Birthday's of my children allow for moments to reminisce the span of memories contained in the years. As I review the years I look back with fondness and then ponder on what the future holds. On this 19th birthday for Ammon I've surfed the waves of my mind and recalled many happy moments. As for his future, we will watch and give our support.
Surgery number five - the skin graft - took place last week. Friday afternoon was the scheduled dressing change and one I was able to attend. Ammon endures the pain with strength and forbearance. I sit at his bedside and watch as he takes a deep breath, winces in pain and speaks the words, "why does it hurt so bad?"
While sitting at Ammon's bedside, I connect with Mary mother of Jesus. A mother does not want to see her child in pain, yet she will not leave his side in the agonizing moments. Jesus spoke to John and asked him to remove Mary from the foot of the cross. Just as Mary would not leave, so I choose to stay at the bedside of my son. Tears well in my eyes but Ammon's strength encourages me seek the power within. We all embrace the atonement and feel the love of our Savior fill the room. There are angels among us.
On drive number four to Flagstaff in just as many weekends, I decided we needed to do something different. Ammon's birthday was coming up and he wouldn't be home for it. I knew he needed some time away from Flag. Uncle John, Aunt Moana and the Urry cousins live in Tempe so we decided it was time for a visit.
We got a mid-morning start and got into Tempe around noon. Ra and Ammon have been spoiled with Flagstaff weather so the heat was a bit of a shock. But the heat is what pulled Hamilton to the pool and eventually forced the shirt off of Ammon's back. Ammon taught Hamilton the art of the gainer and Hamilton continued to do the trick until he felt that he had mastered it. I'm not sure you can master this when you are 12 but he gave it his best effort.
A couple of weekends ago I was just leaving Flagstaff when my brother called to tell me that my sister Moana had passed out while preparing dinner and was in the hospital for observation. Once the bad news hits a certain level you become numb. Shock and awe are not the response anymore. It simply becomes, "oh of course she is." It was discovered that her heart rate was about 35 beats a minute and she needed a pace maker. She cannot move her right arm above her head but this did not stop her from making Kalua Pork, chicken long rice and her famous wheat bread with honey butter for Ammon's birthday dinner. John said, "we're glad you're here Ammon cause we would never eat this good on a Saturday afternoon." She topped it off with a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. Again from John, "I don't think we've ever had this cake before. Ammon can you come every year on your birthday?"
Ammon was joined by Corbin and Dan, a couple of St. George friends who have moved to Mesa and we enjoyed the birthday party as family and friends.
Another sad Sunday goodbye as we leave Ra and Ammon in Flagstaff. I watch and weep as Ammon throws his arms around his brother, "stay Hamilton...just miss school and stay." Monday in Flagstaff was another dressing change. I ordered balloons and tried to be there in spirit. Today is Tuesday so we are two days away from Thursday when Dr. Durham will check his skin graft to see if all is well. We hope that is what he finds because WHEN they do HE WILL GET TO COME HOME!