Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blessings--Part Two

If you can't wait to see Neil's progress today, scroll down to the bottom of today's entry. If you can tolerate a mother's thoughts for a minute, read on:

How can you see your child go through something like this and feel like you are being blessed? I don't know how to explain it, but I've never felt the presence and love of my Heavenly Father more than I have this past almost-two weeks. He has not left us comfortless. He knows and loves us. We receive his tender mercies daily.

Here are a few of the many blessings we've experienced through this crisis:

A greater appreciation for our children. We've always loved them passionately, but we have spent a great deal of time lately thinking about the joy they bring to our lives. We ponder on Neil's compassionate heart, Alison's wise insights, and Eric's affectionate nature--just some of their valuable qualities. We've been given the chance to raise and nurture such amazing individuals.

The chance to say and hear "I love you." I have said it again and again to friends and family. What used to be a sometimes-awkward expression saved for special occasions falls effortlessly from my lips lately. One of the dearest messages of comfort on the first day after the accident came as a text message from my sister. It said simply, "I love you so much." My brief reply, "I know." And I do.

The opportunity to receive the charity from others. We have been so humbled as we have felt the concern and love of others. Prayers, calls, cards, visits, food, rides, hopeful thoughts from family, friends, and even strangers who aren't strangers any more. We know each person who shows kindness to another receives blessing in return. So we are providing the chance for others to be blessed by their filling our needs!

Visits from dearest loved ones. Scott's mother has been here faithfully since the Sunday after the accident taking care of us and and providing some stability for Eric. Aunt Shelly stayed for a week giving us strength and lifting our spirits. My mom comes today because I need her hugs and she needs to give them. I know any one of our family would be here in a heartbeat if we called. We love them all!

Connecting and reconnecting. We've always liked Neil's friends and they have proven to be loyal throughout this ordeal. We are grateful for their kind words and comments, their visits, and the love they've shown him and us. We count them as our friends, too. And we're finding there is a web of friendships and family that we've taken for granted. We've been the recipients of messages of support from loved ones we haven't connected with in years. Thank you, thank you!
Cherishing our marriage. As we've held vigil by Neil's bedside Scott and I have discussed, and tried to prepare ourselves, for all the possible outcomes of this situation. We have taken turns being "the strong one" and cried on each other's shoulders. We have been partners in a circumstance that we couldn't have imagined being able to endure before this. I love this man!

Okay, enough heart-sharing! Time to get down to the business of Neil:

Every day shows a little progress, but be warned, I really mean a little. At times he appears to be trying to open his eyes. In fact, his left eye opens about 1/3 of the way, but he doesn't focus or follow anything. He has a firm grip with his right hand, but he doesn't squeeze on command. In fact, so far he hasn't reacted to anything we ask or say, but we continue to talk to him. They've added another antibiotic to fight whatever infection may be causing his continued fever. I don't think I ever mentioned his neck brace. It's been on since we first saw him, just in case of unknown neck injuries. Results from yesterday's MRI showed no injuries, so they removed the brace today. Now we can see this boy's grown quite scruffy since Nurse Nancy shaved him last week! It's almost hard to recognize him with his fuzzy goatee, his half-shaved head, and his metal staples. A little too out-there even for our crazy Neil :-) I think he'd get a kick out of this make-over!


Molly said...

Wow, Aunt Lori, that was beautiful. This happening to Neil has been such a blessing as you say, to so many of us. I think we have all taken the opportunity to really reflect on our own relationships and especially our own children.

The progress may be little but for all of us who are too far away to witness it for ourselves, we can hold tight to every little bit that you give to us.

I love you! To Uncle Scott, Neil, Alison, and Eric, I love you all too! Molly

Meredith said...

I took a computer break (for at least a few hours!) today and your loving testimony and moving words were the first thing I read this afternoon. Thank you, Thank you for sharing. You have no idea what your meaningful words do to lift all of us. We laugh as we remember Neil and his antics and we cry as we follow along with his story. Cry sad tears as I ponder all the "what ifs" and cry joyful tears with each tiny piece of good news. I am so glad your mom is coming today.

Love, Meredith and family

Sarah Anne said...

thank you for sharing your feelings and testimony with us. i have been reflecting on things a lot, i feel comfort from heavenly father too. i'm glad to hear his neck brace is off. today i was looking up what that side of the brain affects. such as voluntary movement. so he could want to react, but he isn't able to. that fuzzy goatee sounds like an interesting sight.


Meghan, Carson and the Girls said...

What an amazing post, Aunt Lori. I'm sure that you never expected to teach us all through this ordeal, but your words really put everything in perspective. Thank you for sharing your heart and helping us all realize the hidden blessings that come in trial. You truly are a wonderful source of strength. It's good hear that there is some progress, even it is only a little. Love and prayers and hugs to everyone!

Debbie C said...

Your insight and your ability to clearly express yourself is amazing to me. My mother's heart feels for you and I am moved to tears when I read your words. I continue to think and pray for Neil and wish you all well. I read about him every day. Thank you.

Artie said...

I'm so happy to hear that Neil is doing as well as he is :]. So many people love him and care about him. Everyday I have people asking me how he is and telling me how concerned they are. Hundreds of people are sending so much love and so many prayers his way. It's no wonder he's recovering so well. I'm extremely glad he's sustained no injuries to the neck and they were able to remove the brace. I can't wait to hear more good news :]. Love and prayers are with you, your family, and Neil always.


Quincy Sorensen said...

Hello Lori,

Our family is praying for your dear son, Neil. I so appreciated your thoughts on the blessings you are receiving at this time. Tender mercies, indeed. My sister Jeannie is Meredith's sister-in-law, and that's how I have come to know your story.

Our hearts and prayers are with you.


Quincy Sorensen

Anonymous said...

I had a rough, chaotic morning this morning... trying to get my kids off to school. It left me frustrated and stressed. I sat down to catch up on emails and blogs and came across your post through Molly's blog. (I am a friend of Molly's, also living in Arizona.)

Thank you so much for taking the time to write those sweet thoughts and for sharing such a powerful testimony of a Heavenly Father that indeed does know us individually and would never leave us comfortless.

I pray for your son... by name... and for your family.

Ali.. said...

Hi Lori ♥

How I loved reading all your blessings. You have shared such wonderful and heartwarming thoughts and feelings with us.

You wrote......." circumstances we couldn't have imagined being able to endure" None of us can imagine it either...Just can NOT imagine . You have handled it all with such grace and amazing strength.

I am so happy you and your husband have been able to help, console and strengthen each other. I am touched as well by all the other blessings you point out. I am sure there are none who are sharing this journey with you who have not benefitted by or been blessed by having their eyes opened just a little more to just how fragile life is. How important it is to let those we love know we love them. How to place value in each other and in the little events and miracles of each day.

It is wonderful to read of the fantastic progress Neil is making!! I pray the infection gets brought under control soon.

SO very glad you finally found his wallet and sneakers! It is unfortunate you had to have the worry over them all this time.. not that they were main priority I know..but they are Neil's and you needed to and should have them. Thankfully some one was able to find them. I am so glad about that.

Thank you for sharing so much with us! We are sending healing energy and prayers and and more love to ALL of you! Ali