Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blessings in Abundance

This is the speech Neil gave at his Eagle Scout court of honor one month ago. It seemed appropriate to share at this time of giving thanks:

"Thank you for coming tonight. Now that this moment has finally come, I have a stronger realization of how much scouting has helped me, and will help me in my life.

The trail to Eagle is a long, hard goal. It would have been impossible to earn on my own without guidance from scout leaders to help me stay on the path. My family has helped me a lot with earning my rank advancements and merit badges, too.

Most of you are aware that nine months ago I was in a car accident and had a traumatic brain injury that has changed my life. Going through the stages of recovery has been a long and arduous path, and I am still on it. Just like the trail to Eagle, I couldn’t do it alone. I have been helped by doctors, therapists, teachers, family, and many others who care.

Because I have seen all of the hard work and dedication that people have given to my cause, I want to give back and help other people with as much support as I’ve been given. My scouting experiences have taught me to be a hard worker and to not give up on my goals. These traits have helped me in my recovery as well. I hope to pass these on to other people working on a worthy goal that seems far off and nearly impossible to complete.

In closing, I would like to thank my many scout leaders who have pushed me along, especially when I got distracted from my goal to advance. I would also like to thank all of my friends, family, and other volunteers who helped me with my Eagle project at Fairview Farm. I’m also very grateful for all of the support that has come my way during my recovery. And I want to thank my Heavenly Father for helping me pull through in all of my endeavors, be it scouting or my rehabilitation.

Thank you."

I echo Neil's thanks. We are so blessed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Painfully Aware

On the phone with Scott:

Me: "Neil pointed out a dead raccoon on the side of the road as we drove home from school."

Scott: "That's awesome!"

And it was awesome. Because Neil notices things and he didn't used to. He looks around and makes comments on what he sees. He can find something in the refrigerator if you give him the general area to look in. Huge deal, this is. The problem is, there's a lot he can't see. He's still troubled with left-side neglect, so he wouldn't have seen the raccoon if it were on the left side of the road. He struggles to recognize faces of people he knows. His left eye drifts 30 degrees left of center.

Along with Neil's new awareness of his surroundings comes his awareness of what he's missing, and his vision issues are finally starting to annoy him. No one wants to feel handicapped. Hope we can lick this.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Two Letters

Click on above images to enlarge
Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Picture Tutorial

This is what an Eagle Scout Court of Honor looks like.

And this is what it looks like when it's being filmed for a documentary.

This is what it looks like when your brother earns a million merit badges and a rank advancement.

This is what it looks like when you're giving a speech you practiced A LOT because it's hard to see the words and to keep your place on the page, but you do a great job anyway.

This is what some really proud parents look like.

And this is a really happy Eagle Scout!