Okay, okay. I hear you. I know it’s been way too long since I updated you all, but honestly even as I sit down to write this one, my heart doesn’t feel like it. It’s not that things are going badly, quite the opposite, but I feel like I tell you all the same story every single time; Danny’s improving, please pray for him, Corbin is great and I’m tired. Don’t you get sick of reading that every time? Perhaps I’m just putting my feelings of sickness about all this on you all. Perhaps you really enjoy reading about our small successess and perhaps you’re even encouraged by them; maybe you even are inspired to draw near to the Lord in your own struggles. Who knows? Everyone has their own story, their own blog to write so to speak, or write, but I’ll do what I do, I’ll write what I feel and pray that the Lord would use it for His purpose. Here goes nothing or something, as the case may be for you.
Papa came for a visit at the start of March to help us get a bit more settled in the condo. He did all the man stuff; hang pictures, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures and all those other things that Danny normally would have done for our home. It was a whirlwind trip, with him only staying three days, but we got a bunch accomplished and we couldn’t have done it without him. Thanks, Dad!
As we settle and become accustomed to daily living at the condo, we are all having new experiences, especially Corbin. As you can see in this picture, he’s discovered Mom and Dad’s shower is a fun place to be. Often times, as all you parents can relate to, it’s just easier to bring him in the shower with me, but now that I can get him in the shower, it’s become increasingly difficult to get him out of it. He loves water! And, like his Mama, the hotter the better. In fact, I have a funny story, although telling.
On one such showering occasion, Corbin discovered the fun of slapping my thigh and watching my post baby body jiggle. While that isn’t something I am truly happy about, it was hysterical watching him find out what fat is. Anyway, that isn’t the point to my story. While in the midst of laughing at Mom’s body, my two and a half year old says to me, “Thank you, Mama.” I bent down and asked him what he was thanking me for; “For loving me.” Pull out the Kleenex folks! I mean, what two year old do you know that is that sensitive or intuitive, whatever you want to call it, it just doesn’t seem like normal behavior for a self involved toddler. However, I have to brag that my toddler is anything but self involved. At the dinner table, he will often ask me and Danny, “how was you day, _____?” What? He is so tender and I love him more than anything. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the moment when he comes out of the blue with an “I love you, Mama,” or a unsolicited bear hug. There is truly nothing like it.
Yet, another first for my dear boy came at the first part of this month on a rainy, chilly Saturday. We traveled up to Jasper, GA to a friend’s parent’s farm. After much coaxing, Corbin finally got on the horse named Beauty and then even got Mama up with him for a little ride. We all had a fabulous time and Corbin was just worn slap out by the time we got home, well, really he fell asleep before we even got on the highway. We grilled out, shared stories and even had the most powerful time of prayer for Danny. There was true, godly wisdom in this family and we were truly blessed by our time there. We hope to return soon, when the weather is a bit better. Corbin didn’t stop talking about riding Beauty and wanting to go the farm for at least a week. I think it must have made an impression on his young mind.
I had to read my last post so I knew what to share with you all in relation to Danny’s improvement. And, as I read, I realized that I’ve fallen short of sharing some very positive news.
In the middle of March, I got an email from Candy, who you all have heard me reference many times. Anyway, Danny had taken six steps with his RIGHT leg, the weaker of the two, during their gaiting session. Six steps with the right leg with no help from her! She also noted that Danny steps about 75% of the time with no assistance on the left leg. This was incredible news and it seems that with each week, there is something small, but significant that is good to report. Funny me, I just don’t do it until I have an overload.
Overload this. On top of Danny starting to move his right leg more, all of the sudden he seems to show a bit of self confidence and motivation. For example, two days after the right leg breakthrough, he calls me while I’m on my way to work inquiring about his to-do list for the day. I start rattling off all the things I’d like for him to do, when he interjects that he thought he might go down to Shepherd to workout. What??? I almost ran off the side of the road I was in such shock. Danny was initiating??? Okay, well you know I jumped right on the bandwagon and called and made an appointment for him to meet with one of his therapist to begin his cardio regime. And, since then, he’s continued to go to workout on his days off of Beyond Therapy. I couldn’t be happier and more proud of him and he is seeing the return on his investment; he’s lost eight pounds!
On Monday, Corbin and I decided to surprise Daddy while he was at therapy. Danny has been asking when Corbin could come down; I think he was really wanting to show him off. He is such a proud Daddy. Anyway, we surprised him while he was gaiting with Candy. I was so impressed with him. While he used to walk the length of the gymnasium, he actually walked two LAPS on Monday. Candy commented that it was his best walking to date and that the best improvement was his ability to lock out his right knee in order to take a step with the left leg. All good news! Plus, they are starting to work with him on standing up with a regular walker. That is the next step in gaiting; once he can move on from the Argo walker which gives him more support for his upper body, he can use a regular walker. This will take him gaining more strength in his left arm and in his core, which leads to the reason he goes to do cardio three times a week in addition to his three days at Beyond Therapy.
By the way, Beyond Therapy just went up in price almost $100 a week. We spend over $800 a week just in therapy, so go to that happy button on http://www.dannyandallison.com/ and click “Donate Now.” Seriously, though, between Beyond Therapy and Danny’s assistant, the cash flow is going fast. We can manage just shy of year barring any unforeseen issues and then it’s a big ? as to where the Lord is going to provide from. So, remember this when it comes time for the golf tournament or any other fundraiser that others have for us. We do need the financial support. I’d like to say I know and have a peace that Danny will be able to earn a living again or that one day soon we won’t have these expenses, but I just don’t know; nobody does, but the Lord. So, I keep putting my trust in Him, obeying His commandments and resting in the peace that He will do as He promises; be Jehovah – jireh, our Provider. For those of you that know me well, you know the last thing on earth I like to do is ask for help. I’m pretty stubborn, but I like to call it determined to be self-sufficient, but the reality is in our life, in this circumstance, it is near impossible without losing myself in the process. I ask for your help, whatever that looks like for you; financial, prayer, giving me some rest, spending time with Danny and making him feel important, even cleaning bathrooms, etc. There are lots of ways to help, so pray about what the Lord would have you do. I certainly don’t want anyone doing anything for us out of obligation, but out of honest desire to lend a hand or give a dollar.
Speaking of losing myself in this process, I have days when I don’t know who I am. I’m sure this doesn’t make sense to most of you, but going through the motions, sticking to the schedule that must be daily, I find I lose my sense of purpose in it. It just all becomes routine, routine without feeling. And, without feeling, there grows this division in the relationships; marriage, friendship, parent and self. At times, I feel like Danny and I are merely roommates and most of the time I chalk it up to the circumstances, but at times I put pressure on myself that perhaps I need to be thinking of ways to bring more feeling, more emotion to our relationship. Then, I think to myself that I must be crazy to put any more pressure on myself, that I’m doing all I can do and that it takes both parties to put into a healthy relationship. For Danny, because of his brain injury, we ride this roller coaster of emotion; one moment it’s all roses and then the next it’s like “who are you and what did you do with my husband?” Personally, it is so difficult to separate the two and not let it affect my heart, but it does. So, I ask the Lord “why?” Will Danny have the cognitive capacity to consistently nuture me and our relationship?
I find that I protect Danny from my hurt, my feelings. He already has so many feelings of personal worthlessness and he takes on so much of the blame, I find it hard to add to that by sharing my heart. But, I married a man that was my best friend who protected me from the woes of daily living, who took care of me and gave me security and a sense of safety. Danny was a man of purpose who was fiercely independent and extremely driven to succeed and provide for his family. I want that man and I’m waiting for him to rescue me from this very bad dream that I just am screaming to wake up from. I don’t know where the brain injury begins or where it ends inside of him, but I have to hold on to the hope that the man that I married is still in there somewhere. I have seen more glimpes of him the last few days than most of the previous months combined and yet, I protect myself from the possibility that it will be brief, but I pray it is a sign of good things to come.
Healing is a process. “Do you want to get well?” asked Jesus of the man at the pool of Bethesda who was an invalid for 38 years. Jesus didn’t ask him if he wanted to walk, he asked him if he wanted to get well. I want Danny to be well, to be whole, to be restored. I want our life to be well, whole and restored; our marriage, our future, our finances, our family, all of it. I want the Holy Spirit to saturate it with the glory of Him. I ask Him to come. I invite Him. I will knock and keeping knocking for the promise is that we will receive. I have to have blind faith in Him, faith like that of Corbin in me.
Look at this sweet child. He had woken up from his nap shortly before I took this picture. He wakes up slowly, prefering to play quietly or sit down to watch a movie. Here he is parking his cars on the couch. I love this picture; it gives me such a place of peace, of stillness. All things truly work for good because he is the best child for us, for our situation and he has adapted so well to a life that he doesn’t know is different. I pray the Lord would protect him from the stress of our lives and would grow the love that he has for Danny.
As I close, I figured I’d give a list of prayer requests for you to jot down, if you so wish. Danny asks for:
- Patience with all this;
- My speech to get better and voice to come back;
- For this process to speed up;
- My memory to come back;
- My relationship with Corbin and Allison not to struggle because of this;
- That I can come off my medications;
- I can ride again when all this is over;
- and that when I can drive again, I can get a new, big truck.
I ask for the following:
- For the Holy Spirit to get ahold of Danny’s whole person, spirit, mind and body;
- Danny’s spirit to be encouraged and awakened to a sense of purpose;
- Danny’s brain to be restored;
- I also pray for this process to speed up;
- Intimacy in our marriage and time to nurture it;
- Financial provision;
- Positive closure in our legal matters;
- Corbin’s continued health;
- Strength for myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, all around;
- and rest without guilt.
I am thankful for so many things that I don’t have to put on this list any longer. It wasn’t too long ago that we were asking for Danny to be able to speak, breathe on his own, eat and drink, move, remember us, etc. God has done great things and He will complete it!
I’m hoping to have pictures of our condo to show you all next time. Everyone keeps asking what it looks like. Give me some time and I’ll get it done, besides look at how long it took me to tell you that Danny had taken six steps with his right leg! Too long! Oh well, you love me and forgive me:)