Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Update...finally!

Once again I thought I would be posting sooner than I have, but it just hasn’t gotten done. Now, I have a ton to write again and little time. It’s become a bad habit!

To start off, this weekend our Pastor’s nephew suffered a brain injury and so far they’re not sure the extent of how severe the injury or the damage is. As all of you know, it’s an injury that is very close to home. It’s been crazy for me to hear all the updates and be able to put myself back into those moments of waiting…listening…praying…and hoping.

I think I’ve somewhat experienced what some of you may have been feeling when our accident first happened. I keep checking to see if there are new updates and I can’t get Ezra or his family off my mind. I keep praying and wishing I was there, wishing I could do something. Anything!

I know the power of prayer and I know how much it blessed me and lifted me up knowing how many people were praying for us during such a scary time.

To find more details, they have a Facebook page set up Praying for Ezra and a paypal account set up. Please be praying!

Life has been in motion around here and won’t be slowing down until April. Can I just tell you that I haven’t finished unpacking from the cruise yet?!

So…to quickly fit in all of our happenings, Cale’s last day of therapy was Thursday. I was hoping that our doctor’s appointment on Thursday afternoon we were going to discuss his continued therapy needs and figure out a plan, but that didn’t happen. Go VA…the appointment was 3 hours long, 2 of which we were waiting to see the doc. We have another appointment scheduled for April with a VA psychologist that will evaluate him and hopefully get a therapy plan after that. There are so many budget cuts; it’s going to be as hard as I was thinking it was going to be. God is in control though…right? I’m trusting He knows exactly what Cale needs!





Tuesday night we had another baby shower here. I didn’t take one picture. Can you believe it? It was a fun time and Chris and Cale went out to get away from all the ladies filling the house.

Thursday night Cale and Chris went to get the Tri City American’s (junior hockey team here) signatures and of course Mc Donalds was involved!


Friday I left for a retreat in western Washington to help lead a large group of high school girls. I was honestly wondering what I would have to share and how could God use what I’m going through in life right now to speak to these girls, but the very first night as the teaching session was going on, I felt the Lord pressing on my heart to speak. Ahh! So, I did. I was able to share about how important it is to have the Lord as their first love rather than finding a guy to fill the position because even when getting married, that man of your dreams; strong, manly, and who has the ability to care for you, can all be taken away so quickly. I could keep sharing about how awesome I thought the weekend was. It was for the young girls, but I walked away being so encouraged and challenged as well! We had a formal night with dancing and Joyce and I joined in on the fun!


While I was away, Cale spent the night with Chris and went to watch the American’s play instead of just getting a paper signed. Cale was excited when I talked to him that night to let me know that they had won!

I came back on Sunday and we both went to bed early that night. We had even talked about watching a movie, but couldn’t stay awake to watch one!

Monday felt weird without therapy, but I had a LOT of calls to make. I didn’t think it was going to be as many as it ended up being, but I think everything is just about worked out. Yikes!

Cale as usual constantly makes us laugh…




Cale has started drumming with Sonny again. I wasn’t there on Saturday and I haven’t talked with Sonny to see how things went, but the two sessions I’ve seen have both been great. Cale is on an electric system which he likes a whole lot more than a drum pad!



Basil loves to cuddle. After I finished cleaning up after bible study last night, I went to the bedroom and found these two. I almost didn’t get a spot to sleep last night! Haha!


Tomorrow we’re off on another trip! We’re headed to Cale’s brothers house to visit for a couple days and then I’m off to another retreat! This time I’m not leading anything and will hopefully be relaxing!!! The Wounded Warrior Wives organization is putting it on and most of the women that will be there for the weekend live in Washington, which makes me happy. :o)

This man also makes me happy. I love him.


The more of Jesus I have in my life, the less our situation seems to control it.

Sorry this post was all over the place. I'm going to try to do a better job updating, but with so many other things going on and pulling for my time, it's not so easy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Talk about getting it all out...

Overload.

That’s a word used often to describe what Cale is experiencing, and today I’m claiming the word for myself.

I don’t want this to end up being a heavy post, but the last couple days have been…heavy. On Friday morning I had the last conference call with his therapy team. We’ve already said good bye to one of his therapist and as you’ve read many a times before, it’s always a bit emotional for me! Cale usually has absolutely no problem! Haha! This time is very different because I’ve had to take advantage of all of his therapy time so I could have time to get away, which in result my bond with the therapist hasn’t been as a deep, but I love each of them! The other side of it is not knowing what’s next and the time is already upon us! Cale is still not at a place that he’s going to be able to tolerate outpatient therapy, but with the VA that’s looking to be our only option. We are trying to continue the speech therapy he’s getting right now, and will know more later this week.

The reason for the therapy change comes from us finally discharging from the Army. Cale is about to officially be a veteran. This is scary waters for me and the picture of what getting out of the Army looked like a couple years ago is quite a bit different than what we’re facing now. As the day quickly approaches, there are a lot of things that are changing and things I’m sorting through. No need to drag it on…it’s just not an easy place to be.

Along with the changes taking place, my last post I wrote about how Cale was doing so great mood wise and how I was embracing it not knowing when that too would change. On Saturday morning things seemed a little off, but I had to hurry off to church for our ladies breakfast. At that point we were still on a high, but as the day progressed, Cale seemed to go downhill. His emotions were all over the place and the familiar anger spouts had returned. Everyone has bad days so I wasn’t going to let it ruin the last two weeks and all the joy that had come from it. We made a trip to get some groceries which ended up to be a really bad idea.

The thing about living with Cale’s brain injury and all that comes with it, doesn’t mean we don’t have fun or that he isn’t fun to be around. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be around him or that I’m constantly having a bad day because of it. It’s just simply draining.

Everyday almost we’re facing a new battle or situation that we’re both trying to figure out. Even with all the books and resources that has come about to help understand brain injury, there’s not a manual to walk you through it; much like becoming a parent. Each case of brain injury is so different and complex in many cases there’s not a right or wrong to how you choose to go about parts of it.

Cale is full force into the “I can do it!” stage. I’m constantly having to decide how much independence I allow and where I have to force my help, whether it’s wanted or not. With a child, it’s clear that you’re the boss. You’re the parent and you make the rules. What about when you’re a grown man and you know that you should be in charge of yourself?

I have to say, it was a bit easier during our two weeks of bliss, but now with the negativity back so strong, it’s breaking me. It leaves me questioning the Lord through tears, “will I get to be just his wife again?” I hate having to feel like I’m always telling him what he needs to do.

I could go into all the details, but that’s not gonna do anyone any good. I was thinking about love and how it’s been said so many times before about how love is a choice. Every marriage goes through difficult times and along with demands that are made, you have to continue to make the choice to love your spouse because not every day is going to be easy. The same applies in our life right now. Daily I have to surrender our life to the Lord and ask him to help me be the very best wife I can be for Cale. I constantly ask the Lord to help me to love Cale the way that he does and to see him through God’s eyes.

Like many many times before, the Lord is always ALWAYS faithful to give me the hugs and kisses that are much needed. With puffy eyes wearing my sweats and hoodie, I started making dinner for bible study tonight. I was really looking forward to our group gathering in my living room talking about each of our lives and sharing about the ways the Lord has been challenging us. I had already realized that in the midst of this challenging weekend, I didn’t take the time to spend at the feet of Jesus and began to confess this, when I heard the bedroom door. Cale had taken a nap and when he came to the kitchen, he said hi and I said it right back. This time, he walked closer and said, “are you not ok?” I asked why and then he told me I didn’t seem ok. Nothing had really happened and it was within seconds, but he knew. He read me. He came closer and gave me a hug.

I can’t even explain how much I needed that. He then proceeded to help me in the kitchen preparing dinner. The rest of the night was a bit…well, not the greatest. Cale was tired and frustrated and went to the room. He didn’t eat lunch and wouldn’t eat much of dinner either.

Every phase we get to, I know the Lord meets us there. He’s already paved the way and He's ready to lead us through the ways we do not know.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. –Isaiah 42:16

A couple randoms…

My grandpa died Saturday. He’s been really sick lately and it isn’t totally out of the blue, but it’s always hard to hear.


On Friday in ST, Doreen was trying to get Cale to sort through categories. As I listened to the session, it played out like this…
D: Which one does not fit in the category? Apples, carrots, broccoli, or cabbage?
C: (without hesitation) broccoli!
D: Why do you say that?
C: It’s gross.
D: So out of apples, carrots, broccoli, or cabbage you say broccoli doesn’t fit?
C: and cabbage. It’s gross too!

I laughed so hard! He made his own category up! :o)

I had posted this on Facebook and had a ton of fun reading the responses I thought I’d post it on here too…

After watching a Jane Austin movie I gain a British accent, after watching American Idol, I can’t help but sing (and I’m not one to keep a tune!), after watching (or during!) Food Network, I can’t resist eating, and when I watch any show with dancing, I find myself dancing around the house thinking I have the same groove they do (except I'm far from it!)…anyone else like me?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Embracing.

Ok. Ok. Ok.

Now to get back to blogging and share all the wonderfulness with you!

So…the cruise. Great fun! Once on the ship, I felt like we could soar! We had unending ice cream cones, soda galore (for Cale), and ocean all around us. Yes. please.


{us right before getting to the ship!}


{Yay! We're on board}


{the boy, the girl, and Chris August}


{the boy, the girl, and Chris Sligh}


{beautiful.}


{again, beautiful. all around beautiful.}

Day 1 we swam with dolphins. On our last cruise we thought we were going to swim with dolphins, but ended up without realizing it that we were only offered a dolphin encounter. Although it was still really exciting, we were both a tad disappointed! This time we swam with them! We sat on a ledge and had to drop into (freezing!) deep water. We had put a life jacket on Cale, but I was nervous it wasn’t going to be enough. Just the drop into the water I thought would cause him to freak out along with me. Well, with help the drop in was successful, but yes, the water was freezing and Cale was not to fond of it! We had to swim a little to get to the right place with the dolphins, but that was a challenge because we couldn’t use the wall. Cale was pulling me down along with Janis, so one of the girls in the other group brought me a life jacket. We were all set to go, but the waiting and cold water took its toll on Cale and he said he was done. No! Right when we were going to work ourselves back to the ladder to get out, it was our turn to swim! Cale stayed in and did AMAZING! I had to pull him around and help him stay up, but he also had to use his flipper covered feet!




It was a lot of work, but he did it, and loved it. After a time of swimming around with them, we also did tricks with them and then got some hugs and kisses! Cale said it was the best part of the trip and he STILL remembers them!



{the boy, the girl, and Bob & Larry!}



We also went on a jeep tour and a boat ride. The rest of the week was full of concerts at night and activities during the day. We met some of the artists and ate tons of food! Two of the days our lunch consisted of ice cream…isn’t that what you do on vacation?!










When I’m asked what the highlight of the trip was for me, I say the dolphins was definitely on the list, but most of all it was the changes I saw happen with Cale. Some of it I can’t even explain except to say he’s different, but the other part was all that happened right before me. His initiation, memory, toleration level, endurance, comprehension, coordination, balance, focus, and so many more areas seemed to have a switch flipped into a higher functioning level! In the whole picture of his recovery these might be technically small pieces, but for me seeing and being with him every day, they were HUGE! And when you add them all together it’s a very noticeable difference. Even his therapists on Monday were so surprised!

His mood over all is another area that we can all see a change in. Things that would normally set him off haven’t affected him as much. He’s been able to work through his “fits” and express more clearly with how he is feeling. Man! Thing after thing!

I love it.

I needed it.

We needed it.

We had another appointment last night with the neuropsych. Eventually we’ll be seeing him every week, but he’s about to go on vacation himself so right now his schedule is full so we’re just seeing him every other week. If you remember our last session (and first one) I was so excited and couldn’t stop smiling…this one wasn’t the same, but still good. It’s interesting to dig into Cale’s thought process. First, it was clearly pointed out that although he can understand a lot more than he can speak, there’s a lot that he still doesn’t understand. Even simple concepts.

It’s also another area that is very in and out. Through one part of the session, Cale kept telling Dr. L that he was very confused and didn’t get it, but during another part of the session, Cale, through Dr. L asking questions, got out that he doesn’t want to do therapy because he wants to be normal. As long as he’s doing therapy, he’s not normal. Same goes with his cane. He doesn’t want to use it because he wants to be normal. He doesn’t get his brain injury or see anything wrong with himself, BUT he does know that he should be walking on his own and he should be working not doing therapy. Even when the fact that his therapy is work right now, he knows that he was a soldier. He KNOWS work.

Tough stuff, but so good. Dr. L pushed him a little last night and even though hard, it was needed. Cale is a stubborn (VERY stubborn) man, so once stuck on something he’s pretty much been dipped with Epoxy and has no plans of moving.

This makes for um…fun. Ahem.

Our Valentine’s Day was wonderful. I had signed on to decorate for a big dinner we had at church, which was super fun, but since I was gone the whole week before, it got a bit crazy. Still fun. I had spent all day at church decorating, but that night we got to dress up and go to a really fun classy dinner. We both had fun and loved it! There was swing dancing at the end, but at first they were teaching us and all the steps was too much for Cale, so after about 10 minutes or so he was done with that. He said he likes us dancing together at home better. ;o)

I had a moment while lying in bed that night that made me think a lot more than my tired brain had wanted to. See, Facebook was loaded with pictures and comments of what everyone’s valentine had gotten them, but I didn’t have anything. Want to know why? It was because no one took my husband to the store to get anything for me. I’m not saying that in a poor me I didn’t get anything way, rather, I’m stating that for Christmas, my birthday, Valentine’s Day, our Anniversary, or any random surprises, Cale can no longer go out and get me something on his own or even remember it’s a day or moment that he normally would have, but that doesn’t make him less of a great husband or not as sweet as he was before.

It’s fun when he comes back from the store with Mama and hands me flowers or his therapist helped plan a date night for us and took him to the store to pick out a gift and flowers for me even though I know it wasn’t his idea or something that he came up with. That never matters because I know he loves me. I know that he is an amazing man and it has never been or will ever be based on what he purchases at the checkout counter for me or not. I am so blessed to have him as a husband and every day that goes by I hope and pray that he feels and understands how much I love him and how much of a gift he is just being him to me.

I can’t say that I don’t miss his surprise flowers and sweet things that he would just do to help me out around the house, but I do still get surprises in a new and different way.

One of them has been all that has taken place in our relationship since leaving for the cruise. Like I said in the last post, we had refreshment that we both needed. It’s not even like we had a not so great relationship or that it seemed like anything was even wrong, but what has been restored is unexplainable! Simply lovely. With all the ups and downs (and spirals!) this life we live has, I’m choosing to embrace these moments and this special connection the Lord has given us right now. It may last a couple days, a week, a month? However long and whatever it looks like, all I can do is embrace the now; enjoy today.

Cale has had a couple great days. He just finished up doing PT and he was a lot more willing than just a couple weeks ago! It was a great session! Praise God!

I’ve been trying to catch up on rest. Yesterday I couldn’t wake up and spent almost the entire day in my pj’s! I think I got dressed at 4:30 and that was because we had our appointment with Dr. L! Today has been a bit better, but I still feel lazy.

Just a reminder to mark your calendars for the 5k! You can find the page on Facebook by looking up 5k Fun Run to benefit The Darling Project Date is April 21!!!

Also, please continue to pray about how you might be able to help with the Darling Project! Click the button on the top right of the blog for more info. :o)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cruise Update- part 1

Wow! What a trip! My man is a machine! Haha! He took on whatever challenge came his way!

We had a blast! From the first moment of waking up with the excitement of the week ahead, we knew it was it going to be a great trip. We flew out on Saturday morning and it was supposed to be an early flight (really early!), but Friday night we received a call that our first flight had been cancelled due to severe fog in our area. Mama had already spent hours on the phone dealing with a mix up of our tickets and the call led to another couple hours…and more time on Saturday!

Finally we were in the air around 11am. I have to say it was much better than it being at 5am! The mix up with our first fight was a chain reaction to the rest of our flights, but we eventually made it to our hotel and all hit the mattress! Cale was amazing during the long day. For me flight after flight and airport layover after layover, all the walking, sitting, waiting, talking, noise, and all the other stuff that goes on is a lot for me in one day and can be extremely draining. For Cale, it’s multiplied and then doubled. Every little thing, including a breeze or light is added stimulation. His brain is trying to process all that it’s taking in, but isn’t able to because there is so much. After a short time, Cale goes into overload and this is when his brain no longer can process even his emotions. His reactions to even simple situations that normally we would be able to process realizing the simplicity, comes out as anger and he dramatically overreacts without knowing it.

That was a little side info to help you more understand what every moment is like being outside of our home, his “safe place” which sometimes can still be too much. Going back to all the flights, I bet you can only imagine all that he goes through. Praise God that he has come so far in his recovery that he’s able to tolerate longer periods without any kind of tantrum episodes! They still come and we’ve had a few, but nothing like before!

So, the airport was just a slice of what he had to deal with and conquer! It was just the beginning of a week that had little time for quiet and calm! Since this was a 5 day cruise, all three days that we had on board for a full day were spent on excursions and other activities on board. Before when we had gone we had 2 full days at sea so we had plenty of time to just relax, this time it was go go go! The first two days on board, I was walking around in complete amazement! Cale was doing things that he hasn’t been able to do since before the accident and doing them so confidently! I don’t even know how to list everything he did! I’m so proud of him!

By the third day I could really notice the fatigue showing up more often than the first few days, but he would have moments and be able to snap out of them and have fun for a bit. I just can’t say enough how completely amazing it was to watch him!

Before we were even on the cruise ship, the Lord had already begun a work in an area of our lives that I’ve been struggling with. It brought a refreshing breath to our marriage sparked a newness that was deeply needed. I love that without even saying anything about this need and wanting anything to happen from this trip, God already knew we needed this. He already had everything in the workings and all set up. I love that about Him. I love that He always knows our every need and His perfect timing never falls short of our needs. If that was the only thing out of the trip it would have been totally worth all the time, money and energy that had been invested in it. A surprise blessing!

Even though that one thing would have been enough, there is so many more wonderful lovely treasured moments that unfolded and I can’t wait to share with you! For now, this will be all. Internet has been very limited so I thought I’d go ahead and give ya an overview and once home start busting out the pictures! :o)

Thank you for all of your prayers, encouraging words, cards, packages, hugs, calls, voicemails, emails, messages, comments, texts, conversations, and whatever other form of support you’ve given us over the last two years. You’ve walked this journey with us and it’s been a long one. In some way, even if it’s only by you taking the time to read the words that I’ve typed day after day, you have blessed us and been a gift from the Lord. I treasure each of you. I may never meet you while we walk this earth, but my prayer is one day in eternity we can celebrate the Lord together. Love, Cale & Kathleen


A note from Cale...

thank thenk you. for every thing. from cale

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy 2nd Alive Day Cale!

My heart is bursting at the seams. I’m speechless and to be able to tell you all about this week, I’m gonna need to use a lot of words. Where will they come from?

Two years ago today, my husband and I were in a car accident. He was fighting for his life. Our family was told to come as soon as possible to say their goodbyes if needed. My brother was told he may not even make it through surgery. Our lives changed. I want you to read those words with thought and the weight of what they really are. Car accident. I say this because my husband wasn’t being a daredevil, risky, or irresponsible. We were in the car holding hands and listening to music like many of you do every day. We were headed somewhere and never made it. Not because we decided to do anything crazy. Life is so fragile. I think daily we rush through each day and quickly tell someone in our life that we love them and forget that we never know what that day holds. We never know when lives will be changed forever.

Cale wasn’t taken to Heaven where he would be whole and dancing with Jesus. He’s here with me and lives with a severe traumatic brain injury that leaves him many days as if he were a little boy again. I’ve had many nights while trying to bring my racing mind to stillness when the thought of him here rather than in Heaven has left me feeling confused. I know that I’m so thankful he’s alive and with me. I know that every day I think about how blessed I am that I still have my husband with me to hold and love and grow old with, but at the same time I become overwhelmed with the thought of how much his life has changed and all that he has had to go through and still has to go through. I cringe at the thought of how he must feel if he ever comes to a place in his recovery where he fully realizes the change.

I would love to say that the last week has been an escape from all reality, a vacation from the life that we face at home every day, but honestly, it was more of a daily reminder. With saying that, I can also say that the blessing that our everyday lives have become has been like a flashing billboard as we went through each day. God is so good, isn’t He?!

It blows my mind to look at us today walking off a cruise ship after a week full of adventures and then to think of every step over the last 2 years.

Happy 2nd Alive Day Boy! I love you so much and I’m so proud of you and so thankful for your constant hard work. You never give up…

Looking back through the first year…



…and then the second. Praise the Lord!



Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. –Psalms 115:1

Sunday, February 5, 2012

in a fog of joy.


I feel like the last few days preparing for this trip, have been very interesting in the way that my mind hasn’t fully been able to grasp what was about to take place. In many different areas and ways, this trip is making my head spin at the thought of what is really happening. In 2007 after Cale had been deployed for 16 months (14 months straight) we booked a trip and went on a cruise. We had the best time and if I remember right, I was in a bit of a head spinning time then as well! My soldier was home! ;)

This time all the memories of our last trip ran through my head yesterday like a slideshow of a thousand moments all collected and mushed together. Leading up to yesterday I felt a nagging of it like my mind was trying to prepare me and help me brace for the reality of the change, but it wasn’t that way as I woke up and prepared the last minute things in our suitcases, flew from stop to stop, or walked through each airport. This time it was more…like a fog of joy. I kept leaning over to Cale through each flight asking if he was going crazy like me, or if he could believe we were actually going on a cruise. In no way does he understand the extent of what this trip resembles; the very miracle that is unfolding as each minute passes.

Flight #1


End of Flight #2


Landed!!!


To start the trip off, Cale thought he’d blow me away immediately! I had both of our bags to wheel into the airport along with our backpack and my purse. Cale stopped and grabbed his bag! I was a bit nervous because of his balance and him trying to pull a bag could end up…well, not good, but he did it! He wheeled the whole way to the counter to check in! Ahh! It was SO cool! It’s times like that when I want to announce to everyone around to look and see what he’s doing. It’s like I want everyone to share in our happy moment. You know what I mean?


We had several flight issues. It definitely wasn’t one of those smooth flights, but by the end of the night the hotel was there waiting! Cale did great (the best yet!) with the long day and all the flights! There were a few bumpy moments…and red faced Kathleen moments, but all in all I was really impressed! I love getting to compare events like flying because I can visually see a huge change. Was the last big flight when we went to NY? I think so. Anyways, either way, huge change compared to the last!

We’ve had some good laughs because of Cale as well! He’s a hoot! After our first flight, Cale and I were put in charge to watch all carry-ons as Mama and Janis made a visit to the ladies room. Janis has one of those neck pillows that Cale grabbed and stuck under his shirt! He kept saying he ate it! ;o) The funny part was that after Mama and Janis saw it, he kept it in his shirt as we walked to our gate! He had a huge smile and walked proudly! We were all laughing so hard! It didn’t take long for the walking motion to make it fall out, but it was fun while it lasted!


Do you remember when I wrote about the fast walking strip things (what are those called?) at the airport last time and how Cale loved them? Well, he still loves them and walks even faster! He uses my arm for a lot of support on them so after doing a couple in a row, my arm feels like it’s going to fall off! Haha! One of them was a double and we raced Janis. Cale with his long legs had no problem speeding ahead! He was pretty excited to step off and say he won. :o) I think we did four or five to get to our gate and by the end he had Gumby legs! I had to help him walk a little more than I usually need to. Fun!

At our stop for lunch, they had a little buffet style thing of peppers. Cale loves peppers! He picked out 2 pepperoncini, 2 slices jalapeƱo, and 2 slices of another spicy kind. He didn’t eat them until on the plane and after a few minutes he started yelling, “Hot! Cold! I don't know!” He had already finished his drink so to save him I gave him a package of fruit snacks…


Our other plane ride entertainment included, Crazy 8’s, Cribbage, iPad games (I had added a few cognitive games as well as fun), and making silly faces at each other.

On Friday we went to see Cale’s great grandma. Her birthday party was yesterday and since we were going to be plane hopping we were missing the party. To start off the grand visit, Cale was giving grandma a hug and fell on her. :o( I felt terrible. He felt terrible. Grandma was ok. Cale was ok. She’s spunky for being 97! Still…it wasn’t a good thing and thankfully neither of them had been hurt. From now on, hugs will me more closely monitored! Later on, we were talking about something else and grandma said, “Well, things happen and life keeps going on.” It’s a statement that I know so well. I think it had become a little part of our journey after the car accident and once I was out of my little ICU bubble, realizing that even though Cale’s life had just about stopped completely, everyone else had lives that just kept going. Babies were born, trips were made, weddings happened. I remember at one point when I had braved the idea of getting on Facebook again, I was only on it for a minute because one of the first posts had something to do with the person being so upset because the shopping trip for shoes had been unsuccessful. Scream.

But, that is real life. Life goes on. It’s a good thing. Having a bad day because of a bad shoe shopping trip is a blessing. While my life had been so consumed with every second of Cale’s progress and praising the Lord for every breath he was taking and for the intense wait for him to “wake up” it was easy to let myself think that my life had also stopped. It took me a while to understand and realize that my life had never stopped, in fact, Cale and I were living the life that only the Creator of the universe could knit together in such a way to create something so beautiful and intricate.

I am so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to take this trip and to know even a fraction of the depth and the amazing blessing of what this trip is. I don’t think I can STILL rap my head around it all!

Oh how sweet and precious is our Father’s love.


I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:16-19

Thursday, February 2, 2012

a cruisin' we will go!

We’ve been busy beavers around here.

Some good stuff is happening and one of them happens soooooooon! I don’t know if you remember reading or not, but back in May we booked a cruise with Mama and her best friend. It was a crazy impulsive purchase, and we are SO excited! To be honest, I’ve had (for quite some time) a hesitation about going. Not regret…but, I questioned if I should have been that bold. My reasoning comes from all the trips we’ve been taking since then and knowing how Cale reacts and does. Even though he used to love to travel and we had made so many plans of it before, he’s now a home body. The itching to travel is still full force in me and I think it’s good for him in doses. Well, a cruise there’s no turning back. You’re on the ship and that is what is until your back on land.

We had gone on a cruise in 2007 after Cale returned from his first deployment. The memories of what it was like and the enormous amount of fun we had…and the realization of how different this time is going to be nags at me, BUT, this is our life now and I don’t want to hold back or “wait” to be us, be married, and enjoy our life. I know many of you have talked with me in person about this very topic as I’ve shared my heart about other areas in our life. We can’t put everything on hold because Cale has brain injury. It’s not fair to him or to us. I don’t want him to just exist and get through every day. I want him to live through each day and even though he may not remember the next day, I want to continue to create many more amazing memories that I can one day share with him again. We’re married now. No pause button. The picture looks a wee bit differently than maybe the “typical” (what is typical anyhow?) couple, but this is us, this is the Darling’s. Our love for each other is much too strong and blessed to wait out a change that will be with us for the rest of our lives in one way or another. So, we’re going to cruise and I’m praying we have an absolutely amazingly wonderful time and that we come back refreshed and ready for the next season the Lord has in store for us!

…and I got side tracked. Oops.

So, anyhow I have been feeling more at peace and just plain ol’ excited about going. We are so blessed that we were able to pay for a trip so extravagant and be able to experience this together. This is the first time that Cale has been able to remember that we’re going somewhere. Consistently when asked he’s able to tell you AND yesterday when he woke up, the first thing he asked was what day we were leaving for the cruise! Ahhh! He asked! It’s always me reminding and bringing things up-but that was HIM! ALL him! He hasn’t once said anything about wanting to stay home and not go and even started to help me pack a little! :o) The healing is happening every day.

We have our moments of excitement of whatever it was that Cale said that leaves me jumping up and down and squealing and then we have moments like we did Saturday night that leave me giggling to myself…

For a while now, Sunday mornings have been hard for us. For some reason they are the mornings that take all of my energy because Cale is miserable. Perfect time for the enemy to attack huh? Right before going to church. Classic. After trying to figure out what was so different, I came to the conclusion it’s the shower. Cale hates showers now and it’s always a fight to get him to take one (he doesn’t like a bath either!). I’m still not sure what makes Sundays worse than during the week, but for whatever reason it does. This last Saturday we weren’t able to get him showered so when Saturday night came and I knew we needed to work it out, I tried to offer for us to take one before bed instead of in the morning when we got up for church. This conversation led to this…


Cale became a dog. He said that dogs don’t have to get in the shower and then grabbed the sink and worked his way to the floor. In a steady voice while holding back any laughter, I let him know that dogs don’t get to eat chicken nuggets or drink Mt. Dew and they don’t get to play Xbox or sleep in the bed, he would NOT give in! He laid on the bathroom floor for 15 minutes and then found his way to Basil’s bed…


And then tried to find his way to our bed by lying at my feet…


It was over an hour before he finally agreed to be human. During that time when I tried to talk with him, his reply would always be, “woof woof.” What was so great about the whole thing was that he held on to that and was so stubborn. Normally if he gets upset or says something, by the time 10 minutes rolls around, he’s already long forgotten whatever it was. Not this time!

Oh yes. That’s just a glimpse into our moments around here!

Another thing happening around here…

Do you remember me talking about the program that was started with Cale working at the church? That didn’t go over so well, but we’re now starting from a different direction. Chris a guy that we know will be working with Cale for about 12 hours a week and basically being his friend! Can you believe it?! Answer to prayer! He’s a GUY and he’s going to do GUY stuff with Cale! The first day was yesterday and part of their time consisted of…well, guy stuff…


Haha! Gotta love those video games. Not only is Chris a great guy, but he also loves the Lord which is a HUGE bonus. Another way the Lord is providing above and beyond. Constantly.

For all of you in the area, mark your calendars!!!!! The 5k run will be on April 21st! More details to come…but for now, take a big fat marker and circle that day! :o)

Also, this will probably be the last post I get done before we leave. When we’re back, I’ll have a little surprise for ya!