Months have passed and I hope each of you and your families had a wonderful holiday season. I will admit that during the holidays it can be difficult not to get a little down. The intense focus on joy and happiness is always uplifting but it also calls for reflection and restoration in faith.
I’ve said many times before that in order for me to make it through the days and nights since this tragedy requires a unique focus on Jo’s life right now. Don’t look too far back, don’t look too far forward, as time goes on that gets extremely hard to do. We’ve always been a family that craves “normal”. With our son Jimmy and his extreme challenges with Autism it’s simply never been our reality. Before Jo’s accident we had moments of normalcy when Jimmy attended camp and we relished them. Eating at a restaurant , watching a movie , going to a beach or lake were exceptionally special to our family. Now those times seem so far away, and we are very far from “normal” most of the time.
I can’t begin I describe how much I miss what once was. I could never put into words how it feels to look back. How it feels to see old pictures or watch videos and hear his precious voice. My wife is so much stronger than me, her amazing faith in Jo gives her power to not only look and hear theses things but do it with joy. I don’t know how she does it.
Many of you know Jo was an amazing athlete at the time of the accident. He loved nothing more than being outside enjoying nature and goofing around with his friends. He had just finished his first year of tackle football, and I have a cell phone video of his first touchdown. Facebook reminds me every so often of this memory and I remember the pride I felt that day. My pride is renewed in Jo today as I watch him fight so hard to do the simplest tasks. Turning his head to glance at me, manipulating a computer mouse, open his mouth for food, or inhale deeply to make a loud yell. I can’t imagine his thoughts about how this all happened, and his frustration must be unbearable at times, but yet he pushes on.
For me the most challenging thing to do is anything physical with Jo. Moving him from chair to bed, adjusting his sleeping position, or correcting his posture in his chair often takes my breath away. Not because of the physical strength I need to do it but the immediate undeniable reality during those moments. My strong, fast, agile, and flexible son is in there trying to help me help him, and right now, he just can’t...YET
Jo still smiles and laughs everyday, and often. That hasn’t changed with the accident. His love for his mother is something to behold, he is so present with her, so engaged, so attached, it is amazing. I’m dad, I make you laugh, get in trouble all the time, and screw most things up the first time. I’m fun to be around and I know he loves me, but there’s simply no comparison with mom.
This tragedy has connected our family with so many amazing people it’s hard to comprehend. His nurse Alexis and speech therapist Sherri are so much more than caregivers and teachers, they are part of our family. Jo loves them dearly and our family is no different, they are so special to us. We are blessed at with all the people Jo has brought to our lives.
Jo is doing great overall. Performing in physical and occupational therapy. Trying to communicate, slowly but surely he is coming back.
Part of this post includes a link to a new fundraiser for Jo. We are not moving, we are here for the long haul. We were contacted by a dear friend at Aegis Living who is working with a team of angels to provide a message of hope to our family. They’ve been making plans to bring Jo upstairs one way or another, among many other things. I’ll hold off on details but an elevator is in the works! Much more details and story to follow!
As is with any family of 6 the first of the year is a challenge, and most of my “discussions” with my insurance start fresh, as does our substantial deductible. I want to be able to provide some help to our own cause, hence the fundraiser. If you can help great, if you can’t just give hugs when you see us! It makes a big difference!
Jojobinks your battle continues and healing is still underway. You inspire us everyday to never give up and offer perspective on what’s most important in life. We know you are coming back to us! We love you to the moon and back sweet angel, YOU’VE GOT THIS