Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Part 8 - The Last and Final Installment about Jenelle's Make A Wish Trip!

It seems only appropriate to post photos from our last day at Give Kids the World Village on they day they announce their 140,000 Family!  Truly an amazing and wonderful place to stay!

On our last day in Florida, we had to check out of our Villa by 11:00 AM, but we were still allowed to hang out on the property until it was time to go to the airport.  While JD and Brett hung out in Amberville playing games, Jenelle and I visited the Village Chapel to spend a few quiet moments together talking with God.

All the time, people give us accolades on how we are amazing with Jenelle, and so very strong.  While I appreciate all of the compliments; I feel so very privileged and blessed to be Jenelle's Mom.  Jenelle loves everyone in her family, but it goes without saying that she and I have a special bond with each other. 

Brett tells me at times, when I leave the house to run to the store, Jenelle will follow me and stand waiting at the garage door after I've left -"Looking for Mommy" as he describes it.  When she manages to get herself out of bed on her own, she makes her way into our room to my side of the bed.  As she gets older, I do the majority of grooming, diaper changes and outfit changes for her.  I was always afraid to have a daughter because I didn't want to endure the usual conflicts all mothers and daughters seem to go through.  And yet, my relationship with Jenelle is so much greater than I ever imagined it.  I can't imagine life without her.

None of us live forever.  After my cancer scare, and with Jenelle's short life expectancy - this fact is all too real to me.  Life is short, and you should live each moment to the fullest.  I'm not afraid to lose Jenelle to death, or that I will die first and leave her behind... I know that someday in the after-life, we will be together and we will have many wonderful memories and stories to share.  In this world I am her voice and she is my blessing.  I thank God every day for choosing me to be her mom.

In the Village Chapel with Jenelle.
 The main reason I applied to Make a Wish, was that I wanted to celebrate our unique family and create some memories to last a lifetime for Jack.  In the end, we got that and more.  I know our amazing Wish Trip helped to make Jenelle's relationship with Brett and Jack even stronger.  Just the other day, I mentioned that Jenelle was going to Grandma's for babysitting for the evening because Brett and I were going out.  Jack said, "Mom, you know I'm old enough to watch Jenelle, why can't I babysit tonight?"  I smiled, and was flattered.  After getting to know his sister for a week in Florida, he now understands her better and in small ways really wants to be an important part of her life.  I answered Jack that while it was a wonderful idea for him to babysit - he may not enjoy changing her diaper! ;)  He too is an amazing kid.

Love this amazing girl!
 The trip home was uneventful.  As mentioned, Jenelle's wheelchair was completely broken, so TSA secured it with tape and checked it in.  Jenelle had an escort to the gate in an American Airlines wheelchair.  She was such a big girl and did well waiting for the flight.
Jenelle waiting for our flight home.

Had to snap a photo of the in flight map as we descended into LAX
because it shows my hometown of Visalia!

We got home late on Thursday evening - ordered pizza and did lots of laundry. At this point, our journey wasn't quite over as we turned around the next day and drove to Las Vegas (Henderson) for Jack's basketball tournament!  The drive there was easy as we left around noon before the heavy Memorial Day traffic.  Jack's team did OK, and we enjoyed staying at a family resort (for team rates!) at Lake Las Vegas!  While we were tired, it did extend our family quality time together just a few days more.
On the way to Las Vegas - Jenelle says, "But we just got home!"

Mommy and Jenelle lounging by the pool.
JD's travel basketball team - Open Gym Premier 14U Blue!

Since being home, I now see subtle changes in Jenelle.  She gets excited now when we get in the car, and even a bit agitated if we stay home for too long.  She seems more curious about things, and loves giving her Daddy and big brother hugs.  She tolerates going to games for JD (basketball if definitely a favorite for her, as long as the noise from the squeaky shoes isn't too loud.)   You can tell that she simply enjoys being with family.  Because of our trip, we have bonded even more than I could have imagined.  We are blessed.

Thank you always to Make a Wish Orange County and Inland Empire and Give Kids the World!  We will never forget your kindness or our amazing trip to Florida!