From the moment of your injury in January 2011 we knew life would never be the same again. Through the darkest times we dreamed and prayed together that somehow one day you would live a productive, joyful, and independent life. Through sheer hard work on your part and the love, support, and faith of so many, our prayers are being answered and our dream for you is coming true.
Months ago your music therapist, Tom Sweitzer, told you he wanted you to be in their production of "The Little Mermaid". Even I wondered exactly how this could happen. You had barely begun to speak. Just two weeks ago, I watched in awe on the first day as A Place to Be music therapy camp began. A troop of 72 people, made up of children and young adults with a variety of special needs, their volunteer mentors, and therapists came together with a focus and determination I have rarely witnessed. And right in the middle of this troop you sat, with your shadow and mentor Ben, and an enormous grin on your face. Ben, Tami, Shayna and your nurse in the wings were all there to make sure you were safe. In my mother's heart I knew it was time to step away and let you tackle this challenge. And did you ever. This weekend along with all of the amazing talented and determined actors you put on three performances of your life. The last performance was a special fundraising benefit for A Place to Be. In the preshow, several of the students came onto the stage to share their inspiring stories. Then Tom introduced your story and showed a video collage of the last six months of your struggles to regain your voice. As I watched the images on the large screen, I found it hard to relive those terribly difficult months. And then the most miraculous thing happened, you walked onto that stage and joined Tom to sing for everyone "The Impossible Dream". I think I held my breath the entire time. Your voice was clear and strong. Your father's hand was on my shoulder and the only thing missing was your brother, Austin. I so wish he could've been there to share the magic of that moment with you.
You have a long road ahead Darlin, and life will never again be "the same". But you are already living a productive and joyful life. And with your spirit and hard work, along with the love, support, and encouragement of faithful friends, you will one day regain your independence too. The difficult places you have been are unimaginable, but you are on your way now to re-creating a wonderful life.
With love and gratitude overflowing for Tom and his amazing team at A Place to Be, Mum
Here is the link to Forrest and Tom Singing "The Impossible Dream" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHuFUNbgIEs