Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update: 12:00am on 4/8

Hey Forrest it's your Mum. Just want to tell you how proud I am of all your work today. It has been a long hard day for you and since you probably won’t be able to remember most of this time, I want to tell you about your day. The morning was consumed with more tests, doctors and new medications. About 2pm you received another dose of Morphine for the pain and brief tremors that over take you every few hours. The doctors believe this might be similar to the "storms" that you had back when were at UVa and have to do with your brain trying to find its new equilibrium, after the trauma of the brain surgery on Monday. Right after the Morphine, one of your Physical Therapists came in to work with you. She came to the ICU to work with you for the first time yesterday.

She has this great upbeat energy and a twinkle in her eyes. She first had you work at slowly tracking her with your eyes as she moved around your bed. She kept moving around the room and you tried so hard to follow her with your eyes. Then she got your arms moving, flexing and extending your wrists, elbows and shoulders. I watched as she gently held your arm in her hands and urged you to make some of the movements as you struggled against the weakness and medication induced fog, "Swing out, push hard, you can do it, beautiful job Forrest, that 's all you !" You tried so hard. I am in awe of your quiet courage and perseverance. She promised you a Salsa dance when you’re up for it, but we all know that you are the dancer in the family, maybe she could help Kent with some Salsa moves.

At 6pm I got some time alone with you. Without the doctors, nurses and technicians that come and go day and night through your room, I was able to reconnect with you again. I pulled up a chair next to your bed & read “To Kill a Mockingbird” to you. Do you remember when you portrayed the character Jem in the play? You have always pulled through the tough scenes and I know you will again. You started to have another small tremor and I was able to move your arms and just kept reading. The tremor passed quickly. I loved this time together, just quietly sitting there, reading to you. It was relaxing to me and you seemed to enjoy it . Perhaps we both needed to relive the simple bed time moments of earlier, simpler years.

You are my sunshine-your light is burning still, just more quietly right now. The storm clouds will pass and your inner light will come shining through to all of us waiting, holding our breaths, willing you to heal and shine again. Goodnight my sunbeam. Rest quietly tonight, you’ve worked hard and had a good day. Tomorrow will be better still. One day at a time, slow and steady. We can do this.

In addition to all the messages, prayers and special visits from “old” friends, we are grateful for our new friends in Atlanta who have opened their hearts and homes to give us safe haven while we regroup our forces every day so we can bring Forrest home.

Mum and Team 44

Physical Therapist working on upper body range of movement


  1. Forrest's mum: Thank you for the update. My thoughts are with you! pam Chauvin

  2. Sounds like things are slowly but surely moving in the right direction. Keep up the good work!

  3. A mom's heart is a beautiful thing. A son's courage to fight through the challenge is inspiring. And a Dad and brother who never give up in their expressions of love continue to amaze me. Your families and friends are behind you all...cheering you on. I know you hear us. And our prayers to a mighty God continue. He will see us through. Aunt Lynn

  4. Dear Rae,

    How wonderful that you and Forrest are reading together as the "storms" pass by. I love the image. I know that Forrest will read to you again in the not too distant future. I can envision the two of you sitting out in your lovely garden while he quietly reads to you, and the two of you sip lemonade from your dragonfly glasses. THEN, once refreshed by verse and drink, he'll challenge you to a wicked game of croquet...and win! It will be wonderful to see him back in his groove!

    We love you guys.

    Diane and Jay

  5. What a beautiful, moving post. Forrest, when you come back this time,it will be faster, and you will be stronger. You are building toward a recovery--god bless


  6. Team 44,
    The support you are giving Forrest as he struggles to regain his equilibrium will guide him back to you. Hearing a favorite story in his mum's loving voice has got to be some of the best medicine possible. We can see how painful it is to watch your son/brother struggle so hard, but your strength and perseverance is giving Forrest the strength he needs to fight his way back to being his old self.
    We hope and pray with you for Forrest full recovery.
    Keep hanging in there!
    The Selfes

  7. Forrest, I don't think you could have a better mum! Or a better Team. Simple, quiet moments between mom and son are truly some of the best - and for the two of you at this time, especially so. I am sure I sound like a broken record with my belief that it is a journey, not a race, that you are on - and resting is just as important as all the hard work. Hoping today is another good day for all of you. Sounds like your PT therapist is wonderful - I'm confident you will push through and amaze her and the rest of us once again with your determination and success in moving forward - and hope that soon she'll be seeing the twinkle in your eyes! We're pulling for you - sending our love and prayers your way, Lisa (and the rest of the Shermans)

  8. I'm so thrilled to hear of your progress Forrest! Hang in there and keep fighting!! Everyone is rooting for you.

    Love, Joyce & Wilbur

  9. Ahh forfor im so happy the surgery went well. I love you and I cant wait to spend all summer with youu!

  10. Rae, I never make it to the end of your posts as my eyes blur with tears. I have prayed for your strenghth. I have prayed for God to keep your sense of hope alive. I have prayed that he remove all anxiety and fear...I have been eager to "hear" your voice in these posts while knowing you leaned on the faith and strength of others. Today's post reads like answered prayer! And I know God hears your prayers for your precious son, dear sister.

    I am so grateful for the obviously fantastic medical team surrounding Forrest. What sacred work they do! I'm so grateful that you and your family feel surrounded by loving friends, new and old.

    But mostly, I am so grateful that Forrest is clearly coming back, albeit slowly, for there must be purpose in this cautious new timing for him and all who
    surround him.

    To Kill A Mockingbird is a beloved book in our family, too. What qualities of strength, resilience and commitment to purpose in the face of extraordinary odds Forrest and all of you share with Atticus! These are your finest hours and you let us witness them.

    What a gift!

    Much love to you, extraordinary Mum.

    With a full heart,

  11. Mom's have special powers. Blessings to you all.

  12. Forrest and Team,

    Keep pushing! You all are never far from my thoughts - sending positive vibes your way.


  13. You've brought a flood of tears to my eyes... I am in awe of what all of you have been through. Keep living one day at a time. My thoughts are with you always.


  14. My heart and soul are in mindful prayer for you and your family but especially Forrest during this difficult time!

  15. What a beautiful post Rae! Touched my heart all over again! I love To Kill A Mockingbird. What a neat story to read to your wonderful son. Just know so many of our friends are praying for you all and reading this blog. One of my friends who reads it is an editor and she said, "Wow! Your family has some amazing writers!" Also such amazing love and strength!!

    God bless you tonight and always!

  16. The amount of inner strength, courage and intense love that your family has is so incredibly moving. Reading to Forrest is such a wonderful thing to do, calming but stimulating. I have been reading to my sister's children, ages 5 and 3, as I am sure you did for Forrest when he was young. It creates such warmth and connection, I know it is a comfort to him.


  17. Dear Rae,
    I know your quiet times with Forrest are priceless and your reading to him must soothe his soul. I am sure he is hearing every word and it brings him such comfort, just as it did when he was little. We continue to send much love and many prayers and will wait patiently to hear your reports of Forrest's progress. You and your family and Team Forrest continue to inspire and amaze us. With Love, Betsy, Mark & Lauren Davis

  18. Aloha Rae,
    Thanks for the update. Small steps and approximations...going in the right direction. You have an Ironman in Forrest. Strong and determined. My prayers continue for Forrest and the family...
    Patrick McLain

  19. Forrest, remember that ..the past can't be changed....but the future is still in your hands....and you have a team complete with Team 44 members..those who are actually surrounding you physically and all your virtual friends that are consistently lifting you up in their thoughts and prayers! Remember, "He will not fail thee nor forsake thee." Deuteronomy 31:6 I like the way The Message, a contemporary rendering of the Bible, translates this verse: "Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down, he won't leave you." Your faith in him will provide for you...and all the Team 44 members that are there to help you on this journey of healing. You are in my constant thoughts and prayers. Rest well and know that you are loved and being watched over. Because while you rest...that is when all the true healing occurs. God bless you and all that are on this journey with you.

  20. Rae, I was visiting back there especially to see Forrest in that play!! I was amazed at what a fine job he did playing Jem. I told you and Kent that I thought he could be a very good actor if he so chose. I also was out ther and attended Hill School to hear him sing in the Chorus. He has such a great singing voice. It will be fun to hear him again one day! :)
    I also remember times when you,with Austin and Forrest would sit out back on a couch reading to the boys. If it was cool you would just wrap up in blankets and you've read them several books when they were young. What great memories!!
    As many of you have said, the blog means so much to all of us. Rae, you, Kent and Austin have spent many hours keeping us all informed. Others have also done updates when they were there, have filled in. It was so great of the boys cousin Lisa Bader coming down and getting it all set up in the beginning. She and Austin did a good job. Remember early on when she, Austin and her husband Lee got the room all decorated so that when he awakened he would see all of it and realize how much people cared.
    We tend to take the blog showing up for granted. Forrest we're always so excited know a new blog has been posted so we can hear about you. It just makes our day to hear. THANK YOU ALL who have given so much of yourselves to help.
    It's so neat to sit in church and hear of all the prayers going out for all of you, but especially Forrest.
    I love you Forrest and when you get to feeling like it you may tell your big brother Austin I love him too.:o). Until next time~~~~~~~~~
    Grandmom Allen

  21. I follow your blog everyday and would like to send a card to Forrest. Is the address posted (at Shepherd Center) the best place to send well wishes? If not, could you let us know where we should send cards so that they will reach the family - thanks. Keep up the positive and loving thoughts. There are a lot of people pulling for you everyday.

  22. Hi Forrest,

    It's Olivia from the Hill School 2nd grade. I will make you a stuffed animal with a sound maker in it. I wanted to tell you a funny story about lunch time at Hill School. I was eating my apple and I felt something hard go down my throat. Then I noticed I swallowed my tooth! I wrote the Tooth Fairy a note explaining what happened and put it under my pillow. In the morning I ran to my Mom and Dads room because I forgot about my tooth under my pillow. My Mom asked what did the Tooth Fairy give you? I ran back to my room and looked under my pillow and....I got money! My Dad looked at the note I wrote and saw the Tooth Fairy wrote back to me - "HeHeHe HaHaHa Love, TF." Did the Tooth Fairy ever come see you Forrest? Keep getting stronger and better. Love, Livi

  23. Dear Rae,
    What mother of a teenaged boy doesn't long for that special time tucked in next to her sweet sunshine boy sharing wonderful things from books and from the heart? I'm glad you can see and experience beautiful things in the midst of this trial.

    We love you guys and are pulling for you.

    love, Donna
    (Owen, Chloe and the gang)

  24. Dr. Stone.....I called DQ today to inquire about something and heard about Forrest. Our thoughts and prayers are with your sweet family. You are so strong!

    Roxie Heussner
    (I worked for you when you lived and ran DQ in AZ).