I think about the blog almost every day. The last time I wrote, Shannon misunderstood my intent in some of my writings which caused a bit of a challenge. Since then I have tried to figure out whose blog this is! It began as a method of informing family and friends about Shannon's condition, from hour to hour. Those first few weeks were such critical ones. We wrote about her medical condition and the writing slowly turned to how we were coping,dealing, learning, and growing in our faith. At least for me, it was not only theraputic but healing. Writing helped me to put things into perspective as well.
But as Shannon continued to progress, the blog became more and more her blog. It is her blog. It is about her. Yet, her story has many characters in it and her family members are certainly main characters.
I am sure you have noticed in the last few posts that Shannon doesn't always agree with what I write. So not knowing for sure what all I may write about tonight, please know that these are my opinions, my perceptions, and not necessarily those of the main character, ie., Shannon. :)
There is so much in my heart that I would like to share about this whole process but it feels like we need to read the end of the book and come back to the middle. And since the ending is not written yet, it's hard to give you the middle. I think I will need to write in my own journal and someday transfor it to Shannon's story.
It's been over 5 1/2 months since the accident. They have told us repeatedly that the major part of the recovery takes a full year at least and then it continues on even after that. Tuesday evening, Shannon and I had a choice experience with Aaron. You may recall that he is Shannon's oldest brother, a doctor in his general surgery residency. He flew to be with us right after Shannon's accident. It was bedtime and Shannon was having a hard time settling in for sleep. Those quiet moments before sleep comes are particularly difficult for her. Aaron sat on her bed and rehearsed to her how serious her injury was. He told her of his friend who is a pathologist who told him that as a pathologist doing an autopsy, once they see an injury like Shannon's, they look no further for the cause of death. Very few people live with an injury such as hers and if they do, they certainly aren't up walking, talking and definitely not going to school. And yet, that is exactly what Shannon is doing. From the very beginning, we have seen one miracle after another. Shannon prays for a miracle and may not recognized that God has been granting one miracle after another--He has and He is. They just don't all come at once. Aaron talked with her about the miracle that she is and how grateful he was that she was alive and doing as well as she is. Tears were shed, hugs exchanged and expressions of love given. It was a sweet and tender experience for me to be a part of. What strength, support and love there is between siblings.
We had our entire family together this last weekend. It was not planned, but another tender mercy from Father in Heaven knowing that it could help us carry on, it fell into place and we were together! I looked at each member of the family and saw how this experience had affected us all--each very differently--some good and some not so good. There is still much healing that needs to happen for all of us. But we are a family; a forever family, a family that is not complete without every one of us. I don't think that there are many families out there that has the diversity in it that we have and yet we all love each other and are better together than apart. I am so grateful for each one--from my dear devoted husband, each child and the spouses and those beautiful grandchildren. It takes a lot of work with all the diversity but it seems that each is willing to put forth the effort and build upon the foundation. What a blessing...
My update on how Shannon is doing--very well! Shan is working so hard to do well in schoool and she is succeeding. She has always been an excellent student and still is. She has to put forth a lot more effort now but she does it. The only class she is struggling with is AP Biology. She has a great teacher who is working with her but it is still just a very tough class for her. But rest assured, her plan is still in place. She has been accepted at the UofU and we expect that she will be accepted at BYU as well very soon.
Shan recently received one of here greatest wishes...she wanted long hair. We had planned on extensions but after learning more about them, chose to buy a wig instead. It is a beautiful wig and very natural looking. But I think she has learned just like with the rollerblading; what she thought was so majorly important, isn't as important as she once thought. She wears her wig some days and some days not.
Shannon's eyes seem to have gotten a little better. She doesn't complain of double vision any more and she doesn't seem to squint to see as much. Her balance is much better but from time to time, she still loses it some. But she erects herself even carrying her computer bag on one shoulder and her 40# book bag on the other! She is amazing!
Shannon continues to reach out to others. As tough as the friend issue is, she doesn't give up on them. She reaches out. She reaches out to YW leaders who she dearly loves. She reaches out to nieces and siblings. She reaches out to many other children in the neighborhood. She continues in her volunteer job at the hospital. She repeatedly tells her "mommy and daddy" that she loves them. And she thinks she doesn't do anything for anyone! Goodness, this world is a much brighter place because of her.
Last, we are still here...we are still working the recovery process the best we can. We still visit lots of doctors and do quite a bit of therapy. We are still fighting the insurance. (The lastest is that they are now refusing to pay for the therapy they APPROVED! No wonder healthcare is a mess--the insurance companies have quite a racket going! They pay when they want to.) We are still making chocolate milkshakes for breakfast! We are still dealing with the emotional challenges. We continue to express our gratitude to all who continue to support us and be there for us. What a blessing so many others have been in our lives.