Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Derby Day

It's nice to be able to entertain visitors in our home instead of Kessler. We're glad for the chance for Neil to socialize with people besides our family members. He doesn't have doctor approval yet to return to therapy since his surgery, and because he's not going to school right now, he appreciates the chance to hang out with friends and do something. He may get tired easily, but it's good for him to be active. Thanks to friends who came by today.
Here we are with some friends getting ready to watch the Kentucky Derby. First we chose our favored horses, then we each picked a hat to wear because everyone knows you must wear a hat when you attend the Derby. Nobody picked the winning horse, but we had fun anyway.
Tomorrow we have to say goodbye to Aunt Shelly. She's been an amazing help to us this week and we will miss her greatly. She is truly one of a kind. Shelly, we love you!
Announcement: The time has come to end the daily updates. Neil still has a lot of work ahead of him, and he continues to progress, but his leaps and bounds are a little farther in between right now. I will certainly keep you up to date with how he's doing. I just won't be posting as often. Thank you so much for caring enough to read about Neil and how far he has come. We appreciate your love and support more than we can say. Please check back occasionally to see what's new!


Meghan, Carson and the Girls said...

How fun! We watched the derby too and unfortunately, none of us picked the winning horse either. Glad to hear that Neil is having some fun with friends! We love you Neil!

David Sousa said...

I always knew there would come a day when the daily entries would cease and I would miss them. However, I also knew that time would coincide with Neil taking control of his recovery. So, I am happy that our loss is Neil's gain. I'll continue to keep in touch via Scott.

Anonymous said...

I always check Neil's progress everyday. I will miss the updates but this is good news. Journaling can be therapeutic for the writer. If you miss it, please start writing daily again.

(You've got a good book in this blog.)

Noelle and Chad said...

I received this blog address from my friend, and your cousin, Carol McMaster. We forwarded it to me because I also had a car accident with a severe brain injury in March 2000.
I understand the struggles, the frustration, and pain, but I also understand the amazing blessings that are poured out during such a time.

I learned many things including the following:

Show gratitude, laugh often, be kind, count your blessing, and live don't just exist. Say "I love you" freely and often. As I was in the ER, my prognosis very poor, and Chad is asked about organ donation, he was so relieved that he had said, "I love you" before I left for work.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.

This is an experience that, although I don't want to repeat, I would never trade. This may seem odd considering the severity of the brain injury, but I learned many lessons that I may not have learned any other way.

I have empathy for the stroke victim after trying desperately to speak, but could only say "yes" and "well". Eventually I said Chad's name, but it came out "Chair" instead of Chad. My body struggled for breath, not wanting to get off the ventilator...I am grateful for each breath I take. I learned in some small why what it is like to be paralyzed as I worked and continue to work to strengthen my right side after having no movement or feeling.

I still remember trying to fill out a check in rehab and not knowing how to write my name or write my numbers. I am thankful to be able to write again, or to type this message.

My brain injury was such that there is no logical reason to explain why I am alive. Why am I alive and others with similar injuries are not? Don't question, just live and find the reason. Miracle? exactly, and with that second chance, my responsibility is to never give up, to work, strive, live, achieve, love, serve, to have joy.

Be grateful. As that gratitude is magnified, developed and expanded, it can bless our hearts and our minds and our souls, moving us forward to do those things that we are on this earth to do.

Despite the changes or challenges which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in action.

We know all of these things, but in moment like this, it becomes more obvious that these are the things that matter most.

Although we have never met, Neil is in my prayers, as well as your family, that all will receive comfort and strength during this time of learning and challenge.

Noelle Lowe
Rochester MN