Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Then and Now

Wow, how a year has already passed and we are so very, very thankful with where we are now. I cannot help but be a bit emotional when I think to this time last year. I remember all that I wanted for Christmas was for Reed to get his new heart. I did not care about Christmas shopping, holiday open houses, seeing Santa, wrapping gifts, or really being excited about Christmas at all. When we went to Vanderbilt this week, my heart hurt for those families that I saw in the hallways and waiting rooms. I remember walking down the hallways speaking to all these doctors and nurses that we had come to know by first names...a place that I did not want to be and never want to be again. Even though Christmas is a time to be thankful and joyful, it is a very hard thing to do when your child is sick. I have learned so much about my faith this past year but it is still a constant work in progress. I am so thankful that we have Reed at home this year but I cannot help but be reminded of the family who lost their son this past year and gave our son a chance at life!
I say all of this to just ask you to please pray for all those families who are spending their holidays at a hospital instead of celebrating Christmas at home. It is hard to understand what those families are going through, but we did see a glimpse of what it is like. Be thankful when you wake up at home with your loved ones by your side and say a prayer thanking God for how he has blessed you and for the health that he has bestowed upon your family. (I am talking more to myself than anyone because it is very easy to get caught up in your own circumstances!)
Braden and Reed with Mr. and Mrs. Claus this time last year. Reed was not a hapy camper but who would be with all those tubes. Braden was such a little trooper being drug back and forth in the freezing cold every day to sit in a room to visit with his brother.

Braden and Reed with Santa Claus this year! How thankful I was to stand in line at Bass Pro to wait for a picture. This picture was actually taken the night that my parents watched the boys. I about killed mom for taking them in their pajamas but she thought it would be cute!

Ryan and I have gotten our picture made with this Santa ever since we have been married and it is a tradition that I plan on continuing.

My sweet Reed this time last year. He doesn't look to excited :-)

This picture does truly show our sweet Reed this year. Thank you God for answering a prayer that we never even knew to pray and that was to give Reed a new heart instead of having to have three surgeries that sometimes lead to a heart transplant anyways!
Oh Braden, you were so tiny and so good every day you were at the hospital.
Our fun loving child that loves to make you smile. He is Mr. Personality once he warms up!
My attempt at getting some good pictures for a Christmas card was a bit harder than I expected. I have a new appreciation for photographers! It would have helped too if I would not have waited until the day that I needed to send them to take their pics!!
Gotta love this look!
Reed out in the freezing cold trying to smile for mom.
Reed was not having it anymore!
I am not going to write much for the pictures below. This is just a small glimpse into the day that we had trying to get a decent picture of the two of them together. Needless to say, there were only individual pictures on the card!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! I will update with new pictures after Christmas.

12 comments:

Ryan said...

This truly is our "1st Christmas" with Braden & Reed. This time last year was so hard on us. It didn't feel like Christmas, and I only wanted Reed to get his heart. On January 19th of this year I got what I wanted for Christmas...this year...next...and so on. We're blessed that Reed got his heart. Currently there are 3 families at the hospital waiting for a Heart Transplant (maybe a couple at home). If you'd like to give a card, letter of encouragement, gift, or donation we can put you in touch with the right people to do so. It's tough being in that position, words can't describe it. I echo Keeley's request for you to pray for them and the family that gave Reed his heart.

I love all of you who have prayed for our family, Reed, Braden, and what we've been through in 2009. It's been a crazy year, but it's been worth it! Our boys are Amazing! Praise God.

Merry Christmas.
Ryan

The Simmons Family said...

THe boys are so ADORABLE and it's great to see them thriving! I'm so HAPPY that Reed got his heart instead of the three surgeries. I often wonder if that would have been the right path to take with Owen, but then I look at how far he has come with a failing heart and I know that things fell into place as God intended.

We will pray for all those little heart babes in the hospital currently waiting and for Reed's Donor Family.

Merry Christmas to all of you!!

The Parker Family said...

Thank you for your reminder about those families at the hospital. Your sweet words brought tears to my eyes. We are so thankful that your family is going to be together for Christmas this year and for Reed's heart. You and Ryan have an amazing story of patience and faith. May God bless you immensely more than you can imagine in 2010.

Praying for all those who can't be home for the holidays...

carol said...

No words will ever be enough, thank you sounds so small, for the gracious family who gave permission for Reed to have their childs heart. As a grandma I'm so thankful as a mom I can't imagine their heart broken hearts that ther child did not live. I pray that when the time comes they will want to meet these beautiful children that God lent to us. I pray every nite for the children that need surgerys of any kind. This has been a year of coming to terms and trying to show God that we believe and family is so important at all ages. I pray that anyone that is at a hospital during this time of year you too will be blessed no matter the reasons and you have family like Ryan and Keeley who believed in the Christ almighty and showed it every minute. Love grandma and may 2010 be a blessed year for everyone. I love you all.

Bo Oswalt said...

Precious White family,

On behalf of "those families who are spending this Christmas in the hospital waiting for a heart", please let me say a very heartfelt THANK YOU for the generous gift card that we received just a short time ago!

Our son Carter was born in April 2004 and is now five. He was born like Reed with HLHS. We decided to go with the Norwood surgeries, and have made it until now with his original heart. We are waiting at Vandy in the ICU until a donor is found! We would love to meet all of you, if possible. Again, thank you so very much for your incredible gift. GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS!

Carter's dad,

Bo Oswalt
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/carteroswalt

Sarah M said...

I think the pjs are cute in the Santa picture. :)

Anonymous said...

God is so good! What a difference a year makes....thank you for the special card today - it is right on my refrigerator with all the rest of my grandchildren! These boys are so special and so are you! We can't wait to meet Kylie. We are all very blessed. Merry Christmas to all of you! Susan Pauley

Jan, Randy, and Lesley Cromer said...

Merry Christmas and God bless you all. We're in Oklahoma with Brian and Heather (in the middle of a blizzard). Having family around you is the best Christmas present ever. We will continue to pray for you all, for the donor family, and for all the sweet children who have to spend Christmas in the hospital.

Jan, Randy, and Lesley Cromer

Jae said...

HELLO THERE MY NAME IS JAE, AND I WANTED TO THINK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR THE GIFT CARDS THAT HELPED ALOT I HAVE A SON WHO IS 16MONTHS WHO HAS BEEN WAITING ON A HEART SINCE 11-21-09 AND STILL WAITIND IT IS SO HARD AND THEN I HAVE 3 OTHER BOYS AT HOME 8,6,3 WHO IS WORRIED ABOUT THERE BABY BROTHER COMING BACK HOME. BUT YOUR SONS ARE SO CUTE IM GLAD A GOT A PICTURE OF THEM TO SEE REAL FACES AND STORIES OF YOUR FAMILY GREAT LOOKING FAMILY.YOU CAN SEE PICTURES OF HIM ON FACEBOOK@PRAYER FOR CHILDREN WHO NEED A HEART DONOR AND FAMILY

MereSpeckClayton said...

i loved the pics!! what a long aand blessed year it has been for you guys! We love you guys so much and look forward to meeting Kylie Reese in 2010!!!

mkburcham said...

Keeley-
Your sweet words brought tears to my eyes and I am thankful for the reminder to be thankful and pray for those families with ill children. Your boys are just adorable..and I am so thankful that Reed is doing so great...they are just precious, enjoy! Happy new Year.Love Mer

Michael and Hannah said...

Wow, God is good!! Ryan's note is so touching.