Our lives are dramatically changed for the better. This week, we got news from Lukas' doctor: He no longer has to take his blood thinning medication so he won't get a blood clot (and thus a heart attack) in the artery that was affected by Kawasaki disease three and a half years ago. This news was a miracle to us, since the doctors told us over and over that Lukas will probably have to take meds for his whole life, every single day.
Alas. Many hours of prayer from people all over the world, many healing ceremonies, much energy work and lots and lots of love have changed the outcome. Lukas' heart aneurysm no longer requires medication. No longer will Steve or I sit bolt upright in bed, just at the edge of sleep, asking, “Did you give Lukas his medicine?” No longer will we worry about Lukas climbing a tree, falling down and dieing of internal bleeding. No longer will I cringe when he plays rough games with his friends. No longer will Lukas' body be decorated by abnormal bruises.
We are ecstatic. When I got the good news, I started screaming, running outside where Steve chopped wood. I am pretty good at emergency situations – staying calm and focused, so when Steve saw me running towards him hysterically yelling, he got scared. All the kids came running. It was a triumphant, tearful moment with lots of hugging and squeezing and snot.
For everyone who sent prayers and healing energy towards this blond, exuberant son of ours: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It takes a village to heal a kid.
Way to kick Kawasaki's ass, Luke!
Steve and I celebrated by taking off for a three day vacation – without kids. This getaway was planned months in advance. Once a year, our good friends and neighbors, Deb and Kate, also referred to as "the Fairy Godmothers", take care of our children, so my man and I can get some R and R. Having these women in our lives and so involved in our children's lives is an amazing gift. They make it fun for the kids, with lots of bike riding, ice cream eating, lake swimming, root beer floating, and so many other things we boring parents wouldn't even think of.
For our vacation this year, we went to Canada, up to Squamish and Whistler, where we hiked our butts of, relaxed, and reconnected in a honey moon sort of way.
On our first day we hiked up the prominent mountain called “The Chief”. It's a steep, massive, high rock face that towers above the town of Squamish. It's famous for offering scenic views of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The trail is supposed to take two hours up one way, but Steve and I cranked it out in an hour. The hike is like a gigantic workout on the stairmaster machine, since the trail consists of hundreds of wooden and stone steps. There are also sections where you have to scramble up rock faces, assisted by ropes, cables and ladders. Once we made it up to the top, we blissed out in the sunshine, saying prayers of thanks about Lukas, and reveling in each others' company.
We ran almost all the way down, which felt thrilling and awarded us a lot of dubious looks from other hikers. We paid dearly for this foolish undertaking with very, very, very sore calves for the next three days...
So the next day, we decided to rest our wary legs and bodies and had an incredible retreat at Scandinave Spa. Before you start laughing out loud about Steve going to the spa, I have to tell you it's nothing like you imagine. It's an outdoor, nordic-inspired retreat engulfed in a spruce and cedar forest, worthy of the toughest Viking man. The spa overlooks incredible mountain vistas and valleys. Guests are not supposed to talk due to the total silence rule. There are several hot baths, a beautiful wood-fired log sauna, steam bath, and several serene places to chill out (including hammocks at the edge of the forest). The roofs are living roofs made from soil, grass and wildflowers. I even got a Swedish massage! The massage therapist laughed at my yelping every time he touched my sore calves.
The third day, we explored Whistler, which is beautiful, but terribly touristy. I am embarrassed to admit that we did a touristy thing and took the gondola ride to the top of Whistler Mountain, and from there did the "Top to Top" ride over to Blackcomb Mountain. I am even more embarrassed to admit that I loved it - the whole experience reminded me of my childhood of riding lifts up mountains, and then hiking there. The view was, of course, thrilling. The elevation on the very top is a little over 7,000 feet. Once we stepped on one of the hiking trails, we left 99 percent of the people (and the five thousand Japanese tourists) behind us.
It went from this.........................
......................... to this in literally ten minutes of easy hiking.
I am rejoicing in our good fortune right now. Lukas being medication-free. Loving my husband (two weeks ago, I was ready to divorce him!) Being able to spend a vacation in hotels and eating out in restaurants, instead of sleeping in a tent and heating up baked beans over a propane stove, as both Steve and I have done for most of our lives. It feels so good right now, this life. And I am thankful.
What are you grateful for this week?