Friday, December 25, 2015

Wishing you a Joyous Christmas Day

We are grateful this Christmas day to be home at BrightWood together. We are sending prayers and love to Nat, Joshua and other families celebrating Christmas in hospital today.  

We have been blessed with a Wonderful month at home.   Here are a few  of the highlights:  Some of Forrest friends were able to join him to see Spectre on his 23rd birthday. A real joy after spending two of the last five birthdays in hospital.  

A little unconventional chainsaw PT helped bring in our BrightWood Christmas tree!

Christmas shopping with Austin and Forrest is always entertaining!

At Forrests check up at Johns Hopkins with one of his doctors on 12/23, Dr. Liptoncott exclaimed,  "Forrest you look like a million bucks!"  All of Forrest's blood work looked just as good and we got Forrest's early Christmas wish.  No more continuous IV antibiotic's and the Hickman central IV line came out!!!

While it was great to see familiar nurses who adore Forrest & Toliver, Toliver was clearly a little concerned about our visit to the hospital and was eager to get Forrest out of there!

The unseasonably warm weather in Virginia allowed us to have a day hike on Christmas Eve. 

Sending love and gratitude to all our family, friends, prayer warriors, doctors, therapists, and nurses who have made this chapter in Forrest's journey possible. Next up; Pop's legendary herbs de Provence brined beer can turkey! 

God Bless & Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I Feel Good

"Nana Nana Nana I knew that I would!"   You sang James Brown out loud for Dr. Kumar when he asked you, "how are you feeling?"  

Dr. Kumar admired your "guns", gave you all gold stars for your post op check up at Hopkins Friday, AND he said you are doing so well,  we do not need to plan for another surgery in February!  

Saturday, lunch outside on the deck at The Red Horse in Middleburg with Shayna Gio Toliver & Yeager, was an impossible vision come to life.  You; Home, Healthy, Whole and Happy hanging out with your friends!  Another proof that miracles do still happen! 

Sunday, you and I had a walk around BrightWood soaking up the unseasonably warm December sunshine.  You and your horse, O' Riley, had a little discussion about how delicious over ripe pears might be.  

O'Riley convinced you to let him do the taste test! Yum Yum! 

Counting our blessings every day and sending our love and prayers to those still in hospital tonight.  

Mum & Team 44

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Home for Christmas!

Where to start? Last Friday, 10 days after being released from the hospital and a little more than three weeks from major surgery, you enthusiastically climbed up on stage at Salamander Resort and sang your heart out for Tom, APTB and Middleburg.  Your OWN rendition of course, "I AM home for Christmas!"

Where would we be without A Place to Be in your life.... Your incredible cadre of brilliant surgeons, doctors, and nurses have saved your life... again and again. But it is A Place to Be, accompanied by your faithful friends, that have saved your remarkable spirit....again and again.   I went back just now and watched on YouTube your rehearsal of "Carol of the Bells" with Tom for the Holiday Recital 2012.

You were not able to perform that year because you were back in the hospital again on the day of the recital.  Sometimes I think I  have blocked out the darkest days from my memory.  So I think occasionally, but not too often, it is good to look behind us, just to remember how far you have come Darlin' and how hard it has been for you.  Though my memory is becoming more selective, we never forget how blessed we are and how grateful we are for all those who have helped us along the way.  

Saturday we celebrated Christmas in Middleburg in the parade with our amazing friends at Canine Companions for Independence. 

Toliver reverted to a 12 week old puppy when he saw his puppy raiser Colleen in person!!! What a gift of love Colleen has given you! And now she is raising her 10th puppy, Lady, for CCI! Paws up for Colleen and all the big hearted CCI puppy raisers! 

After the parade Toliver invited a few of his CCI friends home for a little after party!  What amazing life changing animals!!!

Sometimes in the quiet moments I wonder, is their a larger purpose to this journey?  What am I supposed to be learning that has us seemingly going backwards to relive setbacks and dark days, until I get it.... Then I see you back on stage grinning, singing, still shining brightly and I think maybe the lesson is simply to embrace each moment with grace and gratitude. To face each day we are given with joy and to offer someone else who might be in need, the song in our hearts.  

Shine on. Forrest. 

With gratitude and love,

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You Are Invited...

Forrest is continuing to enjoy being at home.  He says he is feeling "happy and good" and has been easing his way back into therapies and activities.  One of those activities is Music Therapy and preparing for a special event this week.  This Friday night is the A Place to Be Holiday Recital at 6:30pm at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg.  Forrest and friends from A Place to Be will be performing a variety of songs sure to get you in the holiday spirit.  It is an inspiring and beautiful evening and you don't want to miss it!

Hope to see you there!
- Team 44

A group of friends visited last week to welcome Forrest home from Hopkins.
Thumbs up for being back at BrightWood!