Thursday, December 23, 2010, Nashville, Tennessee, 12:24 p.m., C.S.T.~
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! I pray this year has been full of blessings and great joy; if you're not having a very good year, then know that you are ever in my prayers and thoughts!
As a rule, 2010 has been rather kind to me and my International Family. The children are all getting big, and the house keeps getting smaller (or larger, depending on how you look at things) as more children flee the nest to start their own lives. As you know, our oldest son, Anh Kim, got married earlier this year, to his beautiful fiancee', Thu. They are very happy and both continue to pursue their academic goals at Oral Roberts University (Thu wants to work with children with special needs; Anh, meanwhile, wants to become a pastor and pastor his own church).
Ronee' is getting ready to move to Lafayette, Louisiana, next month. She will be attending the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where she plans to major in music and make singing her goal. It's something she's done all her life, and she is very good at what she does. We are intensely proud of all that she has accomplished in 18 short years. She is nervous, but that's understandable; we will support her in any way we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. I do know this much: we will certainly miss having Ronee' around the house; she's been nothing but a joy!
Johnathon is doing well at his classes at the University of Tennessee (Nashville campus). He absolutely loves school. He wants to be a meteorologist or a journalist, or maybe a storm chaser. He has set some lofty goals for himself. He also wants to get married sometime next year: he and Rebekkah Cohen, his girlfriend, have been discussing marriage plans for six months or so, and we couldn't be any happier! We are very proud of all that he's done!
Dwerlina and her husband, Andre', are expecting another child: Dwerlina is four to five months along; within a month, we will find out what she is having. She already has two small daughters; we are hoping for another grandson.
As you can imagine, they are thrilled. And so are we!! :D
Robertito is on a psychotic drug to keep him calm; it seems to be helping. He hasn't had any episodes of "acting out" at school (or in public): he's actually been quite pleasant to live with. He has autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. I am thankful for this because when upset, Robertito will purposely try to injure himself. It's really frightening when he goes off the deep end like he does!
Steffi and her fiance, Tank, are visiting here with us for Christmas and New Year's break, as are Dwerlina and Andre', and Lightning and her husband (just the two of them this time; his parents are watching the children). Barbara, Richard, and Porter could not come; they all had to work or work on school assignments, so they are still out of state.
Michael is here, but he is not doing well: he got into a car wreck last week, and he broke his back. He is not paralyzed, which is an answer to prayer, but he will be laying low for the next few months until he recovers. He got hit by a semi-truck while on his way home from work; it's a wonder he wasn't more seriously injured (or worse, killed)! We are having to wait on him, hand and foot. He is wearing a back brace, and when he is up, he has to walk slowly and carefully, with a walker.
Jodie has been doing fantastic since her foot surgery a few months back. Her feet are nice and straight, and she is back to her usually happy, giggling self. We just adore her; she is such a giggle-worm!!
Todd is due to have surgery in February on his back; his spine is collapsing, and it's causing more problems with pain and breathing for him. We are not looking forward to it, but it's something that must be done, or else he could die. It's that serious. We have been having our friends (and our church) lift him up in prayer; he really needs them to get through this serious surgery that's coming up!
Finally heard from Audrey Callaway: her daughter, Susie, remains about the same. No real change: she still requires total care as the result of the stroke she suffered last summer. She is home, but needs medical attention (diaper changes, feeding/administration of medicine, etc.) 24 hours a day. It's really been hard on the Callaways, and on Rebekkah, who is Susie's best friend. It breaks my heart to think that this once vibrant high school student is now a shell of her former self, and there's no guarantees whether she will ever get any better.
Well, I have to continue baking Christmas cookies; we are having our Christmas tomorrow afternoon, on Christmas Eve. I will be working from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Christmas Day at the hospital. (I work every other Christmas; when I'm off on Thanksgiving, I work on Christmas; if I'm off on Christmas, I work on Thanksgiving. All of the nurses alternate.) Or maybe we will have our Christmas later, after I get off work. Regardless, may each and every one of you have the merriest of Christmases, and the happiest, healthiest of New Years! And may 2011 be full of love, peace, hope, joy, and God's blessings!
~Love, your friend in Tennessee, Louisiana Mayrah Sandusky and family (husband, Bill, and our 63 children, plus the furry members!). :)