(Sara's version) Well, we did it. We holidayed, vacationed, got away.... whatever the term. We took the four girls, plus a caregiver (thanks, Katelyn!) and enjoyed the sun and sand of Lake Huron for eight wonderful days! We met with another family, Dwayne and Tracy, and their four kids at my parent's cottage in Point Clark. Tracy had been trained to care for Rachel before, so she was familiar with the tube-feedings. Between four trained adults, Janneke and Rachel were well-cared for. Not sure of the others since Dwayne was in charge of them.
Despite me locking both sets of keys in our van and having to call CAA for help, despite leaving both Janneke and Rachel's medicines at home, despite an odd bout of stomach illness for Janneke, despite leaving two bags of garbage on the front lawn for the skunks after we left today, and despite the fact that I never won a single game of Seafarers.... the holiday was enjoyable and fun for all of us. We were so thankful for the extra help with our family, making our time an actual family holiday.
We were excited to succeed at two day trips to the beach in Kincardine. Our best purchase for the whole family - particularly Rachel and Janneke - was the beach tent which allowed us to tube-feed at the beach free from blowing sand and curious onlookers. We will not forget the look and sound of sheer delight from Rachel when she heard and saw the waves. Emily and Sophia were our water rats this week, and Rachel was content to feel the sand between her toes at the water's edge. (Janneke often napped at the beach. She gave a cry of pure outrage when I dipped her feet in, so that was enough for her.)
So, now we are back. Back to loads of laundry, more visits to the hospital for check-ups with Janneke and Rachel, and time at home with Emily and Sophia before they start school. Sometimes, the busyness and the schedule that must be consistently followed gets tiring, emotionally tiring. Yet, being able to sit in the sand, catch some waves with my family, and see the sunset (midst a million bugs) with Ralph made this week a slice of peace and assurance... assurance that someday God will make things right again and we will savour the beauty of His creation for more than just a week.
Here's hoping we update this blog more often now that August has started... all the best with you and yours. Oh yes, and thanks, Jim and Grace, for the use of the utility trailer. We were quite the sight driving down the highway, but, no worries, your trailer is still in one piece.