Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Gina!

It's amateur blogger Paul here.

Well, we are extremely thankful for several reasons.  After 11 days Lilah finally made it home.  She also made it home in time for Gina's birthday tomorrow!  We finally took some pictures of our sweet girl.  They were taken yesterday at Children's Hospital and they were the first real smiles that we have seen from her in quite a while.  

I can't tell you how much how Lilah's smile can completely change my day, but hers always does mine.  We feel so proud of her.  She has the sweetest and most gentle spirit that I have ever known.  She is also uniquely content just to be with us. This little girl has changed my life in so many ways and I could never even begin to articulate them.  After 36 years of life, Lilah has taught me how to live.

I also want to say a few things about my beautiful wife Gina on her 31st Birthday.  I think that maybe this is a 21st century way of professing my love for her so here goes.  This is what I know.  I loved Gina before Lilah was diagnosed with her condition(s) but I have come to love her more deeply than I ever knew were possible.  She is not only the love of my life, but she has become my best friend.

I have always felt that when something happens like what happened to Lilah, that the mom bears the heaviest burden.  Its not that the pain is necessarily any less for a dad, but I feel that for a mom, it's different.  Gina has carried and still carries the heaviest of burdens with the ever present list of uncertainties that Lilah faces every day.  Simply put, Lilah is going to have to beat the odds.  

Nevertheless, Gina continues to love.  She continues to care for Lilah and Garrett with her whole heart and she continues to be an amazing wife to me.  She also chooses the most difficult task of feeling the full weight of the good and the bad.  It's much easier to run from things like this, or to medicate them in a million different ways, but she does the hard thing and the right thing.  She feels the pain and she waits for the Lord to pick her up.  I have learned so much from her in this way.

The hope in all of this is that God has proved faithful to her and to us in this storm.  God's grace is real and He is an ever present help in trouble as it says in Psalms.  We have literally felt God's presence in some of the darkest days and God has ministered to us through the gift of your prayers.  

Happy Birthday Gina.  I love you!



Anonymous said...

Thankyou, Paul, for expressing your feelings for Gina on here. Your words were beautiful and Gina so deserves that acknowledgement. What a blessing for Lilah to be a part of a family who loves so much. The love that you and Gina share for one another is the foundation for your love for your children. You both inspire me and challenge me. Thank you for truly leading and loving your family well. Happy Birthday Gina!
In Awe,
April Grimsley

Elizabeth Myatt said...

How refreshing. Your love for each other has always struck me as "apparent." So, your words are no surprise to's obvious how much you love your wife. Happy Birthday Gina! So glad you are home and hope you enjoy your day tomorrow. Lilah's smiles are so sweet in those picts. Love her cute face!

Genna said...

You both continue to bless and minister to people you've never even met. And we're out here, praying for you and your beautiful little girl!

Elizabeth Browning said...

Happy Birthday Gina and Welcome home Lilah! It is so good to see her smile!

The Leonards said...

Paul, your words are beautiful! Once again, I'm crying. Happy Birthday, are loved!!! Lilah's smiles are dear...she is beautiful and amazing like her mama!

Cade and Cora said...

Happy Birthday, Gina! Lilah is so so blessed and God's choice in parents for her was PERFECT!

Jessica said...

hurray that you are home together for the birthday celebration! Thank you Paul for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

Amy said...

Happy Birthday, Gina!!What a blessing to have such a loving and supportive family, and husband, especially! So glad Lilah came home for your birthday!