Love and Light Fund

Colton turned 4 in October and Carter turned 11 in November. Both kids genuinely enjoyed their birthdays and have been doing exceptionally well considering. Colton and Sacred Heart were not a good fit, he is back in Kingston where he has been since 7 weeks.

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Love and Light Fund

The returning familiarity and piece of consistency has proven to be integral to his well-being and has brought a bit of peace back to him (He was acting out quite a bit, I’m happy to report that it has been cut in half if not more since the switch back).

Carter is still enjoying the 5th grade at SHS, and has been doing well overall. It is tough raising my brother and often times still feels very awkward, as my mother and I had similar personalities but very different parenting styles. He is adapting well, and I have seen some incredible growth in him over the last 6 months. He is still in counseling and it is reported to me that he seems to be handling things as gracefully as can be, and is “right where he needs to be”.
Both of them smile, laugh, play, argue and bicker, push limits, test boundaries, and are off the walls… All wonderfully “average” things for boys at their age, which is not easy – but is certainly a good sign!!
Dad is hanging in there, but at his most recent MRI in late October it was discovered that his tumor has grown quite a bit. He also was found to have some blood on the brain, and was followed up with some CT scans to see what was happening with that. They have decided that they do not want to risk surgery to remove the occult blood, and we now have the “go-head” to discuss the tumor growth with his neuro-oncologist. His memory and physical health continue to decline subtly, but he is as well as can be for the moment. Mentally he has his moments of struggle, but I am told he engages in normal activities and smiles and jokes still. I am unable to visit as much as I’d like to, but when we do get to spend time with him it is enjoyed.
Thanksgiving was difficult, but we managed to make the best of it that we could. We picked up my father to join us, and celebrated with our Memere and Pepere (Mom’s mom and dad). Christmas is weighing hard on me, the shopping is fun – but the Tree, the decorations, the family stuff… that was all my mom. So it is very difficult when I stop to actually think about decorating. 30 years of traditionally given ornaments, and decorations, are things I do not even want to think of looking at. But I am overruled by the kids who are longing for their traditional Christmas… So I have been working very hard to get the house in order and cleaned up and organized so as to put up a tree and whatnot.
Recently I brought up some home movies for Carter. We have been enjoying the old videos of him at Colton’s age, and laughing and smiling at the memories. It has been a good thing for all of us.
Our family continues to be very blessed by our community, and friends. A wonderful basket of food was donated for Thanksgiving, and recently a group of women familiar with SHS and referred to our situation, “adopted” our family and brought wrapped presents for our whole family. I cried. I’ve never felt so cared about, to have complete strangers show empathy to everything I(we) have going on right now.
Financially, the Grooming Shop is meeting all of our needs thus far. More blessings from above, in the form of truly amazing and wonderful clients, both returning and new.
I force a smile most times, but I do genuinely laugh and smile. I am constantly exhausted and still have much trouble at night when things get quiet, which makes sleeping difficult and waking up even more-so. Between raising the kids; caring for the animals; being thrown into owning a business and maintaining a home that isn’t mine and I know nothing about; keeping track of homework, events, important dates; groceries; bills; etc. I feel as though I can’t ever catch a break, and when I force a break – I inevitably end up even further behind than I was the day before. I often feel as though I’ve been hurdled over a cliff into violent waters – a true sink or swim life situation, and though most of my days are spent thrashing in a panicked effort to stay above the waves – I’m not sinking, and even I am beginning to adapt and learn to maneuver around/through the bigger waves that usually threaten to bring me under. I will have to learn all over again once I’ve gotten used to the hang of my new life and it’s responsibilities, as I begin to actually have time to process losing my mom. For now, it still seems like she is on vacation and I’m taking care of things temporarily. My brain just literally refuses to accept it, though I realize the reality of it all – I’m still in a lot of denial, just not dealing with it. I still can’t.
That’s about it for updates. I realize we have the money there, but I am hoping to keep it until we really need it, it’s nice to have tucked away in case of emergency. This summer has brought a broken washing machine and a few weeks later, a broken dishwasher – I am waiting until after taxes to see if those things are manageable to replace. Making do for now. Continuously thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives and for those still thinking and praying for us.
Thank you for all you do Bill
-Rhianna

“Rest easy Ma Dukes, Lord knows you deserve it. – Rhianna Light”