Monday, February 27, 2012

Update: Wednesday 2/29/12

Hey Forrest, as I write this, you, Maylin, Nurse Z and I are watching a DVD of you playing the part of Jem in the Creative Youth Theatre production of "To Kill a Mockingbird". The rain is pouring down outside and the fire is crackling warmth in your Man Cave. We are all transfixed, watching you so young and talented, hearing your youthful voice. I ache to hear your voice again, Forrest. We know you understand language and we hope and pray that you will find your own voice again soon. You have so much to tell us.

While we wait for your surgery date, still planned for March 23rd, we focus on those things that we can impact. Each day we recite the many blessings we are grateful for. We are blessed with your indomitable spirit, a loving family, an incredible team of caregivers, extraordinary friends, our Spring like weather that has allowed you to spend so much time healing out of doors, and our caring supportive community. With Tom and Melissa's determination we link arms and battle with you to find your voice. With Del and Valerie's guidance we concentrate on keeping your muscles and joints limber. Austin and Maylin create endless reasons for you to smile and laugh. We take you outside every chance we can, We feed you wholesome organic smoothies. We are by your side night and day to protect your airway and together we celebrate every victory.

Each day you face your demons head on with strength and grace as you fight to regain your life. Recently, after months of coaching and encouragement and with huge effort, you finally found your own hands and when the dystonia allows, you open those hands to the world around you. You and your brother are my inspiration, my heroes, the light of my life. You will succeed.

Forrest and his Team are really excited that Spring is just around the corner and are hoping Spring Break will allow Forrest's faithful friends time to stop by and catch up. His whole being brightens when his friends are around! And they reinvigorate Team 44 and infuse the Man Cave with youthful energy and enthusiasm!

We really appreciate your Blog Comments and your patience when it takes us a while to update it. Below are some highlights since our last posting:

With love from BrightWood,

While Forrest spends time on the tilt table, Panda Coach Austin helps Forrest regain control of his hands using the familiar feel of his LAX stick.

Spending time outside with a great friends like Matt is the best therapy ever!

Valerie will go to any height to help keep full range of motion in your shoulders.

You made Maylin's day when you were able to hold a marker in your hand and with her help make your mark on the whiteboard!


  1. March 23rd.....okay. That is the date we will be looking forward to. But it is so nice to see the positive changes in progress and strength. Thanks for sharing some of the activities of the days with all of us. Everyone is working so hard! Proud of you ALL.

    Won't spring be great. I'll bet the flowers at Brightwood will be lovely and Forrest will enjoy that a lot. Our prayers are still with you each day...

  2. I've been following your family's journey since it started. Every entry I've read is full of so much love. I can feel it through the words. What a great family! Thank you for sharing as you do.

  3. Hey Forrest.
    I love seeing you hold your lacrosse stick. I remember watching you practice in the field behind your house. You were dodging and spinning around imaginary opponenets, rocking the stick in your hands to keep the ball just in the right place in the basket, then whipping the stick around and firing the ball into the netted goal. So that is where I see you now, you have been dodging around your opponents, more challenging than anything any team you have ever faced before. You are rocking the stick in your hands waiting for the moment to fire to the goal. It takes practice to make those moves, they are skilled moves, and that is what your coaches that surrond you every day are doing, they are helping you get your balance, practice your coordination, rub your muscles, and encouraging you to keep going down field. Sometimes the best strategy is to circle around the opponents, go around the back side of the goal, weave between them, confuse them and then fire.
    So keep going for the goal Forrest. We are right there , urging you on to be determined and patient
    With great love and admiration to you and all of Team 44 , near and far,
    Aunt Tricia

  4. What wonderful pictures and updates! Love the Panda big brother hat! What an amazing support group and you are AMAZING Forrest! Keep fighting! We are all cheering for you!

    God bless you!
    Kelly and family

  5. Hi Forrest,

    It sounds like things are still moving forward in a big way! I'm so happy that you've been able to be outside as much as you have since being home. I've always thought that was a GREAT healing place--out in God's Nature. We're still praying for you and your team. Keep your head high and keep up the good work!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur

  6. Hi Forrest and Team 44,

    Everytime I read these posts, I feel the loving vibes, the sense of thankfulness for every step forward that Forrest takes. I love seeing your smile Forrest and your eyes that seem more aware. God bless all of you! My prayers for continued recovery and strength are sent your way.


  7. Good Work Forrest. You remain such an inspiration to all of us. Hope to see you soon.

    Donna, Owen & family

  8. Hey Forrest, it's your Aunt Tricia again.

    I just wanted you to know that it snowed here in Oregon today. Now snow in Oregon is not unusual, I mean we are the home of Mt. Hood, a very craggly looking mountain. But here in Portland, it is still a little unusal to see big, fat flakes spiraling down. And then it didn't even stick, it was like having shaved ice sprinkeled down from above. I mean geez it is almost Spring!

    Anyway, I still remember the photo your Mom sent me of you and Sundance shoveling out A LOT of snow from around the Yukon. You were bundled up and it looked like Sundance had been pouncing around in the snow bank, like only English Labs can do. And you had this big smile on your face.

    So even during hard work, you can still find ways to smile. You have been resting up at home, in the peace and joy that only Brightwood can bring to your soul. Team 44 has continued their extraordinary vigil and your friends have visited you and inspired you. I know that you inspired so many others, near and far. So we know that you are ready for some more hard work.

    So picture a blue sky day, with glittering snow all around. There is two feet of crunchy snow under your feet. You are wearing that Panda hat, bundled up, gripping a snow shovel. Sundance is lumbering a bit in your foot steps and occasionally bounding off your trail to pounce on some creature scurrying under the snow. You chuckle at his antics and trudge onto towards the truck. There is so much snow, it looks like a giant white boulder. Something catches your eye and you look towards the barn, the sunlight bouncing off the snow is so bright you have to shield your eyes for a moment. There is nothing unusual, and you realize it is just a moment in time that cathces your breathe. It is a perfect moment. You smile, glad to be home at Brightwood again, turn towards the truck and start to shovel.
    love ya, stay strong, smile when you can - it brightens up the room and our lives
    Aunt Tricia