Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Your Story 6/25/13

Hey Darlin',

I'm writing to you from California, and I can't stop thinking about our conversation Sunday night. I'm always a little nervous about leaving. I came down to your bedside as we do each night to check on you one more time and say good night. In order to help your memory, we remind you of all the amazing things you have done and accomplished that day. Every day is such a blessing now that you are out of imminent danger and together our family celebrates each day as the gift we know it to be. I knelt beside your bed, and I recounted the highlights of your week end. With Shayna as your partner, and Ben cheering you on, you mastered the rules of bocce. With your nurse close by, and you carefully compensating for your challenges balancing in the grass, you promptly won two games. And with only two spotters you climbed right into the jacuzzi, grinning all the while, when the last time it took an electronic lift, a sling and five people to get you safely into the hot tub! After reveling in your accomplishments, I explained that I would be gone for a few days for business meetings in California and then I asked you, "Is there anything that you worry about"? I expected you might say something about your stomach tube, or PEG, which clearly is a source of frustration for you. Instead, without a moments hesitation you thoughtfully replied, "Sometimes I worry about the things I can't change and about the things that are beyond my control." Your answer was so unexpected and insightful, I wasn't sure how to respond. I didn't have the courage at that moment to ask you what you feel those looming monsters are. Instead, I recounted for you all of the things that you have gained control over in just the last few months and assured you that you are growing stronger and gaining more control over your life every day.

Forrest, you have been to hell and back. You have faced and overcome demons that even those of us who have been by your side throughout your journey cannot really know. I hear every day what an inspiration you are to so many people, some who have never even met you. Your outlook and attitude amaze and humble us. I know it will be hard, and even painful at times, but you are ready now to begin writing your own story. You have important things to share. As you continue to heal and your story unfolds, your thoughts, insights and feelings will guide you as you face new challenges and they can be a source of strength, inspiration and hope to others who also encounter seemingly insurmountable hardships in their lives.

I read recently, "Despair is often a crucible for growth. When our problems are too big to tackle, we must grow bigger." Mary Pipher seems to be writing about you! How have you done this, grown big enough to overcome so many unimaginable problems? And you have done so with uncommon grace and kindness to everyone around you. This is who you are and it is your inner story of courage, resiliency and hope.

With love and gratitude, Mum


  1. Hi Forrest, I am sitting by the ocean-side in California reading this post and I am so inspired, as your mama said, by you and your whole family. I have the privilege to be out here with your Mum, so I will give her a hug for you because I know how proud she is of you and how much she misses you when she is gone. You are an amazing young man, and I know you will continue to astound us with your progress. Still praying for the family. All the best, Viki Plowman and family.

  2. It is truly amazing to reflect on your story Forrest!! You look so happy in the picture:)!! Hugs to you and your whole family!

  3. The story is a most incredible one. And you have been to really tough places and fought your way back. I love that you write new chapters each day. Life is a blessing and you all recognize that and live each day with such gratitude. It is indeed....inspiring!

  4. Yea Forrest. How great you look in that jacuzzi and made it in there so easily. A super smile and I LOVE IT! You are just doing fantastic things in sports as well as scolastically. What a great young man you are becoming. I love you Forrest. Grandmom

  5. Hi Forrest, Oh, I'll bet that Jacuzzi felt good,and I'm so pleased that you were able to get into it by yourself! Keep up the good work you are constantly doing to keep improving. We are all proud of you!! Love your smile!!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur in Missouri