Today we are celebrating the second birthday of our sweet granddaughter, Ilona. Her birth was an answer to prayer that affirmed God’s faithfulness in our lives and family. Her sparkly smile and “Hi, Mamaw” can turn the tide of the worst day. Her name means “Light Bearer” and she has helped me find the light through some tough days.
The day she was born was a great high and a tough low. I welcomed my new granddaughter in the morning, and in the afternoon made my way to the Diagnostic Imaging Department of the same hospital. The ultrasound revealed multiple tumors in my thyroid gland.
Two weeks later a biopsy showed irregular cells in the tumors. In April I had a total thyroidectomy and confirmation of cancer. It is amazing to me the effects of removing a very small gland.
It has been a struggle to find a livable “new normal” since surgery and it would be very easy to focus on the struggles and setbacks. But when shining blue eyes look at me as Ilona grabs her apron and asks “Make cookies? the day gets a whole lot brighter. Despite exhaustion and side effects, God gives me the strength to enjoy wonderful times with her and the rest of my family.
We have celebrated a lot of family events and shared tears over the last two years since Ilona has joined and brightened our family.
In late April just two weeks after surgery, my hubby and I were able to travel to Coeur d’Alene to observe our youngest sons ministerial ordination.
Although I was preparing for Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment to kill any remaining cancer, our family was able to be together for my niece Katie’s wedding in late May. You can see sweet Ilona in her mama’s arms, and her smiling big sister Nora in the front.
In September, we celebrated our son Justin’s wedding to Ceci. Ilona was the cutest miniature flower girl ever while big sister Nora was the prettiest flower girl.
In January of 2016, we celebrated our son Jordan’s wedding to Angela. Ilona enjoyed dancing with Grandma as she smiled and laughed.
For Easter, Nora and Ilona gave Great-Grandma “O” (my mom) a cute stuffed bunny. Great-Grandma “O” may not have been able to remember how she was related to the girls but they always made her smile. In November, we said goodbye to Mom for the last time this side of heaven.
We welcomed our first grandson, Ronan John Rodney, in December a couple of weeks before Christmas. His sisters are so in love with him.
We gathered last week to celebrate all of our birthday girls so far this year, Ceci (February 4) holding Ilona (February 13), Nora (February 2), and Angela (December 30). Each one of these special girls has brightened my life and encouraged me!
Uncle Justin helped Ilona blow out her candle.
Today we celebrate God’s faithfulness in providing special light in our lives through our sweet little “Light Bearer.” His strength and mercy are with us always, and He uses those in myfamily to encourage me to trust Him.
I’m so thankful that God is so faithful and brings light into our lives!
Sharing my heart for home and family,