Thursday, December 20, 2007

St. Jude's

Well, we've arrived in Memphis and are currently staying at the Grizzly House. This is the place for people who just arrived through one week. After that week we would move to the Ronald McDonald house, but as everyone knows, Jennifer and Matt are going to let us use their house. This week has been a continuation of the whirlwind that Gill mentioned. In fact it has picked up pace. To be included in this study, they have to repeat a bunch of the studies that were already done. This is frustrating to go through again especially to Joseph who is fighting every step of the way. He has calmed down somewhat since our arrival.
Yesterday he had an IV placed and got some lab work done before an afternoon MRI of his brain and spine. We went back to our room but our oncologist called and said that they discussed his case at the tumor board (which is a meeting of oncologists, neurosurgeons, and some others involved in his case) and felt like there was an increase in the size of his ventricles in his brain which is a sign of increased intracranial pressure. You can look all this up if you want more details, but basically the tumor is in a place that can block the drainage of his spinal fluid from his brain. He then told us that we could not leave the campus for Christmas and that their opinion was that he needed a second surgery to relieve the pressure and try to resect more of the tumor. This obviously upset us greatly. We met with the neurosurgeon here who was patient with our many questions and concerns. He basically said that we could either have a second surgery where they would remove as much as they could, put in a shunt (which is a tube from the brain that drains the fluid), or start radiation and just watch him closely. His recommendation was for repeat surgery. He did however say that he was not as concerned about any short term effects developing and that we could go back to Nashville for Christmas.
I was really upset with the idea of more surgery especially since last time they stopped because they couldn't tell tumor from brain tissue. But remembering back, our surgeon in Atlanta said that there was a portion of the tumor that they could, if needed to relieve pressure, go back and take out but he left it because they weren't sure of the pathology at the time. And the surgeon here is pretty confident that they will be able to take out more of it this time but again, they won't be able to take it all out and they are not going to try to do that because it is too dangerous. So it looks like we'll be leaving tomorrow, and when we come back wednesday or thursday, we'll be going to the main Children's hospital here in Memphis for more surgery. This will push back the start date of his radiation 2-4 weeks for yet another recovery.
Yesterday was a rough day. One of the roughest we've had. But after talking with the surgeon and hearing that we will be able to go back for Christmas our moods have improved significantly. Despite not wanting to go see doctors, Joe is walking more and has times where he is sweet, smiling, and being very funny. His new favorite activity is to set up all the medicine bottles in a tower and then knocking it over with his new cars. He is back on the steroids, so he is moody and not sleeping well again, and he has an insatiable appetite for McNuggets and fries.
Please keep praying for him and for us, that we will have a good time over Christmas seeing everyone and Holly again, that we will be prepared for another surgery with another PICU stay and for the recovery, that Joe will adjust to having people poke and prod him, and that Gill and I will communicate well. Thanks everyone for all that you've done for us. We miss all our atlanta people badly, but we're looking forward to Christmas with all the family.

69 comments:

sj said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"here comes Joseph Claus, here comes Joseph Claus, right down nana claus lane"....wahooooooooooo we are so excited that you are coming home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Praying and rejoicing that you get to come home for Christmas. We will pray for a good ride from Memphis to Nashville and look forward to seeing you all and giving as Holly says, a "Tiss and big hug."
I took Holly to NHA today so she could meet my students and celebrate with them during their Christmas party. They all loved her and she mostly loved the food they were serving. She looked like a little doll and all the adults went crazy over her. She threw kisses to everyone when we had to leave and even gave a hugs to a few.
I have had such fun with her. She makes me laugh a lot! We'll be doing something and she'll say, "Dig Daddy say that." I don't know what she is referring to, but she says it a lot.
She LOVES Charlie and Schroder and thinks that she is in charge of them. Actually, she's in CHARGE, period!! So much personality!!
We miss all of you and can't wait to see you.
Love, Mimi and Big Daddy

Jeanne said...

Hi Allen and Gillian and Joseph! I'm so sorry to hear of the really rough news and emotional rollercoster of yesterday! Can't imagine how tough that is, when you have your mind prepared and ready for one thing and get hit with the news of another surgery. Know that we miss you and wish we could be there to give a hug and just be present. You continue to be in our prayers and thoughts throughout the days! We'll be praying for all of you and especially for sweet Joseph as he undergoes the testing and preparation for surgery (for staying healthy, etc) and for a very sweet time with your family in Nashville. God's peace and sustaining love to you all, Jeanne, Chuck and Cate Fell

Mel and Steve said...

We are continuing to pray as you seek God's guidance and direction each step of the way. So thankful that you were given the ok to go to Nashville for Christmas. Wish we could be there to give you all hugs. We love you!

Margaret said...

What a roller coaster of emotions and expectations. You're in the front car, but we are all riding along with you. I'm glad that you'll have Christmas Day together with your family at home. I bet that will be better medicine for JoeP than anything else! Sarah sends special love, hug and kisses to Joseph. I just got the camera back from Chris and will send you the pics tomorrow.
Talk soon, much love, Margaret

Lauren Klein said...

I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas with the whole family. May 2008 bring you peace. I'm sorry to hear that Joseph will have to have a second surgery. He is a strong boy with stong, wonderful, and caring parents, and I have faith he will fight all the way through. I hope you are able to get some much needed rest over the holiday.

Brea said...

We continue to uphold Joseph and all of you in prayer. I've been praying that God would show His Word in Isaiah 43 to be true in this situation:

But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Praying that God will be near to you and give you strength. We love you and miss you here.

Wrights said...

I am praying right now for you all. Praying specifically for a joyful, peaceful Christmas with your family and for the surgery and recovery to go very smoothly. Our hearts ache with you and we will not stop praying.
Nathaniel and Rebekah

Heinzfeet said...

I know you guys are so emotionally and physically drained. We continue to pray for you constantly. I'm hoping to come see you guys Sunday at your mom's if you're up for company. I'll call first. We love you so much!
Ashley

tracey said...

We miss you in Atlanta very much and your family is never far from our thoughts. I'm just overwhelmed for you with the latest news. Praying you can enjoy a wonderful Christmas before heading back to St. Jude's.
Sending lots of love -- the Shells

Gretchen Davis said...

We love the Peabody family and will continue to pray for you all and sweet Joseph. Enjoy your time in Nashville.

The Davis Family in DC

Craig and Gwen said...

Our Community group just had the best prayer time for ya'll - it rocked.

Who Knew Yeon Bea was a prayer warrior!

So many people are calling out to the Lord for ya'll - I'm calling out to the Lord for ya'll.

We Love you and I miss you!

Gwen

Jenny p B said...

Fella - I know you will check this late tonight... Matt is always available for some late night X-boxing with you. I would be glad to sit with J-man. Hope you both get some rest tonight...

Anonymous said...

Allen & Gil - we can only imagine the stress of today and pray that tonight you find rest. We're so glad that you'll get a break for a few days with family. We'll be praying for a safe trip to Nashville and that JoeP travels well. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Linda Roley

courtney said...

So glad that you all will be home for Christmas!!! We're praying and praying more for Joe's peace and comfort, and for strength for all of you. Much love to you all!

Courtney

Reed's mom said...

So glad you all get to go home to Nashvegas! What a blessing! We will continue to pray for all you have ahead of you, and that this time with family at home will be so sweet and so refreshing! I know the Taaffe and the Peabody families are fun times, so you all will get lots of love and laughs while you are there! Love to you guys! Erica

Abbie said...

Thank you for the update. We will pray for those things you mentioned. I'm so glad that you will get to celebrate Christmas with your extended family.
-Abbie

Anonymous said...

I talked to Kathy today, and everyone is excited that Joseph will be in Nasville for Christmas. Also, we pray that the peace of Christ will allow all to have a joyous and restful time. If you need to stop on either trip, our house is always open. You are constantly in our prayers. I talked to Holly on the phone also, and I think she said that she would like to visit us soon! We love you, Martha and Karl

nanna pauline said...

SARAH JANE YOU MADE US ALL LAUGH!!WE ARE READY FOR JOSEPH CLAUS.THE STOCKINGS ARE HUNG BY THE FIREPLACE WITH CARE WITH THOUGHTS THAT ST NICHOLAS SOON WILL BE THERE.ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE LET US CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR WISDOM AND A CLEAR PLAN FOR THE TEAM OF DOCTORS.ALSO PRAY FOR JOSEPH TO SLEEP WELL AND GILLIAN AND ALLEN.FOR SAFE TRAVELS.A FRIEND OF DAVIDS GAVE US A LION FOR JOSEPH AND THE MESSAGE SAID BE BRAVE AND STRONG.TODAY IN MY DEVOTIONAL I READ"HERE I AM!I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK.IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICEAND OPENS THE DOOR ,I WILL COME IN AND EAT WITH HIM AND HE WITH ME.REVELATION .3:20 THE PAINTING OF JESUS STANDING AT THE DOOR IS IN KEEBLE CHAPEL IN KEEBLE COLLEGE IN OXFORD ENGLAND.TO LOOK AT THE PAINTING YOU CAN HEAR JESUS SPEAKING THESE WORDS.THE REST OF THE DEVOTIONAL SAYS "SOME OF THE SADDEST WORDS ON EARTH ARE "WE DONT HAVE ANY ROOM FOR YOU".JESUS KNEW THE SOUND OF THOSE WORDS.HE WAS STILL IN MARY'S WOMB WHEN THE INNKEEPER SAID "WE DONT HAVE ROOM FOR YOU"AND WHEN HE WAS HUNG ON THE CROSS,WASN'T THE MESSAGE ONE OF UTTER REJECTION?"WE DONT HAVE ROOM FOR YOU IN THE WORLD" EVEN TODAY JESUS IS GIVEN THE SAME TREATMENT.HE GOES FROM HEART TO HEART ASKING IF HE MIGHT ENTER.EVERY SO OFTEN HE IS WELCOMED.SOMEONE THROWS OPEN THE DOOR OF HIS OR HER HEART AND INVITES HIM TO STAY,AND TO THAT PERSON JESUS GIVES THIS GREAT PROMISE..."IN MY FATHERS HOUSE ARE MANY ROOMS"WHAT A DELIGHTFUL PROMISE HE MAKES US!WE MAKE ROOM FOR HIM IN OUR HEARTS,AND HE MAKES ROOM FOR US IN HIS HOUSE. I FEEL SO PRIVILEGED TO KNOW THAT OUR FAMILY HAS MADE ROOM FOR JESUS IN OUR HEARTS ...ILOVE YOU ALL DEARLY.MOM

Vann and Norma said...

Thanks Allen and Gillian for keeping us up to date. We are thankful for the time you will have in Nashville. We pray that you both will be renewed as you are with family for Christmas. Our prayers continue for Joseph.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3

we love you so much. vann & norma

Allison & Jeff said...

We are so sorry for your hard day yesterday, and so thankful that hopefully you can have a few fun days with family before the next stretch of your journey. We pray that you will have a safe journey and be able to get some rest while you are here. And thank you so much for continuing to update ... even those of us who you don't know appreciate it greatly - you are in our thoughts and prayers so much it feels like we've known you forever.

nanna pauline said...

GILL CHECK YOUR E MAIL ..VERY IMPORTANT...MOM

Anonymous said...

Praying for a precious and sweet time with your families in Nashville---I know their love will strengthen and uphold you, and I pray Joseph will "drink" in all the love and attention, and tuck away in his mind all the fun memories of Christmas at grandparents! How thankful we can be that His mercies are new every morning!
With love and unceasing prayer,
Carol

Jenny p B said...

Maybe I'm posting too much. Just want you to know Joseph is pretty much all Matt and I think & talk about these days. You guys are on our minds constantly. I am hurting for you. But hopeful too. I like that Isaiah passage that your friend Brea wrote down. Its been with me through this whole mess. I love you. I'll stop posting for the night now.

Jen

Lynn T said...

I'm so sorry for the hard day yesterday. I really am glad you will be in Nashville for Christmas. I want to see Joesph's smile and cannot wait to see him knock down all those medicine bottles... I'm sure all the cousins will join in!

Thanks for posting and for your honesty. You are both my heroes.

I think of you non stop and praying for peace tonight.

Much love,

Lynn

Audrey said...

praying

-audrey

Catherine Tighe said...

You are still in our thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry that you didn't get the news you wanted.
I'm sure getting home for Christmas will lift all your spirits and do you the world of good.
Lots of love,
Catherine, Barry, Sean & Arun xxx

Chloe said...

hi darlings gillian and allen - lynn is right, you are heroes. thinking of you. love from chloe. xx

Anonymous said...

Gill and Allen- Thank you so much for taking the time in this whirlwind to update us. We read your post last night and then, as Gwen said, literally cried out on your behalf during our CG. I was also thinking of the Isaiah passage that Brea mentioned. As your brothers and sisters in Christ, our hearts are very heavy alongside you. But I do have hope- hope that our God will heal Joseph, that He will give you both the strength for each step of this, that He will work out even the smallest details of this process, and that He will bless your family mightily this Christmas. We love and miss you.

-Sara Wade

Anonymous said...

Gillian and Allan, I just read your comments from yesterday. We are praying. Love, Martha Dubbert

Anonymous said...

You all are constantly on our minds. We have not stopped praying and will continue to do so as long as they're needed. Sorry for the tough days. May you all have a blessed Christmas with your family.
Meg Bloomer - Orlando

Chas and Catherine Morris said...

I have been checking every day, several times a day to hear the update. I am burdened for you guys and will continue to pray for miraculous healing. I sent your Christmas card to ATL with hopes that someone is forwarding you mail to Memphis. Know that we think the world of you guys and we are praying daily for you.
Catherine (for Chas and Catherine)

cindy terrell said...

Praying,praying,and praying some more!
The Terrells

The Kohrs said...

We're continuing to pray for you. We're glad God is providing you a direction (despite the tough road ahead). May you have a wonderful Christmas and New Years!! Andrew and Jenny Kohr

Mary Vagnoni said...

That was a really hard to read update but we know you will find comfort and guidance in prayer. You have an amazing family and friends who will help you through this.So glad you will be home with the gang for Christmas, we have a full house here in Houston who are all praying and thinking of you non-stop
Love from your family in Houston

Anna said...

Dear Gillian and Allen, what wonderful posts! Thank you for the blessing of letting us all walk with you in this. Know we are loving you and praying for you near and far. And there is nothing like the healing power of some grandmamas and aunties - so glad that Joesph and his parents are going to get a lot of that! Rest up. Emmanuel, Anna

Christy said...

We're missing you, too. I'm so deeply sorry about the second surgery. I'm glad you have doctors you can trust (and I hope they have decent personalities to go with their ginormous brains). We're praying for Christmas to be the eye of the storm.

Anonymous said...

Love you guys and am praying. Jo Little

ally said...

Hello there, I have been following your blog from Copeland Farley's blog (Boothe Farley),which I got from our sunday school friends The Luces' blog-who had a trisomy 18 baby 3 weeks ago & passed after 3 hours. So, I've been anxiously reading your updates. I live in Cordova, Tn ( the burbs of Memphis ) & was excited for ya'll to come to St. Jude. I am a surgical scrub nurse at Germantown Methodist Hosp., but was at LeBonhuer's for 2 years & worked closely with the nuero surgeons there. Dr.Boop is one of my favorite docs. If there is anything I or our sunday school class ( Faith Baptist Church- Bartlett) can do for ya'll we are here & willing. You can email me for any questions: floridaorman@comcast.net. We can exchange info through the email if needed. My husband & I have been praying fot ya'll everyday- promise! We wish you a very special Christmas with your little ones- Joyfully His- Ally Orman

carolyn & dave said...

I'm glad you'll be able to spend time with your family. Thank you so much for the update. I'll be approaching God's throne asking him to give wisdom to you both as you make these important decisions about Joseph's care.

Merry Christmas Peabody and Taaffe Families,

Carolyn & Dave

Kim said...

Hi Allen and Gillian,
As many have already stated, you don't know me, but my son and "daughter" are Drew and Melissa Bobeck. They have told me about your family and especially Joseph. We were in similar circumstances 7 years ago, however it seems like yesterday. I know Drew remembers everything very well. And when someone you know has to face the same situations your heart goes out. Your emotions, patience, courage, strength and yes, sometimes faith, has many ups and downs. But God never leaves you. He is there every step of the way. My family as well as our church here in Bethel Park, PA are praying for the wisdom and skill of your doctors, the strength for your family and for Joseph to be healed. We will continue to pray.

The Anderson's

Jody (atlanta) said...

Thanks again for taking the time to update this blog...you both do a fabulous job of sharing the facts and your emotions which I imagine is hard. As someone mentioned earlier your strong english majors are evident.

We miss you already.....Abigail is asking lots about Joseph and we pray for you ALL each night. I cannot imagine the ups & downs these last couple days and please know we are with you in spirit always. I am so glad you will be with Holly and family for Christmas. Having your family all together will be wonderful medicine for you all. Maybe you two can even enjoy some alone time....I am sure with all the stress you could use a 'date night.' I am praying for all your requests and thinking of you always.

LOVE YOU LOTS!!!! Jody (Atlanta)

Emily said...

My heart is so very heavy for you right now, but I know the Lord will continue to hold you up. I am praying earnestly for all that you asked us to lift up to the Lord. We love Joseph - I was just watching a clip of the kids attacking Elmo at our Halloween party. So funny. We love you all. Have a very special time with all your family.
Love,
Emily, Andy, and Connor and Caden

sj said...

Christy,
this is Sarah-Jane,
what is your email?
your entries always make me smile.
especially today.

Anonymous said...

Oh, guys. We are so sad to read the report and to know you have the excruciating step of another surgery. As if one surgery isn't enough! It makes me so mad that you guys even had to go through the first surgery if this was required all along. We cry to think of your sweet Joseph going through so much...to think of you all going through so much. We wish somehow we could share this burden with you and make the journey easier. We are praying for you--asking God to give you His comfort and his Hope in this journey.
We all send our love,
keely, josh & salem

Bob & Randy said...

Randy and I have only known the Taaffe's for a short time as our son Kirk played soccer with David this year. This is a wonderful family who came into our lives and we so want everything to turn out for the best. We think of Billy and Pauline constantly and wish we could do more. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you every day. Please know you are very important to us!!
Bob

Anonymous said...

What a joyous visit we just had with Joseph, Gillian, and Allen! Thank you for stopping by on your way to Nana and Grandad's house. It was so good to see Joseph laughing, walking, talking, and running (with another's hand)and playing chase with Big Daddy. He ate a lot of snacks and wanted to play cars and roll the pool table balls in the pockets. It was wonderful playing with him and seeing him happy.
Dear son and daughter we love you so much and are so proud of you. Joseph is so blessed to have you as his parents. We are constantly lifting you up and praying that God will give you the strength and courage you need to face each day.
Love, Mom and Dad Peabody

Jennifer said...

OK, last post for today. Can I just say I have cried all day! Maybe its just the latest sinking in or the fact that I can't hop in the car and see you in 10 minutes. I don't know. I do know that when I am upset and don't feel like praying. Yes, sometimes I don't feel like praying. At least I am honest. But when I feel like that, it is comforting to come here and see that people are praying when I don't have the strength.

I saw a friend tonight who was asking about you guys. I told them to check the blog for the latest instead of trying to explain it all myself. Yikes. They surprised me by telling me they check it religiously. It made me realize how many others are out there, doing the same. Praying constantly. Begging God for all the mercy and grace and healing that Allen, Gillian and Joe needs. And the rest of the family.

OK, end of post. I feel terribly awkward to be the only family to be in Memphis while everyone is in Nashville. Maybe we will come for a day. But of course, I am incredibly fortunate to be in Memphis while you have to be here. Thank God I live here. I used to hate living here. Now I feel a huge purpose in being placed here.

Love you guys.

susan and brian said...

So happy that you all will be together in Taaffes over the Christmas where we know it will be a fun packed well fed and celebatory crowd with Christmus full of cheer and goodwill. We will be thinking of you and Joseph will be prayed for at Mass on Christmas night in Matawan. Our love from our house to yours even though we are separated by many miles our thoughts are with you all the time. Love Susan and Brian and family

suzanne morris said...

The bible tells us to pray without ceasing and boy, that's what I'm doing for you because you are ALWAYS on my mind - morning, night, even when I'm dreaming.
Gil, it was a treat to take you & Joseph to the airport. So sorry to hear the next day was so difficult. I imagine when you got the news about a 2nd surgery thoughts crossed your mind like, " I can't do that again. We can't go through that again. He's just getting over the last one." When you feel at the end of your rope, remember that God's strength is limitless...He never runs out. I am praying He will keep you supplied with every sort of strength (emotional, physical) you need.
I am praying that He will cover you with supernatural comfort when you worry about the big picture and the smaller details and even when you miss Holly.
I am praying for you & Allen. There are few stresses on a marriage as great as having a seriously ill child. I am praying that despite the stress & fatigue and frustration of this whirlwind, that God would be drawing you two closer to each other and to Him.
Finally, I am praying for a sweet Christmas that, at times, feels just normal.
We love you all.
Suzanne

Boothe Farley said...

so thankful you will be with family for christmas. so glad joseph will get to wake up and know santa came!! christmas has a new and more powerful meaning for conor and i now and i pray you, too, will feel hope rising this season. we are praying for each of you, for your marriage, for your relationship with your friends who so desperately long to comfort you, and for the time you have with the kids, that it's sweet and calm and incredibly restoring.

blessings-
conor and boothe

Anonymous said...

Gillian
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Merry Christmas.
Melissa and Kayla Kornfeld in Atl

Jiggs said...

I continue to thank God for the healing He is working in Joseph and for the compassionate and understanding healthcare team He has assembled – and will, I am absolutely confident, continue to assemble – for His continuation of that healing.

Ann and I will never forget the warmth and love and concern and compassion with which the Taaffe’s and the Taaffe extended family enveloped us during what was a difficult Christmas celebration for us a couple of years ago. While I feel really foolish typing these words, ‘cause this is absolutely NOT anything you need to hear from me, I feel a real urge to encourage you all to just do now as you helped invite us to do then … relax, let yourselves be enveloped by the love and warmth and healing grace that will pour from God through all with whom you’ll be in Nashville, and trust – absolutely – that God HAS begun a good work in Joseph, and that He absolutely will be true to His word to continue the good work which He has begun.

We are sorry that we’ll not be able to be with you all for Christmas this year … if for no other reason than how wonderful it would be to be able to watch God’s Grace in action. Please know, however, that we will be with you – and all gathered there with you – in thought and in prayer!

With continued love and prayers from Kansas City …

Anonymous said...

We were glad to read that you will be about to spend time with family in Nashville. We will continue to pray for Joseph in Baltimore and hope that God gives you the wisdom and strength you need to get through this.

Love, Karin and David Peabody

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

We found your site through Boothe's page and just wanted to let you know we'll be praying for Joseph. My daughter Kennedy recently finished chemo for leukemia. She's 3 as well. It's hard... to see your child sick, lose their hair, their strength, to pump their little bodies full of poison and make them sicker in hopes of ultimately making them better. It's not easy... at all. But as a parent you do everything you can for your child and realize that little person is one million times stronger than you will ever be and you go forward, with perseverance that only God can give you and you embrace this new world of MRIs, spinal taps, chemo, radiation, nurses and doctors and the most adorable bald heads you will ever see. You pray that every decision you make for your child is right and you sit up nights and let the tears flow as the Lord gently guides you and reassures you and hopefully one day you will be on the other side with a healthy child and you can say "OK we did it... and it was all worth it." Praying for that moment to come for your family very soon.
Renee
(Mommy to Kennedy... a Vanderbilt Children's success story)
www.carepages.com
site name: KennedyGarcia

Anonymous said...

I was reading this morning and came across the following written by Rose Gallion: "God with us. That's what Immanuel means. The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus' birth and said He would be called Immanuel and Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. No longer would we walk through life alone with God watching us from a distance. Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection eliminated the barrier of sin and death and brought God to us--and us to God. In our darkest hours, in our saddest moments,....let us take comfort that we are not alone. Immanuel. God with us." The Warrens wish all the people who have been brought together by this blog a Merry Christmas! I'm sure most are like us, we come to this site several times a day usally at a loss of words, but find comfort in the words of others. We continue to lift Joseph and family up to our God in prayer. Love, Martha, Karl, Adam, Ashley and Ryan. "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37

MLS said...

I check your blog and think about you often. (Jennifer is a friend of mine in Memphis.) You all are showing amazing grace and strength as you parent Joe well and love him through all of this.
Glad you are able to be home for Christmas!

Lauren

Margaret said...

Allen, Gillian, Joseph and Holly:
Merry Christmas to you all. Here's wishing you some extra special gifts that can't be wrapped up- faith, strength, healing, peace, love, patience and blessings. Know that you are never far from our thoughts during today, tomorrow, next week and after.
Talk to you soon. Love,
Margaret, Chris, Matthew, Sarah..and our friends and families, their friends and families... all who are praying for you.
Btw- My mom's friend in Snellville added you to her church's prayer list and you were already there!

Vann and Norma said...

We are thankful you are home for Christmas and thankful that you are surrounded by those that love you. You are continually in our prayers and thoughts. Merry Christmas Allen, Gillian, Joseph and Holly. We love you dearly.
The Kissell Family.

Mary Vagnoni said...

Merry CHRISTmas to all and to all a good night. I hope all the kids in Nashville are in bed, I just saw Santa Claus leave Houston!

Jiggs said...

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We just got home from Jesus' Birthday Party at the Episcopal Cathedral here in Kansas City. It was - as it always is - a grand and glorious celebration, with all the "smells and bells" and harps and organ and oboes and choir ... and with candles and dimmed lights and and Silent Night at the end. I continue to marvel at what a wonderful day of celebration Jesus' birthday must be in Heaven, and - as much as Chip loved Christmas here on Earth - how much more wonderful it must be for him to be a part of the celebration in Jesus' actual presence!

During his sermon, the Bishop talked about hearts being open to love ... to feel love and to receive love. He talked as well about the sad fact that, in order for a heart to be open to feel love, to give love, to receive love, it much be open to feel as well the pain that sometimes comes with ... as a part of ... as a ... as a consequence of love.

God and I had a little talk while I was at His Son's Birthday Party. We talked about Joseph and about all that love and care for him and about the pain that folks are feeling right now because of that love that they feel. It remains my firm and absolute conviction that God knows of your love and of your pain and of your fear and (dare I say it) that you may at times even question why He is handling Joseph's healing the way He is handling it.

Ralph Redundant here (I may, some day, actually have an original thought) but my Prayer for you today, Jesus' Birthday, is that His Birthday Gift to you will be a heart so open to His Love, and His Father's Love and The Holy Spirit's Love that - even at the risk of some pain along the way, you can trust that Joseph Is Being Healed in the absolutely BEST possible way!

With Best Wishes for a Christmas of Peace and Joy and Love, and with continued Prayers and Love from Kansas City ...

Paul Tighe said...

Happy Christmas Gillian, Allen, Joseph & Holly. Hope you have a great day with your family. We are thinking of you every day.

Paul, Caroline, Shauna, Jack & Cillian Tighe

Elizabeth said...

Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas in Nashville. Close to us in Murfreesboro. I am continuing to pray for you all and that each moment is lifted up by the Lord.

O'Connors said...

Hi from Dublin to all the Taaffes and Allens on Christmas Day.
Before dinner Maud lit a candle for Joseph and we kept it burning bright all day.
With Love and best wishes, James,Ingrid,Chloe ,Stephen ,Alice ,Sophie,Lucy and Maud.

Brooke said...

Merry Christmas Friends! You are in our thoughts.

Chas and Catherine said...

Just wanted to let you know you are in our prayers this Christmas Day.

Love,
Chas and Catherine

susan said...

Dear Prescious Friends,

How I wish I could simply be there with you!!! You are prescious to us and to the Lord; we love you and long for you to experience the supernatural comfort of the Lord in this overwhelmingly trying time. I pray that amidst all these life storms, big and small, you can sense that the Lord is indeed with you in the boat.
When we finished our family prayer time last night Ksusha realized no one had prayed for Joseph, so she prayed again - and 2 or 3 of the other kids said 'I was about to pray for Joseph too...' She has 'Pray for Joseph' written in huge black marker across the only mirror in her room. I pray that you all sense you are being carried in the arms of the Lord.
We all love you!! - Susan, Brian, Sasha, Cristi, Ksusha, Masha, Katya, Anya, Alex, Vasya, Trevor, Sveta

Ann said...

Gillian & Allen
We were all so upset about the news that Joseph has to undergo more surgery. We have a candle burning in Amsterdam for him. All our love and support while you're in Memphis.
love from all your family in Holland

Darragh said...

It's horrible for me to hear the bad news about Joseph .. However , I am glad to know he's coming home to celebrate christmas. Me and my family are praying for Joseph. I wish I could do something to help you .. I hope I can all visit you soon .
Love, Darragh