Hi Everyone,

Corey had a good day today. In speech, Diane typically asks Corey questions that will illicit single, double and/or triple syllable responses. The answers have also been the key to unlock what Corey comprehends both in short term and long term memory. Diane often comments that Corey surprises her everyday. Today she surprised her by writing and speaking the answers to her questions. This technique is wonderful because Corey is processing the written and spoken word at the same time; and without delay!

PT also went well. The tone in Corey’s left side has increased, however Gillian was able to get Corey to loosen up with stretches on the matte. She then moved to sitting. We are trying to get Corey to sit independently, however, she’s still wobbling front to back and side to side. It will come…

I had the opportunity to speak to a close friend today. She asked me if I had started leave yet. She also asked me what my plans were for myself while on leave. I shared with her that one of the reasons I chose to take leave now was something that Melody said to me. She asked me to take care of myself. She shared that her mother “lost herself” in her recovery. Working, fighting with insurance, worrying about Melody, participating in her therapies, dealing with lawyers, medical bills and managing medical staff and information changed her mother. She is not the woman she was prior to Melody’s accident. This is not the first time I’ve heard this cautionary advice. I shared with my friend that I plan on finding a counselor for myself. We are a year in. It’s time to look to the future and learn how to “live” this new life so that I don’t lose myself.

My friend’s family suffered a similar but different tragedy. Her brother died as a result of his car accident. Her mother, raised Catholic, wanted nothing to do with her religion or church as a result of her son’s death. Her father, a protestant, went to their Monsignor every morning at 6am to talk. It’s amazing to see how individuals cope with the same tragedy. I confided that I can understand her mother’s position. We talked about God, our individual thoughts about Him, how we were raised and where we are today in our faith. I shared that at the moment, I am relying on everyone else’s prayers. I do have a nightly ritual with Corey that includes rubbing Holy Water and Oils on her. I don’t pray as I do this…it’s very mechanical. I do it to assist those that are praying for us. It’s my commitment to them. I’m not saying I don’t believe in God anymore. I’m not saying I do. I often feel numb and won’t allow myself to “feel” Him right now. I also know that this is my way of protecting me from further pain. My friend completely understood this spiritual barrier I’ve built. She assured me, the wall I surround myself with will present a gate that I may choose to open at some point…in time.

I returned home to join Brittany and Christa as they wrapped up today’s cooking lesson with Corey. They made an Apple Caramel cake. We sat at the kitchen table chatting while the cake was in the oven. One of the stories we discussed was Corey’s creation ‘Chicken Olivetta’. I shared that this original recipe was the result of a dream Corey had. This led us to ask Corey if she is dreaming any new recipes. Her answer was No. I asked her if she dreams. She replied yes with a grin. What do you dream about? She wrote NO. “Come on Corey, what do you dream about”? She wrote ‘Boyfriends’. We all laughed out loud! Corey was adorable, she grinned ear to ear, crinkled her nose and blushed! Brittany asked her to describe her type of guy. Corey wrote skinny, tall, blonde blue eyes. Sensing she was a little embarrassed, we quickly moved on.

“What else do you dream about”? Her response, GOD.
“God”? I was surprised. “Where are you when you dream you’re with God”?
“Where are you in the house”?
“What does God look like?”
“Scary?! What’s scary about God”?
“His face is scary? Why”
“Old” (Corey is terrified of Older people. When she was in Brownies they sang at a nursing home and the patients scared her. She once remarked that if Papa and Dedema didn’t look as good as they did, she wouldn’t go visit them)
“Are you afraid of Him?”
“So you feel safe but you’re scared of his face”
“What do you say to God”?
‘Hi’ (we all giggled)
“Do you ask God questions”?
“What do you ask about”?
“Does God ask you questions”?
‘Do you love life’ (up to this point, Corey only wrote one word answers. This was the first full sentence)
“When you’re tired, sad or in pain do you tell God”?
“What does God say”?
‘I’ll help you’
“What does God do to help you”?
‘Blows kisses’
“God blows kisses to you”?
‘Kisses my face’
“Does God tell you anything”?
‘Love life, Love you, Love Him’

I looked at this answer and thought of her facebook status a few weeks back. When I asked her what she wanted her status to be, she wrote Love Life. I thought, Okay…a little deep but if that’s what you want to write, I’ll write it.
Corey’s therapist, teacher and I were fascinated by this exchange. I thanked Corey for sharing this with us. She wrote ‘Tell’. “Tell who”? ‘Tell everyone’ ‘It’s Important’.
Looking back, she obviously selected her facebook status on purpose!

I feel compelled to share that we are not the type of family that will proclaim our religious believes in public. In fact it makes us very uncomfortable to be in an evangelical environment. I’ve given the conversations of this day a great deal of thought. Corey’s detail of conversation has a strong message to share. It had a message for me to hear. Is it coincidence that she shared this an hour after my conversation with my friend? I don’t think so…

Corey thank you for showing me how to find the gate, xoxo