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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Here it is the thirteenth of December and my appointment for writing last Tuesday was postponed a week. And for good reason. I was feeling well enough to take several days for a trip downstate to meet baby, Elsa Marie. She is another perfect and precious little girl who snuggled and slept many hours in this grandma’s arms. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Papa played with and read several books to Garrett and Heidi while I puttered around the house helping Karen with whatever she needed me to do. Both of us took turns playing the game Candyland with the them with Garrett winning some and I won some.

More family

Chad, Kate, Cheyenne, and Sam came to supper on Tuesday evening so the house was full of action and quite loud as many conversations and activities were going on simultaneously. Kate had recently shared a picture of Sam (23 months) playing with his many toy tractors. Each one was tipped and resting just like the tractor tipping game in the movie “Cars.” It was wonderful seeing everyone looking good, healthy, and definitely appearing happy!

it was wonderful seeing everyone looking good, healthy, and definitely appreaing happy!

Before going to Ilion, we had attended the area grandchildren’s Christmas Program at Christian Fellowship Academy and enjoyed listening to their practiced performance. It was a lovely evening and Elizabeth, Jessika, and Danielle did an excellent job.

Also tucked into the past two weeks was our thirty-third wedding anniversary and the second year anniversary of moving into our home here in Norwood. Both are tremendous blessings. As we make new memories in this home, I find the joys and struggles of yester-years seem more and more precious. Yes, even the struggles because that is when we grew closer while leaning and depending on God and each other. One of Karen’s favorite songs growing up had this line in it: “if I’d never had a problem I wouldn’t know that God could solve them, I wouldn’t know what faith in God could do.” We press on with faith in our hearts, knowing we don’t walk alone.

Without a voice

I had mentioned about no voice in the last journal and wanted to tell of the time when Karen had laryngitis which lasted for a year and a half. She had gotten a cold and lost her voice for about a week. It returned for a few days and out it went again. We thought nothing of it until another week went by and then another. We took her to the doctor who said there wasn’t anything wrong and it should return shortly. Now another month went by and then another. We took her to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Nothing wrong. He suggested it was psychological because her horse had died during the time she had the cold and lost her voice the first time. She had mourned the loss of Lady, their beautiful Arabian, but that connection seemed far fetched as Karen was about fifteen years old and had been through difficult losses before. We talked about this loss some more, but the fact remained she still had no voice.

Did you notice I was talking?

We learned some basic sign language to communicate and as she whispered to us or others, found it frustrating to have people just walk away before she was done saying what she was trying to whisper. She finally became bold enough to grab an arm, look directly at us, and whisper, “Did you notice I was talking?” That was probably the most trying times of having no voice. Anyway, I began thinking that if it was not physical or psychological, then maybe it was mechanical. Therefore I found a speech therapist. She was amazing and explained that now through lack of use, Karen’s vocal cords had probably atrophied. She gave us information and exercises to put together a specific program just for Karen.

was probably the most trying times of having no voice

We were so excited as Karen began to slowly strengthen and use her voice again which at first was very quiet and squeaky, but a joy none-the-less. She practiced in the barn while milking the cows as they didn’t laugh or care how her voice sounded as she continued to apply the techniques and exercises. Slowly but surely her voice was coming back and I still remember the first time she was able to sing aloud at church. What a sweet angelic voice praising God in song she had that beautiful Sunday. And this mom was crying with joy and gratefulness in hearing Karen singing once again.

Always hope

Why did I share this story? Just to hopefully encourage you to not give up on seeking answers for any situation in your life. Karen’s voice had worked fine for fifteen years and I believed it would return. We just needed to find the right tools and the right person to help us accomplish it. We are so thankful for the insightful encouragement of the speech therapist.

Well, the Christmas decorations are up, the table-top tree is waiting in the garage, and twenty-five candles are shining bright in our windows. Now to start some baking, a little shopping, and Christmas can come. Have a lovely season as you prepare for your celebrations of this glorious time of the year. Love, Sharon