It's the little moments that we cherish. The moments where we can feel Anaya's joy. Her happiness shines from her little body and it's easy to imagine her smiling. When we took her swimming at the Dallas, Oregon therapy pool it was definately on of those moments.
The water was so warm, but not hot. It was 94 degrees F - almost body temperature. We were able to stay in the pool with her for almost an hour - which is usually unheard of. In cold water pools she gets chilly so fast. That's why we got her the wetsuit last winter.
It actually fits her now.
She stretched her little body out straight and floated bouyantly on top of the water. She floats so well you actually have to pull her down into the water! A few times she moved her hands and splashed the water. Often we heard her happy sighs and she seldom needed suctioning.
We helped her move her body in the water, swishing and swaying, bending and splashing. It was a full body work out.
After swimming we dressed her and bundled her warmly for a visit to Rob and Dee Dee's house. They had a son who passed from Krabbe. They graciously had us over for a fantastic meal and we got to play with their beautiful children.
I particularly enjoyed my experience with their daughter Jazzy. (Short for Jassalyn) She's four years old with beautiful red hair that falls past her shoulders. Her eyes were striking green and blue with light rims around the iris. She sat and stared into my eyes. Her soul shone so brightly. I returned her stare, smiling. She started smiling too. She crawled into my arms and we became fast friends.
We played tickle monster, we played flip-the-toddler, we played the "what's that" game and she showed me her room. All night she was near me or touching me, sitting on my lap or leaning against me. Her antics reminded me so much of Solara when she was a little girl, just turned four. Her friendship made me happy. I couldn't stop playing with her. It was so much fun. Brent had his hands full paying attention to the other three and both of us took turns watching over Anaya. She slept like a log after swimming. She slept and slept. She didn't wake up until the next day - in the afternoon!
Here is a picture of when we went for a walk at Keizer Rapids Park. There was a big beautiful tree. It was so large you couldn't wrap your arms around it. In fact I think it would take four or five people to get around it. It had mossy roots and reached super high into the sky. We decided that Anaya needed to get out of her stroller and touch this magnificent tree! So I lifted her up and helped her. She touched the trunk of the tree and her eyes widened and lit up. The texture is so different than anything she's touched before. It was a beautiful fall day. The sun shone and Anaya was cozy in her peekaboo beans sweater and her love blankie in the stroller. We walked for about two hours - exploring the forest and the bank of the river. We managed to find our way back to the van and loaded up. We headed back to Anguard. Anguard remains our home base. Parked in the lot of NorthWest RV we remain hopeful that soon we will continue our journey south.
Anaya was a golden retriever puppy for halloween. We had a quiet halloween but it was still fun.
Yesterday we attended the All Saints Mass with Honorary Great Great Grandpa Floyd. It still amazes me that a 91 year old man is in such amazing health. He walks and drives his car. He can hear and is in complete possesion of his faculties. He inspires me. After mass we attended the Marion County Sherriffs Department where they presented Anaya with $400 towards her new mobile care unit. We now have close to $20K.
I have started a new facebook campaign called "Baby Anaya's 3500 Angels". The idea is that if 3500 people (we have that many fans on The Anaya Initiative) were to each donate $10 then we would have enough to buy the new Mobile Care Unit outright and we could get going!! We are also looking into other options. It is really getting cold here. There is ice on the steps this morning. The cold and damp is not good for Anaya. She's already becoming more phlemmy. We pray daily that she will maintain her health. We also give her medicine, vitamins and supplements to support her well-being. Recently we started a new supplement that we hope will boost her immunity and stimulate new cell growth. It's main ingredient is Aloe Vera. We are grateful to Marvin for his recommendation of this addition.
I'm going to go and kiss my little monkey now. She's awake! Have a great day.
Blessings to all of you.
Check out the 3500 Angels Page!
-Another day in paradise, another moment with my little love. Forever embedded in my heart.