Hey everyone. Forgive me for writing a little late - things have been hectic! I'm now at 3 days left until surgery, so I have been doing my preparing... A lot of it! Saturday, the 16th was my " good luck party" day. It started out great because my father surprised me by going to get my darling Rafael (three hour drive) and bring him home. Rafael was originally coming home, but the ride fell through. So I wasn't sure how we were going to pull it off. I really needed to see him.
So, dad and I left early in the morning. I was so glad that I got to accompany my dad so I could spend extra hours with Rafael. However, my father is passing kidney stones so the trip was a little slower than expected as he had to make stops every half hour. He actually passed a stone at a gas station! Anyhow, we eventually arrived and when I saw Rafael standing outside his quarters my eyes just watered. I was so happy to see him... You wouldn't believe me if I told you! Just sitting next to him was a blessing.
We had to be home by 5:00 PM, which is when the party started, so we got back on the road ASAP. However, we were flooded with great San Antonio traffic. You know, the kind that goes across half the city and moves every few minutes. It was God awful, and we didn't arrive home until 8:30 PM. I was ready to cry because I was late to my own party!
However, almost everyone stayed and my mother and family kept the all well occupied with tons of food! There was everything to choose from too! Gourmet macaroni and cheese, 8 different dips, tacos, beer bread, nachos, fruit and cheese on a stick, cheesecake, chocolate cake, cookies, etc. (There's still more than half left in my fridge, too!) You knew my mum, tia, nana and cousin were working hard on food! (Especially my tia Mary and cousin Christina!)
After rushing inside to change into my dress, I said hello and made me rounds to chat with as many guests as possible. So many folks showed up that it was unreal! And the photo-taking was endless! (By the way, check back tomorrow for more high quality pictures and other party photos from my uncle Steve's good camera!) I hardly had time to eat, but eventually, I did...And it was amazing food!
Rafael is really the one who brings out the best in me... He's my best friend. I thank him for taking the time to come home during a struggle in my life like this. Rafael, if you're reading, thank you for loving me without hair. And thank you for making me laugh when I'm crying. I really needed those laughs and smiles.
After eating, our whole house gathered and held hands in a massive circle to say a prayer for the success of my surgery. We claimed my healing, and demanded the success of my surgery. My favorite part of the prayer was when tia said "Lord, we ask that you remove anything that you did not create from Amanda's body". She spoke of the importance of prayer, and the importance of having the Lord in your life because battles like mine can occur in anyone's life at any moment. My tia Mary has always been so amazing at leading us in prayer, and by the "Amen" there were tears in everyone's eyes. Not a single eye was dry, and that's the truth.
To learn how to pray for yourself or your loved one with Epilepsy, CLICK HERE!
After prayer I opened the gifts that some of my family and friends brought me:
A lovely card and donation of $100 from our good family friends.
Another beautiful card with a $100 donation from our family friend Kim. She is just so sweet! (She even made the AMAZING mac and cheese!)
Here is a sweet cross necklace from my cousins Jill and Kenny! Absolutely love it and I am so thankful!
My cousin Abby really spoiled me rotten! She gave me four coloring books, tons of crayons and markers, a notebook, razors, flossers, a dry erase board, a princess sippy cup, the cutest angel piece, two keychains, two fancy paperweights, a magnet with a hopeful quote, flowers to dress up my hospital room and a prayer bag!
My cousin Matt and his girlfriend gave me this lovely makeup box filled with a Rosewater scented bath set and moisturizing cozy socks. Just what I am going to need to keep clean!
Here is the beautiful card my sweetest, most beautiful little sister (who is literally a "little me"!) made for me, and inside it is filled with pictures of me throughout my life and signed with beautiful words and prayers from all of my friends and family! Thank you Eliana Krzywonski and I love you with all of my heart!
I saved this gift for last because it is very special to me. This is my "Tio Bear" given to me from my cousin Christina. This bear will be with me in the hospital to remind me not only that our Lord and Savior in heaven will be working on me along with my surgeon, but to also remind me that although my tio Freddy is walking in heaven with Jesus, he will still be fighting for me on the other side during my battle. This bear is made from my beloved tio's actual pair of Dickie's jeans. ( He always wore them so well, too!)
The right hand says "Psalm 23" which is:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank you tio Alfred Cantu for doing the Lord's work and speaking His holy word to me and so many others in this world who needed it so badly. You always knew where and when to speak and you knew just what to say. You didn't say much, but you said more than enough and the words you spoke we're powerful. I am forever grateful to call you my tio, and you are one of the Lord's biggest blessings to me. I love you.
Learn more about my tio Freddy, and read my letter to him before he passed away from cancer HERE.
Later that night I was looking forward to watching Big Fish with Rafael, because it is what we had planned to do after everyone left. But instead Rafael held me close, kissed me and just listened as I cried and poured my heart out to him. He said, "You're going in that hospital and you're going to kick Epilepsy's ass". Rafael just keeps me strong. After we talked, poor papas was so tired and fell asleep! But I don't blame him. He needed some rest before we took him home so I let him sleep... And I curled up and slept right next to him and we had the best sleep we've both had in ages. What a blessing he is.
So I guess you can say I'm getting stronger and ready to dive into this surgery. With my darling cheering me on and my family, friends and the Lord on my side, there's no way Epilepsy will win this fight.