Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Highs and Lows

Of all the wide range of emotions this journey has revealed to us, defeat has never even been considered.  But this week I feared I saw it for the first time on your face. Utter defeat is void of hope, It is paralyzing. It sucks the life force out of the room leaving only a shadow behind. Defeat is more terrifying than anger or rage, but we saw those as well this week as you battle to reassert yourself.

We cried, or rather I cried, then we scraped our game faces off the floor, linked arms, gathered strength from family and friends and went after the demon. We refuse to believe that the Come Back Kid would give up. It has to be side effects of the medication making you so depressed and frequently either non-responsive or angry. It's just not YOU.   We cannot let the medicine that is supposed to protect you, instead rob you of your personality, your humor, your optimism. After multiple consultations the doctors have agreed to begin lowering your first seizure medication sooner than planned. There are no guarantees, only calculated risks. We hope and pray this is the right decision, that you won't have another seizure, your sparkle and shine will burst through the fog and your humor will re-energize Team Forrest. 

We are grateful beyond belief for the many messages of encouragement, faith, and support and the visits of your friends this week; Gio, Shayna, Tori, Nick and Derek. They bring the most wonderful energy and light into our lives! The incredible cast and crew of APTB Summer camp have been patient and supportive, while they challenge you to keep moving forward.  Austin and Tami create humor and patience where it doesn't exist, just when we need it most. 

So tomorrow morning we begin decreasing the suspect medication and are hoping that within the following 48 to 72 hours we will begin seeing more and more of the Forrest we adore. 

There is a show to put on this week end at the culmination of A Place To Be summer camp. And the musical "Stink" needs its dragonfly bartender, Forrest, to be in fine form!

Please come cheer for Forrest and the amazing cast & crew! It promises to be a most creative and humorous look at a Stink Bug named Stanley and his dreams!  

Paying it Forward: Austin's CCI puppy Martin will hopefully change someone's life like Toliver has Forrest's. (photo by Sharon Hallman) Check out Sharon's other Martin photos and follow Martin's journey at

Celebrating the most wonderful Pops on Fathers Day with your first venture into the pool 

Megan, Forrest and Nathan.  Awesome cast and Crew members of Stink!

The amazing inspiring and talented "Stinky" Cast and Crew !

PLEASE come.  Bring your family and friends. You will be glad you did! 

With Faith Love and Renewed Optimism,


  1. Rae and Team 44

    We stand with you. We are strong for you. We send you love and light and support and hope and belief that this will work. Medicine can be a saving grace or shattering and sometimes the difference between the two is a nano breath. It takes courage and resolve to move forward and try another course of action. Team 44 does not stand still. You did not make such remarkable progress by standing still or doing the norm...You have achieved miracles by pushing the envelope and never settling for what is today, but what can be better tomorrow..So keep moving forward, rest when you need to, cry when you need to - it is how the pain and fear get out. Don't keep the demons inside, they do no good there. Let them go out into the air to be dissolved and evaporate in the morning sunrise. Move forward, one foot in front of the other, work the lock, don't look down the rabbit hole, start where you stand and most importantly - Don't give up - it is not an option.
    Love you and as always I am awed by the power and courage you all possess.

    With great love and admiration your sister Tricia

  2. From my classroom bulletin board...for Forrest--

    It Couldn’t Be Done BY EDGAR ALBERT GUEST

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it;”
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure,
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

  3. We're hoping that your Dr.'s will find which medicine is giving you this trouble and either change or modify it so that it won't affect you that way, Forrest. You've done so well in healing and keeping that happy smile on your face that we have tons of faith that you will continue doing as you've done these past four & a half years. All the best to you and Team 44. WE KNOW YOU CAN PULL THROUGH THIS ROUGHT SPOT, BECAUSE YOU'VE DONE SO REPEATEDLY!!

    Prayers Always, Joyce and Wilbur Ellis in Mo.