Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Austin starts work at Dolphin Quest in Hawaii 1/21/13

Austin, it's your Mom. Yes, this is your brother's blog, but it is your journey too. From the moment in January 2011 when Forrest was injured, your life was also forever altered. You set aside your plans and embraced his battle with a vengeance. You insisted on sitting by his hospital bed through endless dark and terrifying nights. You were his advocate and his voice when he couldn't speak for himself. You celebrated the slightest signs of hope and comforted us all when he lost ground. I remember one bleak spell when you put your arm around me and said, "Mom, think of all those firsts we have to look forward to again, his first smile, his first words, his first steps". Your faith and determination gave me the courage to begin...again and again.

Your voice, your secret "brother handshakes", shared memories and promises of adventures yet to come slowly but surely drew him back to us. As he gained strength you were there to challenge and encourage him, walking each step by his side. Your shared laughter brought joy back to my mother's heart.

And now, at last, the time has come for you to strike out on your own. Your reaching out to take on new challenges and responsibilities will give him the confidence to do the same. As hard as it was for you to leave, it is the right time for both of you. Forrest is strong now. You will light the way and as before, he will rise to your challenge and he will follow. Your phone calls and Skypes energize him and make him that much more determined to visit you in Hawaii as soon as he is able. What a great goal for him to work toward. So many shared brother memories involve sunny beaches, oceans & marine life. And now we can look forward to his first visit to see you, his first time back in the ocean, so much life ahead.

Even though you are thousands of miles away, your presence is still palpable here, in the aquarium you constructed so that Forrest could care for the fish, in the songs we sing, the stories we tell and the games we play. We are all so proud of you. With love and admiration, Mom

"When brothers agree, no fortress is as strong as their common life." Antisthenes


  1. beautiful blog, mom, in so many ways...and important steps for all. We are so proud of every member of Team 44, near and far.

  2. beautiful blog, mom, in so many ways...and important steps for all. We are so proud of every member of Team 44, near and far.

  3. Inspiring brothers for sure! So proud of you both. Great to see each of you rising to the new challenges. No doubts...you are always there for each other. Well done boys.

  4. That is so beautiful Rae, and it is so true. I'm sure Forrest will work extra hard to improve to the point where he can go visit Austin very soon. We are still praying every day here in Missouri. What a journey all of you have traveled in the past 2 years. Keep up the good work!!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur in Missouri

  5. Rae:

    This brought tears to my eyes and a big lump in my throat. You and Kent have two wonderful sons. Austin, I missed seeing you Monday when I stopped by to visit. What an inspiration you have been to your brother and your parents. How blessed we at The Medical Team are to have been able to share these private moments with all of you. Please be safe Austin. We will keep you in our prayers. Forrest, we are so very proud of your accomplishments and will continue to be at your side until our services are no longer needed. Kent and Rae, thank you for sharing your journey and your family with us.

    God Bless all of you,

    Judy and the staff of The Medical Team

  6. Austin
    Good luck as you set off on this exciting new endeavor! I can't wait for Forrest to reach his goal to visit you, knowing how well he is doing, he will be there in no time.

    The Selfes

  7. When you have more than one child, other than the all too real squabbles of childhood, you never really think about what happens between your children when something goes very wrong for one of them. I have experienced this first hand in different circumstances than yours and have a sense of the deep and abiding love that exists between two siblings. I am confident, however, that I have never witnessed anything so powerful as the devotion and confident, unwavering commitment Austin offered to Forrest these last 2 years. My life is richer for knowing your incredible sons.

    Austin, the Davis family sends you oh so much love in Hawaii and heartfelt prayers for success, happiness and many blessings in your young life.

    Your devotion to your brother, to your family and the depth of your faith in Forrest's recovery is a gift not just for them, but for all who have watched your journey.

    With gratitude and awe,
    Shannon et al.

    A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17