Friday, 23 January 2009

The Life Cycle

Our thoughts and prayers have been with my brother's family since hearing that their son, Ronald, passed away on Tuesday morning, January 20. He had struggled with pulmonary fibrosis since having double pneumonia in 1988 which left him with permanent lung damage. We will miss Ronald's warm welcome that we had come to appreciate on our visits to Utah, but we find comfort in knowing that Ronald is now continuing with his progress and receiving eternal blessings. When I see a field of pretty sunflowers, I will think of Ronald and how he and I shared a fondness for them. Ronald's funeral is Saturday, January 24, in St. George with burial in Logan on Monday, January 26.

Sam and I will be flying to Madrid tomorrow afternoon for our last visa renewal trip. We are pleased that the Shepards and Reeses are also going to Madrid on the same flight to renew their visas. It's a special blessing that we can attend the temple while we are in Madrid. From Madrid, we will go to Yerevan to train the Blotters, the humanitarian couple who arrived in Armenia January 16. We will return to Moscow on February 1.

We have been busy at the office this week wanting to have things caught up before we leave for a week; but we expect when we return from Armenia, there will be many new e-mails to process.

Today, we visited a children's hospital for orphans. Most are brought there as newborns and given medical help. Some were born to mothers who were addicted to drugs, some had problems due to being born prematurely, some were born with deformities such as Down syndrome or encephalitis. Once the children reach age four or when the necessary treatment is finished, most of these children are then placed in an orphanage. A few do go home to a family, and a few with only minor disabilities are lucky enough to be adopted. It really pulls on your heartstrings to see these tiny babies with such a bleak future even though the caregivers at the hospital are providing compassionate care and doing what they can for them. The director expressed a need for infusion machines that can be used orally to feed those babies that cannot feed themselves and also nebulizers. I did have a hard time holding back the tears on this visit.

How blessed we have been to have healthy babies and healthy grandchildren. Rochelle sent some darling pictures recently of our youngest grandchild (#29). Here is a sample:

Kate LaRee Ireland
born 21 August 2008

I want to give her a big hug!

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