Monday, April 30, 2012

Update: Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh Forrest, it's your Mum.  I'm sorry I haven't written in a while.  The days are so full and to be honest, I've been kind of blue lately.  Maybe it's the incongruity of a brilliant Spring day when you should be out and about with your friends, or coming home from your freshman year at CNU for a visit... all long legged and grinning, brimming with some mischief.

I know the rules:  " Never look back, Never look down, Count our many blessings, and Focus only on the next twelve hours." 

And we do have many blessings. We are almost 6 weeks out from your ninth surgery without any big complications. You are still gaining weight, up to 145 pounds now. You are regaining some control over your hands again. Amazingly, most mornings you wake with a smile on your face! Your private duty nurses and NRH nurses, therapists, and doctors are talented, devoted and enthusiastic about your every effort.   Austin, your incredible brother charges in after a full day at work and brightens up your world and mine.  Day after day he tries to engage you in secret handshakes, balloon tosses, lacrosse practice, sword fights, or animated stories of your many shared escapades. And every day you struggle to respond to him. Yesterday, you finally managed to lift your index finger, open your hand to slide your palm against his and finish the, almost secret, handshake with a fistbump!  The best since the first week in October! 

The bond you share gives me courage, hope, and renews my faith each day.  Neither of you will ever give up. In spite of all the set backs, the endless months of hospitalization, and the grueling task of just getting through the next twelve hours again and both still shine. You both still face each day with a smile and a "Bring it On" Attitude.  That attitude is the most powerful force imaginable. And so one day at a time, we will succeed.   We will keep building this twelve hours on the next until our Forrest is strong and whole again.

As Your Pops often points out our twelve hour plan almost always changes and so it has again.  The doctors decided to dial down your shunt yet again today. So we must stay put at NRH for another Cat Scan on Wed and if all is well, we hope to return to BrightWood on Thursday. 

With Love & Faith, 

Forrest focusing on gaining control of his hands



  1. So glad to hear you're all only a few days from heading home. Thinking about and praying for all of you daily. May the days ahead be filled with milestones and encouragement.

    Lee & Lisa

  2. It's great to see another blog entry. Hope everything continues to go well with all of you, and that you do get to go home as planned.

    Love & Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur

  3. It is SO good to have another letter about what's going on.I love the picture of Austin & Forrest. Two great guys and so sweet. Praying for a good trip home. Let's hope it's a chore that doesn't have to be repeated (with all that equipment)! God speed and blessings on that Cat Scan. I never go through a day Forrest without someone asking me how you are doing. You are so popular! :) Love, Grandma

  4. Beautiful brother picture.... Headed home soon. So glad. May God bless you this day brave nephew!

  5. You are all always in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to having you next door again, and having every 12 hours show progress.
    Carina and Caroline
    and those other Elgins

  6. Remember, home is where the heart is. No matter where Forrest is, he is surrounded by love and devotion. Six weeks - no major complications, every day he wakes with a smile, steady weight gain - those are all positive, forward steps. Brightwood around the corner, friends coming home for the summer - Now, if you can just remember all that every 12 hours, the power of those thoughts will work their miracles, just like Forrest's smile.

    Warm regards and thoughts,
    Abby Laughlin

  7. Forrest,
    I have a montage of pictures of you, Austin, and some of your friends in my wood shop. They were taken at the Quantico Marine base. I spent the morning taking you all through the three mile endurance course. It's a grueling course that will really test your mettle. We ran the trails, climbed the ropes, and negotiated all of the obstacles, many of which had names not fit to print. You made it over all the obstacles, no small accomplishment. Anyway, I see the framed pictures many times everyday. One of the pictures of you always draws my attention. In it, you are climbing up a rope hung down the side of a very steep hill . . . almost a cliff. The picture is taken from the top looking down at you climbing up. I am behind you, but when I look at the photo I only see you. You have your hands and arms wrapped around the rope and you are climbing up. Even though at that point we had run much of the course and all of you were tired, nearly spent I would say, you have a smile on your face and your eyes tell a story of great determination. I have been around Marines, most not much older than you, my entire adult life. I have seen them under all kinds of difficult circumstances including combat. You can't fake determination like the kind shown on your face in that photo – Tough. Determined. Never say die. Whatever it takes. If it were easy, anyone could do it. Bring it on. Quitting isn't an option. The only easy day was yesterday. There is no Plan B.

    This may be the longest obstacles course you will ever endure. But, I am not worried. I know you have what it takes . . . you are pacing yourself. I will not say “if you keep climbing” only that I know “you will keep climbing every day.” And, you will make it to the top. Keep pushing and keep moving.

    Uncle John

  8. I can't imagine how hard this must be Rae. You're an amazing mom and I sure hope the next twelve hours bring some more glimmers of hope!! You all are so inspiring.

    May God continue to give you the strength you need to preserver.

    With Love,
    Kelly and Family

  9. Forrest,

    You are looking so good! I can tell from the pictures that you are gaining weight and can see the sparkle in your eyes and color in your face. Your family has done a wonderful job taking care of you and making sure you have everything you need. I know this has been a heart breaking endeavor that no one could have imagined but I am so glad that much of the work to get you healthy and your "lid" back on is behind you and now you can focus on getting your life back. It wouldn't surprise me if by this time next year you are writing on this blog to everyone about how well you are doing and what you have been up to.

    I will say a prayer that you return home soon and look forward to reading about your many successes to come!

    Christie Jones