Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update from Toliver

Hello from Toliver.  I would like to tell you what Forrest and I have been up to lately.  

Blogging Puppy!
The Same Sky Project has been keeping us VERY busy.  We performed at three schools last week and  Mr. Sweitzer said we have now performed for over 1200 students!  Thursday was special because we did a show at Highland, which is the school where Forrest was attending when he had his accident.  They were very welcoming to Forrest and the rest of the cast. We also did a special community performance last Saturday at Hill School!   It was my third birthday and my “mom” Colleen (CCI Puppy Raiser) came to the show.  Both Forrest and I were so excited to see her.  I haven’t seen her since December, so I covered her in kisses.  It was the best birthday ever!

Austin came home for the long weekend and we had lots of fun spending time with him.  We took Pops shooting for his birthday.  It was loud so I stayed in the car, but I saw a video of Forrest doing really good shooting a soda can.  You can see it here: Shooting the Can Video

Austin also took Forrest for a ride on the four wheeler at the farm!   

Grandma Norma and her sisters came to visit us last week too.  It was really nice having them here!  Sundance and I were disappointed that we didn't get to try any of the delicious smelling things that they baked.  Forrest said everything was tasty.  They were here for Pops’ birthday and the show on Saturday too.  BrightWood was definitely busy, but we all loved it!

Forrest started his online college U.S. History class today!  It sounds like it is going to be a lot of work and move pretty fast, but I think Forrest likes history so he will hopefully do a really good job.

Thanks for supporting my Forrest!  Love, Toliver
On Stage during "44" at the Same Sky Project
Family time!

At Highland
With 44 and Colleen, my puppy raiser

Friday, September 26, 2014

From Forrest

Hi everyone.  This is Forrest.  I've been busy lately!  Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a Traumatic Brain Injury support group with my Music Therapist Tom.  We sang some songs from my show and I got to hear many stories and tell my own. 

Last week I also went to Johns Hopkins for a check up with my surgeon.  He was happy with how I looked and how my noggin' and back are healing.  He took out a bunch of sutures....OW!  I also saw one of my doctors in Richmond earlier this week.

One thing that I have been busy with lately is The Same Sky Project with A Place to Be.  Myself and a talented, brave group of individuals from APTB have been practicing 2 to 3 times a week to get ready to perform at multiple schools in October.  We will be having a show open to the public at The Hill School on Saturday, October 11th at 7:30pm.  Anyone who can come and see this show, should! (Tickets at the door)

Other things I have been up to:  PT with Del two times a week; getting ready for a college class online - unfortunately the first class I signed up for got cancelled, so now I may be taking a history class; I went to see "The Maze Runner" with my aide Tami - I loved the movie!;  I go to Immersion at APTB once a week for a few hours; and of course....hanging out with Toliver, who goes with me everywhere!  

Thanks for your support-

The Same Sky Cast!  You may notice that Derek is holding a sign that says "Normal", there is a little part involving that particular label in the show - but you have to come see it to see why we have that sign on the stage! 
Me, Toliver, Mum and Tom with the TBI support group I visited last week
Dr. Kumar removing my sutures (OUCH!) and Toliver doing his best to comfort me

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Wonderfully Busy Week

Hey Forrest,  I'm sorry we haven't written lately.  It's been a challenge just keeping up with you this week and the days are flying by. Here are some highlights:

Dr. FaLkenstein, with  Maxie cheering you on, removed the surgical drains from your back incision ."ouch" 

This required a celebratory ice cream at Scruffy's!

Your great pal Keith came to visit and you got to ride in his Jeep with him to the Hill School! 

Where a rousing game of bocce ball ensued. 

You began balance and strengthening exercises with your great champion, and extraordinary physical therapist, Del.

I don't have a picture for the most exciting news. With Tami's help, You completed your application for college!!! Beginning with an online course at Northern Virginia Community College, hopefully beginning next week!

You still tire easily and are in some discomfort, but your characteristic good humor and determination challenge us all to keep up!  And this next week promises to be just as exciting.  

Thrilled with your progress and grateful to be home,


Monday, September 8, 2014


Darlin' Forrest.   It's hard to explain.  But even as I watch you refusing help and struggling to dress yourself, in spite of the discomfort and the logistics of managing the drains, I am grateful. My mother's heart is overflowing with gratitude  for your determination and your growing Independence.  The simplest tasks that most of us probably take for granted, you accomplish with patience, grace, and an unfathomable strength.  As I watch your fingers slowly manage the buttons of your shirt, I marvel at the exquisite precision of fingers that respond to your direction.

 None of us should ever take our own fingers for granted. 

I am grateful beyond words for your friends who brighten your days with their visits, face time, and messages. 

How great to be able to receive a visit from Caroline and Shelly at your front door!

It doesn't matter that you aren't strong enough yet to safely climb the stairs...
if Angel, Derek and Tami are waiting to applaud your arrival on the BrightWood "roller coaster"! 

And extreme Jenga ...

is so much more fun with virtual participation  by your awesome brother Austin!

How can I explain the thrill of hearing you belt out the words to your "Brothers Song" with Tom and Kyle during music therapy today at A Place To Be, when we couldn't even know that you would still have your voice after surgery?!? 

As the sun sets over BrightWood, I am grateful for this day and for every day we can share with family and friends,

Hug a friend, call a family member. breathe in the fesh September air, give thanks for this day. 

God Bless,


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Verdict Is In!

They all agree:

Dr Kumar,  Forrest's primary surgeon at Johns Hopkins, 

Nurse Dawn, who has helped care for Forrest for almost 2 years including 3 hospitals and BrightWood Rehab, 

Dr Falkenstein his primary care doctor since we moved to Virginia in 1996 and Matt, one of Forrest's best friends since preschool, all concur:

"Forrest is doing GREAT"!!!!! 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

BrightWood Homecoming !

We think the smiles on Forest's and Toliver's faces say it all!  

Thank you for keeping the faith, 

Team Forrest

Break Out!

We are BrightWood Bound!
YAYYYY !!!!!!!!!!