The experience with Abbey at times has been overwhelming and but the support, the words of comfort and the prayers make my heart smile.
They make Abbey smile too.
It's kind difficult to be a photographer during a stressful period of time...it's hard to take photos of events that aren't enjoyable.
I did manage to take some photos of Abbey with the many visitors we had....But I missed many photo ops with just as many visitors (my Aunt and Uncle, Ellen's friends, a cousin I haven't seen in many, many years...). I wish I had chronicled her visitors a little better for her.
Let's start with these four...talk about a not-so-great-way to spend your Christmas vacation. Isabella, Will, and Audrey were Abbey's biggest supporters. They were up there for many, many hours each day. There were a few incentives like: unlimited computer/DS/electronic time, pretty nice family play rooms with XBOX or basketball or art projects to do, there was eating out at the hospital food court, and oh yes...the daily slushies the nurses offered them...but I think they knew how Abbey perked up when they were around.
Mimi and Richard came up to see sweet Abbey that first day and arrived before we were even admitted. I am not sure that Abbey ever knew they were there that day. She remembers very little from those first few days.
We all are wearing gowns and masks because we still didn't know Abbey's diagnosis. This was a protection for us in case she had meningitis. I found this fact surprising.
Papa drove all the way from Lansing to Ann Arbor to Grand Rapids to collect all the things we needed to extend our stay in Grand Rapids for the week. Did I mention he made a slight detour via a tow-truck to Brighton? And Uncle Don rescued him from Brighton before he finished his trek to GR? And then Uncle Don and Aunt Jean (they aren't pictured) also made the trip to GR to visit Abbey that same night!
That's quite a posse!
We are all headed to the play room on Abbey's floor. Liam and Eva were such troopers to be up at that hospital every day of their vacation...perhaps we should call it a trip instead.
Every morning the doctors would do rounds. Often there were many more than in this picture I captured. Dr. McGee (pictured in the front) was one of Abbey's favorites. He had a great sense of humor and was always teasing her about eating her bacon...
We found a token of his affection after he left one morning. I am not so certain he was our favorite after all:
Aunt Sandy came up to see Abbey too. She was so great about entertaining the other kids while Abbey was napping or at therapy.
Grandma and Grandpa. They opened up their home so Kyle and Taylor would be able to spend time with us too. Between juggling houseguests and trips to the hospital they were probably as tired as we were!
Eva woke up with a cold their last day in MI. They wanted to stop by the hospital on their way back to VA to say goodbye. She was NOT a big fan of the masks. We thought Kyle needed to show solidarity with her and sport Mickey Mouse mask too. Doesn't he look cute?
Me and Abbey. I'd like to say I am her biggest fan but I think her Dad is a close second.
Mark and Abbey. You see...she really smiles for him.
We appreciate all of you who were able to visit...those of you that made a video (or many videos)...the phone calls that were made...the texts that were sent...and the whispered prayers of support from all over.