Sunday, July 15, 2012

Birthdays in July

July is our family's month of birthday's, not only the most birthdays in any given month but they are all miracle birthday's and I love the fact that it is the seventh month because this is GOD's number and I am so blessed.

My son Jason (the child we could never have, the result of a motorcycle accident - mine) was born on the 5th July 1979, words cannot even begin to describe the joy we felt that day.

Jason and his wife Natalie were told that they too could not have children but with the aid of medical science there was a chance this obstacle could be overcome. I will never forget the joy we all shared when they broke the news of their success, Natalie was pregnant. This joy was to be doubled when a little while later it was announced that twins were expected but this was not the end of this wonderful news... there was more, as a short while later the news was upgraded to triplets. We were all overjoyed but daunted with the thought of this multiple birth.

About a week later Jay and Nat came to see me and both were heartbroken and distraught, Nat was expecting Quads..... yes this would be challenging but what a blessing. Devastatingly, the specialist had advised that it would be wise to consider 'selective reduction' and terminate two to give the other two a better fighting chance at survival and Jay and Nat were looking for some guidance and advice. I have to tell you that I was dumbfounded and speechless for a little while. "Choose, your words carefully Pete", I thought. Whatever I said at that point I would have to live with the consequences forever and it would irrevocably influence any decision that this heartbroken, beautiful young couple would make.

I told them that no matter who said what, the decision was theirs and theirs alone... in unison but that guidance would best be sought through prayer and their resulting conscience. I also said, "I don't know how anyone can ask a parent (I'm not going to get into any debate over the point that one becomes a parent suffice to say I believe it's at the point of conception) to choose which life to end and which to nurture". I went on to say, "I could not make that choice. I would have to leave the outcome to nature, in God's hands". I felt very honoured to have been approached by my children for guidance in such a serious and personal problem. To what extent those words influenced them I will probably never really know but I do know that their final decision was in line with my own and for that I am eternally grateful to them and the Lord.

Natalie went into labour early, after 26 week gestation - some 22 weeks early ("just viable" I believe was the terminology used) and on the 13th July 2006, weighing between 500 - 800 grams each were born Lachlan, Matilda, Hayley and Faith and so began a tremendous battle to nurture these four little lives to maturity. Sadly on the 15th (just two days later) Jay and Nat were given some personal time with Faith who was fading too quickly. I will never forget watching with heart shattering unbelievable sorrow, humility and respect as my Son carried the casket of his daughter Faith with dignity, from the Funeral service to the hearse.

The battle for life with the remaining three was taxing in the extreme but even the 'worst', if you can scale any of this, Hayley with a hole in the heart and subsequent damage to her larynx during the repair heart surgery has had it's tremendous successes and the joy felt at those times is beyond words. This past Friday the 13th, they all turned 6 and much fun was poked at the three turning 6 on black Friday the 13th. So much so that they were the headline story in the Toowoomba Chronicle (largest rag in the region) with headline "Three little Devils turn 666". None of them have any birthmarks of any sort by the way and they are our little angels, although a bit boisterous at times. The thing that saddens me is the often thoughtless term used to describe these three, Locky (Lachlan), Tilly (Matilda) and Hales (Hayley) as the "Triplet's". This seem to me to deny the existence of the fourth child - Faith, who's life although short, is celebrated at every occasion for she is still with us in spirit.

Also this month is the Birthday of our most recent Grandson "Cameron" who will be three, born on the 23rd July 2009 to Jay and Nat, the most miraculous of all the children for a number of reasons beginning with natural conception and despite additional scan's for problems was born with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. So began the family's most challenging battle (the previous and ongoing battle with the Quad's would seem like a walk in the park by comparison, if one can scale these issues and challenges.) I have to say this little man has an AWESOME personality and has a smile that will melt a heart of stone. He is truly a miracle child determined to succeed. I can say honestly and truthfully that whenever I feel a little low, I think of Cameron and immediately give thanks to GOD for my own fortune and the blessing of this little man in my life for he is my hero. Anyone who can endure what this little man has and maintain that positive attitude is no less than a Saint.

I have not spoken much about Natalie in my blogs because Nat is a very private person who loves helping others, especially children but from the shadows. Recently she was instrumental in organising a return flight to Melbourne from Brisbane (Australia) for a very ill Heartkid, this is just who she is and in order to respect that privacy it is all I will say.

For the first time ever we stayed over at Jay and Nat's on Saturday night (we always feared adding to their burden so had declined previous invitations). We took sleeping bags but didn't have room in our little Yarris for much more after adding a few presents. The girls Tilly and Hales gave up their beds for us - very insistently I might add and they had determined who would sleep in which bed - something to do with the lingering odour I believe (in a positive sense), when I queried the process of determining the sleeping arrangements.

What an awesome weekend we had - I am so Blessed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Move Preparation

Can't wait till this move is over, the preparation is a killer especially organising all the business records. A normal 9-5 weekday business would be hard enough but ours was 24x365 by 4 major security divisions with several hundred personnel records and several thousand client records all as confidential as all heck.

Boring as all buggery and oh so time consuming, can't just throw out old records, they have to be cross shredded and packaged for incineration in secure document destruction bins which in turn need to be collected and replaced in a timely fashion.

Thankfully we have now relocated all the hardware to Paul's facility where he is able to handle the daily business grind while sorting through the most recent of the client files. Actually it's not quite so bad as Ronnie and I have already been working on the audit for five months and we have more than 60% done. Last time we conducted an audit of this magnitude there were thirteen of us and that took almost a month, now two of us have three weeks to complete the task.

I have spent this last week re-organising all the electronic data into manageable portable redundant data bank modules which can be disposed of quickly and efficiently as it becomes obsolete. These computers and servers have been taxed to their limits as I push them to the max. Still a fair bit to do but we will get there in the end:)

Back to house hunting tomorrow.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Well, lots of news this week. Quite a few big things but the blog will be kept short and sweet as time is the enemy at this time of year in Australia... our End of Financial is June 30.

Starting off with a couple of picture's, we (Bonnie Ronnie) and I came across this enormous Moreton Bay Fig Tree while looking for a house in Redcliff, a suburb of Brisbane Queensland. I almost took the house just for the opportunity to live close to this tree, had a mental picture of the Grandkids and I climbing all over this grand old tree. (When I was a kid you would have had to tie me down to prevent me climbing this tree, my imagination would have turned this into a Pirate's Galleon.... watch-out 'Bluebeard', 'Blackbeard' and 'Pugwash').  

Magnificent Fig Tree isn't it?

Sadly... Yes! we accepted an offer on the house, nowhere near it's dollar value not to mention the sentimental value but still... it is only a house after all. 

Also this week we merged the bulk of the remaining business, our Monitoring and Electronic divisions with Aussie lifelong friend Paul's Electronic business. I am really enjoying NOT being the boss, it's been a while but it is a great relief knowing that the only person relying on me is my Bonnie Ronnie, I only hope that I can continue to live up to this responsibility with great success.

My full cardiovascular work-up showed that my exercise and diet regime has been effective in reversing some of the vascular disease but unfortunately my renal system is in less than pristine shape so any further surgery is out of the question at this time. The right leg is bad but nothing short of a groin to calf bypass will fix that but it has not been a hindrance to a 'reasonable' workout yet... so I can live with that.

We were able to go out for dinner with the whole family on that day because Candice was in Brisbane to do a course, Caydence was going to her biological mother that night, Brett was rostered off Police duty, Jason finished early, Cameron had had no issues so Nat was good to go and Lachlan, Matilda and Hayley were home from school on time. Charlie, Nat's dad was able to come along as well so it was an absolutely awesome night and no-one took a picture... believe it or not. The grandkids were all so well behaved and surprisingly full of engaging, energetic conversation that time slipped away too quickly.

Life is AWESOME... I'm so blessed.