I never want an August/September like that again.
We all celebrated the arrival of my great nephew but within hours, celebrations turned to anxiety as our niece was rushed into intensive care - it was tense for several days but all turned out well.
As soon as one was better, another fell ill. A simple wasp stung my wife on her toe. Her foot swelled like a balloon. Within hours, she was in intensive care with septicemia. I've never seen a reaction like that and the way blisters spread on her toe, then foot, then leg - it seemed at one point that nothing could stop it short of her losing her foot, but again, at the last moment, the antibiotics kicked in.
No sooner than my wife is back home, disaster three hit our family. Our daughter had a house fire. She had put the washing on timer so that it would come on in the early hours of the morning, and be ready before she went to work. She woke to a house of thick black smoke - they got out just in time - daughter, son-in-law and grandson, but the fire destroyed the kitchen and smoke had penetrated everywhere. They arrived on our doorstep in the early hours with nothing but their nightclothes and buckets full of tears.
They've stayed with us and had a night or two in a hotel.
You can imagine the strain that these episodes have put on our family, but we know how to love and support each other through these crises so at the end of the day, they become a mere blip in history.
Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining. Our niece recovered sufficiently to bring her baby to our house in time for his great-great-granddads birthday. My wife has been left with nothing more than a scar and slight limp which will soon disappear, and the insurance has paid for a deep clean of the house and all their clothes, so now our daughter and her family are as fresh as daisies, albeit, for the next few weeks, without a kitchen.
Thank you to all our friends both here and the U.S.A. for your prayers and thank God for His gift of a close, loving and supportive family.