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A Different Dream for My Child, Washington Pencil Sale

posted Apr 6, 2011, 12:03 PM by Manny Wilke
At the 4/1 benefit at our church, our Pastor's wife, Sherry, gave me a little gift to open later. Sherry and Pastor tragically lost their little daughter, Emily, to the courageous battle with cancer a few years back. I made the mistake of opening it when we got home from the benefit, when emotions were at an all time high. It is called A Different Dream for My Child, meditations for parents of crtically or chronically ill children. I opened it to a random page and read "Think of your present medical situation as your target. Your child is the center. As parents, you're in the first ring surrounding the center. Extended families occupies the next ring.  The outer ring includes close friends, co-workers, and your church family.  You need the support from that outer ring, the people who have a little less emotional attachment than those near the center, but with plenty of compassion and practical love." After coming back from the benefit - this was all so true. This book was going to be a little too perfect.
I started reading it a few nights ago. It is of course written by parents who faced a child's illness. I was curious to see what illness would make them write such a book. They kept referring to it as a "life threatening illness" but wouldn't be specific. As I got into the book...their kidding....was born with a Trachea Esophogeal Fistula. It is not a common birth defect. I dont think I breathed for about a minute. I bet Sherry had no idea. Of course, this is the same thing Manny was born with and what we had to tackle at birth. There are only a few pages per chapter (perfect for me!) and this is what I've read so far...
1) Something's Wrong with your child
2) The Blackest Black
3) Snap Decisions
4) Call in the Forces
5) Dont drive alone
It brings me back to the blackest of blacks, that is for sure. We had to make snap decisions after he was born to get to UW. We had to call in the forces to watch Eli. And Nate had to drive wildly to UW at 2am when we thought we were losing Manny after his TE Fistula surgery when his heart rate plummeted (according to the book, you shouldn't drive alone - oops - perhaps that is why he got there in 46 minutes - which is usually an hour+ drive). The good news is that he is here today, thriving, and about to overcome "just ears" - not a big deal if you put some perspective on his initial start to life. So he has the worst case of this ear birth defect - yeah well, he had the so-called best case of TE Fistula!! :)  I have a feeling that the parents in the book will talk about additional struggles with the fistula - and we did to many degrees, but didn't as far as more surgeries. Some do not know that he does have 6 other birth defects, including some heart issues we may have to address in the distant future - but, it could be very distant so we're all good. Dont worry, it should be covered by insurance :) Ok, not very funny.
Ok, can't breathe again so moving on...
The Washington Elementary School pencil was a HUGE success raising $430. That is a lot of pencils!!
Thank you so much for your donations: S/P Miller, A Smits, D Filardo, B/P Shippee, M Horner, Washington Elementary, B/L Koch