Saying goodbye to Nebraska.. at least for now

Our last day in Omaha started out far too early. We decided that rather than inflate the air mattress, that since naptime had gone well with all of us in the king sized bed, that we’d let Patrick sleep there overnight as well.

But around 4 a.m. I noticed a small wet spot that I couldn’t find a source for. And by 4:30, Patrick was waking. He tossed and turned and couldn’t get settled. It turned into quite the battle that finally we gave up on and Brian decided to take Patrick out for a walk. At that point, we discovered that his g-tube had gotten disconnected and was leaking all over him. No wonder he wasn’t sleeping. Brian kindly took him to play for an hour so I could sleep a little more.

But we still had one crazy overstimulated kid for the morning. So much for not having to worry about bothering the neighbors. We bathed, dressed, finished packing up, grabbed breakfast, and made a quick retreat from the hotel.

We decided that with Patrick feeling so wired, we needed to have a quieter morning. So, we decided to drive back out to Council Bluffs to see the Kanesville Tabernacle while they were open.

What a great way to end our trip! First of all, I learned a whole little piece of church history that I didn’t know. Brigham Young, the second president of our church, returned to Council Bluffs (then known as Kanesville) just a few months after leading the pioneers into the Salt Lake valley so that a conference could be held to sustain him as a prophet and president of the church. He got there the 1st of December, but there were too many people to fit in any of the existing buildings. So, President Young asked for a building to be built. That was the tabernacle. 1000 people attended the conference in this awesome little log structure.

Anyway… that’s the brief history. Here’s the story of how it affects us. We arrived at about 10 a.m. and found a couple of senior missionaries shoveling the snow that had fallen overnight. By the time we were out of the car, they greeted us at the gate.

My favorite line was that right after we explained why we were there, he told us, “You are in the right place.”

He and his wife gave us a tour of the grounds and showed us a couple of movies about the history of the place. Another important thing about Council Bluffs is that it is where the Mormon Battalion left from. (And boy did I learn a lot about that, too.) So the tour includes the story of some of the families who made the brave choice to send their husbands and fathers off to support their country while wives and children stayed behind in Iowa, or in many cases, packed their wagons and headed across the Rocky Mountains to Utah.

At any rate, it was an especially poignant reminder that our family is not the first to be asked to do hard things, sometimes even in different places. And of how the Lord sustains his children through hard times.

Visiting this spot on an icy, bitterly cold February morning gave me an even greater appreciation of all that the pioneers sacrificed for the gospel and for their families. (They were driven from their homes in Nauvoo in February and made their trek across Iowa in the cold, wet, and mud.) And it gave me a little more courage to seek Heavenly Father’s will for our family and trust in Him to watch over our journey.

We went from Council Bluffs back to the airport. With a little benadryl to seal the deal, Patrick slept for the entire flight home. Just snuggled down next to me and said “Yes, sleep,” closed his eyes and stayed asleep.

We have had a peaceful, spirit filled Sabbath day today. It was nice to have a chance to discuss as a family all that we learned this week and talk about our options going forward.

At church, Sunday School talked about revelation and the spirit and how God talks to us. And in Primary (children’s sunday school), sharing time was about the miracle that is our bodies. Friends reached out to us, welcoming us home and offering support.

We ate homecooked food. We napped. A LOT.

I have a goal to get back to the blog tomorrow and write a summary of what we learned this trip.

But for now, in answer to the question we got most often today..

We don’t know yet what we are doing. We have some ideas of which way we are leaning, but the transplant team in Nebraska meets on Wednesday afternoon to discuss new transplant candidates and we can’t really make any choices until they come back to us with their official recommendations.

In the meantime, we are talking and pondering and praying for direction on what is best for Patrick. (Our visits to these historic pioneer sites were enough to help me get myself out of the picture and ask what is best for our little boy first and foremost.)

And right now, the biggest help that we can ask from you is that you’ll join your prayers to ours. Please help as we pray to know which choice to make that will be in Patrick’s best interest.

We have seen the miracles worked by the faithful prayers of you, our friends and family. And right now, as we are somewhat scared of what may be coming and feeling just a little overwhelmed by the magnitude of this choice, we could use that strength again.

Thank you again for all of your love and support.

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