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Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Reflection with ongoing hope......

I started skimming my 2016 blog posts. Very bleak with my attempts of blogging. Shameful and unlike me. Regardless of illness we had a nice Christmas. Family and friends are everything. We are truly blessed with all the love and support in our life. I decided my previous post wasn't the best reflection and on how I wanted to end 2016.


January 2016 I posted this quote from John Burroughs and it still holds true today. There's nothing more rehabilitating then being in nature. It's great to hike with friends however there's something more powerful being alone and speaking to yourself and or God or our universe.

 This picture from February reconfirmed that storms pass. We have to hold on, keep our strengths within and always remember there's glimpses of calm so we can rejuvenate, recharge so we can battle that next wave because that's life. I never did believe life was meant to be easy with a flat surface. We wouldn't evolve and become who we are today if it were. 
 In March we discovered and started Geocaching. A fun outdoorsy sport looking for treasures!
 April was my last month blogging. As a hypocrite that I can be (ha ha) I decided to end blogging and sharing my thoughts online to start a book. Well.....the book was started but I still missed sharing my thoughts. The chapter I thought I was ending, I could not. I'm not sure if it's my creature of habit combined with my love of sharing, I just couldn't stay away for long. The quote below still remains true, "Everything comes to you. In the right moment. Be Patient. Be Grateful"  Patience is one of the foremost important traits one could practice.
 Then in August I came back!
 Within September our second oldest son came home to stay for a few months after having his femur broken at work. It was challenging physically and mentally for him. He's seen at the end of our kitchen table chalk boarding in this picture below. There was moments (again as a mother) I felt helpless that I couldn't take away his pain. This is the same son that had lung surgeries after having multiple pneumothoraxes when he was seventeen. At a young adult age he's been through lots physically and mentally. However during his stay, we had many moments of connection that I will cherish forever.
 In October I found this book! "You are a BADASS" A book that I love. You can start from the beginning or flip through, you can put down and pick up again. I still carry it around in my purse and I will read when I'm waiting. Jen Sincero writes, "Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want" "Create a life you totally love" It's a great book. I love it because it's "real" Realism is how I want to continue to write without worrying about judgements.  
 Throughout 2016 Gerald and I tried to get out more with each other however his health started to deteriorate. Without writing a book, he feels just as bad and if not worse when this all began. He continues to have severe health concerns while we continue to wait for answers with specialists. I won't go any further about this because this is my reflection post with my pictures chosen throughout the year. No negative Nancy! Seen below is Gerald and I in November. I was all dressed up and because he wasn't well we decided to take and share pictures on our staircase. I feel pictures are so important. 
At the end of the day regardless of what challenge happened, we continue to accept and love each other. Seen below in my December 2016 picture, thirteen out of our sixteen children huddled together around our upside down tree. I've learned something throughout my twenty seven years of parenting. Complaining or continually trying to change your child isn't the answer. Acceptance and forgiveness is. Until you can forgive and accept who your loved ones are, you will forever feel challenged. No support group can change what you need to change as a person.  
 Life is too short to procrastinate. Just live as best as you can. Seen below is my Campbell River Father and Mother whom I feel accept us for who we are. I know for myself I push the "being different" envelope. The interesting fact of that is....I feel that I'm here to do just that and to teach people to accept through me. Then to teach my family, friends and children to accept all, no matter what the circumstances are. I truly believe we are all here for a purpose. I've always known and felt mine, have you? And if you have, I hope you're also opening your envelope because our next generation needs to see it, and you need to feel purposeful.  
One reason I believe we are as successful as we are raising a large family is because we aren't afraid to be ourselves. To push the envelope. Also as parents to continually learn, to accept and follow our children. Time has changed. I remember climbing trees. We had no computers. Now it's snap chat. Instagram. Facebook. Texting.  If I have to snap chat and turn into a silly filter to interact with my children through these different channels I will. Keep the connections because once they're lost, it's hard to regain. I learned that one too. So my advise for 2017 is if you aren't doing so already, build on your relationships. Every one in our lives right now means something. Keep it alive. Even if you have to turn yourself into a cucumber doing so.

And just accept and remember it's not your life. You're only the director, and I've heard....we aren't the directors either. 

Heading into 2017 is full of unknowns but we can only do our best. I'm not making any New Years Resolutions. I'm just going to keep open minded, to accept my children for who they are, and to continue to be that "coolest mom" ever. (As I've been told) Remember, it's all about connection. Connection begins with forgiveness (if you need to forgive) while adding acceptance and unconditional love. If "some one" because it doesn't have to be your child (ha ha) is testing your patience, practice in your mind and chant to yourself, "Its just this moment" "Its just this moment" Breathe.....relax, then respond with love. It's so true.....we don't know what tomorrow brings so try to always remember this when all else fails. My thoughts and words I try to live by AND I will continue to share with you. 

May 2017 bring you peace, love, health and happiness.

This was me when I was a baby. (I love green for a reason :) No one knew back then who or what I was going to be while I learned my first steps around the age of one. Who would of known I was going to grow up and raise sixteen children and have compassion for individuals health and share our life like I have. You just never know what the future holds.......keep the faith in each other. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Snowed in"



I'm not sure where it went but we persevered through another year. It feels like two years of our life vanished while pressing through day by day. It's like this snow we're getting. We can go places minimally and sometimes we are just snowed in. From one day to the next we don't know. It's become acceptable to a degree. We have been told that some of us are more likely suffering from PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) I won't get into details but it completely makes sense. I remember being told by a physician that it's very common and especially for the family members witnessing. Then if the medical aftermath continues (like ours has) every day becomes worrisome. We are always in flight against high winds for survival. I often fear that our children will only remember the illness and not what we once were or what we still continue to try to be. Christmas 2016 we have no outside lights up. We decorated less. Summer 2016 we couldn't camp. Of course we made the best of what our life is and we continue to do so but for us, it's only 50%. We aren't in celebration mode for 2017. Our fight forward continues. For the past year and a half we were advised not to speak or share anymore of what happened because we were seeking a legal law suit. To date, after investigations, interviews and reports our lawyer has told us we have no case unless we can find a specialist to state that if Gerald received the appropriate care within that emergency time frame (because it was proven there was a breech of care) would have it made a difference? So far no specialist can provide this. A year ago we were going to go to the news. They were very interested in our story however we halted due to the fact it could be detrimental to our case. Now closing 2016, moving into 2017 Gerald continues to have more medical complications then last Christmas and not one apology for sending us away not once but four times from emergency departments being septic. Three weeks in ICU. Three months hospitalisation. Operations. Septic again once discharged. IV meds up until Christmas of 2015. Now damaged with serious ongoing medical issues where we are told, "We don't know" "We have never heard of this before" "You will have to be referred on" Then while we wait, referral after referral with no medical support we wonder if he will awake with his two feet on the ground every day and we should remain quiet. Press on. Be hopeful, and be positive. We are. That's the thing.....we are and we are very patient without expressing what it's really like day to day. Anyhow it's just a cheated feeling and with all the unknowns we feel it's terminal with no positive answers. Only if he had the proper rehabilitation and a pain medication that would enhance his quality of life at least. Christmas is six days away. We are completely prepared however it doesn't feel the same. Gerald has been so sick for three weeks and counting, while adding his frustration, it's hard to be joyful. Christmas holidays..?..we would have loved to go up to Mt. Washington but like camping, it's to hard physically. That leaves us breaking up as a family and frankly, I'm tired of leaving the sick behind. The weirdest part for me is seeing men my husband's age and older healthy. I often get glanced at because I think I'm caught watching these guys walk, and physically able to do anything....like run. It puts me back into perspective on how much damage has been done. Then it just resurfaces on how pissed off I really am on how we were treated with no justice. I know....I have to find peace with this however hard when I'm reminded daily with a compromised husband. A father that can't ride a bike with his kids. Daily frustrations due to chronic pain and physical complications. A different family then we once were. So this is why I haven't been able to write as I once did. Well......yet another block - writing. I honestly feel like a three year old wanting to have a tantrum sometimes. During our last appointment I was so excited because we were seeing a internist/cardiologist and I thought for sure (after months of waiting) that he would have the answers. He referred us on. Without swearing up a storm, we left just as fucked up as we were back in 2015 when he was septic. Now we wait. Again. Whew! I'm glad I wrote all of that off of my chest and hopefully it was understood properly due to the fact there's not much sleep happening around here. So normally during this time "on my blog" I post a reflection of the previous year. I think this post gives an appropriate reflection adding that we made it another year with several fun and positive opportunities given our health challenges. Now in a matter of days or it's even over by now, "It's Christmas" I truly hope every one enjoys or enjoyed their family and friends during this magical time of year. Even through loss and challenges, embrace who's around you. Concluding, we don't know what tomorrow brings. None of us do. It's so important to be real with each other, even if it's me writing like this. Foremost as I have always written, love, accept and try not to judge. And if you can, give.   

Monday, December 12, 2016

The end of a great party!

Thank you so much to every one that came out and enjoyed our annual Christmas party! Thank you to every one who helped and supported this year and in previous years! There is always a great turn out every year for the past six-seven years! (If my memory serves me correctly) Reflecting back, I remember how it began in our home then it grew so large we had to start renting the hall. I smile remembering the beginning. The friends. The families. Our community! The magic that happened and continued to happen for all our Island children was truly a blessing. Our Santa's and elves over the years were amazing! We have so many pictures with so many memories and I know our children will grow up reflecting back as I do. We have been giving our event some thought for awhile now and unfortunately I am making an announcement to state that this was our last year. I am apologizing as we close this chapter. If any one wants to take over this event, please feel free however for us as most know, our medical scenarios continue and we need to focus on our health with less outside responsibilities. To our close family and friends, we continue to look forward in seeing you for dinners in our home throughout the year. We sincerely wish every one a Merry Christmas and a healthy happy New Year. Stay safe, keep the magic in your hearts and the memories forever in your minds.  All our love, "The Hohnstein's" 

Here is a few pictures from this year - Dec 10th, 2016

One of my fav photos this year! Food and children!

 Some of us!

 Another fav photo seen below......"Our futures sitting right there!"
 Our talent show was a bomb not a hit! However if you don't try, you will never know!
 Santa this year was our children's grandfather! What a memory that will be!
 It's just about a little magic, a little twinkle and lots of fun all built into our memories!

Lots of love.....from all of us!