Before we left for Philadelphia my mind was overtaken by the most horrific thoughts imaginable and my body was moving through the motions without feeling. Everything that had happened over the last couple of years piled high and could top the highest mountain. My fears began to suffocate me. The last couple of weeks have extended themselves through an array of emotions. I felt victory for my little superhero. We are home. His body is listening to our prayers. All of these wonderful things I could not envision before we left were happening. It is a magical place to be.

Luke graduated Pre-K from TLC Learning Center. Seeing him surrounded by his friends in the home he grew up in with a smile that extended for days was the moment that made me feel complete. This is where he belongs. This is where he learns and laughs and where he is just a normal little boy. That is all I have ever wanted for him from the moment I found out that he was sick. TLC became our family and they have been there through the most memorable times and the most challenging times. That moment of seeing him walk across the stage made me feel like the richest person alive. This is what I dreamed about while we sat in the hospital praying.  “Live for the moments you can’t put into words.”

There is a reason for everything and I have reminded myself of this so many, many times. A random chain of events landed a package of pancakes in our house. My finicky little friend eats little pancakes every morning for breakfast. Two days after giving him the pancakes I came across the recall stating that testing showed the presence of listeria found in the plant environment. No illnesses have been reported. Immediately the panic set in. This infection is most likely to sicken people with weakened immune systems.  I have spent the last couple of days communicating with Luke’s doctors and questioning how I am going to survive the next two months watching and praying that he does not show symptoms. There is an incubation period and it could take that long before the symptoms appear. How is it that I can squeeze every blueberry and grape to make sure it is not too soft for him (not safe for him to eat), spray Lysol on the bottom of our shoes each time we take them off, wash his hands every time he takes a breath and this box of contaminated pancakes somehow finds us??? I don’t know the answer right now. I do know that it wasn’t time yet to celebrate the blurry world I recently escaped. 

Just when I felt like the world was caving in (AGAIN) there was a knock at my door. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Once again Rhonda Ryan (Friends of Karen) found me in the moment I needed her most. She listened to me and listened to me some more. She said so many things that made me smile and made me think. Sometimes she doesn’t even need to say a thing …she has this special way that tells me God sent her for this purpose.  This was her calling.  It is amazing to feel so connected to someone so instantly. Rhonda has touched my heart with hers. She has given me peace in my mind and strength when I felt defeated. God has a plan. One day Luke will be walking across the stage to get his college diploma and I will smile (and cry buckets).  For now I will pray and pray and pray and thank Rhonda and all of the special people that have been sent to help us and love us.