Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crazy Us and a Mouse!

It hit. It started to really sink in and become reality right about the time the light was off and I was ready to close my eyes...for the night. I tossed and turned until well after 2am thinking about home. Home! Gosh, I just can't stop being totally blown away about that word. Cale and I are going home-tomorrow! Yay! Hip Hip Hooray! I wasn't too fond of the not sleeping because of it, but I couldn't stop thinking. I tried to picture us at home and what the house looks like. I pictured all the wonderful nursing staff and the great social workers I've had. There have been so many incredibly awesome people that have been brought into our lives over the last year, that have helped a ton. That's ended and now it's just the two of us...yikes. Cale claps every time I say that! :)

It's been so much fun hanging out with my family. I keep trying to talk them into moving to Washington. I think it's a good idea, and so does Cale, but it's hard to convince! Haha! ;)

During all of our Crazy Eight games, we somehow came up with a uniform and then because of that, we had to get the crazy eight of us in a picture! The dog makes 9!


Our adventure today was to Chuck E Cheese! We all had fun spending coins and getting tickets. Right before leaving, Chuck E. passed by with a sign that read, "Follow me for free tickets" well, I had to do that! I jumped in with Caitlin and Ciera and we danced with the mouse and then he threw out free tickets! Score! Haha! Cale didn't enjoy most of the games because they were still too hard, but he did the racing game and ended up getting 1st place! Go Cale! Cards and racing...he can do!






Cale hates taking his meds. Three times a day he has meds and his late meds are usually the hardest because he's when he gets tired...everything becomes more difficult (or Cale become more stubborn!). I have an alarm on my phone that goes off when it's time to take his pills and last night it went off, and Cale immediately was bummed. I left to get the pills and when I came back Cale had his mouth covered with his hands. Everyone was laughing and said that when I got up, Cale said, "good luck" and covered his mouth! Oh man...this guy cracks me up!

A brother from another mother ;)


We the Chick's!


What can I say? We're pretty adorable :) Heehee!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some fun with the fam!

We have been playing a lot of cards...and Cale is loving it! Here is a short clip of part of a game. Sometimes the games are really loud; sometimes a little more quiet, and sometimes they're all over the place, but we sure are having fun! :)



When Cale starts to get tired, it becomes impossible to get him to do anything. This includes brushing his teeth before bed. It's a real fight because the only thing on his mind is sleep, and his brain kind of shuts off (mine tends to do the same thing!). Since I know this about him now, I was able to get some proof of what he said before he shut down. He really wanted to keep playing tonight, even though he was so tired!



Last night Cale started tapping me really fast and was bouncing back and forth between us. I woke up nervous that something was wrong! "Cale, are you ok?" C: "Yeah, sorry." K: "What's wrong?" C: "I was just dancing." My husband was dancing in his sleep! :)

Cale's memory is definitely improving! He's not letting things go like he did before and I can't sneak anything now! Earlier, I didn't want him drinking his Mt. Dew so late at night, so I grabbed it when he set it down and took it and his plate to the kitchen. Normally, when it was out of his sight, he would forget about it and it was no big deal. Well, he didn't forget! As soon as I walked back to the couch, Cale asked for his soda! Also, in the store yesterday, Cale found an Xbox game that he really wanted. Right now he has in his mind that he can play, but when he goes to play, it's way too hard and he ends up really frustrated. He already has three new games that he's only tried once and that same thing happened. I didn't want to get him another game that was just going to make him frustrated and then sit. Again, usually he would forget after a minute or two and move on to something else...not this time! He stayed sad, even when we left the store! That time we were standing outside (my brother locked the keys in the car! Crazy!), so I ended up going back in and getting the game for him.

A few more things like that have happened, which are new, but I'm loving it! Even though I suddenly can't get a way with as much now, his memory is getting better!!!! This is so exciting! Yay!!

God wasn't attracted to you and didn't choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. -Deuteronomy 7:7

I'm constantly amazed that the Lord loves me. I experience His love daily and it never gets old. Even days that have been so hard and lonely, God lifted me out of the gloom and sometimes, He allowed me to stay there, but I could feel Him with me. You know what? Sometimes, I was there in the pit and I can't say that I felt Him or heard Him all the time, but I knew that He promised to be with me, so I trusted that He was. He has walked with us, before us, and after us. There's not always a radical spiritual moment that overtakes me, but how great just the fact of knowing that He loves me. God loves me, He loves Cale, and He loves you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The longest detour ever!



“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

I love the quote above. Isn't it so great?

After about 14 months, we have finally made it to my brothers house. For those of you that don't know, when the accident happened, we were on our way to my brothers. We were actually on his street and never made it...well, WE'RE HERE! :) That had to have been one of the longest detours, but by golly, we made it!

My brother and Cale played crazy eights for over 2 hours straight! Part of the time I joined in, and some of it my nephew and niece played, but for all of it, the two guys played! Cale at one point said, "I'm hyper!" haha! It was a lot of fun and I know there will be a lot more of cards to come!

Please be praying for Cale. I know all this traveling has him tired out. I've been making sure that he has rest breaks to help him. Today he seemed to be more grumpy and started throwing fits. They're not anger fits, but just making a point that he's not happy if something isn't going his way. I really want this to be fun for both of us! A few more days and we'll be home...home. I'm not sure I've still grasped that! HOME!

Cale told me tonight that he wins all the Crazy Eight games because he's crazy! haha!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pitt County Memorial Hospital

Last night we had dinner with a very special family. During the first part of our journey, this was a family that came along side us, not knowing us, and blessed us a ton! I’ve kept in contact with Mandy, so it was so great to see them, and actually get to spend some time with them! We had dinner, a game of hide and seek (Cale played too!), cards, baseball, we played outside in the cold and then had hot chocolate after. :)


Today all the goodness of this trip continued! We first stopped at Pitt Memorial Hospital. Wow. So…uh…lots of memories came rushing back, and when I saw the waiting room, my stomach dropped. Yikes! It was so good to visit there and to be reminded at how far Cale has come. It’s so easy to get myself so set and focused on wanting more, more, more, and forgetting about how much we already have. Cale has come so far! It hurts just to think of what he’s come from-how close he was to death, and now I’m rejoicing that he’s with me!

They had a conference room waiting for us, and different nurses, trauma team, and the social worker all stopped by. I was able to sit and talk with the doctor and share about the last year. It’s amazing for me to see how far Cale has come, but for them-the team that helped keep him alive, they don’t get to see down the road too often. It meant a lot for me to see Cale hug them and talk with them. Of course, it wasn’t as emotional for Cale, because he didn’t understand it all, but I know that he didn’t mind too much having everyone be amazed with him! ;)

After meeting in the conference room and touring the ICU again, we went to the step down unit. I could only really remember one nurse from those few weeks after ICU, and guess what?! She was working! I was so excited to see her! When Cale was very first out of ICU, I was so desperate to do anything I could to help take care of him. I wanted to do it all! Well, Caroline helped teach me, so that I could care for my husband. I’m so thankful for her and how she was willing to be patient with me, and that she trusted me to do everything. Thank you Caroline!

When we left, only one word came to mind-awesome.


We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A and then went back to the hotel for some good rest. Cale slept for about an hour and I started a project…do I have time for a project right now? Hmm…probably not, but the thought came to mind last night while I was trying to fall asleep, so I’m gonna get it done!

After a few hours, Casey came to pick us up and we had dinner with another family that has been such a blessing! I remember when Mike and Casey came to the ICU room and prayed with me and Cale. Another miracle happening and being witnessed when Cale is walking around, talking, playing, eating, and so many more things right in front of them. Casey and I were talking about one day that we had seen each other last year, I had been so excited that Cale had moved his fingers....

Dinner with Mike and Casey and their 3 kids was so much fun! It included a tea party, cards, Wii, and many rides on Cale’s walker! Casey’s youngest wanted Cale to push her around and then when she was done being pushed, she wanted to push Cale! Haha! Getting to spend time with these families was such a big deal! God has blessed us with some real amazing friends…all over! :)


We were in the newspaper again, but I received a call from Mama today asking if I had read it yet. I didn’t even know we were in it at that point, and I was told I’m not a loud to read it! Haha! It’s ok with me though. I have always loved surprises, so if there’s something that I can’t know, I can wait!

The Darling’s have been laughing-a lot! Have you ever laughed so much that your sides hurt? Yes, well, I love it! I love that it gets to be with my husband! I love that he also is laughing so hard!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trust and Obey

Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

We sang this hymn in church today and while singing the words, I looked at Cale and smiled. God asks us to trust Him and be obedient. He doesn’t say that it’s all going to be easy or perfect and He never tells us that everything will be ok, but He does ask for people that in the midst of every day life-whether that’s a life changing situation, or normal hubbub, to trust that He is God who is under control of whatever is going on, and to be obedient to His commands, and continue to glorify His name and seek Him more and more.

I was talking to Mama about how blessed I’ve been feeling. What’s happened in our life isn’t exactly something I would have volunteered for, but, I feel like we are already seeing so much of the reward! It’s been amazing to me, since we’ve been here, all the people that have encouraged and blessed us with telling us about how our story has helped changed their lives. So many have shared with me that God has used us to encourage them and bring them out of pits. I love that! I love so much that the Lord is using us-blessing us. He doesn’t have to. There’s nothing written in stone that said He was going to do this list of stuff for us while we go through it.

He trusted us to use us in this way-and He’s blessed us more than I could have ever thought.

Amazing.

Cale is a happy man right now. He’s currently sleeping next to me with Mc Donalds in his tummy. After church we went to lunch with some friends and Cale ordered a lot of food, and ate almost every bite. He had a few fries left, but the rest was devoured. We didn’t sleep too great last night, so even now I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open. It was the first night that we’ve been on our own-completely. We’ve been at the hospital and then at peoples houses, and last night it was just us at a hotel. We watched America’s Funniest Videos and some hockey. Cale went to bed after 9, and I stayed wound up until a lot later! Coffee…

I was speaking this morning at church and Cale wasn’t too fond of all my talking! He was rubbing his head like crazy. It was fun to speak with him right next to me because he gave his input a couple times. ;) He’s doing so well. I’m continuing to see progress and again am so blessed that God allowed this progress to happen. Mandy was sharing about how the trauma team really thought that my hopes were unrealistic and not because they were trying to be mean, but because the condition Cale was in. Tomorrow they will get to see him, and see how far Cale has come. Please be praying that God’s hand would be so obvious and that there would be nothing else to grasp on to!

When I was talking to Mama yesterday, she shared with me a little about the house for us. She moves in today! Yay! It’s all starting and happens so soon. I’m so thankful for all of you that stopped by and helped with getting the house ready or helped in some way. It means so much to us. I still don’t think I fully get it, but I know the time will come that I can walk through the front door, and we’re going to finally be home!

Answers to some questions I’ve been getting…

Q: Is Cale walking by himself?
A: With a walker, yes. Over the last week, he started walking at Ty and Nikki’s more with out the walker though! He holds onto everything and moves slowly, but he was doing it! Since we’ve been here in the hotel, he’s gone back to not wanting to walk with out the walker, so I’m being a little pushy in that department! ;)

Q: Is Cale sad about what’s happened?
A: He doesn’t understand. He still doesn’t realize that we were in a car accident and that he was hurt. He’s heard me talk about the accident so much that he will answer (usually) appropriately when asked what happened. He doesn’t understand he has brain injury because he can’t see it. To him, nothing is different until he goes to try it.

Q: How is his memory?
A: Long term memory is still not great, but things are starting to come back. He is getting better at short term stuff too! It’s very in and out, and for a lot of things he needs to hear it several times before it sticks. Cale had a really hard time remembering Caesar’s (Ty’s dog) name. I feel like every couple days, I see progress, even if small, it’s still progress. His mind changes on things a lot like, his favorite color, food, snack, weather, and other stuff like that, but his favorite team is always the Detroit Red Wings! :)

Q: Does Cale realize how long it’s been since we’ve been home?
A: No. He doesn’t understand the journey we’ve been on, and that’s ok.

Q: Are you guys planning for babies?
A: I’ve been asked this a lot, so I thought I would add this to the other questions… :) Yes! We both still really want to have a family, but it’s not time yet. We’re done with the hospital which is great, but Cale still needs me to invest fully in him right now. If we were to add on the family at this point, it would take away what Cale deserves of my time and energy. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer though! ;) Heehee!

Q: Do you guys need anything for going home?
A: I’m not sure! Haha! Everyone back home is taking care of all of our needs, so I’m not even sure what our needs are. From what I know, everything is going great and getting ready for us to have a smooth transition. If you would like to contact September, she will be able to answer better than me! septembert76@gmail.com
509-531-9573

Q: Are you scared about going home?
A: Uhhh…I would say no. It’s going to be new and different, but I know we’re ready. I do feel tired and I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but we are so blessed with wonderful people back home that I know I’ll be able to call and ask for help. Girl time is much needed…however that can happen!

Q: Will therapy continue?
A: With me. As of right now, Cale will not be getting therapy every week in a setting like he was. Things are still being set up at home, but for the most part, it’s going to be…us. There’s a new SGT Darling in the house-and she has blonde hair! ;)


Praises!
* Cale has not had a single anger fit since we’ve left Seattle
* Cale has been continent since we left Palo Alto
* Cale’s crazy humor is coming back
* Progress is still happening after all of this time
There's a lot more to share, but thought I'd share a couple for now! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Different

Our travels continued...

We just left Ty and Nikki's (Cale's brothers house) and are now back in good ol' Greenville. This is the city where the first hospital was that Cale was in. While we're here, we're going to be visiting the church that had blessed us so much in the beginning, families that came along side us-even as strangers, and the medical staff that helped keep my husband alive. I'm excited, but I can't say that Cale is loving the idea of visiting another hospital! ;)

The stay at Ty and Nikki's was so great, but also so emotional for me. I wasn't expecting it at all, but I'm really glad that it happened. It was hard not to look at this family that we are so close with and love so much, and not be jealous! I know that my feelings I was having might be normal for our circumstance, but, I wasn't liking it and wanted to get over it quickly. I immediately recognized what was happening, and the emotions that were rising to the surface-ugg.

I just kept looking at Cale and thinking, he's been cheated. They are the same thoughts that have loomed before, and I'm sure that they'll show up again at some point, but I was determined not to let them rule...not to let them consume. Cale is in God's hands, and God is still under control...He does have a plan! It's like a broken record playing. I already know all the right things to tell myself, but when was I going to get over just having milk and moving on to solid food?

Two of the hardest times I saw for Cale (also for myself), were times that he wanted to do something so badly, but wasn't able to. The first time, Ty was outside with Hunter and Caleb playing with the Nerf guns. Cale saw them and wanted to play so badly. He told me he was sad about it and all I could respond with was, "I know." Later on I told him that it's something to work towards. We can go home and work on getting him strong again, and then when we come back, he can run around and play too! He first said ok, and then about a minute later he grabbed my arm and asked, "Is it hard to work for that?" The answer is yes, but I made sure he knew that I was going to help him. Together we're going to get him better.

The second time was during Guitar Hero. Cale used to love this game! We each had our own little guitars that we had decorated and eventually he invested in the drums and microphone. Of course he had a really hard time with the guitar and wasn't able to finish the song. This again made him really sad. Before that, we did have fun singing to all the songs though!

Even though some of it was a little hard, we also had a blast! It was so much fun playing cards and laughing with everyone. Last year, I would drive to their house while Cale was at Wake Med. I usually stayed the night and then drove back to Cale. During that time, I had so many talks with Nikki about all the things I missed and longed for. Now, a lot of those things that I so desperately wanted, are happening! It's so exciting! And, even though it's only been a short time since we've left Seattle, I can see a huge difference in Cale! He's just doing so great!

For those of you that knew Cale before the accident, you know that Cale is a funny guy. He would say some of the funniest things and he always loved making people laugh. Well, that's coming back so much more! He's been making me laugh so hard!

A couple funny things...

We were playing a game of Goldfish and he thought that I had cheated. He mixed up me asking over and over for a card and thought that he had been asking. Anyways, he would not let it go! He was so insistent that I had cheated. After a little while, I said, " I need to check online for something" Cale responded, "Go to Dontcheat.com!" Hahaha! What?! Oh my goodness!

Nikki had made Asparagus for dinner last night. She asked Cale if he like it and then he asked her, "Is it a vegetable?" Nikki said yes and Cale replied, "Then nope."

One of the times we were sitting around the table playing cards, it was brought up about Ty being in Korea. I made a funny comment about forgetting he had been there, and how that makes him Korean now. Cale laughed a little and then said, "No! I'm Afghani!" He said it with such a big smile and while laughing...so funny!

So much of who he was and the personality that he had before is coming through little by little and I'm loving every minute of it.

Last night we were laying in bed talking and I asked Cale if we were different then when we first married. He didn't understand my question at first so I reworded it, and asked again. Cale said, "Different" K: "How are we different?" I was expecting him to say something about how things are hard right now, or something about not being home, but instead Cale said, " We're more better and we're closer to God." Wow.

He still doesn't realize that things are different because we were in a car accident, and if it's not in the moment, he doesn't realize that anything is different at all, but he does know the two most important things out of it all. I needed to hear that and be reminded after having an emotional week, that it's not about all that we've lost-it's not. God has done so much in us and through us, that we need to enjoy that; enjoy the blessings and the miracles that have happened. Yes, we've lost a lot, but so much more we've gained!

"So don't be afraid: I'm with you. I'll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I'll send orders north and south: 'Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.'" -Isaiah 43:5-7

God's children-all of us, mean so incredibly much to Him and He promises that He's with us. He desires us to have a relationship with Him and He cares enough that He would search out for us. He wants us. He created us for His glory and He made-created-formed, each one of us.

He's not just gonna let tragedy hit us and then leave.

He's a personal, tangible, and interested God. He's not just watching from a distance...He's in the front seat with us, waiting, longing, loving us every step of the way.

And, I love that Cale understands that we are closer to Him.

Pictures... :)







Thursday, March 24, 2011

The two Calebs bond :)


It’s been good. Really good. We are loving our vacation and the time we’re getting to spend with all of our friends and family. I would have never guessed that I would become so attached to NC or that it would become so dear to me-but it has.

It’s been extra neat to watch Cale step into uncle mode. He is so great with Caleb and so appropriate. He plays with him and also, if Caleb is climbing on something or doing anything that he shouldn’t, Cale will ask him to stop. One time yesterday, Caleb started to climb on Cale’s walker. He had in his mind that he was going to climb up and then jump off. Cale very quickly recognized his nephew’s idea, and said “Errch! Caleb, don’t climb.” Caleb looked at his uncle and climbed back down. It was so cool! Of course, just a few seconds later, Caleb tried again! :)



Also, they just seem to have a really sweet bond with each other. This morning as I was getting ready for the day, Caleb opened the bedroom door, said hi to me and then ran past and jumped in bed with Uncle Cale and cuddled. What?! I asked Caleb about Uncle Cale getting morning lovin’ before Auntie and he said that was right! Haha! Caleb wanted to play outside yesterday and asked his uncle to go play with him. Cale wanted to and I was a little nervous…we came up with an idea to pull out a lawn chair so Cale could sit while Caleb played. When we got out there, Cale said, “I don’t want to sit, I want to walk around!” He’s pretty stable with his walker, so I let him go. After a bit, his legs were tired, so he did take up the chair and played ball with Caesar (the dog). Fun!


You all know where this is leading…yep, I can’t help but think about when Cale’s a dad. I can’t help but love getting to watch Cale with his adorable nephew, and long for the time that we have our own little ones. I’m soaking up getting to see them together, getting to see them be buddies. :)

Cale has been a lot more willing to do things that are usually really hard for him. They’re still hard, but he’s at least giving them a try, and actually doing very well! He’s been walking more with out the walker. I’m always right there walking with him and it’s still pretty hard, but he’s doing it! It’s just so neat to see him wanting to do more, and that gets me really excited for going home! How much more is he going to want to do by himself? How much harder is he going to want to work? How much more progress will he make?! I am oh so very ready!

Yesterday I had to get some laundry done. Over the last year, laundry has been a miserable thing to have to do. Well, it’s never an exciting thing, but I always have to wait for the washer and dryers to be free, and then while in Seattle, the dryer was terrible-really terrible! It took about 4 hours for one load to dry and it wasn’t even a big load! When I opened the dryer door yesterday, the clothes were dry! It was so exciting for me! It’s a lot more fun when you can just do it and get it done! Oh yeah!

Thank you for praying for sleep! The last two nights, I’ve been able to rest a lot better! I’m not sure that Cale is resting super great, but I know it’s better than what it was. We’ve been eating breakfast around 10am almost the whole time we’ve been here, so I can’t say we’ve fully adjusted to the time change…haha!

I was telling Nikki yesterday, I feel as though on one shoulder I have a really large lady (really large!) with chocolate all over her face telling me to eat whatever I want and enjoy this vacation. When she laughs, I can picture her jiggling all over with a very jolly laugh. She’s the one that wins the battle every time I have the extra serving of my meal or the extra slice of dessert. The other shoulder, I have this really fit lady in her work out clothes, reminding me that I want to be healthy and I’ve been feeling yucky lately with all the junk I’ve been eating and the lack of exercise. She also reminds me that I’ve recently outgrown two pairs of jeans…ugg. They make my days interesting ;)

The end result…I’m very much enjoying this time out of the hospital and being spoiled with all the yummy food and just being lazy!

Here's Cale and I in a wrestling tickle match ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House!

September Theriault
Good Morning Everyone,

I honestly cannot even express the overwhelming love I have seen from so many of you. In all aspects of this journey! I know that there are many of you praying and we truly need lots of that, so thank you for continuing to pray! God is so amazing! I know I keep saying this but, I am so blessed by all of you!! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our final week and a half.

Below are different ways in the next week you can be of service:

1. PRAY- for Cale and Kathleen as they continue to visit with the people that helped in the beginning of this journey. Also please be praying that the projects that are left get completed. We still have quite a bit to get done, but I know God is amazing and I am not worried.
2. Work Days-
Wednesday, March 23, 2011- Touch Up Painting, Sewing, and Re-Doing Furniture 10:00am-2:00pm
Thursday, March 24, 2011- PAINTING, CLEANING, Re-Doing Furniture, and Yard Work 11:00am- 3:00pm
Friday, March 25, 2011- PAINTING, CLEANING, Yard Work 11:00am- 3:00pm
Saturday, March 26, 2011- OUR LAST MAJOR WORK DAY
Finish PAINTING, Finish CLEANING, Finish Yard Work 8:00am- 4:00pm
(We have knowledgeable workmen that will give directions, we need hands that are willing to help, NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!)
(If you can only come for a short time we would still love to have you)
Things to bring:
Cleaning: Cleaners, Rags, Sponges, Towels, etc….
Painting: Brushes, Rollers, Drop Clothes, etc…..
Yard Tools: Rakes, Weed Eaters, ETC…..

3. Welcome Home Shower-
When: Tuesday March 29, 2011
Where: 2435 Bruneau, KENNEWICK
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
We want to welcome home Kathleen and Cale, by having everything ready for them when they walk through the door on April 1st.
If you have items that you wanted to donate or made purchases at Target, this would be a great time to bring them.
Enjoy cake and a tour of the house!

(Items still in need: a futon, a dresser, small cabinet (for the bathroom), floor lamps, etc)

If you are still looking for a way to bless this couple, please stop in at Target store near you.
When you visit Target (store) the list is under my name: September Theriault.
Click the link to see what is still needed: http://www.target.com/lists/39X43GXEQKQSR.

4. Financially- If you are interested in donating to help provide items for in the house, please contact me privately!

Again, thank you for each and every one of you. You are a blessing to me too. Please email me if you have any questions!

Blessings,
September Theriault
septembert76@gmail.com
509-531-9573

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'll fight for you!

It's late and I have a ton to write, but tonight isn't going to be the night I get everything caught up. I'm wiped out.

One story I do want to share, was from yesterday morning. I helped Cale get dressed and then he showed me his muscles. He also did a punch to the air. "Are you going to fight me?" I asked in a joking voice, Cale looked at me and said, "I'm not going to fight you, I'm going to fight for you." Does anyone remember when I wrote about how I was longing to have the man back in Cale? For a woman (at least for this woman), to hear that my man will fight for me is something that blesses my heart. That's my man talking! :) He's there, it's just taking a little time for him to come back.

The first thing on the list yesterday was a visit to the Cary Wake Hospital. It's the second hospital that Cale was at, and a place that I spent a whole lot of time at. The rehab he was in moved to the Raleigh Wake Med, but I still wanted to stop at our old stomping grounds! ;) Here's some pictures in the garden, which was the same place that Cale went outside for the first time! Our friend Maegan joined us in this special moment!

Us standing together in the garden! Woooohooo!


The three of us :)


Me and the Boy~


Cale took a picture of the girls!


After visiting the coffee shop and garden, we went to visit the rehab in Raleigh. It was soooo great! We were able to some of the nursing staff that had been a part of taking care of Cale when he needed so much help. I loved getting to see them...and show off my man! ;)

That night, we also had dinner with Cale's therapists! I had gotten really close to all three, so it was such a special treat for me to see them again and get to spend some sweet time with them. Here is us at the end being silly :)


This afternoon, we left Cary and are now in Cameron, NC visiting Cale's brother!! So exciting! Here is Caleb giving Uncle Cale a big hug!


Let's not forget one of the activities that had to be done...Crazy Eights! Here's the guy time, but we played several games with the whole group of us! So much fun!



So many more things to share, but they'll have to come later...

So far Cale is doing great! He's been really happy since we've been here. It's awesome getting to see him with Ty. He loves his brother so much.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"I can do it!"

The park yesterday was a lot of fun! It was so beautiful outside! We walked to the water and relaxed for a little while. We watched the birds and dogs play around and Cale was trying to get pictures of them. I loved getting to soak up the Carolina sun...so nice! We started to walk on a trail, but Gordon asked Cale to let him know when he was ready to turn around, Cale liked the idea of that!

The Guys. They've become buddies!


The Girls :)


The Lovebirds! Cale took this picture!


After getting back from the park, it wasn't too much later and we headed to the Pastor Jeff's house. Cale introduced them to Crazy Eights...of course! Heehee! Also, he had tons of fun playing with a puppy and we had a Bingo game! Cale was the caller, but at that point he was pretty tired. Kathy also made him French Dip. I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture with them!

By the time we were home, Cale was wore out, but he still wanted to eat some more dessert before going to bed. When it was time to head up stairs, Cale went ahead, and I was going to catch up to him to help him up the stairs. I asked him to wait for me, but by the time I made it to him, he was already headed up! He didn't make it too far, thankfully!

This morning we were coming down the stairs, I was helping him on the right side. Cale looks at me and says, "I have this covered." Haha! Uh...good to know, but I'm still gonna stay by ya!

I think Cale has officially reached the "I can do it!" phase. He's wanting to do a lot more on his own with out help. For the most part this is good, but on some things (like going down the stairs!), he still needs help. So far, Cale has been so cautious and careful with everything, if fact we used to joke that usually it's the other way. Well, this whole being out of the hospital has kicked start some fun for me...haha! It's such a good thing, but man, we're going to have to be careful! He moved into a new stage, but I'm not sure how quickly I'm moving into this one!

We didn't sleep at all last night...again. Please be praying for this. Cale has tremors, for what seems to be all through the night. Because of it, he stays awake and constantly moves to stop the tremors. His constant moving keeps me awake-and a sleepy Kathleen is not a pretty sight! Cale was able to take a nap this afternoon, but I feel like we have to figure out something because neither of us are going to last with sleepless nights. It's been going on for a while, but as of right now because we're working so hard on getting him continent, sleeping meds aren't an option. I'm second guessing the priority list when it's 2am and we're both awake!

We went to church this morning. On May 15th last year, I had spoken at this church and shared about our journey. I remember right before Pastor Jeff had called me up to speak, I was thinking about Cale and if he was still in bed, if they had made sure he was changed, and if he was doing ok. At that point, he still wasn't very responsive if I was in the room or not there, but I still hated him being alone. It was one of those over the top, filled with joy kind of moments, when I went up to speak this morning and was able to look at Cale and see him smile at me. What a treasure! That was added to the already joyful Kathleen as I was able to see so many faces that had become so special to me and to be hugged and greeted by so many that have been praying for us. We were so blessed!

We also were able to see Dr. Ng and his family. Dr. Ng was Cale's doctor at Wake, right before we moved to CA. It was again, such a special moment to see him and his wife and their two girls. The last time I saw them, Mrs. Ng was still pregnant! What a treat to meet the newest addition to the Ng family!! :) When Dr. Ng first saw Cale, and Cale reached in to give him a hug, I felt as though I was about to lose it! In those moments, mascara can't stand a chance! When I blubber, I can really blubber! So sweet! I'm so thankful for Dr. Ng and how great he was with Cale and how he always took the time to see how I was doing and listen to all of my many questions!



We were pretty spoiled in the food department today! Actually, since we've been here, but double time for Cale today. He had a steak right of the grill for lunch and then his favorite pepperoni and pineapple pizza for dinner! Yikes! :) He told me his tummy is happy!

We played quite a bit of Crazy Eights this evening. Cale didn't win every game, but he was still doing so great! I was actually really trying and I'm not sure that I even won one game...

I'm absolutely loving getting to be here. I was telling Susan at the airport Friday night, that it's funny how much I'm feeling like here is like home. We weren't here that long, but the time that was spent here, I became very emotionally attached. I knew something was up when we were walking to baggage claim and when I saw a Carolina Blue shirt in the window my heart started pounding. That's when I felt like this was just like home. Now that I've been seeing all these amazing faces, and seeing some of the area again, well...I just love it so much. North Carolina has some really fantastic people that have become family!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A flight...lots of adventures, and now NC!!

So...yesterday was a HUGE day! We are officially discharged (for good!) out of the hospital!! Yes! Oh my goodness!

When I woke Cale up yesterday morning, I asked him what was so special about the day. Cale guessed that it was our anniversary and then my birthday. Finally (because the excitement was going to make me explode) I blurted out, "we're leaving today!" I ran and jumped on the bed, causing the both of us to laugh, and then I told him how we've been in the hospital for 13 months. 13! Finally, we were going to leave for good and after our vacation, we would be going home. Home. Cale replied with, "wow" when I told him it had been 13 months and then when I said we were going home for good, he asked if he could celebrate! Oh goodness YES! We celebrating big time! There will be a party! :)

The airport was quite the adventure. I love traveling and airports, but I must say, it's a little more stressful...adventure-filled with Cale. We've had fun! First,it started with me trying to get all the luggage and Cale inside by myself. I was told it would be no problem because there would be a lot of airline staff to help out. Well...I couldn't find anyone! I was running and using muscles, and by golly, we made it. The guy that helped us at the counter was really friendly and gave Cale a hard time about his Red Wings hoodie.

Security was another crazy adventure, but with all the craziness we made it through alive! Haha! Once we passed that part, we headed for the gate and had to take the little tram thing to the other side of the airport. I was so excited and a little giddy about all that was going on. I took out the camera and right as I was going to snap the picture, the tram started...Cale went backwards. I had forgotten to lock the breaks on his chair! Now, I have something in me that makes me turn red-a lot. Even when I'm not really embarrassed, but if there is attention on me, I can sure turn red. I think of it as a curse sometimes. Well, in that moment, I was red...very red! If you could see us, I think we would have been funny enough to be in Americas Funniest Home Videos. Yes, adventures!

We did make it to our plane in one piece. A few more funny things happened a long the way, but we made it to our seats. About half way through the flight, I guess it was a little tooboring because I created another adventure. As we were getting up and trying to work our way to the bathroom, I managed to spill my cranberry apple juice all over our seats...oops. I couldn't help but laugh, especially since Cale was confused of what I was doing as I was trying to wipe up the juice. Oh man...we are quite the scene!

The whole time we were on the flight (even with many reminders), Cale thought we were flying to Washington State! I kept telling him that we were in Washington when we first got on the plane, and now we're going to NC for our vacation, but it wasn't sticking. Poor guy.

Our first stop is to Cary, NC where we were at for the second hospital. It's so special to be back here. We're staying with Gordon and Susan, who had become very close to me while we were here before. This afternoon we're going to have dinner with the Pastors family of the church here that was a sweet blessing to us during our time here. It's so great!

We're off to the park for a little bit! I won't be updating every day while we're here, but I'll try to keep it up! :)

Thank you for praying!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary my Love!


When two people really, really love each other, even ordinary days are fun.

Here is some of the early celebration fun…


We went to Olive Garden with Eric and Linn. Cale had a steak of course!


Eric and Linn surprised us with a slice of chocolate cheesecake that I devoured! Mmm!


After dinner, they took us to a beautiful spot to see the city. It was so pretty!



This morning I thought I would encourage Cale a little with his walking. Right now, he looks like a toddler when he walks with out his walker. I was telling him that toddlers don’t stay walking like that, they start walking, and then keep walking and then get better. I told him I knew it was going to get better because he is always determined to master everything he does and when he plays games, he always wants to get the high score. I thought I was being smart and suggested that we make walking like a game. Cale very quickly replied, “I have to like the game.” Haha! He makes me laugh!

Even though it’s our anniversary, we still had the daily grime. Mostly it’s fun stuff because it’s preparation for us to leave tomorrow! Yahooooo! An ENT appointment was a part of the not so fun events of the day. The MRI did show some left traces of the tumor and they did a scope today. Cale has some tissue left over in his throat that they’re going to be monitoring the growth of. Praying it disappears in Jesus name! One of the fun parts of the day was our Honda leaving! It’s now back in our home town. My sister came with a friend to drive it back for us. This was the first time she has seen Cale since the accident, so it was extra special!

I had to look back at last year and be so thankful for getting to spend today with Cale and being able to have a conversation with him, to hear him say that he loves me, and to laugh and be silly with him…it’s a lot more fun then last year!


This is some of today…



Before Cale and I were dating, I had decided that I was a princess and God had a prince some where ready for me, and I wasn’t going to date a bunch of peasants to find him. We had met in middle school, and became better friends through the years. Cale had started going to church with TJ and for a long time, TJ and Cale would drive me crazy! They were obnoxious in youth group and more than once, I had venting sessions, questioning why they even came to church if they were just going to be a distraction. Guys…I would love to say they settled down as they grew older…but they didn’t.

Well, there was a big group of us going to prom May 2004 and I was the only one with out a date. Finally we asked if Cale would go with me just as friends. He was against the dances and thought they were dumb, but he said that he would go with me. It must have been a great night, because the next day he asked me to date him, and after praying about it, I said yes the day after that! Now, if you knew him, and you knew me…you would have been confused. At least I was! Haha! Cale graduated that year and I still had one year to go. In January 2005, Cale came to me and said that he was going to join the Army. This had been his plan through high school, but once we started dating, he had given that idea up (I was totally ok with that!). Our plan had been that he would go off for four years and do the Army thing, I would do the college thing, and then after we would get married. The idea of not being together killed us, but we were so young-we couldn’t possibly get married…! In March 2005, we had decided, why wait? We loved each other, we knew we were going to get married, why not just go through the adventure of life together? That night, I went to my house, Cale went to his and we both prayed about it. Were we crazy? Yes.

The next morning, the first thing Cale said was, “I feel peace.” I had felt the exact same thing. Again, were we crazy? Yes.

On Mach 17, 2005 (I was 18 and had finished my graduating test the day before…technically still in high school!) we became husband and wife. Mr. and Mrs. Darling! There hasn’t been a single split second of a thought since, that we wondered if we had done the right thing. Through him leaving for training, moving across the country, deployments, and the car accident, I am still 100% positive that we had done the very best thing for us. Were we crazy?! Yes. But, we’ve loved each other like crazy too! It’s been amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us and continued to use us and our marriage as an example of love to others over the last 6 years.

Our first wedding was in March on a Thursday night. I didn’t know it was St. Patrick’s Day until the night before. Mama and Janis had gotten a bouquet made for me with green ribbon. When I first saw it, it was one of those, “Uh…thank you?” moments, until they told me what day it was on. Once I found that out, I thought it was a cute idea! We had a very small ceremony that we had planned really quickly, before Cale left a month later for Basic. While he was gone to training, I planned another ceremony in November and had all of our friends and family, join us for the celebration!

Here are a couple pictures from the first ceremony. Now, we really were just pups then! Heehee! :)




Happy Anniversary to my Man. You are amazing Cale, and I love being your wife in this life. I’m so thankful that 7 years ago, you had a crush on me, and didn’t just let it be only a crush. You were first a super sweet man for going to the silly dance with me so that I could feel like a princess for a night, and then you were a brave man to ask me to date you. My heart is so very thankful that I said yes.

I love you.

I received an email of a very special precious gift that I wanted to share, even though this is already another really long post. A very talented young lady drew me some pictures of the powerful time I had with the Lord that was so clear on my heart.

Here they are!







Awesome.