This past week has been beyond amazing for our family. A much needed escape from the world of medical procedures, neurosurgery follow ups, and oncology appointments.
Just two weeks ago, we were offered a week long family vacation to Fort Myers, Florida. Initially, we did not even know how to respond to such a generous offer. It seemed surreal that someone we had never met would be so touched by Ethan’s story that they would want to bless us in such an incredible way.
Before deciding, we raised the question with Ethan’s medical team to see if he would be able to travel. They said that he was stable enough to go, but that we would be assuming the risk of having difficulties with his accessed port or his infection, and that neither of these would possibly be covered by any form of insurance because they were both preexisting medical conditions. We decided that we were willing to take the risk. Ethan was stable and well enough to enjoy the trip, and we have no way of knowing what the future may hold. We felt it was important to take this time as a family to celebrate our beautiful life.
The resort we stayed at was absolutely wonderful. Our suite overlooked the gorgeous white sand beach along the Gulf of Mexico. The water was enticing, and the sunsets absolutely breathtaking. There is something profoundly calming about listening to the rhythmic sound of waves gently rolling onto the beach. There is a joyful innocence in watching little ones search for shells along the shoreline, and build castles in the sand. Something of leaving the cares of the everyday life behind. Being in that place with my family was refreshing and life-giving. The very thing we needed after a season that has been challenging beyond words.
Ethan was not able to swim, due to his port being accessed, but there were so many things beyond swimming to experience. We’d love to share some of our highlights with each of you…
For the Little Miss, it was all about the shells. She was out collecting every single day!
The boys went on a fishing charter and caught fish after fish after fish – Trout, Mackerel, Red Snapper, Snook, Catfish, and Grouper. They also saw dolphins and a manatee on their outing. Definitely a highlight for them!
My sweet girl loved the sand sculpting competition.
But her highlight was definitely the time she was out paddle boarding and a pod of dolphins came up right beside her. Without question, something she will never forget!
And of course, the food. Always a treat to let someone else do the cooking! The kids especially loved the breakfast buffet. Mmmm, scrumptious!
Now, we are safely home – refreshed and ready to face whatever may come. We have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday to further discuss the results of Ethan’s latest MRI. And an additional appointment on Thursday with his neurosurgeon to assess his recovery. It is often still difficult for us to believe that this world of dealing with Ethan’s illness is our new reality.
It was glorious, for a time, to leave that world behind us. To enjoy the simple pleasure of being together as a family. Making memories that will last a lifetime.
To the family who so generously blessed us… There really are no words to adequately express how grateful we are for your kindness. Whatever the future may hold, we will forever cherish the memories of this past week. Our bodies are rested. Our minds are refreshed. Our hearts are full. Thank you, so much. For everything!
Love and hugs,