Two days ago marked nine months since Danny’s accident. Lots of things can happen in nine months; babies born, holidays pass, a family member dies, a business sells, family moves away. Life continues even when it feels like it is standing completely still. I’m not sure where our lives took a different direction, became altered and awkward. For sure, life changed on August 16th of last year as it did when each other event placed its’ mark on the calendar.
Saturday, Corbin will be eight months old. He is absolutely the brightest star in this darkest of nights; worst of dreams. Each morning, we wake only to open our eyes to the same bad dream starring us in the face. We walk in it daily just hoping the end is near; waiting for the sun to shine. Yet, in this maddening darkness you can hear the sweet sound of a baby’s laughter. His ba-bas and da-das bring a smile to your face like nothing else can. Corbin is God’s way of reminding us that He is still with us, has never left us and isn’t going to ever turn His back. Corbin is joy, hope, love, peace and faith. He is all the emotions that keep us held together laughing, hoping, loving one another and placing our faith in the Father of us all.
Father. Mother. Son. Family. Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day along with the rest of the nation. We had a great time, but like every other day there is the reminder that life isn’t what we all hope it to be. Sure, everyone has their story, their black sheep and their own painful situation. Our situation is difficult, but I realize that it could be a lot worse. So, we celebrate daily too for the progress in Danny no matter how small it is, it is in the right direction.
For me, this past week held a range of emotions; not that it is much different than every other week, but it did. Saturday night, Danny and I had our first night out alone in nearly a year. I got him dressed, in his chair and loaded in the conversion van all by myself. We went to a local burger joint that we used to go to all the time. It was surreal. We ate and talked, laughed and cried. People starred at us; out of pity or support, I’m not sure, but probably both. Danny and I were able to talk about our current situation without anyone else around and it was so nice; nice to be able to talk freely and openly. I learned some of what Danny goes through each day; how he hears background and foreground noise (the same decibel), how each movement is a mental and physical battle and I heard how frustrated this whole situation is for him. We communicated. And, as great of a night we had, the sad part is that he doesn’t remember now.
Sunday was exciting because it was my first Mother’s Day and I love Corbin so much it hurts sometimes. He has started to really reach out for me and hold on tight. The night that Danny and I went out, Corbin cried and reached out for me. It was, I’m sure, the first of many times like that. I’ve always wanted to be a wife and a mother and now, I have both of those dreams. It’s not like I pictured it would be right now, but I believe that it will get there with God’s intervention.
It was the first Mother’s Day that my mom wasn’t there with me. If you recall, my parents recently moved to Arizona, so it was the first holiday since they’ve been gone. I know it was tough on us both, but at least she got to be with my brother and I got to be with my dad. Dad is back here through the end of the month or at least until my birthday.
This Monday, the 22nd, we were scheduled to meet with Danny’s case manager and his therapy team to review Danny’s progress. However, they feel like Danny is doing so well, that they would like to hold off until after Memorial Day. Isn’t that great? I’ve seen progress in Danny in every area of interest; cognitively, physically and throughout daily living. He stood in the standing frame for 30 minutes on Monday and his balance while sitting up has gotten better. He works in both English and Spanish during speech therapy and has been able to concentrate well when no distractions are added to the task. His short term memory seems to be getting stronger. Some days he can remember big sections of the whole day whereas sometimes he forgets that he even ate breakfast.
Danny rarely asks me what happened to him now. He has moved on to ask how much money we’re getting and also shows a great anger towards the driver of the van. He will randomly voice his frustrations with being in the wheelchair or with us having to do everything for him. He asked me the other day why I hadn’t left him yet. That one hurt. I asked him why he would ask me such a question and he said because I deserved to be happy. I can’t imagine leaving Danny to live with the loss of his wife and son, in addition to the loss of his normalcy. I’m connected to him, one with him and leaving him would mean leaving me. No, I’m here for the long haul; committed as husbands and wives should be.
I’m working to incorporate Danny in as much of life’s daily duties as possible. He walks me through starting a load of laundry and then throws each piece into the washer. He and I work on balancing the checkbook and paying the bills. I get his input on what Corbin should wear that day or where we should go for dinner. He helps as much as he can, but has apologized for not being able to help more with Corbin. It certainly isn’t easy without another “parent” to help. I have a new respect for single, working moms. I feel like a single parent in the sense that I can’t ask Danny to change Corbin’s diaper while I get dressed. No, Mr. Corbin goes with me everywhere. I just pray his first words aren’t hair dryer and mascara.
I apologize, well, no I don’t. I was going to say that I am sorry if today’s update was rather depressing, but I don’t owe anyone an apology for writing what is in my heart. It’s reality, right? Forget reality TV, it’s scripted. Want a dose of reality? Come on over and I’ll show it to you. It’s called family; real family. We love, we laugh, and we live in spite of the difficulty. Danny and Corbin are my life. Those two men depend on me; it’s my calling, my responsibility to take care of my family. I owe it to them and to the Lord who blesses me with the strength to hold my family together. Together we will be, always.
I appreciate you all in different ways for all the different ways you help carry the load to ease the burden. May He who first loved us, bless you today and everyday. I’m reminded of a poster that we hung in my grandmother’s room as she battled and lost her life to cancer. I leave it with you today and write it in honor of all the Mothers here and gone.
“The same everlasting Father that looks after you today will look after you tomorrow and everyday. Either He will shield you from suffering or give you the unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, putting aside all false anxieties and false imaginations.”
Until next time,
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