to be honest, I’d never heard of them before, but if you visit their Web site, you’ll find they are highly regarded in the gospel music realm. Danny was so moved by their ministry that he began to cry and then wanted to go down to the altar for prayer. He cried! He hadn’t cried in forever; I mean, really cried. He has continued to tell me the same answer when I ask him why he wanted to go down to the altar; to pray for his mom, to get forgiveness for his behavior and to forgive the driver of the van that pulled out in front of him. All of this was unprompted by us, but I believe was prompted by the Holy Spirit. It was so awesome and since then I’ve noticed a change in Danny. He told me that it was as though something was off of him. Praise the Lord!
Loida had her third chemo treatment last Friday and God has continued to bless her with strength. She’s still had no serious side effects to the chemo and there is only one more treatment of this type of chemo. Then, she moves on to a different type that is not supposed to produce serious side effects and then lastly radiation. We’re so glad that she is doing so well and continue to thank the Lord for her complete healing.
I’ve added some new pictures to the site mostly from Corbin’s birthday party and our trip to Arizona. Make sure you go to the Family Gallery to see them! Also, we had Corbin’s first year photos taken and also some family pictures. I hope to have those to post soon.
Danny also has several doctors’ appointments coming up this next week. Monday we will visit Dr. Kaelin at Shepherd. Danny is eager to return to an outpatient program, so we’ll see what Dr. Kaelin has to say about that. Then, Wednesday, we’ll visit Dr. Dunlevie, Danny’s GP, for a physical. I know he is going to be concerned with Danny’s weight, so please pray that Danny will be receptive and remember to choose wisely when it comes to diet. And, lastly, we will visit Dr. Wertheim, the orthopedic surgeon for a consult on Danny’s left shoulder. Dr. Wertheim performed all seven of Danny’s knee surgeries prior to the accident, so I know he is eager to see how all of Danny is healing. So, please keep us in your prayers over the next week.
As I conclude, I want to visit the spiritual aspect of this whole journey again. The first verse that I felt the Lord impressed upon me after Danny’s accident was Ephesians 6:12;
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
For all the prayers that have gone to the Father on our behalf, we have to remember that evil is also at work in this world. There is a dark world that “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). I believe wholly that we are in the midst of the battle, but I am confident and stand firm that the Lord has already won this battle and we now pursue the manifestation of that victory. Please pray that Danny would be restored to his right mind. We stand firm on His Word in Philippians 4:6, 7;
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7;
With Thanksgiving next week, I probably won’t post an update until afterwards. This Thanksgiving will be especially fabulous since last year Danny was in the hospital and couldn’t eat or drink. I am so glad that we’ll be able to all be together this holiday and I am thankful for God’s blessings over this past year. As difficult and slow as this process has been, we’ve continued to see progress and healing in Danny. And, when we have needed it most, God has given us surprises in Danny’s life. I know that next Thanksgiving, we’ll be thankful that God has brought Danny back even further.
I ask that you continue to lift our whole family up in prayer and appreciate all of you that have bathed us in prayer during this walk. May God bless you all and the Spirit fall on you like a mighty wind, bringing those around you into His arms. How awesome to be used for Him! Happy Thanksgiving!
Until next time,
Allison “living in thanks” Diaz