2 Year Anniversary!

I cannot believe that it’s been two years since Chris’ wreck. What a journey this has been! It was November 8, 2008 when I got the parent’s dreaded call. That call that saps your strength and breath immediately as the numbing begins. You can’t think, can’t plan, I think it’s probably a mild state of shock. Thank God for people who were close by who could book a flight for me.

I have very mixed emotions today. On one hand I am so glad for how far Chris has come in this two years! But on the other I really thought we’d back to “normal” by now too. It seems the rest of the world got to go on with their lives while we are stuck in this cave of “recovery” just waiting for progress.

We’ve been lots of places in this two years. Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs…and each has played their role for that piece of time. two years ago today I couldn’t have even imagined caring for him myself in our own home. I hadn’t even had my own home for two years! But here we are with him progressing slightly forward each passing day. I guess we’ve both progressed! 🙂

I’ve heard lots of things from the medical profession. One doctor said you look at the one year mark and that’s about all you’re gonna get. Well, we’ve already proven that wrong! He’s come a very long ways in this last year! Another said that you cannot determine anything about a severe head injury for three years. That is both consoling and scary. On one hand it tells me medically there’s still time; on the other it means he could be 2/3 of the way through and I think he’s got further than that to go.

I won’t fake anything – it’s been a very rough journey. Sometimes faith soars and I am so excited about what God’s going to do; other times questions and doubts overcome and lead me down the dark path of wondering. And most of the time these days I just miss Chris. This was not the way life was supposed to “play out.” He’s supposed to be leading a band somewhere or be a famous drummer traveling the world “playing the gospel on the drums.” That’s what God put in his little eight year old heart so many years ago.

But we are here on this path, clinging to all the hope we can find to make another day.

So on this two year anniversary I must take time to see all that has been accomplished in this time. For one, Chris has come so far. He is eating, standing, moving more all the time, and making lots and lots of noise with his vocal chords! He lets me know when he doesn’t like something and I think yesterday I saw a look of pride when he was able to pull himself up out of the chair using his own strength. I wonder what he thinks, how much he’s aware of all that has transpired.

I have tried to surround myself with positive people. I joined a support group that has been so helpful during all this time. That’s where I found several “success stories” that were encouraging. One kid always says, “Don’t believe the doctors, they don’t have the last word, God does!” And sometimes I have held to that thought no matter how weakly!

I am actually pretty encouraged today by what I  have been seeing in Chris. Knowing people are praying for him all over the world is a wonderful support! But God gave us promises before all this happened. I had a dream where Chris and some others were in a wreck and Chris was being sucked under a rock under water. He did not say a word but just looked at me. I grabbed his hand and began to pull him out. I remember thinking in the dream how difficult it was to pull against the flow of the water and keep him from being taken under. Then I got him out, put him on the bank and they all went on down the road. I had no idea…

Then the angelic visitor that came to my daddy and told him that Chris had honored his father and mother (and he has) so he would be honored with “many good years.”

These were both unsolicited promises! Those are what I cling to as I push Chris toward progress each day. The frustration comes when I don’t see what I think is enough progress daily. With brain injuries it goes so back and forth. It’s like he can go all the way out and show what he’s capable of (those are very encouraging days) and then he settles back to where he really is on the journey to recovery (very discouraging days!).

But overall today is not bad so far. I rejoice in how far Chris has come in this two years. Two years ago today we didn’t know if he would live. At one point we were told that he would not ever wake up, just be a vegetable the rest of his life. I love it when progress proves the doctors wrong! I am thankful for each step Chris has taken. And although I do get tired, and I cannot see the end of the struggle I must encourage myself to make one more day for Chris’ sake. Who knows what he might do today?

One thing is sure in all of this. I could not have made it without the Lord. He has been my rock and my stay! I know He has carried me many times when I could not go on one more step. (I have fewer and fewer of those days it seems.) His strength has been my fortress and Holy Spirit has truly been revealed in me as the comforter He is! I can truly say, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, where would I be? If God be for us who (or what) can be against us?”

We have His promise of restoration and wholeness…no time to quit believing now! 2 years down….

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  1. #1 by Margie on November 8, 2010 - 2:38 pm

    I read your blog sis and i know that Chris is a walking Miracle,i will contiue to keep Chris and you in prayer.I can’t say i know how you feel because i don’t but i can stand with you for Chris’s complete restoration,i guess those days that you see so much progress,and then you see very little,i would imagine that it probably takes all the strength he has for that day of such progress,and it takes awhile for him to regain his strength to go at it again.So my dear sweet sister you be encouraged and remember you were the one that pulled Chris from under that rock and against all odds too.I’am keeping up with the things you post about Chris’s progress.I love you and Jesus is carrying you when you think you can not take another step.I pray supernatural strength for you to take on this intercession for your son.Be encouraged sis i’am holding up your arms in prayer,and Chris is being made WHOLE!!Praise God for the Love you have for your Son!!

    Your sister in Him,

    Margie

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  2. #2 by Connie M on November 8, 2010 - 4:24 pm

    Indeed “who knows what Chris might accomplish today?” That alone is tremendously motivating. Margie said it well & I agree to stand with her holding your arms up as you travail while Chris is being made completely whole. God bless you and your family.

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    • #3 by Jeanie Olinger on November 8, 2010 - 5:24 pm

      I really never know what a day will bring. However, each day, and really even the slower ones too, there is always some sign of improvement! Thanks for hanging in there with us! love ya!
      thanks for reading…
      jeanie

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  3. #4 by Jeanie Olinger on November 8, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate your kind words so very much. Thanks for choosing to go on this journey to recovery with us! it means a lot to know people are praying for us. You are right that it takes all of his strength to make the progress. It can get frustrating at times, but I am learning more each day to just go with the flow and relax!

    Thanks for reading!
    jeanie

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  4. #5 by Amy on November 9, 2010 - 3:10 am

    Wonderful words of wisdom, love, and experience. It was truly a pleasure to read. Although we all know how you encourage and support Chris’s recovery, we don’t always know how you are dealing with the process. I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for your strength and lovingkindness, Chris wouldn’t be nearly as far in his progress. I believe that with the Lord and you on his side, he will most definitely continue to improve. Stay strong and “fight the good fight.” In God’s time, Chris will be playing those drums again and it will be sweet, sweet music to everyone’s ears. Keep us posted. We are always thinking of and praying for you both. It’s absolutely amazing, if you stop and think about it, how many people are on your side. Always remember, you’re definitely not alone. 2 years…that’s no hill for a climber. And last time I checked, you were pretty athletic. Tell Chris we said hello.
    Lots of love and prayers,
    Amy, Philip, and the boys

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    • #6 by Jeanie Olinger on November 9, 2010 - 3:40 am

      Amy, thanks so much for the kind, encouraging words. I know I am not walking alone. It’s been amazing to find out how many people are praying for chris through all this. There are prayers literally being made all around the world. I was visiting with someone tonight who helped me get a little perspective back. One year ago I was excited when he would only grunt and he was barely moving at all. He moves all the time now. It helped me stay focused on this “hill” for another day! Thanks for climbing with us. love you all!

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  5. #7 by Laura Hogston on November 9, 2010 - 4:08 am

    I am both encouraged and strengthened by your honesty as your heart, soul and spirit are laid bare before us all. The realness of your take on this journey you have been dealt is amazing. I know that like me hundreds of people are praying for Chris and for you. And when you cannot hold up any longer one of those prayers comes up before the Lord and he sends an angel with an answer, and gives you what you need. I send you my love, my appreciation and my prayers. God bless you, may he speed the healing and restoration, your facebook friend and prayer partner, Ruth.

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    • #8 by Jeanie Olinger on November 9, 2010 - 4:28 am

      My dear fb and newfound friend,
      thanks so much for your kind words. I didn’t know how this blog would “go over” especially with “the church folk!” As I felt I wanted to be brutally honest about my daily struggles to get my mind back around my heart’s faith. Some view questions as not believing, I think they lead me (us) right back to hope. Thank you so much for following us and continuing to pray with us each day! I have no doubt that it is prayer that has carried me many times. Thanks so much for sharing, and thanks for reading! love ya,
      jeanie

      Like

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