Thursday, December 3, 2009

Update 12/3/09 Day 25

Dear friends,

My car is trashed. And I'm not talking about the one that was in the accident. Coffee cups, paper scraps, wrappers, pens, Tupperware tops, Starbucks receipts (Hannah's Frappuccinos),
etc., etc... If you get in my car with me, you may have to dig your way out. It's the vast, uncharted territory. Kind of like this road we're on. Still, it gets me where I want to go. It's just kind of messy along the way. One of these days I'll clean it out. It's about 400 on my priority list.

I'm so proud of my husband. He hasn't been getting great sleep, his digestive system is still fouled up from mass doses of antibiotics and anesthesia, but he's working like a dog to be able to get himself from bed to wheelchair to toilet. It's a herculean task, and he's making progress, bit by bit. His therapists are so skilled and encouraging. How great is it, that when God puts a person together, He gives them gifts to serve their fellow man? Every one of you has at least one. Use them, I beseech you! Someone, somewhere invented the technology to heat up packaged blood before transfusing it into a trauma victim. That technology helped save my husband's life. My daughter's "sitter" at Albany Med, who she called "Aunt Rosie", prayed for Hannah and sang her songs, and watched over her all night. She was a piece of the puzzle. Somebody came in and emptied the garbage from Steve's room at Sunnyview and washed his floor. And so on and so forth. "Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might..."

Hannah had her stitches removed from her eyelid today. She no longer has any stitches in her body. Some scabs, some scars, but no surgical thread. Praise God, that's behind us. Another rung on the ladder. Yipee! She is still being evaluated in her therapies, and next week Sunnyview will look at the evaluations and come up with strategies to help her compensate for the injury to her brain. She is doing amazingly well, though! She's getting so much calmer and less impulsive, her attention span is definitely increasing a squinch at a time, (that's a Smith word), and she's asking me every ten minutes when she can go back to school. Will somebody just please sing the Hallelujah chorus! 25 days ago, I didn't know if she would wake up. Now I'm listening to her play the piano, and she wants guitar lessons. She even pointed out to the therapist that the test she was taking must have come from England since the word organize was spelled with an s. She's sharp, that girl. What amazing grace!

I was just informed that Capital News 9 is coming to the DWI checkpoint I was asked to participate in on Saturday morning. I was very gently approached and asked if I would bring some photos of us to demonstrate the impact of drunk driving on families. I am honored and more than willing to do so. Dr. Somaio at Sunnyview told me today that conservatively speaking, half the people on the brain injury unit are there because of alcohol related injuries. Some obviously hurt themselves, and some, like Stephen and Hannah, were hurt by others. But that estimate is staggering to me. I am learning about the way the law has traditionally dealt with DWI offenses, and it's not pretty. Slaps on the wrist, community service, even restoration of driver's licences are the status quo. Let me borrow a quote from one of my favorite organizations, Love 146: "Justice at its best is Love". Drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car causes agony and devastation. The loving thing is to make the penalty so high people will fear driving drunk. Bones will stay unbroken. Brains will not bleed. Justice at its best is Love.

Have I told you lately how much I value all of you. It really isn't just words on a page. I am being carried by my dear Savior and the vehicle has been all of you. Isn't it just like Him to bring beauty out of ashes? Every day my gratitude is overflowing. I'm lousy at math, but I pray for great multiplication back to you for all you have done for me. We'll keep going, seeing this thing through to the end, and turning darkness to light all along the way. And one of these days, my car will be clean.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Donnie said...

My heart has never been broken ,then the day I recieved that call from Albany med.The sun is getting much brighter on this pilgrim road we all share,every day.How I wish I could be clean your van.But for now,my un dieing prayers for healing will have to do.What a joy it will be,when Steve puts that star atop the Smith tree,Or when he walks your beautiful daughter down the never hurts to dream big.Always in my heart,always in my prayers, Donnie

Steve and Hannah said...

Dearest Brother,

I am so sorry I locked you out of the house when you were 8, and you got so mad you put your fist through the window to get in. Ok, it was your fault, but still...

Your loving big sister on the pilgrim road,


Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,
Your blog was shared with me by Jennifer Sandiford....she knew we had been where you are. Our son, Joshua, suffered a TBI 2 days before his college graduation. Weeks at St Louis University Hosp. then an air transfer to Sunny View. Only God gives the strength to do what you are having to do...He will remain faithful. Our therapists at SV became our family. We will continue to pray for all of you as you continue this long road. God bless you.
Laureen Lawrence