Hi Everyone,

Tonight I would like to write about the gratitude we have for the positive moments we find within each day.

This weekend members of our community organized a Classic Rock Concert fundraiser for Corey. Our friend Bob and his wife organized and recruited the bands, prizes for a raffle, sponsors and food; our friend Ann organized the volunteers for set up/clean up and service at the venue. Thank you; and thank you to everyone that participated and all those that came out to dance with us. Yes, we did dance; so did Corey! She was kicking her right foot to the beat of the drums while conducting and signing to the lyrics with her hand including what we’ve now defined as her “disco finger”. She uses her right pointer finger to shake side to side and point to the beat of the music. She was able to attend the concert for almost two hours. At one point I thought she was fading. I asked her if the lights bothered her; No. I asked her if the noise bothered her; No. I gave her a pen and her marker board and asked her how she was doing. She wrote her 1st full sentence; “I want to stay”.

This sentence seems so simple but truthfully it was much more significant than anyone in the room could understand. What our friends didn’t know was Corey had an extremely difficult day Friday and Saturday. She was in so much pain and discomfort on Saturday that I was afraid she couldn’t attend the fundraiser but more than that; if she couldn’t attend I was nervous to leave her at home and go to the event without her. We’ve had a few really bad days.

This journal is filled with a mix of clinical facts, brief descriptions of the challenges we face but primarily focuses on the gifts we are given daily. There is a purpose to that. Every day is extremely difficult for Corey and me. She is in pain every day whether it be her mouth, her headaches, her muscle tone in her legs and arms or the normal monthly pain that every woman experiences (proof God is NOT a woman)! Most of Corey’s days are filled with discomfort, frustration and fatigue. Yet she continues to push through it to smile, laugh, exercise, and interact with us. In fact we try to distract her by asking; ‘what would like to do’? She writes, “Live”.

For me, I have my good days and bad days also. I try to go about “life as usual” but find that I am always on guard. My leave will not only allow me to work with Corey and our team but I hope to begin to find the balance of what my life requires. Just as Corey copes with her day I am faced with different challenges other than my professional career and advocating for Corey.

The nurses at Bryn Mawr warned me of something they called the ricochet events that will be part of my healing process. I didn’t fully understand this until today. Corey’s accident was less than a mile from our home. I have to drive on that road and through “her” intersection regularly. Today we were driving home from errands and the road was closed one mile south of the scene of her accident. As we approached the scene it was apparent it was critical. It was the first time I was faced with the visual reminder of what Corey must have gone through. My hands began to sweat, my stomach was overturned, I became nauseous and I my chest was tight making it difficult to breath. I was involuntarily shaking. I remained somewhat composed because Corey and our nurse were in the van with me. We were rerouted and returned home. Once Corey was in the house I asked our nurse to please get her settled and I excused my self. I went upstairs. I was physically sick from the experience and allowed the tears to flow. It’s all part of the healing process.

A friend sent me a quote; If something bad happens to you, you have three choices; you can let it define you, you can let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you. I vote #3 and have from the beginning. For no other reason than if I were to choose either of the first two choices it would break me.

Corey its been proven that if you focus on the good that you’re able to do right here and now you will succeed at whatever you put your mind to. If you fill your mind with the positive possibilities and thoughts of how you can make them happen you will achieve whatever you desire. If you fill your heart with joy and gratitude for the “little things” you will have a life filled with abundance.

What has happened has happened and it’s behind us now. We have a new life and we get to decide how good it can be. We are going to take the best of it all and move forward. We will continue to work through the challenges because that’s life. We have to let the occasional tears wash away the negative thoughts because the daily smiles, laughter and dancing keep us moving forward. How we work through our day is where we will find the balance, serenity, joy and purpose that will help us “LIVE” today. I love you, xoxo