Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...

The Young family reunion held in Utah recently had the subtle theme of "Superman" in Neil's honor. I say subtle because no one wanted to embarrass him by making a big deal over him--and yet, how could they not? These were grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles who had fasted and prayed for a miracle and here was one standing right in front of them! The original plan was to play the movie theme as he walked into the house, but they didn't, which was probably a good idea. He was a little shy at first--there were twenty-eight people ready to give him a hug!

Acing the Serve

Neil proved true to the comic book hero's namesake on our trip. He hiked nearly two miles up a steep and rocky trail to some hot springs, then came down the same trail after a soak in the water. He swam, bowled, played volleyball (and made some great one-handed serves!) He braved the chilly water at a mountain reservoir. He did everything the clan did. Even we, who see him everyday, were amazed at his confidence and his abilities.

at the hot springs with Alison and cousins

We almost didn't make it to this reunion. At the time we had to make our plane reservations Neil was not quite to the point where we would have been comfortable taking him so far from home. We weren't sure how he would react to crowded quarters with so many people. But when the departure date rolled around, we knew we'd done the right thing in buying the tickets. He was ready. And how glad we were to put our arms around those loved ones who had kept Neil in their hearts continually since January 24th and thank them for their love and support!

Several years ago, we attended a YMCA family camp with my brother and his family. We enjoyed the enthusiastic staff who led us in singing grace at mealtime. One of the blessings on the food was sung to the Superman movie theme song. The words began, "Thank you God, for giving us food..." Throughout our recent reunion I heard the same song in my head with the words, "Thank you God, for giving us Neil!" I know I wasn't the only one singing that silent prayer.

You can join us here. Start singing at around 44 seconds!


Molly said...

How fun! I am so glad you all got to go and that Neil got to see everyone. It sounds like he had a blast and it was probably perfect for him and a nice time for all of you!

Meredith said...

You know, it made my night (and Caroline's who had sneaked out of bed when I was reading this) to see these pictures at your family reunion. Your entire family was probably beside themselves with anticipation and excitement - and the man of the hour delivered! We are so proud of you Neil!

Alison + Brandon said...

Love the reunion pics (and the tie-dyed one with everyone in it turned out really good)! I was telling Brandon today about some of the fun/interesting reunion moments, and I think he was (almost) sad to have missed it!

HMStammler said...

It's so great to see that Neil and your family had such a great time at your family reunion. Well deserved trip for Mom and Dad too!
Great job w/ the volleyball serve Neil, not one of my strong rock!! I hope the rest of the summer continues to be a great one with many many many more blessings!

Hancock fam said...

The great thing about the volleyball game was that Neil scored about 5 points...I couldn't even do that using 2 handed serves!

Can't tell you guys enough how fun it was to have you ALL (-Brandon) there. It was amazing to see Neil's progress in person and be able to give you all hugs. So glad it worked out for everyone to come.
the Hancocks

Anonymous said...

What fun to see the whole gang. But it freaks me out a little that I know so few of you in the picture. I guess lots too many years have passed since the Skidmore reunions. Anyway, I'm sure it was wonderful for all the family to be together and to put their arms around Neil again.

Cousin Carol in MN

Elizabeth said...

I think the correct term for what I have been doing the past 6 months is "lurking"...But as we share precious relatives, (John & Angie) I became aware of your situation and we have been sending prayers in your behalf in the hundreds. I also have a 19 year old son and realize that what you're dealing with and witnessing could happen to ANY of us. Just want you to know, I think you have done an amazing job documenting this time in your life. And thank you for allowing us "lurkers" to gain strength and hope through your story.

-Elizabeth Geddes Christensen