Smyrna, Georgia, Feb. 2012~
Donna Sue Oliver writing. I hope this finds y'all blessed, well, and happy.
We are doing well, but we are minus one child: our daughter, Marisa Hope, who had AIDS, passed away last year. She was only 10 years old. We miss her terrribly. The last year of her life was so hard; it hurt us to see her suffering, knowing that there was not much we could do for her.
We ended up putting her on hospice care. We couldn't do it by ourselves. It turns out that it was the best thing we could have ever done: she died peacefully here at home, with the entire family surrounding her.
We now know that Marisa is with Jesus, fully and completely healed, where I am sure she is much happier. We have our own personal guardian angel; we know she is watching over us. She lives on in our minds and in our hearts.
The other children are still very much alive. M'Bute' has finally managed to calm down: the doctors have found a medication to calm her moods and emotional outbursts: life with M'Bute' is actually a lot more pleasant. She is back home with us and we couldn't be happier.
Sugar Lyne', our youngest (now 7 1/2), excels in competative cheerleading/tumbling: like her brothers Ishmael and Josiah, she is our gifted athlete. Sugar has won awards in both dance and cheerleading.
Ishmael and Josiah continue to shatter records, even though Ishmael is paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Those two boys are absolutely amazing! I am extremely proud of both of them.
Carson, who has Down syndrome, has had his latest heart surgery last month; every day he gets a little stronger and has less in the way of pain. His heart is beating quite well and his color/energy levels have improved dramatcially. He is a walking, talking miracle!
Patty continues to be his most fierce protector. She is his older sister and loves him like a mama lion does her cub. They are extremely close.
Bethlehem has worn out her prosthetic legs; she is waiting on a new pair. They should be here in about three more weeks. Until then, Bethie is using her wheelchair or swinging her body through her crutches. Nothing slows her down. She is absolutely incredible!
I will be so glad when Bethie gets her legs: that way I don't have to keep worrying about rubbing her stumps raw on the carpet or floor when she is not using her crutches! LOL
Dixon has been having trouble with kids bullying him, so we have pulled him out of public school and am teaching him at home. He is much happier. He was being bullied because of his obvious physical disability and due to the fact that he hsa a learning disability (dyslexia; he has problems with reading and writing). I am happier too; I love teaching my son and love the fact that I no longer have to worry about others making fun of him!
Iona, she is happily married (married for seven years now!) and has given us three grandbabies: two grandsons named Harper Phillip and Tyger Elijah (they are four and two, very delightful little boys) and a granddaughter named Isabella Kay, who is only going on five months and is the sweetest, fattest little baby this side of Smyrna! She is absolutely precious!
I love being a grandma. I love spoiling my grandbabies!
This past Christmas was one of the best ever. It was one of the best because we now have Isabella in our lives, and the boys got a ton of gifts (courtesy of yours truly, as well as their Boppa, which is what they call my husband).
It made the sadness of losing Marisa a little easier to bear. I thank God we were able to get through the Christmas holiday; we couldn't have done it without His help!
Meanwhile, Kent and myself are doing quite well for ourselves. Sometimes money gets a little tight with the medical bills some of the kids face, but somehow, some way, God sees to each and every need. We can't praise His goodness upon our lives enough; He's really been working overtime!
We all go to church as a family; we go to Smyrna Christian, which is a non-denominational (Pentecostal) church. People of all faiths are welcome, and the music/preaching is sone of the best around! I abssolutely love the way Psator Titus preaches; that man is anointed with a capital A!
Well, it's time to get back to teaching Dixon, so I will run along. I will write another day; sorry it's been so long, but with Marisa's passing, I really haven't felt like writing until only recently. Her death really hit us all hard like a ton of bricks! Take care and may God bless you as much as He's been blessing our family!
~Love, your friend in Georgia, Donna Sue.