|My graduation picture taken the week I heard about my diagnosis|
“Did you take your coffee? How about your backpack? And the keys? How about some money?” Almost the same questions that I was asked by my 1st daughter Jennifer, several years ago. Here I am, sending her off to her freshmen classes, and asking her the same questions and making sure that she ate her breakfast. What a joy it has been to see her driving off to college, with confidence and excitement, learning new things and making new friends. It has been a blessing to see our 1st homeschooled graduate, pursuing Polymer Engineering with a full scholarship at the University of Akron - Honors College.
Sure, it has been a tumultuous year with Jen’s diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma on January 2012, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments for 8 months. And now during her Christmas break from classes, the news of the recurrence of cancer, with more chemo and stem cell transplant treatment for the next 5 months, is not exactly news that makes us jump with joy, but the months in between were really good. Looking back, the 18 years, from holding her as a baby in the operating room, to this Sunday when I tucked her for a nap, have been really great. I have taken the time to enjoy her childhood and walk with her into adulthood. No regrets.
|Family picture at church, a week after recurrence, Dec 2012|
Joseph at 14, is maturing physically as a young man, with wit and charm, and tenderness in his heart for his big sister’s trials. He is a good leader to his brothers and sisters, as well as a great helper for mom & dad. He is making strides in his Civil AirPatrol unit, intent on pursuing a career with the US Air Force.
Conscientious Daniel at 12, almost as tall as his brother, plods his way through 7th grade and is applying his mechanical mind to many different projects, his latest being a modified vacuum cleaner attachment to catch small metal debris. He is also an avid birder and naturalist, earning the nickname “Daniel Boone”.
Petite and persistent Ruth at 9, just moved in with her big sisters into one bedroom, but is still our little princess. She is picking up skills from her big sisters in baking and crocheting and drawing, and is enjoying her 4th grade.
Outdoorsman David at 7 is a sharp shooter with his BB gun, and would rather identify birds and bugs and spend time with them outside than sitting down and reading a book about them inside.
Our 6 year old “baby” John will get offended if he knows the adjective being used, declared one day that he passed his piano lesson the first day because he is “talented”!! He does have a big mouth with the sweetest smile, and basks in the pamperings from all of us.
We look back to the summer of 1993 when Ammu and I realized that God’s Word from Psalm 27: 3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” is a promise to us. We have enjoyed all the years of all of our children, from the diaper changes to the driving lessons, along with the trials and treasures of child rearing. Children truly reflect the pinnacle of God’s creation, and our dependence upon Him to accomplish this monumental task of raising them. We realize they belong to God and we are stewards of these blessings from Him.
We are looking forward to a wonderful New Year, and looking to God again in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” and remembering to “Rejoice in the Lord!!”
We wish you and your family a Very Happy and Blessed New Year 2013.
Vijay & Ammu Anand (Our Home page)