Monday, August 24, 2009

Spencer's Cookies

I am really enjoying the Blogger feature~Linked Within. It makes three suggestions of possible related posts at the end of each post. I came across this one and thought you might like to read it if you haven't before so am re -running it today. It is about faith and obedience and gratitude and blessings. It was originally published on May 6, 2008. Spencer is now 10.

I have learned so many lessons in life from our grandchildren. Spencer continues to teach me and I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Spencer was born with food allergies. Not just your everyday type food allergies where you get a scratchy throat or a little runny nose, but he is allergic to peanuts and soy. You cannot begin to realize unless you have been around these two allergies how incredibly difficult they can make your life. For one, peanuts do not cause an allergic reaction in the familiar sense...they are a deadly poison to people that have the problem. I think they should be classified as a poison, period.

Children and adults with severe problems with peanuts can go into anaphylactic shock from just inhaling the dust of a peanut, smelling one or touching something that someone with peanut oil on their hands has previously touched.

Our trip on the train to Utah a few years ago
at Christmas time.
Laura should own stock in Handiwipes.
She cleaned the entire train area
where Spencer would be sitting.

Spencer's seat on the train is covered by a sheet
to protect him from the dirty seats.

It is hard to imagine the trauma this can cause for the parents of children afflicted with this. Every time you leave your own nut free home you are at risk, you can never let your guard down. Think about the ramifications of carts, handrails, other kids houses and toys, playgounds, movie theaters, airplanes...the list is endless. You carry an epi-pen every time you leave your house praying you never need it. You never have a day when you can afford to forget to pray for protection and safety.

When you add soy to the mix things get even more complicated. Soy is in almost every product you can buy~check a few labels sometime. Places where you would never is lurking. Spencer has never been able to go to a birthday party and have cake and ice cream with the other kids, have a pizza from a pizza parlor, go trick or treating, eat at a restaurant unless Laura and Robert are completely familiar with every aspect of the products used, kitchen, chef, etc. That has happened so rarely you can count the visits on one hand. Laura and Robert have to bring food with them everywhere they go to keep him safe. You should have seen the food prep that went on when we got ready to travel around Italy for 11 days. We had 6 people for three days and 5 for 8 days. That is 138 meals and 92 snacks that were planned, purchased and assembled before we left. We had to have hotels with kitchens and we all ate this way most of the time to limit the times Spencer would have to sit in a restaurant with his own food.

Amazing parents!

One of their biggest jobs is educating others who don't understand that this is a very serious problem that can be fatal. Another thing you have to do is speak very frankly to your toddler and teach them early that peanuts can kill them. Imagine how hard this is when you just want your little one to have the innocence of that young and tender age and they don't even know what~it can kill you~ really means.

The Lord knew what He was doing when he sent his precious son, Spencer, to Laura and Robert..they have been beyond amazing in caring for him. This affliction is a lot like interest on your never rests, it never takes a vacation, you can never ignore it. We are so proud of their family! Spencer has been so disciplined in this whole thing~you would not even believe what children are capable of when the need and desire is there. Spencer will be 9 on May 11th. This is what he has taught me.

You must have Faith. Faith in God, faith in yourself and faith in someone other than his case his parents, grandparents, and other adults looking out for his best interest.

He knows that the things that seem like restrictions in his life actually are the avenue to his freedom. Why can't I be more like that? When Heavenly Father says is for my good. How does a little boy learn this so young and it takes most of us a life time of struggle?

You Must Be Obedient. Spencer is obedient when his parents say, no you cannot have that, it is not safe. He simply obeys, even when he wants to do otherwise. Why can't I be more like that?

You Must Trust Others. When everyone else has something you want and you alone cannot have it~ you realize that everyone has trials and tribulations and this one is yours to it or do it. You don't understand why this has happened to you but you believe your parents, you do what they say and you benefit because of it. That is Spencer...why can't I be more like him? When everyone else is having a gelato, you quietly drink a Fanta soda and you find your own joy in that. Whoa, to be like that...!

You Feel God's Love for You Even in Your Afflictions. Spencer loves God and his family and feels their love in return, because of this he is a happy person in spite of his problems. You don't blame God for your issues, you just know that he allows these things in our lives to make us stronger. You realize that only good things come from God and He gives you the strength to cope with the hard things if we will just trust Him and be obedient. Wouldn't we all love to be more like that?

You Teach Others By Your Example. Spencer does this everyday. These are just a few of the reasons we love him so much and his parents who have taught him so well. And his little brother, Ross who has made many sacrifices also to help Spencer.

You Must Be Grateful
. When Laura was able to find soy free chocolate chips at about $8.00 a pound from a mail order place..Spencer got his first ever chocolate chip cookies. Now you know why Spencer looks so happy in this photo and why we are so proud and humbled to be his grandparents! You also know why this picture is so important to us. How often we take for granted something so ordinary that can be such a big special deal to someone else. Gratitude is so important in the little things!

God bless you with safety always, Spencer James!


Marie said...

Beautiful post Bonnie, and so very informative. I know my children were not allowed to bring peanut butter sandwiches to school because of peanut allergies. I never quite understood how very dangerous a peanut allergy was before now! I am amazed! How very worriesome for you and for Spencer's parents! I applaud you all for all that you do to keep Spencer safe! And I applaud Spencer for being such an obedient boy! xxoo

BECKY said...

Dear Bon', First of all, thank you so much for your precious comment on my Puddleduck post. Since my Mom's death, I have come to realize that there definitely is a sisterhood between the women who have lost their Moms; only they really understand the emotional complexities of it all. You're such a blessing to me! And I have to say that I think you are a gifted writer. You are just so eloquent. Have you done any writing?

Next, this post about Spencer is awesome. One of my closest friends has a daughter with a peanut allergy and several others, so I know many of the issues with this. I am going to have to share this with her. I know she'll appreciate it.

We should all be a little more like Spencer and Kayleigh (my friend's child) That's exactly what God desires to produce in us...beautiful fruit that glorifies Him.

May your day be full of joy and blessings, Bon'
Love ya,

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Morning Bonnie,
What a great post, and what a neat young man Spenser is!! You must be very proud of him and his parents, what a burden to carry!!
Course, that is why we need a Savior - all these burdens we have to carry.
Thanks for coming by yesterday,
sure do wish we could really have
a tea party, would love it!!
And you know really didn't find something we differ in
cause I spend the most money on home decor, just not a lot at a time, but I do love it when I can
do something for nothing, but I also love any store that carries home decorating stuff, and that is typically what I like to buy the most. Usually when a new season comes and I am decorating for that, I will buy one or two
new accesssories to get my creative juices flowing, and build on that! Sometimes there are those items you have to buy that do cost big bucks, but I really love it when I have no $$
to spend and I can still do something fun and different with what I have, so Aunt Bonnie, we
are still soooooo very much alike!!
Isn't that the Coolest!! It just
amazes me really!!
Well, if we never get to meet here,
when we get to heaven we are going out for tea and home shopping!! LOL
Have a good day,
Love ya, Nellie
P.S. I have been looking all morning for the pics that go with my story about the kitchen and I can not find them anywhere. Thought I knew exactly where they were, so please pray I can find them, and when I find them that I
can take pics of them, cause we did not have a digital camera back then, so they aren't loaded on the computer. Why do I always think of these things too late!! lol
Thanks Hon! Blessings, Nellie

laura.elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting this again Mom. I am going to share it with Spencer as he has really been struggling lately with the whole Food Allergy thing. He is such a great kid but oh my goodness he has a heavy weight to carry. Sometimes he feels it more than others. Anyway, I think this will help him feel good about where he is and what he is doing about it. Thanks!