When Jesus was asked which was the greatest of the commandments, he answered, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
It's easy for me to imagine what it might be like if these two commandments were kept faithfully because we have been surrounded by examples of just such Christian service toward Talitha and our whole family.
Once in a while I've made mention of the kindnesses shown our family by loving neighbors, family, and friends. I hardly dare mention specifics anymore because I know I'll mistakenly leave someone out. You've made both our hearts and our burdens light and for that we are in your debt.
You must know that we pray for you and ask that the Lord might bless you a thousand fold for your thoughtfulness and support that means more to us than you could possibly know.
We will never have the means to repay you or thank you each in the individual and personal way that you deserve. You have inspired me and shown me what's possible through your examples of loving in a Christ-like manner.
We can't wait to have Talitha with us at church again and for her to be out and about like our other children. She seems so well now it's hard to imagine the risks she faces are so steep. After all, she's laughing and playing and doing what I would expect a 22-month old to do.
The only outward signs of the battle are the scars on her head where the tumor was removed and where the external shunt was placed to relieve the pressure from the water in her brain. (Her hair will cover these scars up when it grows back in.) She also has a small scar on her chest where the first central line was installed and she still has her 2nd central line installed and will continue to have that, I imagine, for some time.
Other than that, the only other signs of a problem are when she gets shaky when her blood counts are low and the fact that she has to learn to walk again.
So it will still be several months of working with her to get her immune system functioning again and then we hope to be less restrictive in where and when she can go places and what precautions have to be taken.
Talitha doesn't appear to be in pain anymore--other than when she doesn't get her way (which is rare at the moment). There is still the discomfort that comes from changing the dressing on her central line and taking certain medicines but all in all, she is coping very well.
We thank the Lord for bringing us through the fire to this point and thank each of you for your hand in making the heat of the flame more bearable.
We love you!