Day 105-53 – Thoughts From Justus’ Great-Aunt

I’ve often said about grandparenting, “If I knew it was going to be this much fun I would have had them first!” I’m not sure my sister Becca feels exactly the same about being a Great-Aunt, but I know it’s pretty close. Justus has been blessed with a lot of aunties and uncles… he’s been blessed with grandparents that are crazy about him… but right up there amongst the most wonderful of his blessings are the great aunts and uncles in his life! He has several that have sacrificed time and resources to support him throughout this journey. Everyone of them have expressed their love for Justus in a hundred different ways. This week my sister Becca has spent some time with our little ninja and I asked her if she would share a little from a great-aunts perspective. The picture is Auntie Becca, or T-Bec as her nieces and nephews call her, with our little warrior and his cousins. I think you will be blessed with what she writes. #TeamJustus thank-you for your continued prayers. We love you. Enjoy!

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So let me begin with a warning. If you are expecting an insightful, wisdom filled, spiritual update… well, you might as well stop reading now. Not that I don’t believe in the same all knowing, all powerful, all loving, all just, all everything, sovereign God that my brother believes in. Communication is just not my gifting. J I used to be the clown of the family, but then my jokes got old. Then I became the funny story teller, but then I couldn’t remember what made my stories funny. Then I became the entertainer, but then I got older and the crowd got tougher. So now, I just work, hang with family and friends, try to learn more about and serve Jesus, and hopefully reflect Him in some small way with the changes He continues to make in my life.

After work on Tuesday night, I drove down to Portland to spend the night and the next day, helping my niece Alyse and nephew-in-law Jason with whatever they needed help with. Jason’s nephew (and per the Samoan way – now my nephew), Niko, was also there (and has been for about a week). So Niko and I stayed with Justus and Jason & Alyse went home with Amaya.

It’s the first time I got to spend the night with Justus at Randall Children’s Hospital. What a difference from seeing him in the mornings at Doernbecher. He was smiling, locking eyes and tracking, fist-bumping, and actually letting me kiss him. Someday I may share (but don’t hold your breath) about my own journey through all of this. For now, suffice it to say, seeing him wake up like this as compared to seeing him in the early days, did so much for my heart. None of the pictures I took captured the joy I was feeling from the smiles on his face (I blame it on my camera, my nieces & nephews would say my trigger finger has lost a step).

Today was the first time I got to attend therapy sessions. I’m either here in the evenings or on days when he doesn’t have therapy. It was pretty amazing to see what actually happens in therapy. I can now visualize things a little better when I read David’s updates or listen to everyone talking.

Justus had a post-op follow up appointment today and it went great. His incision is healing well and has allowed him to sport his fancy new haircut. The doctor said he doesn’t need to see him for another 8 weeks.

While Jason & Alyse were at his appointment, Amaya and I went to the park across the street. I let Niko sleep because he had gotten up with Justus in the middle of the night. She made me realize that I really need to get back in shape because I am not going to be able to keep up with her. Just little things like getting her off of the rope jungle gym when she’s screaming because she’s stuck way in the middle and almost at the top. Or when she takes off running (she’s FAST) after the squirrels who are right next to the street. *sigh*

But the highlight was probably when his twin friends Micah and Xavier came to visit him. He walked into the waiting room (with his dad’s support) and started moving up and down (like he was jumping) and had the biggest smile on his face. My camera (not me) was once again too slow to capture the joy of that moment.

And as long as I get this opportunity, I have to express my deepest gratitude to family, friends, Awards West (where I work…well, when I’m there), and all the rest of Team Justus. Truly our family could not have made it through all this without your encouragement, support and prayers. You are ALL a huge blessing to Justus’ immediate and extended family. Thank You!