Friday, November 27, 2009

No More Walker and Some Singing Too

Here are some videos of Maddie in Action on Thanksgiving Day:

Click Here to View Maddie Walking Without Her Walker

Click Here to View Maddie Singing to the Parade

Walker? Who Needs a Walker?

That's right. Maddie is walking on her own without the assistance of her walker, the wall, or a hand. Not only that, but she spent a good part of the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade in front of the television with a microphone (one of her maracas) in hand, singing, swaying, and yes, dancing whenever anyone performed. Oh, she was also wearing her tutu. For someone who was feeling sorry for her fatherless self, it was truly a sight to behold. Thanks be to God for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. We are truly, truly grateful.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pictures from Shriners on Friday

Maddie Holding Her New Leg
Maddy and Ibby Posing with the Leg

The Girls and The Leg. Wish that Leg Would Smile

Maddie Walks on Two Legs

Maddie got her new leg on Friday. Click the following link to view her in action. The first 10 seconds are black, so be patient.... For MAC users, you need a WMV movie viewer. Enjoy.
Click Here to View Maddie Walking Video

Monday, November 16, 2009


This picture was taken last Thursday, the day we found out that Maddie had pneumonia brought on by the H1N1 virus. We had just returned from our pediatrician's office where nurses had administered an antibiotic shot, Tylenol suppositories to bring down the 103 temperature, and a first dose of Tamiflu. We decided to skip giving her a bath, so she sat in a chair in Isabel's room where she could watch Ibby in the tub. It didn't take long before she fell fast asleep. The poor little thing hadn't slept for two nights because of the nasty cough. Thank goodness for medicine. By Friday, Maddie was feeling so much better, and today, I'd say she's almost completely back to normal though the cough still lingers. We are homebound until Thursday. Thankfully, none of the rest of us have come down with anything.

I can't imagine what it's like to have a chronically ill child. From the time Maddie's condition took a very rapid turn for the worse on Thursday afternoon until later that evening when we could see that the medicines were indeed having a speedy and definite impact on our girl and we knew that we would not have to make a hospital run, I was sick to my stomach. On the way home from the pharmacy, in the car by myself while Richard was home getting the girls ready for bed, I lost it. The thought of an illness taking one of my girls from me, well, let's just say I don't know how people who lose a child ever recover.

Thank God we didn't have to face that...and may God bless and comfort and strengthen any parent who does.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 4, 2009

As we walked to the car, Maddie looked at me and said, "Grandpa gone." And I said, "Yes, honey. Grandpa is gone." Isabel piped in and said, "No more hurt. No sick." And I replied, "That's right. Grandpa has no more hurt."

Just a few moments earlier, we had been in my mom and dad's room at the nursing home. We had to pick up Dad's shoes, so we could deliver them to the funeral director. The girls had been looking curiously at Grandpa's empty bed, so I briefly explained to them that Grandpa was gone, that he was in heaven, and though we would miss him very, very much, we could be happy because Grandpa wasn't going to be sick anymore. The girls listened very intently, and I could almost see the wheels in their head spinning, but they didn't respond, and in the next moment, their attention was attracted by something else in the room. When it was time to go, we put on our coats, kissed and hugged Grandma, and headed out to the car. And that's when we had the above exchange.

My dad was 87 years old. Last Wednesday he played Bingo. One week later he was gone. It went very fast at the end, but it wasn't easy. Congestive heart failure is what finally got the best of him, but he put up a valiant fight to the very end. Eventually, he just got so tired, he couldn't go on.

I will always be thankful that we got in the car when we did on Sunday to make the drive to Wisconsin. We arrived at the nursing home at 9:00 p.m. When I entered my folks' room, my mom was sitting at my dad's bedside holding his hand. When she saw me, she awakened him. I leaned over so my face was right above his. When he opened his eyes and saw me, he smiled and said, "Pammy." I said, "Hi, Daddy! I love you so much." And he responded with the standard line that he's said to me my whole life. "I love you more." Then he closed his eyes and went back to sleep. He recognized me once more, early Monday afternoon. After that, though his eyes were often open, he never acknowledged anyone's presence again.

My dad, Frederick George Rennhack, Fritz to those who knew him, passed away shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4. He waited until my mom was asleep and my brother, who was spending the night at the nursing home, had stepped out of the room. I will always be thankful for those few seconds I had with him on Sunday night. I will always be happy that his whole family was with him on his final day. I will never regret the hours I spent at his bedside on those last days, holding his hand while he struggled to breathe even though it was the hardest thing I've ever done. My dad wasn't always an easy man, but I loved him deeply, and he would have done, and often did do, anything for his family. I miss him so much. His funeral will take place on Saturday, November 7, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbus, Wisconsin.