Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor

Jane is there.  She has been there since we moved in 10 1/2 years ago, loaning us the proverbial cup of sugar, sharing advice on dentists and plumbers, tending the cat while we're on a trip, and on and on.  We are so lucky to have her next door.  (Especially when it snows ten inches overnight, on top of the five from the day before.)  Thank you Mrs. I!

And though she's not exactly my neighbor, I just wanted to give a special shout-out to an angel who was at the right place at the right time to rescue Neil from a tough spot yesterday.  Thank you, Sue!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Mountain, a Meeting of the Minds, and an Anniversary

Neil and Sarah, taking a break from the mountain
Thursday was a busy day.  Busy and tiring.  But good, very good.  Scott took the day off work and first thing in the morning we headed for the Poconos for some skiing/snowboarding.  (Except for poor Eric, who couldn't miss school!)  Once again, Neil proved the conquerer and tore up the mountain.  Well, okay, not really "tore up," but showed some great skills.  Although we asked him not to, he took some blue trails (accidentally at first, then on purpose), and did okay.  Fun times for all of us and so good to spend some time with Sarah again.  Because of his fatigue issues, Neil was completely exhausted by the time we left in the afternoon.  

However, our day was not over.  That night was the first meeting of BIANJ's support group for adolescent survivors of TBIs.  We've been waiting for this group to be available for over a year.  This was the first time Neil has had to sit down and talk with kids his own age who have had similar experiences.  While the kids met in one room, their parents met in another.  We enjoyed the chance to commune and commiserate with one another.  Information was shared, friendships were made, and I think we all went away feeling less alone in our struggles.  As much as we got out of the day, I've never seen Neil so tired, and he was pretty worthless at school the next day.  It takes him so long to recover from a tiring day like that.

And now for the anniversary:  

Tomorrow marks two years since our lives changed so dramatically.  It seems like forever ago.  Neil has come so far, but the road ahead is still very long, very tough, and very unclear.  We are trying to plan for the next step without being able to see what's ahead.  We are ever grateful for the love and support that continues to come from family, friends, health professionals, and school personnel.  We will figure this out a little at a time, but oh, the patience that is required can weigh very heavy at times!

Some of the gear from hospital days:
craniectomy helmet, foot drop braces, restraint mitt, various splints, and wheelchair restraint. 

Scott and I still grieve for the son we lost.  Neil mourns the loss of friends, college, and social experiences.  But, for the most part we stay hopeful and carry on.  Neil is still the compassionate, lovable, and fun loving(see below!) individual he always was.  There are so many possibilities for his future, and people willing to help him meet his potential.  What more could we ask for?  God is still blessing us with daily miracles.  We can't look at Neil and not feel that we are all being watched over.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where Scott Is:

Where we are:

Again, Scott:

And us:

What I'm thankful for:

  • A healthy body
  • Two strapping sons
  • Three snow shovels
  • Sunshine after a storm