We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how the girls are doing. It warms my heart that people care that much. It hasn’t been easy for any of us, but I am constantly astounded by their ability to adapt and their understanding of the situation we’re in. I can tell you without a doubt that I don’t know what I would do without them.

Kayleigh is 18 and will be graduating from High School in a few months. She’s been accepted to Washington and Jefferson College, and she can’t wait to go. Kayleigh is excited to start the next phase of her life, but I can’t help but think she’s at least a little excited about being able to get out of the house. She’s my main support around the house right now. She does the dishes. She helps with laundry. Kayleigh is the one who usually goes to the grocery store and on other errands with me. There has been a lot of pressure put on her, and she’s handled it beautifully. I really wish she didn’t have to worry about things like if there’s enough to eat or not spending her money so she has some cash in case we need to put gas in the car. I am so proud of the woman she’s become, I just wish it would have been a little easier for her.

One of the last times we went out to eat was to celebrate Kayleigh getting into college.

Rebecca turns 12 in a few days. In some respects, she’s gotten the worst part of all of this. Kayleigh got to have birthday parties with friends. Rebecca’s visited her daddy in the hospital for her 10th birthday and she’s never had a party with friends. When she was younger she sang all the time. All. The. Time. The doctors and teachers all told us it was because she was happy. She doesn’t sing as much now, and that’s probably the most telling part of our whole story.

There have been times when Rebecca has been afraid of going near Keith. To be brutally honest, he can be a bit….grumpy. He feels terrible most of the time and can’t help snapping and being difficult. She was really worried after Keith had surgery for his dialysis port and was afraid to even hug him in case she hurt him. After a little thought, I made Rebecca my medical assistant. She’s learned how to do Daddy’s vitals (he has an automatic blood pressure cuff and quick read thermometer) every day with supervision and takes her job very seriously. It worked and now she’s always snuggling up with him and laying across his lap getting her back rubbed.

Girls resembling Frankinstein
Rebecca helped Kayleigh and the marching band during the 2016 Halloween Parade by carrying the banner.

Both of the girls have had times when they’ve been scared. There have been times when they’ve been angry. There have been times when they lash out or act out of character, but we’ve been lucky. For the most part, our girls have been positive and support and incredibly understanding.

Our girls don’t ask for things. They don’t whine when we can’t go out to dinner. They don’t grumble about not going to the movies or concerts. They’ve been unhappy when we couldn’t afford internet or cable, but they didn’t have a fit or complain. The girls have dreamed out loud with us about looking forward to the days ahead when we can do things like go shopping, get Chinese food, see a movie or even the big dream – a trip to Disney for the family. They talk about it, they dream about it, they look forward to it, but they don’t freak out on us for not even being able to buy them McDonald’s.

We had hoped that we would get our tax refund back by now so that we could have a tiny party for Rebecca at Chuck E. Cheese. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I got her a present from the Dollar Store. If we play our cards right we might be able to get her a book too. The funny thing is, when we mentioned about trying to do Chuck E. Cheese a while back she was the one who said it wasn’t a good idea. She was worried that it would be too expensive and she didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on us.

We can’t do much for Rebecca’s birthday, and she knows that. If anyone would like to make things a little more special for her and send a card to let her know that people are thinking of her, let me know through the contact form at the bottom or through a Facebook message and I’ll give you our address.

Girls Cos-playing
Cos-Playing at Sci-Valley Con 2016

I can’t tell you how proud I am of Kayleigh and Rebecca. They are amazing and understanding and far more mature than they have any right to be at their ages. I don’t know what I would have done without them the last few months. I tell them I’m going to find a way to make-up for all the crap they’ve had to deal with, but they don’t expect anything. I’m not sure what Keith and I did to deserve such incredible kids.