Monday, April 14, 2008


Family is one of the most important things in our lives, now more than ever. I cannot put a price tag on what our families have meant to us over the past few months and years. The fact that both of our parents are still married and in love, that all of our brothers and sisters are so supportive of each other is something that we do not take for granted, especially having talked with so many other patients and caregivers who are seemingly doing it on their own because of dysfunctional and/or unsupportive families.

I don't speak about our families much here, because, as the following for this blog has grown, the risk of invading their privacy has become greater as well, and I have tried to write and post with as much sensitivity to their own lives as possible. More than just about anything else, Tricia is always a daughter and a sister (in-law), niece and aunt and cousin first, and I know that it can be difficult for some of our family to get some info and pictures and video at the same time the rest of the world is.

In many ways, regardless of the difficulties of the daily grind as a caregiver in the hospital, it is so much easier for me to be here with my two girls than it is for most of our family to live so far away that they feel somewhat detached from what we're going through. Although the blog has served it's purpose well of getting info out quickly and clearly, and we have certainly shared much more privileged info with family than what has been posted on the blog, even receiving info on 30 minute delay in Nags Head of NJ can be so much more frustrating than getting it in real time like I am able to here in the hospital.

And, of course, despite the incredible love and care they have shown and continue to show us, we are NOT the center of the universe all day every day for the rest of our family. They all have their own lives, their own spouses and kids and jobs and all the rest to continue on with. And, over the course of just the past few months, as we've been living in the hospital, nearly every single one of their own family units have experienced some form of crises or major life-change of their own.

Tricia and I have spent hours praying for the rest of our family just as they have spent praying for us. I have cried many times thinking about some of the tests and journeys that God is leading them through, some of which are being resolved, and some of which are still up in the air, knowing that we are unable to do for them all that they have done for us because we are confined to the hospital. I have felt deep heartache for Tricia's father and my parents and our siblings who I know would love to be here with us more than they are able, just as I have felt burdened for Agnes as she has sacrificed so much of her own life to be here with us full-time.

But, the gratefulness far outweighs the burdens, knowing and literally feeling how our family is all caring for each other as we take this journey together. Even though we are family, and even though we would do the same for them if needed and possible, the understanding and patience they have shown us, as we have both been literally unable to function as we normally do, is totally amazing.

I want to express really tell everyone just how awesome our family is. But, I think, no matter how much I say or write, I will always feel there is more to say and write.

So, simply, thank you to our family. You mean more to us than you'll ever know and can express. We love each of you and cannot wait to spend time with you after we get out of the hospital.



Andy Lawrenson said...

Surely there will be some sort of welcome home barbeque with weight watcher food. :)

It is difficult sometimes to only be able to sit and read what is happening with you guys. I know that we and the rest of the family would like to be there with you guys (although I'm sure we would bug you after a while).

Every couple of days we say, "I wish we could go see Nate and Tricia and baby Rose".

My prayer all along has been that Tricia and Gwyneth will be able to leave the hospital at the same time. We look forward to your homecoming and I'm sure there will be a big blow out celebration.

Coach Prentice said...

Aw, Nate. I'm all verklempt! We love you guys and miss you so much! Can't wait for summer at the beach TOGETHER!

Totally Taylor said...

I can only hope that people realize you are sharing a small portion with us. You owe no explanation. this is your life. If you chose to pull the plug on the entire blog, that is your perogative. I hope you don't as I am emotionally attached. But please know, that some of us only want the very best for you are and are happy to receive as much or as little information as you want to share.

I think it's easy for some to forget that this isn't a TV Show, that this is your actual real life. I never forget that.

Thank you for letting us be a part of it.


Amy E. said...

I would like to say "Amen Tori!"
Nate, those of us that read your blog are blessed by your blog..but not matter what is YOUR blog.

Whatever you share is a blessing.
The amount makes no difference.
Prayers here in Texas are still goin' up!
I also agree with Andy..I truly pray that your girls get to go home on the same day! Prayin' for that day!

Courtnie said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I find that God puts us through trials so that we can be a blessing to the people we love when they are going through a trial.

I appreciate all of you posts and in the midst of so many negative and pessimistic things that I have read by other people affected by CF I enjoy reading your posts. It makes me feel that Luke can be as happy and well balanced as any other child.

Thank you and God bless.


Em said...

Bless You!

Kristi said...

No matter how eloquent a writer one might be, thank you NEVER seems to be enough for those that love you. Fortunately, they usually know how much we appreciate them when we say "We don't know what else to say". I feel the same way about my Daughter's foster family in Guatemala City and our own family here. Hang in the Nate --- Much love - Bamagirl!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post Nathan. Thank you for allowing the rest of us to follow your family's journey.

candicesalazar said...

I want to say that the readers of your blog can certainly see just how wonderful your families are...THEY "made" the two of you!! And now Baby G will carry on the legacy that God began in your parents!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!! Still praying in cow country (NE) :)
Nurse Candice & Co.

Debbie said...

Beautifully written Nate. I appreciate what information you give us. Thanks for sharing what you have and know we care. God Bless, Nate, Tricia, and Gwyneth and their entire family.

Debbie :o)

Unknown said...

I came here to comment on your beautiful post on family... and the first thing I see is Andy's comment... which makes it even MORE evident that I can truly relate to your family! (Sarcasm IS genetic, you know!)

But seriously... as the lone family member separated by physical distance during my Mom's illness for the past 9 months, I ache with your far-away family members who live from phone call to phone call, e-mail to e-mail, and update to update. Granted, her situation was not as dire, but I still felt helpless, 1400 miles away.

Happily, I can say that I'll be flying up there in June to celebrate hers and Dad's 50th anniversary of "in sickness and in health". (And health, is returning, though the doctors can't explain why... we can... its PRAYER.)

Blessings From Above said...

You have won the hearts of so many as we have watched your daily struggles and progress. I feel bad that I never stopped to think how this might effect the rest of your family.

God's best and most beautiful presence to you all.

Anonymous said...

I rejoice that you have a wonderful supportive family! From experience, I know what a tremendous impact that makes.

jamie said...

Nate, It has been quite evident that y'all come from special families. After all, the old saying is "the apple don't fall too far from the tree".Family is a gift and is wonderful. Continuing prayers for you and all your family continue.
God Bless you all.
Jamie in Texas

Donna said...

I'm jealous of your large supportive family. I'm happy, so happy for you that you have them. But I'm still a little jealous. I feel better having confessed that:) Continued prayers, Nate.

tillisfam5 said...

Thank you for sharing so much of your lives with those of us who are not family. Your blog has been a ministry not only to those who read it but with those the readers share your story with as well! I am just amazed at how diligent you are with the updates, I don't know if I could be in the same situation. God has used your story and shown His faithfulness through you and Tricia and Gwyneth. Thank you and thank you to your family for the wondeful people they raised.
The Tillis Family

pam said...

You are very blessed to have a family like yours. And I can not even imagine how long it will take to process all you guys have been through. My heart is so excited just thinking about the day the three of you can go home and settle into the everyday life of mundane yet glorious family life. I'm so grateful for God's leading in the creation of this blog and how God has washed over me several times as I have read of your journey.

Sarah said...

What a beautiful tribute to your family. All of your posts have been and continue to be a true source of inspiration for me. Thank you for your candid and tender willingness to share your journey.

Rooting for you, Tricia and Gwyneth here in KS ...

bkmanary said...

Wonderful sentiments. Family is Everything.
Still praying in Vancouver, BC
Karen et al

cmziall said...

Praise be to God for having a wonderful family! We, too, have a good support system in our family and they are there whenever we need them. We have to count our blessings, there are many out there that don't have the great support system we do and they're struggles are far greater than ours.

Nate, thanks for all the updates and information you have provided. God is what is getting you through all these difficult times in your life. . . .can you imagine anyone going through the things you have gone through without God? ? ?

Thanks be to God for answered prayers.

Still praying!

God Bless,
Michelle in MO

Marsmile said...

I second what Tori said!

Many thanks for sharing!

Nate, Tricia, and your families deserve a celebration all to your own once the girls are out of the hospital (like Andy says)! One where you all can be together and have fun and all that families do! :-)

I'm really glad your families are there supporting you guys and that is really the heart of families.

Once again, Nate, you write fabulously and your words are so touching and they are tributes to many, including your family.

Thanks again and prayin' things will be back to NORMAL soon enough... being with your family at home, etc.

Marissa :-)

Ellen said...

May God bless your family richly!

The Beaver Bunch said...

I'm not family (like you didn't know that) and this comment isn't about family, but I wanted to let you know:

1. I just went to the NC registry and registered to be an organ donor. I'd already registered to be a bone marrow donor when I first found your site. Cool stuff!

2. They don't list you as one of the options for "How did you learn about the Donate Life North Carolina Registry?"

Humf! Guess they don't RECOGNIZE! Ha!
Have a great day! Still praying...

Erin said...

We were out of town this weekend, and as ridiculous as it may sound, I couldn't wait to see my three boys and check on you and the girls. I praise God when I read your blog - his goodness is so evident in your story. Someone asked me how I will feel when you stop blogging (since I talk about you and Tricia like we've met) - not sure, but this is how I think I will feel - blessed to have been a part of your journey, that you gave us that gift. What could be better than one day you were too busy at the beach with your girls to write on your blog?! I would praise God for that too!!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post!! Family sure is amazing during medical issues & family things like your situation.

Continued prayers for you and your entire family!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post!! Family sure is amazing during medical issues & family things like your situation.

Continued prayers for you and your entire family!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post!! Family sure is amazing during medical issues & family things like your situation.

Continued prayers for you and your entire family!

Jenny said...

You're very blessed to have the family you do. I can't imagine what it must be like for the others you've met who are going through it alone.

I'm glad to hear Tric is still making progress, and will continue to pray for more.

Thanks for the updates. I can't even begin to imagine what it's been like for you, Tric, Agnes, and your families to go through this.

Beth said...

I'm inspired by your blog. Your faith through this trial has strengthened many including mine. This post prompted me to finally comment. Our family relationships can last forever when nothing else in this life can or will. It is the most important thing we have. YOur family is wonderful and blessed. Keep posting.

Tori said...

i just wanted to let you know, that you are my hero. (i'm new to blogging, but my family has been following yall's story for a while now.) god bless you.

Em said...

It's great that you have such a supportive family. Praise God for that!

Nadine said...

Thanks for having been so transparent these last several really touches me to see your devotion to your have taught me many things with your blogs...the most important one is of course to have faith and never give journey has been on of many bumps along the road..but reading your blog has helped me to open my eyes and heart and keep on looking at Jesus..
Thanks so much
I keep you guys in my prayers always...

Sunshine said...

WOW - we are praying for you guys and are SO thankful with you that a) you have such amazing families and b) that Tricia is doing so well...I cannot even imagine what you guys have been through - Sunshine

Kim said...

How wonderful that you and Tricia have such supportive and loving families. It is our hope to provide the same for our kids.
What a blessing!

Patti said...

I agree that it is important to say thank you to family. So many family members of mine all stepped in to help with my 3 organ transplant. My Mom even moved in with us for 7 months to help with our son and take care of me. I think that you have thanked you family beautifully. God bless to all of you!!

Amy said...

Both of your families have given you and Tricia a tremendous heritage of faith in Jesus Christ. A heritage that will continue with little Gwen and other grandchildren in the family I'm sure. The fact that you have chosen to share a very private and personal journey with the rest of the world allows you and Tricia and your families to be a tremendous testimony for the Lord. It can't be easy. And I'm glad for your sakes that you don't share all the details with everyone. Your families are not "behind the scenes". They are front and center in your lives and their strength is amazing. Even though you don't mention them often, it is evident. It is amazing to me that you choose to share so much of this journey with all of the rest of us. And I want you to know that even if you never blogged again, your names would continue to be lifted up in prayer in my home.

Scott said...

You have indeed been blessed!