My daughter loves Halloween. Even as an adult, she has never totally outgrown "playing dress up". Costumes, parties and scary movies have been part of her yearly holiday repertoire for some time. She was invited to a party for this coming weekend and though her friends promised they would take great care of her, she realizes that there is risk of re-injury to her leg, and so she declined. I'm proud of her for that choice.
What will her Halloween entail now? Good question.
Like many aspects of her life, fright night is undecided. She returns to her surgeon next week for a 6 week check up and x-rays. We'll find out if she can ditch the wheelchair and start the process of walking again. It feels much like Groundhog's Day: will we have 6 more weeks of winter, or is spring on it's way?
With fingers crossed and a determined attitude borne of faith, we'll take whatever comes.
For a long time, I have had a recurring dream. In the dream, I'm walking.......on a road, through fields or woods......but always on a path of some sort. Usually I walk alone and the dream always plays out a variation of the same theme. I start off with confidence in my direction and destination, get part way and realize there is a long road ahead, I can't find the path, or there are obstacles in the way. My confidence wanes, I realize that I'm alone, and I consider turning back. Just like clockwork, the dream predictably ends here.
In the past two weeks, the dream has come again.....only this time B is with me. Once in a wheelchair, and in the most recent dream, as a younger child. Both times the dream has ended without reaching the destination as so many times before.
There are lessons to be learned from these dreams that seem as though they should be obvious. Although, as soon as I think I know what they are; new significance comes to light and I realize that I may not have the lessons figured out just yet.
It is said that one picture can speak a thousand words. I believe this is true.
I have one such picture displayed on my cell phone as a background. I have inquired of several people if they recognize where, and when, the picture may have been taken. Interestingly, no one has figured out though many guesses have been offered.
The photo is scenic water with a gentle mist lifting from it, trees framing the water and the sun hovering just over the tree tops. It is peaceful, serene, and one similar to many that often grace my collections. Scenes with rivers, lakes and the ocean are restful to me and offer a tranquil respite from every day life that can be less than calm.
However this photo is different. Serene to the eye, it's background tells the story of it's history for being. This picture was taken in the hospital room that B occupied for several days. From my chair beside her bed, I watched the darkness of night turn to the gray of dawn, and then exchange this dull cloak for the bright colors of day.
Because B couldn't see out her window from her bed, I used modern technology to bring the dawning of a new day to her.
And now, the photo is a living reminder to me of past and future.......it's the story of what has been and also of re-birth and new chances. It's a daily reminder to me that today is a new day.
Even though I'm running just as fast I can, I can't seem to catch up with my life. A new perspective has been thrust on us all since B's accident.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to slow down and examine that perspective as I sat waiting for her to get out of her class. There I sat in a handicap parking space with my parking placard hanging from the rear view mirror. As I sat there, I watched. Dozens of people scurrying in and around the campus. Most noticeable to me were the young women heading to class....books in their arms, texting away on cell phones in total oblivion to anything around them.
Six weeks ago, my daughter would be doing the same thing. Instead she uses a backpack to carry her books and both hands to maneuver her wheelchair. Texting will have to wait.
It's a thought provoking moment for me as I take note of these differing levels of independence.
In lighter-hearted moments, we joke about now getting the best parking spots, but always with an underlying respect for the gravity of the situations for which the parking is provided.
Perspective truly sets in as I glance at the red temporary handicap parking placard hanging from my mirror, then take note of the blue permanent one in the van next to me.
My jitters, not her's. My daughter will go tomorrow for her first day of college since the accident. It has been 5 weeks. I'm the one who is nervous. It feels like her first day of kindergarten. I want to make sure she has all that she needs, but in the end, mom can't make the day go perfectly for B. She is the one who will need to navigate the busy campus hallways, full of students, in a wheelchair that she has never needed before. She is the one who will ask for help to open doors to classrooms and make room for her chair at a desk or table. And only she will be able to push herself to the end of the day without lying down to rest when she needs to, as she has been able to at home.
It's hard. I want to be there as I've always been there. She's going to get her first taste of freedom since September 6. I suspect there will be a bit of euphoria mixed with some trepidation.
And for me ? I will feel as I did when I sent her off on that big yellow bus when she was nearly five years old. And I will wait with baited breath for her day to end and for her to say that it was all worth it.
Through every recovery process, there must be a release of emotions as well. From time to time, I walk into my daughter's room to see a sad face with eyes welling up with tears. Nothing breaks a mother's heart more than seeing sadness in her child.
For 5 weeks, my outgoing social butterfly has been kept caged and unable to be free. Or so she feels..... Her wings have been clipped, albeit temporarily and she finds it oppressive and very painful. Of course she understands.....she's in a healing phase and can't do what she's been able to for so long. She wants to drive, walk, take care of herself instead of requiring help. She desperately longs for independence. And so, from time to time, she lets down the walls and she cries.
When she does, I hold her and comfort her as I know so well how to do. After all, I've been doing it her whole life. It is one of my "jobs" as her mom. And as I hug her to me, I tell her softly..... "Something good is coming from this. Watch for it."
And with that gentle reminder, a new light comes to her face and she is once more filled with hope that better days, are indeed, headed her way.
Yesterday was a long day. My daughter had approximately 25 staples removed from her incisions. She was then fitted for a removable walking boot, which for her, remains a non-walking boot for a minimum of another 4 weeks. All looks good from the doctor's standpoint (and from mom's, who has seen all phases of the injury first hand), and we are on to the next part of the healing journey.
Nighttime sleeping, with a boot on that resembles a snowboard boot, is not exactly restful but we do our best to make her as comfortable as possible.
Next week, B will try to start back in her college classes. I have found her a lightweight wheelchair so she can easily navigate the campus and I will, for the most part, bring her back and forth from campus to home.
Sometimes people seem destined to meet. Such is the case with myself and a friend from across the United States. I am Atlantic Coast and she is Pacific. We met through a writing site called eHow.com and became friends through our slightly off-the-beaten path attitude towards life.
To this end, our friendship spawned an idea for a budget friendly e-book of ideas of home and garden projects. Not knowing how to go about this undertaking, we decided to turn our idea into a holiday edition
instead. When in the very initial stages of planning, a crisis took place in my family and stopped the e-book plan dead in it's tracks.
My youngest daughter, just beginning her Master's year of college, was involved in an automobile accident. She sustained what we refer to as a life altering leg injury. Within 24 hours of the accident, she was in surgery to pin many broken bones in her lower leg and ankle back together. Several days later, she was sent home to allow the swelling to recede and to rest the soft tissue before the trauma surgical team could tackle the tougher job of putting the puzzle of her ankle back together.
For nearly two weeks, we struggled to control her pain and ease the swelling, severe bruising, and internal bleeding. Rods were attached through her leg to hold it secure until she could be operated on again. When the two weeks were up, she went back and in nearly 2 hours, the surgeon had pinned, screwed, plated and wired her leg and ankle back as best he could.
Two days later: home again to begin the long road to recovery and whatever that entails.
In the meantime, my friend Pam and I took every spare minute we could to put our projects together for our holiday e-book because while I spent my days at the hospital, Pam had decided to finish the project and allow all of the proceeds from it to go to Brittany for some of the needs she would be facing due to the accident. I was so touched by her selflessness that I couldn't say, "no, I can't do this" even though my mind screamed at me that I was crazy to take it on.
myself and another friend, Angela
, whose technical knowledge not only helped see the e-book to fruition but was also responsible for this website set up, we did it. I can't thank them both anywhere near as much as I wish I could. None of us may ever "meet", but I'll never forget either of them for their generous and caring hearts.
And so, you have the background for the e-book, Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas, Decorating & Tips
. The book is filled with the ideas of east and west, traditional and not-so-much. It is Pam and it is Shirley. We hope you enjoy the projects and ideas contained within and resonate with the spirit in which the book was created. Christmas is, after all, the season for giving. We have given our best to you through this holiday e-book and our best as well to a young woman on this early part of her journey in life. Enjoy.
It looks like it's going to be a somewhat warm fall day. The leaves on the trees outside my window are changing color and the sun is beginning to just peek over the tops of them.
It's a new day.
Today, B goes for her first post-surgery re-check. We don't know what the doctor will find, or say. But I'm confident that all is good.
I took a moment in this early part of the day to catch up on some emails that have backed up for the past 4 weeks since B's accident. I came upon one that I wanted to share. Take a quick moment out of your day and let it inspire you too....http://www.findingjoymovie.com
How life can change. We see it every day if we are paying attention, yet many of us are not. Until...
Until that moment when in a flash, everything is different because of a single circumstance or event that takes place. I've had the moment. More times than I can probably remember but the most recent is, of course, most memorable.
On a sunny afternoon this past month of September, my youngest daughter sustained a life altering injury in a car accident. A college student with her graduation within sight and an amazing future before her, found herself hospitalized and requiring surgery.
Talk about shock. Her shock, my shock.......the shock of her family and friends. In a blink, her life has turned upside down and now we work to right it once more.
It's a team effort this regaining of balance and we'll get there. My dad would say "Keep the faith". I have such faith......strong and burning as brightly as a candle in the dark.