My friend who has been battling leukemia finally got to go home from the hospital.  His release on Tuesday ended a 122 day stay.  June and July were very rough.  After his stem cell transplant at the beginning of June, he developed a host of complications.  Every time he seemed to make an improvement, something would happen to backtrack his progress.  Nothing was simple for him.  Even a common side effect turned into a major complication.  Mid-July he was placed in ICU because of liver, stomach, and kidney failure.  After several days of dialysis, things started to turn around for him.  But through all of the struggle, evidence that the transplant worked mounted.  He is now finally home and trying to regain his strength.  Prior to his hospital stay he was exercising every day and playing racquetball 3 days a week.  Now, walking up one flight of stairs takes his breath away.  I'm confident he'll rapidly regain his strength now that he is home disconnected from all the IV lines and sleeping in his own bed.

The donor for my friend's stem cell transplant was his sister.  She accepted a lot of risk for her brother and will forever be a part of him.  Her blood literally runs through his veins now.  Everyone who has helped with tangible and intangible support has been asked to thank her in some way, even as simply as a 'Thank You' note.  I'm making her a pair of monkey socks out of some of the yummy yarn I got from Fiber Optic during Knitters Connection. I'm not as far along on these as I had hoped to be.  Tonight will be movie night at home, so I'll make progress then.

Last weekend I went on a roadtrip with one of my sisters, a sister-in-law, and two nieces to Myrtle Beach.  Here is a view of the resort from the beach.  The building we stayed in was behind these buildings and not visible in this picture.

We only actually hung out on the beach one day.  The resort had several very nice pools and we decided that it was more fun being there. I've come to the conclusion that sand and surf are not as much fun if there aren't kids to play with.

Several recent events in my life have taught me some things.  First, don't hesitate to show your love and appreciation.  You never know how long you will get the opportunity.  Second, prayer works.  It may not seem like it for a while, but God has a plan and if you open yourself up to it, things work out.  The ending may not be what you hoped for, but in the end you get what you need.  Third, don't dwell on negatives from your past.  Always look forward with hope instead of backwards with anger.  Fourth, strive to repair damaged relationships.  Life is constantly evolving and we need to continually try to make it the best it can be for ourselves and those around us.  Sometimes someone just needs you to reach out to them.  And finally, know when it is time to let go, whether it is a person or an object or an emotion.  Children grow into adults.  Anger and frustration are not productive and will fester if held inside.

Here is one of my favorite Bible quotes:

The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!

The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!

- Numbers 6:24-26