Thursday, August 2, 2018

29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd Trips to the NIH

Dan and I traveled to Bethesda together for my follow-up appointments last September, December, March, and June. Each went very well. Ibrutinib and I are still a winning team! The good doctors at the NIH made my June appointment even better by cancelling the bone marrow biopsy and CT scan that are usually a part of each of June’s visits. And you know what? I didn’t miss them at all!

Neil and Penny moved into their wonderful home in Feb., and Colin and Macey sold their first little home and moved into their spacious home in March. Our family is blessed. But that’s not all. A new little baby girl was born to Colin and Macey on June 27th. She is a precious gift to our whole family, and especially to Colin, Macey, and to her little big brother Lincoln!

Sadly, we lost some of our family members this year. Shauna, with her 4 children, left the Washburn family. We wish them well. A similar thing happened a couple of years ago when Jessica left the family. But thankfully, we didn’t lose our three grandchildren in that departure. The entire family of our oldest son has become somewhat estranged from us, too, well, estranged from me. This has been a hard trial to bear, but we have been blessed to be able to endure it with patience and hope. The prophecies of 2 Nephi 28 are surely coming to pass. It says that the devil “shall rage in the hearts of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.” However, no amount of adversity will overwhelm me, because as Paul wrote in Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Happily, we participated in two very special family reunions this summer. The first was held in Utah, it was the first ever James and Myrtice Smith four-generation family reunion! Over 80 of their descendants were in attendance, and we all want to do it again in a couple of years. Three of our sons were able to attend: Kimball, Greg, and Shane. There were various activities throughout the week, but the main event was held on Saturday, the 30th, at Rock Canyon Park in Provo. Another major highlight of the week was our time spent in the temple sealing 43 couples in eternal marriage, and 88 children to their parents!

On Monday, July 2nd, our second reunion began in Boise. I think this may have been our very best reunion ever! We went whitewater rafting, explored Kuna cave, and watched the impressive fireworks display put on by the city of Boise. We had a delicious meal at Neil and Penny’s place, where Neil smoked meat for us and gave UTV rides to everyone. Some of the kids swam, while others played volleyball, flew kites, and just had fun together. Colin and Macey had a nice meal ready for us when we got back from the rafting trip that Alisa had arranged for us. And then we donned our shirts for photos. Washburn Strong! We do fun things. We do hard things. We can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us. (from Philippians 4:13)