Archive for May, 2011

Many Small Things Make A Big Picture!

I pushed Chris out on the patio so I could do a “tiny” bit of yard work. (pun intended – you’d have to see the size of my yard!)…I transplanted some herbs and pulled  few weeds. Then I hooked up the weed eater and started “mowing” the yard. Lots of thoughts were going through my head but I found myself in a moment of thankfulness. I thought of all the people who made it possible for me to enjoy this moment in my yard.

Specifically, I thanked God for Connie and Randy. They did not even know me but have chosen to not only walk this path alongside me and Chris – but be friends too…and that means a lot!! Randy built the deck so that Chris could easily be pushed out into the fresh air. Connie took me to Wal-Mart on Mother’s Day and had me pick out some awesome flowers — and I enjoy their beauty every single day!!

Then, I thanked God for Tina and Steve who bought me the weed eater. I was cutting the yard using some big hedge trimmer looking thingys – like  a big pair of scissors… hey you do what you gotta do! lol! It felt so good to be able to just work in the yard for a little while!

I often think of so many of the people who have been such a blessing along this troubling journey. And as my mind went back to so many who have ministered to me along the way – I just had to be thankful. And it’s not all monetary either. My friend, Mary (from Indianapolis) used to call me when Chris was still in the hospital and I was staying there with him 24/7. We would set up a time and have communion together…what a wonderful friend!

I can’t even begin to name every single blessing along the way – or even every person who has been used by God as a ministry instrument…all I can say is I am just so thankful to be right here right now. I don’t like how I got here of course! But looking at the whole journey I cannot help but be tearfully thankful.

One thing we have to remember is that this moment is not the whole. Actually this one moment we are occupying in time is such a tiny little part of the complete picture – the complete life. I need to be reminded to step back – not get too close to the picture and look at the whole again.

When we look at the whole we are reminded of His sustaining grace and His immeasurable peace. When we step back we can see how He has carried us along the way…today – I purpose to not get lost in this moment – but to rejoice in the journey’s blessings.

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Half My Weekend Down!

It’s funny how I dread the weekends sometimes. I have to plan ahead to beat the emotional dips that usually occur. So far I have kept my head above water this weekend. I’m not sure why the loneliness can grab ahold so much easier on the weekend. Then I get easily sucked in under the other emotional currents and it’s a tough swim to try to get out! I think it may be since I rarely see anyone on the weekends. Occasionally it’s different but for two whole days I don’t see anyone and talk to very few people…

I have actually really missed church the last couple of days… not the religious side, but church as the whole get together I guess. Maybe some of it is just the interaction with others, or the corporate worship experience…I don’t know. But I do know that there are some things I am learning about God that are better than church. I’m beginning to see HIm in a very different way – I love Him more – and I wouldn’t trade that for church any ole day!

Chris is having his “awake” cycle. He is doing really good and I am pushing him more. I hope he stays in this part of the cycle for longer periods of time…his alertness and progress makes the sleepier days more difficult to handle…But for now his progress helps me keep going on…

I have conquered half of the weekend and so far still above float. I took a more proactive approach. I have lists of things I can do so if there is a lag I can check the list and hopefully try to motivate myself to get something done. Never mind the dangers of becoming a workaholic! lol! And I have turned Skype back on. I got to Skype with a good friend today from Louisiana. I’m actually thinking of scheduling a trip down this fall to catch up with friends and catch a couple of my old hiking trails that I used to enjoy so much…

Speaking of getting out – I know I have got to figure out a way to get out at least a little more. The two hours on M-F are great and so very beneficial. But I need some “i gotta get outa here for a while” time… I figured that out when I was planning on going to my brother’s on Monday. My niece is having her 9th birthday party! I figured I would see if Chris’ dad could sit with him for a few hours so I could go. I knew that I could take Chris with me if Ronnie couldn’t sit with him. So it wasn’t whether or not I was going – it was if we were going or I was going. When Ronnie texted me back to say he could sit with Chris I nearly cried! That’s when I realized I’m going to have to figure out a way to get out a little more for things like a movie or a good day hike… it’s the logistics that are the trouble… coupled with the fact that I almost won’t ask for help!!

I am studying Job again for a project I’m working on. I started looking at it again today and I was reading through the first part of the first chapter. I thought about how awesome it would be for God to call us “upright and blameless” in all our ways…then I remembered that Job wrote the book! lol! I thought about his over inflated ego for a minute. But then I thought about the confidence that he had in God that he could recognize and say that he was blameless before HIm! I want to get to that place. I ‘m a hard cookie it seems but I am just learning to let my situation break me until I fall to pieces in Him…there’s just something about knowing HIm and who we are in Him (including blameless)…that’s worth it all… somehow…

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A Quiet Week

This has indeed been a very quiet week. Chris seems to be a lot more awake the last couple of days. He is really responsive and responding to the “therapy” stuff I am trying to do. He is moving more on his own…I say all this because these are all factors that help or hinder my overall attitude!

We’ve been trying to walk in the park almost every day. Yesterday was too windy so it didn’t work out. Today we did and he was very much awake for it for a change. He was really watching people more than usual. These walks are really good for me…but can have some trouble spots. It’s still just difficult to watch young men Chris’ age play frisbee golf and such while I am pushing my silent son through the park. I keep thinking I will get used to it…but I haven’t.

I keep wishing he had his mind more about him and could express himself more. I so want him to talk..it’s like it’s right there sometimes. I think if he was more mentally with it and maybe could speak we could handle the physical limitations…but anyway…

Sometimes I do pretty good and sometimes my emotions try to swallow me up. There are times I feel very safe here in my personal cave..and other times I am so lonely…Some days the television is my friend and others it just gets on my nerves!!

I know for today I enjoyed Chris being here…he’s on this cyclical thing where he’s wide awake for a few days then he sleeps for a few days…I like the wide awake and alert days…he does more in general. The emotions still press in on me many days trying to get me to give up and accept this as the end …the best it will get…but I just can’t do that. I know it defys all reason – but there’s just something inside that even when I am worn out and emotionally spent – just cannot give up and quit. I must believe what He promised..I can’t say that I can call it true and pure faith…it’s kind of more like pure fact and there is no other way…

He is faithful no matter what I see or feel.. or whether I even believe or not…period. I just trust Him.. I’m too tired to do anything else tonight! Keep the faith – it will keep you…

Oh – here’s a picture of us in the park this afternoon.. I am trying to capture those moments he is really “there”…they’ll help me get through the next sleepy season!

Afternoon in the park

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Another Interesting Day!

Today was a very interesting day (as the title more than implies)! First my friend Joann came yesterday and stayed the night. She lives in Arkansas but has stayed so connected through all of the craziness of the last two and a half years. She’s been a true friend for sure! She didn’t walk away when she wasn’t sure what to do with us when our live drastically changed in a moment; she just kept walking with us…even from a distance…as so many have.

We talked, ate, pulled a few weeds in the garden and took Chris for a walk through the park here behind the apartments. It was so nice to hear another voice in the house for the weekend. I’m not real sure why the weekend can wear on me so much heavier than the week can, but it tends to. This one is about gone and I’m ready to get some sleep and start a new day tomorrow!

Something really strange happened today. I have been part of a group for most of the last two years plus – called Daily STrength. I found it and joined a couple of the online support groups there. I won’t forget the first person who talked to me on the site. His name is Shaner and he was injured in a fall accident himself. He was given so little hope of survival that the doctors had his mom sign off on his organs…but here he was writing to me, continuing his education and helping to encourage others to never lose hope! Among his first words to me that still ring out were the doctors do not have the last word!  That statement brought me lots of encouragement. I’ve met other wonderful friends on DS too. (Hi Tori!!)

Today a new person wrote me. She has a son named Chris as well. He was in an accident when he was a teenager and she’s been caring for him for 7 years now. She was reading my story and wanted to “connect” as she felt she could encourage me. Our conversations are “your Chris” this and “my Chris” that…it’s kinda funny!

I’m ready to embrace whatever God has down the road. Her Chris has not spoken since his accident, yet he still continues to improve…I am saddened to think the thought what if Chris never speaks again? Honestly, I had not thought about it. I just keep working with him (which btw – he was very  vocal with me today when I upset him! I swear when I asked him a question his grunt was in direct response!)

Emotions tried to suck me under…maybe I am only deluding myself…but I just can’t believe God would silence Chris’ voice. I wanted immediately to take the things I do have and get them out for all to hear! I have all his writings and some of his music (and power of attorney!) and wanted to begin to put them in books so all could share and hear the things God had already put in this young man!

So I am kinda in a weird spot tonight…totally trusting what God promised…yet trying to prepare since I don’t really know what’s ahead – or how far it is ahead! And you know what – I’m not sure it matters from here…I’m going to trust God with what each day brings…that’s all anyone can do!

I’m so very moved by some of the things in the news the last few days. A young football player lost his life, a sheriff is shot and may lose his sight in one eye…devestating tornados in Missouri today…this all rips at my heart as I know how your life can be ripped away in an instant…how fast things can change. All the things that used to be so important only boils down to one thing….relationship…with God first and with others… and really I am not sure there is even one more thing in this life that matters…not even one…

So I had this question today while my mind was wandering about in all the “things” and whether they matter or not… I want to spend my energies on the things that are eternal.. why spend it on anything else? I thought of the scripture – laying up treasure in heaven…and how our works are tried to see if we used wood, hay and stubble; or if we used gold and things that will stand in the fire….how do we build treasure for eternity? It cannot be simply going to church – or even feeding the poor – it cannot be healing the sick or even raising the dead…how do we build for eternity? How do we build what really matters?

…sorry no answers here yet… but at least I am thinking about it.. and I will let you know if I come up with something! lol! I want this cave experience to drive me into His presence…I am thinking that’s the key. And not some flakey shakey all over the church feeling that doesn’t bring about real change in my heart and life…but an intense knowledge and understanding of God and His ways.. that effectively brings about eternal changes in me… changes that last…changes that effect eternity…in me…just thinkin’…

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One More Step Toward Recovery…

I’ll be the first one to admit that I have lots of trouble keeping my emotions as well as attitude in check. If I am not careful I can get so sucked in to the emotional vacuum where the pain is so deep nothing can be felt – but everything hurts all at the same time. Today, was no different.

My grandson had to have tubes put in his ears. My personal turmoil came because I wanted to be there with my daughter…and at first it seemed impossible to be able to leave Chris and work it out so that I could be with her. After all, I’m Ronella’s mother too! Sometimes I feel she gets the short end of the stick. I am so involved in Chris’ recovery that I know she must feel like she doesn’t even have a mom sometimes! Anyway, that worked out and I was able to sit at the hospital with her and Eli this morning…

The hospital was a little more than I was prepared to handle emotionally. First I had to pass by the trauma unit with the helicopter sitting out front. Then one came in while I was walking across. When Chris was in the hospital in Shreveport I used to hear the helicopter come in all the time with traumas. I would pray for the family because I knew people’s lives were being shaken that day…

The parking garage brought back a flood of memories from our short stay in New Orleans. It was probably one of the worst segments we ever endured. He did not respond to therapy and basically they were kicking us out on the street and I had no “home” to take him to…that’s when we moved to Oklahoma and boy is that a long story I’ll save for the book! lol!

Sitting in the waiting rooms was almost like torment. My mind kept running from memory to memory…I wondered if I could hold the tears in until I got in the car. I figured I would cry all the way home…but something odd began to happen.

I am a pretty observant person in general, and a little bit nosey. In the short time we’d been in the first waiting room I had witnessed what some of the other families were there for…one brought a tiny, tiny baby boy in for some major surgery. Another was the mother of a 2-year-old whose body cannot absorb nutrients so they were doing tests. She was there alone because her husband is serving in Afghanistan. While I could not fully understand their situations, I had some understanding of how powerless you feel as a parent. All the child’s life is spent protecting, teaching and nurturing and you can’t do any of that now. I began to compassionately pray for them…

Coming home I had to go back to the parking garage and the emotions wanted to overtake again…but I made this turn this time. I let the pictures of some of our journey flow through my head…and then I turned them to where we are now. HE has brought us a mighty long way… I’m not sure there’s anyway to compare scenes…

And so again I remind myself to keep at the forefront of my mind not so much how far Chris has to go…but how far he has come! It helps keep my perspective straight. It also helped me get focused back on the task at hand. I am starting to buy some various pieces of equipment that I can use to work with Chris. He did great this morning. I am really concentrating on stretching him right now. And already after one short session there was a response. I said, “Chris did that feel good to get your back and shoulders all stretched out?” to which he nodded his head “yes.” …a different sort of tears…

I think the journey is like my friend, Vickie, talks about a lot – just putting one foot in front of the other and walking… so I intend to just keep walking this one out. Who knows when, how or if it will end…but we’ll continue one step at a time…just walking. I think that’s all He really intends for us to do in our walk with Him anyway. It’s not as huge and grandiose as we would like to make it…it’s just about living life in HIm.

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Sometimes Life is Like a Huge Yo-yo!

Don’t worry – this isn’t a rant or a sob story! I learned from the support groups and what little research I’ve done that the journey to recovery with a brain injury can go back and forth. I have really seen that in Chris’ progress. I used to get really upset on the “back” days and excited on the “forth” days! And I do still get really excited in those “forth” moments.

It is pretty much like Chris will go way out there and show me what he is really capable of…and then go back into the funk. However, there are several things that I find real encouraging about all that. For one thing – he’s coming out further and further all the time and staying there for longer periods of time. Then he does slip back into sleepy-mode; but it’s never that deep funk that you cannot get him out of. Actually, he’s pretty easy to wake up and it’s generally at least enough for him to give me the “go to Gehenna” look or grunt at me in obvious displeasure — both of which are also great signs of progress!

He did some amazing things yesterday! For one, I pulled out his percussion bag to see what all was in it. He watched intently as I pulled out each item. Then he actually hit the cowbell with a drum stick! That’s a first! He would try to hit the drum pad with it but never quite got it accomplished – but he got that cow bell, as well as the wood block yesterday! …then he literally slept all day today! …I’m kinda used to it now and kept myself busy working today. That was handy since I presently have several projects due for my clients.

I try not to let my thoughts go backwards. I try to use my effort to just live today. I have even been able to go through a couple of his boxes the last few days. It’s a little easier, I do it in real small pieces so it’s not overwhelming. But then of course it doesn’t take too much to tip the emotional cart either…and if I let it get tipped it takes me a few minutes to gather myself back up so I can get back to work…maybe it will get easier later…who knows?

I’ve made some personal decisions over the last couple of weeks too. I am getting a little more serious about running and training. It’s helping me make some decision regarding my own personal diet. I have also started walking Chris in the afternoons now that the weather is nicer. We walk through the park behind the house. It’s hilly so pushing him is a good workout for me. Speaking of that – yesterday was very interesting. I met some lady there. Here name was Nancy. I double checked my phone later to see if I did really have a new number entered under “Nancy in the park.” It was kinda unreal – but pleasant.

She gave me a flyer for an organization that is located right here in Norman. They are an activity center for adults with disabilities… I may be able to take Chris there at some point…she actually volunteers there. She’s one of those talkers that just has you talking and she’s talking and you feel like you’ve known her all along! We probably talked for about 15 minutes and then exchanged phone numbers…

But the cool thing really caught me off guard. Just before we parted ways – this stranger gave me a gentle hug…an element that is really missing in my life. I generally get hugs from Ronella and Eli on Mondays and Fridays – but no personal touch other than that. I didn’t realize how I missed the simple, casual human touch…

So I will continue to embrace the moment – live in it to the fullest since you never know what the next one might bring. That’s what I talked about in one of myother blogs today…For now – I will run this race well, at least the best I can for this moment with what I have right now. And I will run with endurance considering Him – the author and finisher of my faith…He will never fail.

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Call 911 – He’s Sleeping!

Yeh, it was that type of crazy night. Chris slept well – so well in fact, that I didn’t sleep at all! Seriously. He was sleepy yesterday anyway and ran a fever most of the day. Then last night early – like about 8:30 he went into his mode of what I have labeled his “brain injury sleep.” He is out like – limp as a noodle, mouth open and you cannot wake him up! This time I didn’t try though.

So I got a lot of work done and decided if he needed to sleep that hard he probably really needed it. So at feeding time I just sat the stuff in there and waited for him to wake up on his own. I’m thinking that if he’s sleeping hard – his body probably needs it in the healing process. Finally about 12 he stirred. I changed him and fed him and he barely moved. Then he went right back into that deep really weird sleep again. So I stayed up and worked until after 1 o’clock this morning. Then I didn’t sleep heavy but woke up every little bit and ran to make sure he was still breathing! (they never really grow up do they? lol)

And that’s how it went until about 4 when he woke me up because he was uncomfortable. Then I crashed and when I woke up I figured that is was probably 9 or so and our whole schedule would be off for the day! …it was not even 7 yet! lol! EArlier I was like should I call the doctor? But what will I tell them? he’s sleeping weird…? That’s when I laughed at myself and wondered what I would say if I called 911! Come check my son – he’s sleeping!!!?  Okay – so I had to laugh at myself.

The really good thing though is that he woke up this morning and has been really awake all day so far! He even ate a good breakfast! WEll, at least I feel better now!

Sundays are unusually difficult times for me anyway. I suppose it’s from all the years that I went to church so regularly or faithfully – not sure which anymore. So I thought about having my own service here – maybe even putting it on youtube or my broadcast site…May still plan on doing it sometime.  I just miss a lot of those normal types of things so much sometimes. I have to really reel my emotion in and suppress it so it doesn’ get the best of me! I try to make the best of this cave I’m living in!!

I thought about Job again this morning and read the first couple of chapters. He was rich (I didn’t have that going for me for sure) and still lost everything. At least I’ve seen the Lord begin to restore some stuff in my life – I didn’t have much when the tragedy hit and now I have had so much I got to give some away! That’s been fun really!

I’m just kinda ready for what’s next. I have crazy dreams still – maybe it’s even the stuff I’m not dealing with because I don’t know how. I quite using skype because of all the invites to other countries…but people are asking me about going to India in my dreams now – while I try to explain to them why I cannot! I’ve had to lay all that down…and if God wants to raise it up okay- but I ain’t diggin up nothin’!

It’s simply time to keep the faith! KEep my trust focused on Him and not the circumstance… and suck it up to make another day….again.

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It’s Just A Wierd Day…so far…

I am not even too sure how to begin this post…it’s just been a strange, yet emotional, day…so far. Chris doesn’t seem to feel well and that always causes my emotions some strain. He’s terribly sleepy, but I remember giving him a Benadryl last night so that could be some of it. He has kept a low-grade fever though too..no cough – nothing apparent, just a fever.

So this morning when I got up I sat down with my cup of coffee. I actually sat in the floor situated where I could see my bird feeder that’s just off the patio. Questions were running through my mind like crazy…so many whys and why nots… You see, I’m supposed to start reading Luke now according to my little reading through the Bible in alphabetical order thing I am doing…but I just don’t want to read Luke; then Matthew…

I know it’s filled with all the stories of the healings Jesus did and just to be honest – it troubles me when I do not see Him do the same for my son…and that’s when all the questions started rolling through my mind. The old familiar frustrations were back – why would Jesus heal the one man with the withered hand and not my son’s hand…you know the drill! lol!

I know all the Bible stories too – you know how God went in to Egypt to get His people out and in the process He did all these might works…I can’t doubt them really, but for a minute I just wanted to ask if they were real…did they really happen? How do we know? Why did we need to know them, if He isn’t going to do the same today? Would He come after me? 

Then I thought about all the nations He wiped out…for what purpose? He is not so egocentric that He needed to wipe out those who don’t believe in Him to protect Himself…They didn’t bow down to Him…was that it? I can’t imagine serving a God (or a god) who feels the need to wipe out races of people because He’s afraid of them..can you?

Now I would never say I want to be like a harlot…but Rahab comes to mind. The residents of Jericho knew the Children of Israel would come and destroy them. She believed in God against her whole city…and she was spared. What about all the other Jerichoians? Couldn’t they have joined with her beliefs?

Just about the time my frustrations were getting the better of me (and I haven’t even shared all the latest on the doctor/nurses craziness I’ve endured… the recent cracks Chris has been dropped through.. the day-to-day stuff that led to this moment of insanity!!!)…This sole dove landed in the back yard…just one of them – and they are usually in pairs, but I have this one that comes to eat by itself.

The dove landed and it caught my attention. I just looked at it and wondered about the dove being symbolic of the Holy Spirit because of the way He descended on Christ when He was baptized by John the Baptist…and I just began to pray… here are the words to my prayer:

Holy Spirit I Need You
to come touch my heart and make it brand new
without You I really don’t know what to do
but I know I’m in desperate need of You!
And so I’m waiting…
I’m waiting here for You
to comfort…Wipe away the pain
and restore the joy like when you first came
 
Then I picked up the guitar and the song just came out. Now I realize that nothing in the natural is even minutely better…but just the asking for Him to come – brought comfort…like the simple request moved Him into teaching me, comforting me…or something I really cannot explain.
 

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With the Weekly Regime Out the Window – Now What?!?

This week is just messed up! First of all, I haven’t got to run yet since I did that funky pull thing on Saturday. It’s better and I was going to run today but then the aid called in which means I don’t get today to do my scheduled errands or run. That only leaves two days to run this week at best. I’ll have to figure out which is more important running or errands!

I am glad that I am a good organizer. I can usually get all my weekly errands done and log my miles. I do get tired of looking at my watch all the time. Some day I want to go to WalMart and just look and get all the things I need. As it is I am on such a tight time schedule I get just what I need and then if I have any time left I can check out prices and other stuff like that that needs to be done at WalMart! Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the opportunity. I really don’t know what i would end up doing if she didn’t come.

It’s kind of funny the things that seem to be different in my new world. There are so many things we take for granted even in our everyday lives. We do not think about how it could be snatched away with one phone call, one miscalculation on the part of another totally unrelated individual…and our lives are changed, destroyed, lost…yet we continue to live each moment like the next will remain the same…but there is really no guarantee…unless you give yourself a false sense of security. I do trust the Lord…and I know that whatever might come He will see me through.

I don’t sit around worrying about if something bad will happen. There’s no wringing of my hands and glancing out the door or jumping when the phone rings!! There’s not a dread or unhealthy phobias going on… just a sincere thankfulness for this moment.

As the Lord has begun the process of restoration and blown my mind with all He’s done, I just look around and am thankful. when I got the first little apartment I had almost nothing. People began to give and give…and give until the place was packed full! Now we have moved into a larger apartment and it’s still full! I am so thankful for all He’s provided…but I am not clinging to one item! I realize you never know what a day will bring and if it is all gone again tomorrow…I’m okay with it…I have my stuff, but my stuff doesn’t have me! It’s kinda nice like that really.

So my week is thrown off – no running times yet and no aid today which means no errands today. Last night was a bottom out night. I can’t explain how I get swallowed up like that…and it’s such a difficult climb to try to overcome it. But it’s too frustrating to let it have me! so I fight…today is better. I can’t explain it – but it’s better. I have new strength and courage to work with Chris again today. There are some “therapy” things I am going to try today…we’ll see what we get…if anything.

I can’t express how thankful I am right now for His watch care over our spirits. I love the fact that no matter what happens in this fleshly world …living in time…nothing – absolutely nothing– can touch the eternal part of us! That means Chris is in good hands even though he is temporarily gone from me…his spirit is fine. Who God made him is still intact…today I’ll try to rest in that.

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WEll, We Made It!

I was very nervous about taking Chris to my mom’s for Mother’s Day. He did okay getting into the car. Then I had help getting him out and that was nice. The guys got him and his chair into the house. Then we put him in the easy chair. When we got home he got out of the car perfectly! I wish he would do that good every time and it wouldn’t make me so scared to take him out…

He had one of his really sleepy days. That’s really disappointing. But even in this sleepy state it’s not anything like he used to do…he’s never gone quite so far. I can talk to him or move him a little and he’s alert again. But as soon as I quite he goes right back to sleep.  But it’s like when they are little and you really want them to do all their “cool” stuff for the fam! But he didn’t!

We did stand him up and he did that well… but he was definitely having a “brain injury” day. He just doesn’t stand right those days. (see picture) Then like tonight he was standing with so little assistance! ugh! lol…

But I must find the things I am thankful for… he is wake-upable.. and this is the first Mother’s Day we haven’t spent in a nursing home. That’s when I have to take into account how far he’s come rather than how far we have left to go…

And that’s where I must trust His faithfulness…and accept my life as it is. I’m really working on keeping a positive attitude, and that’s not all that easy. Like I found a nice little hiking spot but I’ll have to go only on a Friday and really watch my time as I have to get a decent hike in before the aide’s time is up…hmmm… maybe I’ll give trail running a shot! Yeah, that’s an idea…

Anyway just walking in the woods a ways made me miss a part of me that I felt I had to leave behind…I really just have to trust that He cares…and sees…and that His matters are much more important than the things I “like” to do here…amen.

These are my kiddos!!

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