Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas in Pennsylvania

The Whole Slagenweit Clan
Back row: Philip, Marianne, and Stephen Brown, Dad, Mom, April, (?) and David Slagenweit
Seated: Tyler, Jonathan, Zach, and Tonya Slagenweit, Jennifer, Bryce, Justin and Evan Harris
On the Floor: Daniel and Allan Brown

This was our year to travel to PA for Christmas and what a wonderful time we had! Many of you know my mother's health has not been good this year. The progression of the Polycythimia Vera in addition to Bahcet's syndrome, mylofibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and the pyroderma gangrenosum infection she's been battling for the past 8 months has taken it's toll. The evening of December 6th she became unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital. Gradually, she became responsive again but there doesn't seem to be a consensus as to what happened. Mom has so many things going on that it's hard to draw a conclusion as to what, out of the many things, may have occurred. This has brought new challenges for her. It's now necessary for her to be on oxygen and every week she's having ongoing tests to see what the best course of action might be.

This all said, we knew as a family that when she was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera in 1996 after suffering a stroke, that time with our parents should be treasured events. Let's face it, 100% of human being will die at some time. But periodically there are reminders that we shouldn't take the time we have for granted and that time sometimes is shorter than what we anticipate. So though we have no idea the time we have left, Christmas is a time for families and it was our desire to spend this year together. God graciously gave us another Christmas and what a time it was!

For those of you who don't know my mom or dad....this is normal.

We had a good time just sharing, reminiscing, and enjoying each other's company.

We ate....a lot...this is very normal anytime you're with my family! But why we all look so sober in this picture is beyond me!

We enjoyed having all the seven boy cousins together (we're sort of hoping the next little one to arrive in July is a girl).

What a heritage I have! Having Mark and Eleanor Slagenweit and Harry and Virginia Miller as grandparents who all served God and made such important decisions that still are making an impact even now to the third generation. As I sat and listened I was reminded how the decisions I'm making now are going to impact the course of my offspring for generations to come.


Faithe said...

What an EXCELLENT blog, Marianne. Indeed we have a RICH heritage...I'm thankful to be part of the Mark Slagenweit family!!!

Faithe said...

Oh yes....and your dad is the BEST brother any girl could hope to have. BTW...he's had lots of practice "making faces" over the years. He first practiced on me -- HA. Glad we both finally grew up...and now are best friends!