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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Silcox's (January 20, 2008)

A friend recently asked me if this year seemed long or short. I didn't really know how to answer that question. In some ways, it seems like a never ending year…all the doctor's appointments, the emotional roller coasters, Jon's transplant and recovery, having a new little baby. Yes, it seems like quite a long year, but then it also seems like it was just yesterday that Jon was admitted to the hospital and we learned that he was so sick. As I think about where we were last year, we had just gotten the diagnosis of MDS and were waiting to see if one of Jon's sisters was a match and all of the anxiety associated with such serious matters, to where we are today, I am extremely humbled and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Jon just rushed off this morning to work, is submitting his thesis this afternoon and is working on the final contract to purchase an orthodontic practice in Cottonwood Heights, Utah on January 1, 2008. I marvel to think how drastically our circumstances have changed in such a short period of time. So, I don't think there is an answer to that question, but it has been the most challenging, humbling, growing and also joyous year we have yet experienced together.
This has been a huge year for Tate. I am amazed all the time at how much he is growing and learning. Much of our conversations with Tate are about his "ideas" which range from anything from how to play the most complicated game has dreamed up, to how his lego contraptions work, or the fun we should be having that minute. He learned to ride his bike without training wheels, played t-ball and soccer, and has started school. The first day of school he got on the bus just as happy as can be and waved out the bus window to Cale, Tess and I. All I could see was a little hand waving like crazy while he rode off to school. I went back home and cried. The other day he told me "Mom, Amy (name has been changed to protect the aggressor ) just kissed me lots of times on the bus--even on the lips!" I wasn't prepared for that to start quite so soon. Thankfully they have an agreement that she can sit by the window if she keeps her lips to herself! I just don't understand how they grow up so fast!
Cale's knick-name is "Little Buddy" which seems to fit him perfectly. He loves to be your right hand man no matter what you are doing. Sometimes I truly don't know what to do with so much "help!" Cale's gross motor skills continue to amaze us, worry us and make us laugh. He jumps and clears way too many stairs, can ride his tricycle down our hill like he was trying out for a bobsled team and jumps off things with his inflatable horse that make me shutter. But he does have fun and we have avoided the emergency room this year which is a real plus…knock on wood! He has an extremely well developed sense of humor (I wonder who he got that from). He thinks it is hilarious to bless the food when he is saying his prayers before bed. He loved T-ball, tolerated soccer and most of all loves to kiss Tess and be best friends with Tate.
And then we had a baby! We felt like we needed a wonderful surprise (we had just a few unpleasant ones recently) so we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. I had convinced myself that I would not be disappointed if it was another boy because I just adore little boys and it would be great to add one more to the tribe. However, when she was born and Jon told me "It's a girl!!" I thought of course it is. We needed a little girl to make our family complete. Tess is our miracle baby. She came in the midst of craziness in our lives. In January Jon's blood counts were improving so they postponed his transplant. It was just long enough for us to get Tess here. A week after she was born his counts went back down and he had his transplant 4 weeks later. I couldn't imagine delivering and him not being there. She has been an absolute joy. She is the happiest, cuddliest, cushiest baby you can hold and squeeze. I don't understand how one little person can be so adored by so many. After 2 rascally boys, I have thoroughly enjoyed pink, bows, tights, ruffles, and dresses and the more the better!!
As for Jon and I, life has been a crazy ride this year. Sometimes we have felt like it was all we could do to keep everyone and everything together, but thanks to the love and support of so many, and many blessings from up above, we are more grateful for the simple and important things in life than we ever have been before. To have time with our little family and have everyone happy and healthy is a blessing we no longer take for granted. We still have quite a few changes up ahead. North Carolina is certainly home and it will take a long time before we can call anywhere else home. So it is with a heavy heart that we anticipate leaving, but are so grateful and excited for the new adventures that await us in Utah. I'm still trying to figure out a way I can keep the friends, beauty and weather of North Carolina while living in Utah. I haven't quite figured it out, but maybe someday I will. I used to think of the years going by as the opening and closing of a book. Once the year is gone it is closed and onto the next. My views have changed a bit, and I think this cancer chapter of our lives will always be opened even just a bit, and I'm grateful for the growth and perspective that will bring to us. I can't close this letter without acknowledging and thanking our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ for the abundant blessings and miracles in our lives. May the Lord bless and keep you and may you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

With much love,
Jon, Quinn, Tate the Great, Captain Cale and Sweet Tess Caroline