It's been a long 11 weeks since I last got to see you at UVA. And I know if the time has felt long to me, it must feel much longer to you. When I saw you last, you were still in the process of waking up so it was amazing to walk into your room and be greeted by your open eyes focused in my direction. So good to see you, cousin.
I got to be part of your physical therapy session today. You did the work, I sat on the edge of the bed and served as a target for your rotating arms. Your therapist is awesome - spunky and supportive, pushing you because she knows you're ready to get moving again. We worked on head movements (not your favorite) and then spent a long time stretching, flexing, and moving your arms and shoulders. You worked hard. By the end of the session, everyone was sweating and ready for a rest (and only partially because the hot Atlanta sun was heating up the room). She gave you some homework assignments before she left and since your mom was with us at that point, I'm sure you'll be working on those tomorrow morning before your next session. :)
Our other big adventure today was your move to a room down the hall. You've graduated from ICU to the intermediate care area, which means new nurses and a new room setup. Although we setup your digital frame with pictures of friends and family, the new room could still use some decorating (I'm sure Team Forrest will help remedy that shortly - we were missing some tape this afternoon). I've got good feelings about this room, Forrest. It's bed number #15 in your journey - a number that can seem a little daunting until you remember that it will one day only be a footnote in your journey. All that matters is that each bed is bringing you closer to home.
Finally, just wanted to tell you that I'm awed by the strength that surrounds you, Forrest - I know you can feel it in the room with you. Your team this week - Mom, Austin, and Aunt Tricia (supported by lots of phone calls from Dad) - continues to serve tirelessly as your 24-hour cheerleaders, advocates, entertainers, and constant supporters. Last night I sat with Austin as he read you texts, showed you a great video put together by your friends, and told you about upcoming visitors. I passed Tricia in the driveway last night as she left to sit with you during the late shift and heard her call your mom to check-in right when she woke up this afternoon. And today I watched as your sweet Mum talked with doctors and nurses to make sure you are getting the best care possible, gently stretched out your tight leg muscles, and rubbed your feet so you could comfortably drift off to sleep as you pushed through a storm. Beyond the fans that cheer for you in the room every day, you have daily comments, emails, calls, prayers, and well wishes from people all over the country who are cheering for you just as boldly. You are certainly loved a lot.
Back to cheering with the rest of your fans in VA...
|Watching the new video your friends sent|
|Working hard during physical therapy|