Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thank You Nina Simone "It's a New Day...."

I can honestly say that my life became 'complete' this week when daughter Rayanne (Forbes) Boychuk brought a beautiful Grandchild into this zany world.

I'd like you to meet my Grandson.... LIAM...

Liam Born July 5/2016

We were 'showcased' that this wonderful human being was going to join us this December when we attended the VIP Party at the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree.  During the post show gathering the Edmonton Eskimos were in attendance and proudly brought the Grey Cup with them.

Without us knowing Rayanne and Brett grabbed Grant Shaw and Calvin McCarty, who were summoned to go 'behind the wall' to take a special picture with their upcoming birth announcement.

PS:  Missed by just one game.

Calvin, Rayanne, Brett and Grant.

Brett and Rayanne held that picture until just before Christmas when both parents were given a card with the wonderful news, and this picture, as their 'gift' to us.

Nothing was more precious (and obviously creative.)

The joy of this weeks wonderful news is not without historical importance.  

For those of you who know the family Rayanne has suffered 'greatly' from Graves Disease and the past several years has been wrought with pain, suffering, hospital runs in an ambulance, six surgeries, countless blood tests, painful eye operations, and more pills than you can imagine.

I simply can't tell you how many days this grown man cried - in the parking lot - in the hallways of the hospitals - at home - in the car - 'wherever and whenever.'

During the worst of it my biggest job, as a Father, was to 'be there' to make sure depression didn't kick in - and I remember saying to Rayanne...

"this isn't YOUR disease...this is OUR disease...and we will all fight this together as a Family."  

And we this week TRULY is of great impact for me (us) as this is the ultimate high of good news and happiness.  

This is not meant for pity purposes in any manner what so ever - but I want you to know how significant this disease is because several things were and are in force.

1.  Rayanne started the Graves Disease Foundation of Edmonton to help others as her 'motivation' to stay strong and positive.  (Donation links included)

2.  The decision to even have a baby is 'huge' - and I'm sure you can imagine the struggle to decide if this disease 'could' factor in to her child's future.

3.  All the 'care' during the pregnancy was done through a Doctor who specialized with Graves Disease so we were confident throughout the entire pregnancy that she was getting the best care possible.

3 weeks premature - 6 lbs 10 ounces

A few important factors about this disease....we can't track it backwards...and it's hard to track forwards, however Graves Disease is known to 'mostly' affect young women so it is 'highly likely' there is little worry about Liam contracting it as he gets older.

As well with a total focus on diet and health that he will receive from both parents he will be monitored 'closely' for any signs that Graves Disease may be about.

My first email to Rayanne featured this picture.  

And although I can't promise not to 'spoil the hell out of the little guy' I can assure you that Liam is 'extremely' fortunate to be part of a truly amazingly tight family who will love and guide him throughout his life.

He has some strong 'heritage' to follow as we open up the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit this fall. - and I'm pretty sure that by the time he is able to walk he will be handing out packages at Christmas in honour of his Great Grandfather.

He has very positive role models in his parents; Grandparents; Aunts; Uncles - and all our Friends.

For me, selfishly and personally?  

As I said to my youngest "there isn't an instrument yet invented to measure my pride and respect for you Rayanne."

From feeding ducks at the lake as a three year old - to how valiantly you fought that awful disease - for the immense respect that people have for you 'as a loving person' - I'm so proud to be the GrandFather of this most amazing 'little person' - and like My Dad said many many years ago...

"now you know the circle of life!"

Jeremy, Kim, Lauren, Rayanne, Me.

BTW: In the 'it's a small world' category, during the birth process,  Rayanne was in the Lois Hospital for Women maternity ward that was 'supported' by John and Jane Homlund - who I worked with on the JFC fund raising campaign.  John and Jane are also my 'neighbours' - and the Forbes/Boychuk Family 'sincerely' thank them for paying it forward with their donation.  

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