Sept 4, 2004

Jenny has had a bitter sweet past couple of days. There were a bunch of great things that have happened. My father finally came out to stay with us for a while. His goals, aside from helping with Jenny, were to teach the kids to ride bikes without training wheels. That took about 10 minutes before they were both darting around like they had been riding this way all summer. It took another 10 minutes before Jessie was stunt riding and trying tricks. Zach started piano lessons and was able to learn his first little song that he played for Jenny and I. These were the good parts that Jenny admitted were things she felt that made all the things she went through well worth it.

The bitter part was when the kids would crash in front of her and she could not do a thing even though they lay hurt just a few feet away. She so much wanted to let Zach know how proud she was about his piano and to give him a long hug and kiss. Even though I was quick to tell the kids that mom was so proud of them, she indicated it was not the same as holding them in her arms and her own voice telling them what she felt. Sophia was choking yesterday and later wanted to be held and comforted, and it was the same type of result. Sophie was asked if she wanted to sit in mom’s lap (Jenny was crying because she so wanted to comfort Sophie), but Sophie refused- which happens occasionally. I finally convinced Sophie, but it is just another example of the many heart breaks Jenny experiences on a daily basis.

As for Jenny’s health, she is getting much stronger. She sits longer and with less pain when on the floor. We do more standing exercises where I help support her or she stands on a tilt table. I sat Jenny in front of the piano. I could see her right hand trying so hard to push with enough force to make sounds. The keys moved, but not with enough behind it to strike the chords. She wanted to sit longer and try more. I was so proud of her and her increased desire lately. I think she hides it if things hurt during exercises. I keep asking and she tells me that she is fine. Hopefully, she really is doing well enough that these exercises do not hurt.


  1. Hey, Mark, we need to get Jenny a synthesizer so she can actually get sounds out. (Besides, you can make cool noises with them anyway.) If you get a synthesizer without weighted keys, it takes little to no force to make a note or chord sound. Eventually Jenny will want to play the real piano, of course, but this would be a rewarding step back in that direction while she builds up finger and wrist strength. If you want some help finding a decent model, let me know and I’ll try to get you some good recommendations.

  2. Jenny and Mark!!! I am so excited to hear about how well things are going for you!!! We couldn’t wait for Ron and Janice to tell us how you were doing. Penny called as they drove up and wanted to know about Jenny! Both Ron and Janice told us how well Jenny is doing and how great you are, Mark, with her. How much they love you both and how wonderful it was to spend time with you. They couldn’t say enough about your children, how delightful they were! How obedient and smart they are. They loved being called Grandma and Grandpa. Zach just sounds like such a good and sweet boy. Ron and Janice were really touched by the piano solo Zach played with one finger. And your girls sound like such fun!!! One thing I am certain of, Jenny and Mark. That is that the things the children are going through as a result of your strokes will only make them better and stronger and wiser children. It is probably not the way you would have chosen to make the kids strong, smart, wise and charming, but it will be so. I often think it is good that I can’t make all the choices for my children. Heavenly Father is much better at it than I am.
    We are also really happy to hear of each step of progress you are making, Jenny. I think it is absoutely wonderful that you are getting out and being involved with the kids and school. Don’t worry about what people think. The only people who matter are you, Mark, your family and Heavenly Father. And they all know your heart. Keep up the good work and courage.
    Connie – it was also fun to hear about you from Ron and Janice. We love you all. Lois Ann & Dee

  3. Janny and Mark!
    I am glad to hear that you are doing so well with sitting. I think that is wonderful. Donald had a great idea above, the synthesizer is used in a lot of music therapy activities. I think this would be great.
    Jenny, stay stong. It sounds like you are doing so well. I think you are so brave to sit at the piano and strive for the music that I know touches your soul. I think that take ssuch grace. You are so uplifting to so many.
    I wish you the best htis holiday weekend. Enjoy the time and I hope that you and your family have a great rest of the weekend.
    Gold Bless You All.
    In Love and Faith

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