Happy Father's day to all the dad's out there. Jo is doing well but is still really uncomfortable post surgery. He has swelling on the right side of his head, really it's more like his face. He has been running a slight fever since the surgery, but thus far they haven't detected any infections. Blood tests were normal and a few cultures are still out there waiting on results.
In general he just seems seems really sensitive to movement post surgery, and when he moves he cries, and we hate it. He is taking pain meds, but the nature of being in the hospital means we are always moving him for this and that, and he just plain doesn't like it!
Today has been especially tough on Dad, which I expected. Jo may have been a mama's boy most of the time, but he was an amazing athletic kid. He was very humble about his abilities but he knew he was fast and could jump. When you couple those attributes with the courage to take on physical challenges it made for an exciting, sometimes scary, show. As a Dad it resulted in overwhelming pride every time he stepped on the field, especially with football. The thing about speed is you either have it or you don't, and Jo has it. He has the most effortless stride and he generally shocked people because it was hard to tell just how fast he was actually moving. He peeked in 6th grade flag football, and I've never been more proud. I was most proud not of the multiple touchdown game, but his sportsmanship. Jo spiked a football once when he scored his first touchdown. I talked to him afterwards about it, and told him to hand the ball to the ref after he scored. I said "act like you've been their before, and act like you know you'll be back", that was all I needed to say. He scored again in the same game on a long run down the sideline. After crossing the end zone he turned and looked a little lost. The problem was he had ran over 50 yards and 1 of the 2 refs hadn't reached him yet. He eventually found the ref, but for minute it looked like a comedy scene as teammates tried to high five him while he searched for the ref. I have never been more proud, mainly because he listened and he respected the game. He never once spiked a football again, and he had many more opportunities.
Jo not being physically able to be Jo is devastating beyond comprehension. Jo is an amazing physical kid, and I struggle the most with his inability to move. Discussing things like wheelchairs, lifts, specialized beds, and modified transportation vehicles crushes my spirit at times. Jo is so strong, so alive, and so gifted physically that he would make me proud just playing at the park. He climbs effortlessly, jumps onto and off anything with ease, and is always looking for the next innate object to make into his plaything. To think that he's not capable of these things right now, or in the near future, is torture.
I often think of our times playing catch in front of the house. The typical Dad and son thing that is so easy to take for granted. You see with Jimmy's issues I never experienced this type of joy until Jo. The amazement of watching his normal catch on an easy toss grow to a catching a bullet on a passing route was astonishing. Fumbled catches turn to one hand grabs, and who can forget the diving grabs that he loved to practice, and he was so excited to use in a game. Looking back I realize now that feeling, in front of our house, with my son, has never been replicated and never could be. I so dearly need it back, some day it must come back.
For the dad's out there I know you understand the feelings I discussed. I distinctly remember the first time a coach asked me "can he catch"? Outwardly I said "sure", inside I thought "wait til you see him catch". Jo was always high on life, and his friends truly loved him. Same for his teammates, the only thing he couldn't stand was a showboat. I am very proud of his judgement, at its core Jo was loved, and loved everyone back.
So on this father's day, I must be honest, I wont be happy, not even close. I have wept more times today than any other day in my adult or child life. I hate to be selfish but I need my boy back to where he was. I need our Jo back, and I can wait as long as it takes, so long as he comes back. I pray for strength everyday because I need it now more than ever. I often feel lost, and absent from the rest of my family, consumed by thoughts of Jo. I miss him so much.
Jojobinks you are amazing in every way. I cherish the time we spent together so much today especially. I want you to know I will never lose faith in your healing. You are too pure, too perfect to be anything less than what you were. You are fighting your way back to us one miracle at a time, I'm sorry I'm inpatient. We love you to the moon and back sweet angel, you've got this.