Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weakness/Feeble Attempts

The progress that Jake has made in two weeks is incredible. This morning, before I headed over to the hospital, I got a picture message of Jacob smiling huge in laughter - he was cracking up while watching women's wrestling and women's mixed martial arts on TV. Good to see who he is come out again, his humor and emotions and joy in simple/weird things. He is still quite hazy and comes in and out of resting and trying to communicate things he needs. He recognizes everyone that comes in and is actually quite empathetic of what we need. One of the first things he did when I came in this morning and was standing over him was motion to a chair, telling me that I could sit if I wanted to. I respectfully declined but admired his acknowledgment of our presence and our situations. He also told me I could flip through the TV channels if I wanted, and turned his little audio speaker towards me so I could hear while we watched The Office toegether.

So he's taken some great steps, in ways that I am unsure of how to communicate. Mixed with that is still a feeling of heartache for the condition he is in. He describes how he feels as either dizzy or just weird. I think that a good word is weak. He can stand and sit up but it doesn't feel good for him. While his mental capacity is strengthening by the day, he must fight against physical weakness, as well as the weakness of understanding his condition... as he continues to be able to assess the situation better, he will likely go through psychological and spiritual weakness as he struggles with God and where he is at.

It will still be quite some time until we see bigger strides in combating his weakness, because he has an 8-10 hour surgery scheduled for sometime this next week to do work on his head and skull wound. It will involve removing the dead bone in the skull (which is likely dead all the way through). If they can they will also do some more work on the heel and the thumb. But head is priority. After removal of the dead bone, they will take a muscle graft from elsewhere on his body and place it over where his skull was as a sort of natural bandage/flap. Please pray for this process, as they might use the muscle that is most cloesly associated with paddling. The body can compensate, but it is not easy (especially since 50% of that muscle has already been taken out on his right side due to burn damage. The may use the entire muscle on the left side, or look into other options). After the removal of bone and placing of muscle, it will be 3 to 6 months before they go back and actually start skin grafting and stretching. He may be able to go home during this time, but it will be an incredible recovery process nonetheless.
I am so excited that he was upbeat, laughing, smiling and chatting with me this morning (even telling me about some bizarre dreams that he remembers from the last couple of months!). And then I despair and grieve as the day goes on and he gets tired, groggy, feeling crappy, feeling ashamed. Such a mixture of hope and then feeling more loss... yet knowing that maybe the idea of hope should tell us that loss helps us gain... that grief produces joy in the things that are truly worthwhile to joy in. I forget the source of this quote: "Happiness is a result of circumstances. Joy is a choice amidst those circumstances." Peace. love. contentment. Hope.

This morning I woke up. I got some coffee. I set out my Bible and journal to try to have some "time with God." Whatever that means. I got a text message from my mom. I called my mom, and she said that the mornings are when Jacob is most active and cognizant, and that they were both looking forward to me getting to the hospital. Jacob had been up and active since 6 AM.
So then I sat down to try and have my "time with God." I paused for a second, and then opened my journal and wrote this:
"Lord, my time with you this morning will be spent by being with Jacob. Not here. Not in writing. Not in intentional prayer. Not in the Bible. With Jacob. In him is hope and joy."

We hear that we are supposed to spend time with God. But what does that really mean? To a lot of people in Christian communities today, it means go off by yourself and study the Bible, not to mention making sure that you actually get something out of your time. This is valuable, to be sure. But for me, these times produce a lot of theories... but I actually experience God in my day to day living. In community with others. In stories that I hear. In events that I witness. In conversations that I have. The glimpses of the Kingdom that I see in the ordinary.
After all, we do not serve a metaphysical, transcendent, Deistic God. We serve a humanistic one, one who came down to be with us. We do not need to elevate ourselves to some vague spiritual plane in order to experience God... because he came down to us. He sent his Son, the very Essence of who he is, because he loves us and wanted his presence to be with us once again... and he accomplished this goal. We can tap in to this presence in Spirit, one that meets us at every point along the way, who guides us, who works through and in despite of the choices that we make. And I see this Spirit in the love of people in true community together.
After all, so many teachings in the Bible give me the impression that the actual medium in which we are to love God is in our loving interactions with other people... we love God not through an individualistic pursuit by claiming "God, I love you," but we show this love in the ways that we love those whom he also loves, whom he created.
So to tie this in to the journal entry... maybe i shouldn't be so focused on "getting something" out of my "daily time with God," because we constantly have time with God. He is all over our lives. We experience him every moment that he sustains us a little longer. I, of course, as a normal human being, need time alone and time to reflect and relax by myself. But maybe those times should be focused on prayer and existing and being real with God, not on a pragmatic, self-absorbed attempt to spiritually grow. Because we aren't the ones who can do that.

As I re-read what I just wrote I realize how condemning it sounds... even to the ways that I operate. And I once again feel like I don't actually know what I am talking about. Hopefully my rantings at least get you thinking about these things in your own right and openly engaging those in your own communities. Because God works through our weak and feeble attempts at living with him, in this presence that he has brought. Well, maybe he works in spite of our weak and feeble attempts.

-Robbie (Jacob's brother)

To get you thinking a little more along these lines, here is an awesome poem by C.S. Lewis:

Footnote to All Prayers
He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing Thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshipping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to Thyself divert
Our arrows, aimed unskilfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolators, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if Thou take them at their word.
Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

Friday, August 28, 2009

quickly

Good day. Did not finish typing a posting from D-mom. Check back this evening. Thanks for continued prayers. Do something incredible this weekend - we are - hanging with Jacob! Each day a new treasure right from the hand of God.

Good Night now it is 11pm I did post from Deb but it is after this one...sorry for confusion.

Bizarro World of Debbie

Debbie wrote this out on Weds at 6PM so it is a little old...

Time for my "nap" - (6:02 PM!)

Jim and Sue Reynolds hang with Jake in his Pediatric ICU room here @ Kaiser Santa Clara while I get hopefully a 2 hour shot at sleep so i can be more alert with Jake in his room through the nite as needs arise - he gets "bothered" every few hours for bandage changes, body washing, medicine times, mouth/oral care (yuk! hates it), re-arranging on the bed, etc, etc. beeping machines & more beeping machines, hissing machines that don't stop.........Jakey coughing & needing to catch the loogies in a towel before they end up in my hair (that really happened!)

He is also becoming amazingly more aware and cognizant and comprehending his strange new world he's landing in - I cannot tell you the depths of thankfulness I have to God in my heart that Jacob knows who we are...he still has his gorgeous smile (thanks to God and the oral care - yuk!). Jacob has spent time in our middle of the night "chats" stroking my head, comforting me (of all things) as I lay my head on a pillow on his bed - tears we share seem precious and necessary. He mouthed asking me about 4am today "how long have I been here?" I was honest - 5 days here at Kaiser and 2 months @ Burn Unit in Valley Med. "You got really hurt buddy and they've worked very very hard to help you heal and you're getting a little better each day." Don't worry about the time you've been asleep - just know that "home" is where our family is, we will never leave you, you are our miracle from God, I'm so glad you are alive and able to talk to me - none of this is your fault - you can cry as much as you want, be angry, mean etc. I'll still love you because I'm so glad you are alive.' Jacob said in response that he was overwhelmed at it being so long that he'd been "asleep".....stunned, shocked, unbelief probably going on inside him...later this afternoon when he was "alone" with Tom, he told him, "I know how long I've been asleep for...." They cried together. Please pray God gives proper healthy healing thinking & emotions to Jakey as he becomes more aware of the nightmare that happened and continues to happen to him.....imagine being 17 and unable to get out of bed to go the bathroom, unable to work the remote yourself or even use your cell phone.......he should have started his senior year that first day of school was very hard for me - Jake basically slept thru it....I tell myself now that he hates homework & he can't exactly walk down the halls with all the wounds he has still...

Please pray God continues to perform his miracles in Jake's mind, emotions, and body. Pray for wisdom for neurosurgeons as they deliberate over the operation on JK's skull bone - he knows nothing except that he got "really badly hurt" so far & the certain areas that are wounded. Pray please that the surgery on his skull does NOT set him back...he has been talking softly to us, comprehending life around him, standing up, sitting up, got into a chair & wheeled to a shower that he hated.....the spray & even touch of water is almost too much for him right now......

I left Tom with Jake today, picked up Jensen from his 1st day of 6th grade where I was hugged by several loving women (okay, one man - the principal) and wondered if they could tell I felt kind of hollow and dizzy inside as we chatted. It was so good to do something normal - yet so unreal from the last two months of existence. I am daily seeing terrible wounds on Jacob and dealing with him "hocking a loogy" out of his trach hole - one actually projected to the ceiling and landed on my head across the room. Jake would have loved knowing he'd done that! Does phlegm make good conditioner?

I also today I went by the fire station in Aptos to see the brave, heroic, compassionate, caring, hard-working, dedicated, faithful and loyal man I've not yet met face to to face who originally saved Jacob's life. He was not there - but I will meet you Greg! Be prepared for tears, smiles, hugs, thanks, wonder, respect, awe, gratefulness, etc . from our heart to yours.

I then went by my last home away from home - the Burn Unit at Valley Medical. This unit is like a M*A*S*H unit and Kaiser is like a hotel - both necessary and appreciated for Jake's life. I thought they'd all be too busy to see me. Instead I got lovingly attacked/hugged by many and cameras and group photos were taken - I only hope somehow, someway I can repay to each one of you who've helped Jake and us to live -

(D-Mom)
----------------------
This is Tom writing now:
Debbie ended it there. I think the wound nurse came in to check out Jake and take pictures of his wounds - catching up on the learning curve. Today (Friday) Jake got to stand and try to walk with a walker. He was pretty discouraged about not walking - I told him each day is a day closer - a little bit better - one step at time - "you will walk; you will ride your bike, you will surf." Jake asked me about school - I told him I had talked to the principal and that when it he was able we will re-enroll and do what we need to do to make sure he graduates - right now this is where God has us - we will get you back there as soon as we can.

The neurologist came in again and talked through the operation to come - Jake was awake - not sure how much he took in - pretty overwhelming - it might be next Tuesday or Thursday for surgery. Honestly we know this is the next step for us on this journey but it is incredibly scary what they are going to do - I think I have described it previously so I won't do it again.

Right now as I finish this up Robbie is visiting at with Jacob. He was able to get a ride up with a friend coming home for the weekend. (Thanks Bethany!) Perfect timing - before the surgery - they can talk brother to brother - cry brother to brother - connect face to face. Wish I was there - but I get the joy of hear Jensen play with three buddies as he gets an overnight at home.

Thanks for hanging with us - the community around us continues to amaze us - I could use some more of your stories of what God is doing in your life on the blog though - I know for some it hard to figure out how to get on and make a comment. I just made an e-mail account that you can send us messages to: journeythroughfire@gmail.com

In the midst of this journey we continue to see God move - I look forward to hearing your stories.

Tom (Dad)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The joy of missing you...

I came into Jacob's room this morning after dropping Jensen off at school - feeling like we have somewhat of a schedule - but boy what an agonizingly long commute. When I was working out here this commute never felt so long. Debbie had called me and told me Jacob had said that he "missed me". He had told me that yesterday too - mouthed it. Today he is so much more able to actually allow me to hear it. Driving home last night I thought of the irony of that statement - he missed me - oh how I have missed Jacob - oh how WE have all missed Jacob. To have him so much closer to us - to have come so far back to us on this journey of his. Sometimes I get so focused on my part of this journey - ah but this is Jacob's journey - I have the privilege of joining him on it. It is so easy to focus on this being about me - it is so not about me. But getting back to me...

When I came into the room this morning Jacob was in process of moving from the bed to the chair. The physical therapist was here, Papa and Lala, our dear friend Lisa and Debbie (Da-Mom). He was standing - upright on his feet - boy he is tall - and I made a bee line for him and we were able to hug - tears of joy - smiling from ear to ear - all of us. There is joy in the journey - there is joy in missing you. Oh how we have missed you - oh how good it is each day to draw Jacob in - for his smile to draw us in. My 17 year old boy is coming back. He is able to talk to us - small conversations - short questions answered as he begins to understand how much he has missed - how much has gone on - how long he has been asleep. He honestly lights up the room with he eyes and smile when someone comes into the room.

The Occupational Therapist gave him blue ice chips this morning. The idea is to test if things are going down the right tube so that they can start introducing food and liquid through his mouth. Wow - very cool. The trach will stay in until the next major surgery but he can begin talking and swallowing even before the trach is out. The doctor came in and asked him some questions: "what day is it?" Jake answered, "Thursday." "What time is it?" Jake found the clock. "11:00." Is it day or night? "Night." Hmm...open the blinds more. "Day". Who is this guy here? "My dad." Jake had told Debbie earlier to "put on his foot." And then laughed at himself when she said "you mean sock?"

Though the journey seems so long and impossible
though in this journey we have known excruciating pain
though at times we gave up and could not go on
we are entering a time of joy - joy in missing you

There will be more days of sorrow ahead
more moments of excruciating pain
times we will give up - and dread the next step
yet we will find more joy in the journey - joy in missing you.

to be continued...

Tom (Dad)

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eyes on hope, here

As I had a lot of down time today, doing some reflecting... I realized that we can console ourselves as much as we want with the fact that Jacob is getting better, that he is alive, that he is recovering... and all of these are amazing things that I am beyond grateful for. But that does not change the grief and heartache that I have for where he has been, where he is at and what he will have to go through. The shame, humiliation, apathy... not to mention the pain. On this path that we are walking... I can either look down at my feet and focus on the stepping stone where we are at currently... or I can look up and squint to try and see the horizon, to see if this endless path is coming to a close, to see what is ahead. I don't know which one I should focus on. There are good and bad things to both. I can look ahead and try to say that everything looks like it will turn out ok... but what if it doesn't? What about all of those other stories that people have where things utterly fail? Is there still hope then? I sure hope so. (See an earlier post titled "The Hope That Lies in You"). Maybe that hope is more in this moment, in this very stepping stone that seems to be so saturated in pain and doubt... because we are still loved.

Jacob will begin surgery on his head either Friday or Monday. The first step is removing the dead bone in the skull. The head wound itself will be a 6-8 week process, during which time it is possible that he will be able to go home, but still a grueling recovery.
The thing that scares me the most is to what extent he will be able to fully recover. There are a lot of unknowns. We are starting to "feel bad for him..." to see his emotions and empathize with the heartache that he will have to go through. In the evenings he begs my mom through tears to not leave. Jacob asked my mom how long he had been in the hospital... she told him almost two months, and he mouthed the word "overwhelmed."

So please pray for this new leg of the journey, involving a lot more of his psychological and emotional state... pray for his stamina to continue on the road to recovery, and for that of my parents.

Here is my prayer for Jacob this afternoon:

"Father, I come to you in this time of Jacob's brokenness... I don't want anymore pain. For him, for me, for anyone. But I know more will come. So I ask, please do what you will NOW. Get it over with, while we are already broken. Work on my heart. Work on Jacob's heart. Unify my family. Unify your Body. Conduct the orchestra of our cries for restoration in its fullness... please keep is from more heartache. Yet I already know that this prayer will not be answered as I ask it, because I've already seen and heard so many other stories of brokenness. Of death, despair, sorrow... utter evil. So Lord, I guess all I can do is trust you. Hope that your presence will only come more fully through all of this. That you gently and tenderly open up the wounded skies of our hearts, so that you can descend even deeper into the depths of the earth of our souls. THIS IS LOVE. This is the promise of the incarnation, of Messiah, of death on a cross - that you continue to incarnate, to save, to sacrifice your own desire and will so you can be with us. Make your presence know to Jacob in the fullest measure possible through this time. "


As I read Isaiah this summer, I remarked a lot (sometimes on this blog) at how the promise of Christ, the promise of Messiah coming to save, was very closely associated with the presence of God being re-established among his people.
Then I started reading the gospel according to Matthew.
In Matthew 3, John the Baptist declares "Repent! For the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew explains that this was to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy of the one who would "Prepare the way of the Lord," the one who would "make his paths straight."
Then, in an ironic moment, this man who was preparing the way of the Lord baptizes Jesus... baptizes the Savior, the one who he was waiting for. He baptizes the one he should have been baptized by. Maybe this was the very way that John the Baptist was to "prepare the way..." because after this baptism, "behold, the heavens were opened to him... and he saw the SPIRIT OF GOD DESCENDING LIKE A DOVE AND COMING TO REST ON
HIM..."

The promise of the presence of God. Fulfilled. The presence of God descended onto our earth, through this man Jesus. Then this man Jesus died because of Love... thus, somehow, spreading this presence that he was anointed with onto all mankind, through his Resurrection; in death, was life found.
This is the presence that I am asking that Jacob receive.


-Rob (Jake's brother)

Overwhelmed

Last night before I went home they reduced Jacob's trach tube from a 6 to a 4. They had just gone from a 8 to a 6 a couple of days earlier - the idea is to let it keep getting smaller until he does not need it anymore. Today they brought in a cap for it that we can put on for him to start making sounds with it. I tried to put it on him but he wanted to wait for someone who knows what they are doing...just like Jake not to trust that his dad knows what he is doing.

Also last night the doctor explained the process over the next 6-8 weeks. We are still up in the air as to when they are doing surgery but we are hoping for Monday at this point. We are trying to get him down off of these drugs as much as possible and for him to make bigger strides in rehabilitation before it. He has dead bone in his skull which needs to be removed and he will have to wear a helmet until the place a plate (probably metal) in place of the skull. Then they will begin the process of grafting and scalp stretching. They were also letting his wounds heal. His right heal and arm are looking so good. There was a hole just in front of his right arm pit that has gone from the size of a golf ball to now the size of a raisin. His heal and foot is healing skin - though it still looks raw it is healing. Amazing.

With all of that though when I left last night I was overwhelmed - saddened by the ordeal his body has gone through and for what is yet to come. Saddened that he has to go through this. Jake was overwhelmed this morning too. When I got here he mouthed to me that he found out how long he had been asleep. He asked Debbie early this morning. He told her he was overwhelmed. That seems to be a good word for all of this. Overwhelmed by not just the difficulties but the blessings.

More and more they reduce the medication and he is coming back to us. Our friend Jim (Jim and Sue are with us every night) told me that Jake sat up on his own for his head bandage change. He did this only once before and needed to be propped up - last night he sat up on his own - while they unwrapped, cleaned and rewrapped his head - without increasing the medication. Jim was able to sit next to him on the bed as a friend - just hanging out together.

It is so easy to loose sight of what God has done - to be overwhelmed anticipating what is to come or what we are experiencing in the present. It is easy to forget the miracles that have already gone before - the miracle that Jacob is alive, is remembering who he is, understanding what is happening - that he is breathing, kidney's are functioning, skin healing, that he has an arm... over and over again in the Bible God's people forget - God saves them, restores them, separates them, they do good for a while and then start grumbling and want back to their miserable life before - slavery, bondage, etc. Jesus ministry was one of directing God's people back to not just moral lives - lives free from the rules that the religious leaders had added to God's laws. The Apostle Paul called Jews and Gentiles to see that the death of God's son, Jesus, opened up a spiritual kingdom now accessable as never before. We forget, get off track, don't understand - get away from God.

God goes to dramatic lengths to reveal himself - even to the point of sacrificing his own son. Being overwhelmed - thinking that it is all more than we can handle - can keep us from seeing that God is right in front of us - trying to get our attention - calling us back to him. Now I am not saying that is the point of where Jacob is, that would be to elementary and naive. I really don't know the full why of all of this - I may never know. But in the midst of this I pray that I am not so overwhelmed (as I am so often) to miss that God is here in the midst of all this -helping me to have faith, hope, love, and peace - hopefully in increasing amounts.

I think right now as I see Jacob sleeping, I do see hope - but just enough to make it to tomorrow and will pray that tomorrow I will get a little more. Plus it is really cool to see him wearing his boardshorts.

Tom (Dad)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress...

- Jacob sat up in his the chair in his room for about 30 minutes today.
- Jacob got a smaller trach - he should be able to start talking and swallowing.
- Jacob had a CatScan today - all looks normal.
- Jacob's fever is not spiking - staying steady.
- Each day is one of progress, steady progress.
- it is 2pm and he is sleeping - so is mom.
- I brought him in some board shorts from Freeline and Quicksilver (thanks Tara). They suggested we get him some for when he is up and around - beyond the hospital gown.
- I bought him the first season of the Office - his favorite show. When he woke up last night Debbie showed it to him and he smiled big.

We are so thankful that each day we see a little bit more of our Jacob. They actually started to give us an idea for this phase - 8 weeks of being here in the hospital. I take that of course with a grain of salt, knowing the roller coaster that we have been on for 9 weeks now.
God is moving and working and confirming that though this is such a difficult place to be in - we are right here in the midst of where He wants us. Trusting in God as we move through life does not mean we are free of difficulties - catastrophes - heartaches. But having God with us in the midst of what life brings us provides enough hope and strength to step forward each day.
Lord, If only I could turn back the clock, taking away this great pain.
If I could remove this heartache - this path that has been so long.
If only there were a way to reboot this whole process, restoring as it was before.
I have prayed so many times for relief from this burden
I have asked for so many miracles - so hard to see the ones you've provided.
I have begged for you to erase this, my burden, this horrible cross.
But in the midst of this sadness, in this moment of peace
I have come to realize something greater I have not known before.
In the midst of these trials, the pain, the sadness - there's been so much to be gained
As we've clung to your promise and been open to your presence we have seen you
We have known peace beyond measure, joy, hope and amazing unexplainable love
This shows up through your spirit that fills our hearts but also in those that surround us
This truly has been a journey through fire - but in the midst of it we do not stand alone
Lord you are with us moment by moment - you have never left us, never forgotten about us
You also continue to draw people around us that are determined to see us through this
Though I would never willingly engage in this journey - never eagerly seek more hardships
I really need to and want to thank you for this journey see you better than ever
Each day brings me closer to you - don't always like it - often scared - but no place better.
Hope, love, peace
Tom (Dad)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Go Outside

Jacob is resting - and has a fever of about 101. Neurologists have come and gone - surgery later in the week - we have to wait for an opening. My understanding right now is that they will do a procedure that removes muscle from Jake's thigh and place it as a skin graft over his skull. At some point he will also have to remove the dead skull and replace it with a puzzle piece cap that fits perfectly. I have been with Jensen today getting ready for school to start. We just got the the hospital so my information is coming through Debbie - who understands it all well. I feel like I am relaying a message much like Tim Taylor from his neighbor Wilson on Home Improvement. I will work on getting clearer as we get closer - at least you know how to pray: fever, surgery, healing...

Jake wakes up at about 3 in the morning and has a lot of questions. Debbie is sleeping in the room with him as we hate the idea of him being confused and with out us near. We hate the idea of him feeling abandoned - in the midst of all of this - to know that he is safe. We are in the Pediatric ICU which is so different than the burn unit. It is taking some getting use to for how they operate and for them to get use to Jake's needs - which are quite unique. The smells are different, access is different, waiting room is different, the teamwork is different... but all of course care a great deal and want to see Jacob up and out of here.

The last two days there has been talk of getting him into a chair and getting him outside to the courtyard here. It did not happen again today - we are going at Jake's pace - with a little pushing. But pray that it can happen tomorrow. Jake is better when he is outside - he longs to be outside doing anything - surfing, biking, reading, eating dinner. He drives us crazy when he is inside too long. Pray that we can get him outside. It makes me think of a song that Robbie Seay Band sings:
Go outside
And praise the God who mapped the stars out in the sky
Gather ‘round with those who love and sing
He is our King

No one should be left out
No one should be left out
No one should be left out
No one should be left out
If you have air to breathe
Hear your call to sing

Praying that Jacob would "go outside".

Tom (Dad)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday afternoon

Debbie spent last night in Jacob's room again. He slept most of the afternoon and was more awake in the evening. Fortunately Debbie did the same. Years of training with small children - sleep when they sleep. I wrote this on facebook this morning but I will share it here to: Jacob asked three things this morning: where am I, where is dad, where is my cell phone. Love it. He should be less hazy soon to maybe communicate through text. If he can write with his left thumb.


I picked up Jensen this morning and went to church. It was a good reminder that the blessings of God is not in the gifts he gives us but in his presence in our lives - that is the whole point of Jesus life and death - the incarnate presence of God.Take some time to read John 1 - love that chapter - love that picture of God coming down to us - blessing us with his personal touch. It was a good reminder for me - encouraged me greatly as we continue to face each day. Though our lives will never be the same - though I wish that I could turn back time and change the events - I know that we have been brought to new levels of faith-hope-love to deeper connection with God who has not and will not abandon us.

The physical therapist is in there right now working with Jake. He is a little tired. Was really glad to see me - we both cried a bit - but there is a sense of deep comfort by the presence of the other.

Debbie has been able to sleep and shower in a "Sleep Room" that they have here. We also have signed up and been told about the JW House started by a 16 year old Bellarmine student who was being treated here for cancer. He dreamed of a place where families could stay when their kids were in the hospital. Awesome. They ask for the families to simply pay $30 a night. What a blessing. We got on the list and have that as an option if we want to stay close. I look forward to supporting this house in the near future as we get back on our feet. Very, very cool.

I really just wanted to write a quick update on what is going on with Jacob and this journey for those that are still with us. This will be a big week - praying for continued stability and healing, guidance for doctors, nurses, therapists, and all as they get familiar with Jake and us. So far it has been wonderful - they have been wonderful - amazingly peaceful.

I was thinking about what we left at Valley Med and smiled to myself as I think about the people that we met there - that we will always treasure - no longer do we call them nurse, doctor, janitor, therapist - we call them friends - as close as family. Jesus went through a journey with his disciples and said the same thing - I now call you friend. Unless we truly go through the "valley of the shadow of death" and are faced with evil, death, tragedy we will not as deeply know the depth of friendship. So to all our friends at Valley Med and beyond - we love you thanks for joining us on this journey.

Peace, hope, faith, love,

Tom (Dad)