Your friends at Mercersberg made an amazing video of tons of friends wishing you well and waiting to make more memories with you. I'm looking forward to showing it to you in the days ahead. I heard a rumor his Highland buddies made one for you as well... looking forward to that too. Additionally, a number of friends have made audio and video clips for you on the voicethread your Aunt Lynn put together, and I more are planning on it (instructions in previous updates).
You're continuing to be a little more awake each day. Today you're tracking more with your eyes and watching tv for brief periods. You're still not consistently following commands, but that will come (you never were good at that beforehand, especially not from your big bro). I know the neurological "storms" that you're still battling must be frustrating, but hopefully they will decrease soon. Your Extra Ventricular Drain will be coming out tomorrow, then your incision from the "lid" removal can fully heal. You have amazing doctors and nurses, even though I'm sure you think they wait till you're finally asleep to turn or tinker with you. Outside of the medical team, you have a truly remarkable network of friends and family supporting you and lifting up the rest of us in Atlanta. Just today I skyped with DQB, they send their love to you and the dolphins can't wait to see you again.
As I'm sitting here by your bedside watching you sleep (I promise its not creepy, really), I started thinking about all the amazing times we've had exploring together. A specific memory kept coming back. A few summers ago when we were diving off the coast of Hawaii, having a grand time exploring the reef, at about 60' in depth we came to a small crevice in the reef. It was just a small hole in a large brain coral colony with a few red squirrel fish hanging by the entrance. You looked at me and before I even gave you a response you were unclipping your BCD and sliding out of it. Breathing from your regulator and pushing your tank in front of you, you shimmied your way through the hole and disappeared. I was shocked and amazed you'd made it, so I took off my gear, shoved it before me, and followed you in. Once inside we settled onto the sand and looked around. Small rays of light shimmered from tiny holes in the vaulted ceiling of the lava rock cave, dancing over us and illuminating the darkness. We spent a few minutes in this surreal hideaway, the ocean's comforting and enveloping silence only interrupted by our exhalations of bubbles. Back on board the dive boat, we were grinning from ear-to-ear, knowing what we just experienced was too hard to explain, so we just kept it to ourselves.
It's this same ear-to-ear grin and fearless attitude that's going to allow you to take on and overcome the challenges ahead of you. You're a fighter through and through. Many days will be full of achievements, and I'll be by your side to help you through the harder days. I'll follow you into a dimly lit cave any day. As Mom said, we can do this.
Austin and Team Forrest
Forrest in a different cave