Tree of Heaven: 18 Months

“There’s a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly . . . survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth…
And it’s strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.”

(A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith)


Some time has passed since our last update, and oh what a time it has been. Hard times, good times, sad times, and laugh times. Life has seemed to converge all into a few short months that feel like minutes. Still at the end of it, we are well, our Faith strong, and looking forward to what we can only believe is a bright future. Dan will soon be home after another training stint away, my mom’s cancer treatments as good as can be expected, and Wally is providing plenty of spirited entertainment.

Wally’s been “given the boot”, so to speak by his cardiologist, and we won’t be seeing our dear Dr. D again until July. We’re keeping an eye on his pulmonary valve and artery because he still has pretty significant (though moderate) stenosis. It means likely more surgery ahead, but hopefully not for a number of years.

Days with Walt are very busy and never boring. He seems to have an intentional purpose for every box stacked, chair pushed, toys categorized….intentional is such a perfect way to describe him: he is absolutely stubbornly happy (and stubbornly defiant)! He has mastered the art of the perfect (and usually socially acceptable) kiss, which is heart-melting. We’re quite certain the boy’s created his own language because though his understandable words have not formed yet, he seems to know precisely what he is saying. Once he starts talking I’m pretty excited to hear his deep thoughts, and a little nervous to find out his ardent opinions.

Walt’s incredibly, and lovingly, resilient – and so are we. He’s given me lots of reminders to laugh more, tickle often, and reach up to the sky and grow in even the most challenging of times. Walter is ever still our own “Tree of Heaven”.



And now, all of the Wally moments you’ve been missing! 🙂











4 thoughts on “Tree of Heaven: 18 Months

  1. Hi Frances,

    He is do darn cute I just love Wally photos. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.


    Sent from my iPhone



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