Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Evan

I can not believe that Evan is twenty-one years old today!!

What a roller coaster ride it was before Evan was born. We found out about his spina bifida and hydrocephalus when I was four months pregnant. The medical community was mostly very pessimistic. That was until we met Dr. Peacock, a wonderful neurosurgeon, at UCLA Medical Center. He was like a ray of sunshine and his philosophy was that with medical advances these children had great futures. We also found much peace in the fasting and the prayers of our family and friends. The temple was also a great source of comfort.

Evan was born by elective c-section four weeks early because he had stopped growing. He was just a sick little baby who needed medical attention. I was so grateful that when he was born the nurse brought him to me and asked if I would like to see his back. I said yes, and could see what looked like a little purplish bubble on his back. Evan had surgery to close the opening in his back and place a temporary shunt at 3 hours old. By the time, I saw him again the bubble was gone and he had lots of stitches. The shunt they put in that day was a temporary shunt. In the hopes that possibly with his back closed the hydrocephalus would dissipate. The way this temporary shunt drained was with a needle and syringe that the doctor would put in the valve that was under his scalp and draw out the excess fluid. Sorry, I know some of you are cringing now. It was hard to watch, but interesting also, because we could see how it helped him. We could tell when the pressure was building up because Evan would be very fussy before they did that procedure then calm down afterward. He must have had a really, really bad headache. After three days it was decided that he definitely would need a permanent shunt, so his second surgery was at three days old. It was so interesting to see how well Evan would respond to us in the hospital. If he was crying we would go in and rub his little shoulders and sing and he would calm right down. After 17 days in the NICU Evan was able to come home. That was one of the most joyous days in my whole life.

Evan, then.

Evan, now!!!

Evan has mature into this wonderful young man. I'm so grateful he is a member of my family. I continue to learn so much from him. For example, we had an interesting Family Home Evening Monday night. Mike was at work so it was just Evan and I. We had just received the New Era magazine and there was a great talk in there by one of our favorite youth speakers John Bytheway. So we decided to use that talk for our FHE. The talk is entitled "Five Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything" (it does not appear to be available online yet so I could not hyperlink it, but go read it in the September New Era!!). This article talks about why bad things happen to good people. Evan wanted to know what that meant. So, we talked about how sometimes people hurt other people and that is a bad thing that happens to good people. Or how people can be injured in accidents. And even how people think that being born with a disability could be a bad thing. To which Evan says. "I don't think that is a bad thing!!" He just always amazes me how accepting he is of his situation. One of the scriptures mentioned in the article was from the Book of Mormon. Alma was teaching the people of Gideon about the atonement of Christ. Speaking of the Savior, he said:

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. " Alma 7:11-12

It was then that it hit me like a ton and bricks that Evan is someone who is utilizing the Atonement in full force in his life. I don't know why I never thought about it in that way before. I am very very humbled to be Evan's mother.


Katie said...

That baby picture does make him look sick! Of course Evan is a great young man. He has a great mother! You should write a book, Words of Wisdom from Evan's mouth.
Happy Birthday Evan!

April and Matteo said...

Once I was saying that life is not fair, and Evan said "Yes it is." Go figure. Happy birthday Evan!!!

Aprilyn said...

Happy Birthday to you. (NO, not you Cindy, EVAN!)
You live in a ZOO!
You look like a monkey (ok not really)
and you smell like one too. Peeeww! (I can't really smell you from here.)
I hope he had a great day. This is for Evan-

Susan, Susie, Suz said...

Evan OOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooooo!!

Oh I miss my days chatting with Evan as a big dog!

Evan must have asked for you two to be his parents when he was ready for his turn on earth (just like the stage production!).

Catherine said...

Evan, you're so strong! Much stronger than any of us. I really think it.
Now, to kid, I can add you're a Jedi. Cindy, told us.
Happy belated birthday from France, Evan!

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