Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Picking Winners

This post is #165 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

Photo from
January 23, 2009

The long-awaited new season of American Idol was now underway, and as always, our family life began to revolve around watching the bi-weekly and sometimes tri-weekly episodes.  Hannah had been hooked on the show since its inception, and she took it quite seriously.  She chose her favorites early in the season, and really "got to know" them.  She knew their hometowns, their favorite foods, how many brothers and sisters they had, and what they liked to do in their spare time.  Her track record for picking the winners early in the season was remarkable ... of course, she may have single-handedly pushed each one over the top with her faithful voting!

This particular season included a young singer from Conway, Arkansas, named Kris Allen.  She spotted him in the first episode ... after all, he was from Arkansas, he was talented, and he was super cute!  Naturally, he became her instant favorite.  The next time the show aired, I said something about watching for the guy from Arkansas ... and Hannah said, "There's a guy from Arkansas?"

It was one of the most jarring indications yet that she was slipping away from us.  Every episode she was able to watch that season included the exciting discovery all over again that there was a guy from Arkansas in the competition, and he was really doing well.

She would have been thrilled to know that Kris Allen won it all later that spring.  She always was good at picking the winners!

My email from ten years ago today ...

We're already home from our Children's Hospital visit today. Hannah's platelets were at 49,000, which is a good number, considering that she hasn't received platelets since Tuesday. They went ahead and gave her an infusion, and we're already back at home, where she is napping in her bed. We'll return on Monday for our regular clinic appointment. A group of Hannah's friends from school came out to the house to have lunch with her on Thursday of this week, which was a nice treat for her; and she will have some visitors from her former school in El Dorado next week. We are so thankful for our friends and family, who have been such a wonderful support for her and for all of us.

Hannah is doing well overall, although her vision has become a real problem for her. Her pupils are very dilated all the time, so she is sensitive to the light. Her near vision is very poor, but her farther vision for watching TV, etc., is pretty good. She's been enjoying watching American Idol over the last couple of weeks....that's been her favorite show for several years. Fatigue is another issue...she takes a couple of naps every day, and goes to bed early at night. However, her spirits are good, and her faith remains strong. We are so proud of her, and the way she's faced everything that's come her way. Your prayers and support have been a huge part of this, and we thank you for them.

God is good, all the time!

Jill and Brad

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