On the fourth of July, 2007 Caleb Potter was involved in a skateboarding accident.
He suffered serious injuries and continues to need all of our positive thoughts and prayers.
This blog is to serve as a space for updates on Caleb's journey of recovery.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

We are well equipped with crackers (not the edibles) and hats for the New Year and spirits which look forward to change. Today is the day we will find out how much longer we need to embrace hospital life and Caleb seems up to whatever has to happen. He has had time to relax and eat plentifully; has gained some weight along with perspective. He has never wavered from just being pleasant and positive whereas I am finding life up here to be suited only for the criminally insane. Where he constantly holds his head up, I drop mine feeling old and obsolete like an extinct breed of animal. His strength is constant. His focus is on healing and I feel often times I am concentrating on the pain and helplessness and physical humiliation which he has had to endure. I am fearful of the future and worried that the memories of Caleb will escape to the underground. Feels like forcing the hands of time backwards like dammed water at the same time that I am loosing the grip on the slingshot releasing us into the unknown. I will wish for a changed outlook for the coming year.
Kai and Max have had a break which I practically begged for- they addressed the dusty house and the musty animals and are ready to join me either today or tomorrow depending on our verdict and Carol and Ray came by for the Christmas we missed so we have not been alone.
I crawled into bed last night feeling sorry for myself, for the boys and for all that has transpired. I do know that we will survive this and we will be better for it- but sometimes the thick of it is engulfing and I am consumed by smoke and cannot breathe. Yet.......
This encounter with all of you has evoked our souls and I keep hearing the pleading in your words rolling over and over again in my brain like a soft whisper in the winds . "I love you more than even one more day".
Love mumsie - and a Happy New Year to come for all of us!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Half empty

The days are moving slowly as if in a dream one cannot wake from and this time around, after having been home for 3 weeks, I am actually finding it more trying to be here. Caleb, however is thriving. He is gaining strength and endurance and if we win this medical lottery, he will continue as is and won't need the shunt back in. As far as I can tell, the test on the 31st will be the determining factor.
Kai and Max are taking a bit of a break at home, cleaning and preparing for another homecoming, even tho I will be the only one returning. I am excited about his going to RHCI in Sandwich. It will get him back more quickly to where he was when we did have him at home and give him a jump start for therapy in Orleans.. It's amazing how quickly one deteriorates just being in bed all day. As usual, his spirits are good.
I have discovered that even here, sitting all day watching my son fight for scraps of health - and where I constantly struggle to keep my grip, I can still say that if I find my glass half empty- I puncture it and drain it out imagining worse case scenarios. No matter how far you sink, there is always someone - somewhere who has it worse than you.......Smile on an inhale and breathe life in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa Baby !!!

Here are come pictures that were sent to me of Caleb, Kai, Max and Sharyn on Christmas day!!!



moving towards home

We are nearing the end of our stay at MGH. Caleb was in ICU over Christmas which meant we had to move away from our beloved Ellison 12 where I consider the whole tribe of nurses extended family. His tube which connected to the shunt was removed and we are test driving the idea that he will not undergo another surgery before we speed off to RHCI in Sandwich for the next phase.
Christmas day was a blast. A new friend of mine who owns a shop sent us the most hysterical assortment of gimmicks - right up my alley. We had Santa hats that sang and gyrated, monkey sling shots that made jungle sounds on impact, flashing necklaces and glasses; you name it- we had it! The boys and I laughed the day away, passed out cakes and cookies to fellow patients and Jan brought up Jade's famous chocolate oysters and the best caramel covered apples you will ever eat..The room was decorated to the hilt and we had beautiful hand made little Wellfeetian people snowflakes all over the windows. As I tucked Caleb in for the night he open his eyes, held his hand out for mine and whispered "thank you". I will always remember this day as one of the best..we were all together- bottom line.
The last dose of antibiotics is administered tomorrow- on the 31st Caleb will have another lumbar puncture and then we will see if we get the green light - perhaps midnight on New Years eve I will once again be in the kitchen making my celebratory homemade donuts to bring in the Year. See you at midnight!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas eve

Caleb is finishing his course of antibiotics and then it will be determined if he still needs to have another drain put back in. Seems his CSF fluid is finally being absorbed naturally as it should be- by the brain Yahooo!
I woke at about 3 am and have been captivated by a full(ish) moon peering down at us, me perched by the window and Caleb's chest rising and falling softly under the sheets. We have had a sleepless night - woken every hour on the hour by the room-mates bed alarm, then by the early cleaning man so I just decided to beat the coffee line and sit near my young man and share an intimate conversation with you.
It is one of those gifted mornings where I rise with a gratitude filled heart for all of you and for all that I have, and for who I am. I have grown into someone who I am finally beginning to like. It has taken me 54 years to get here, but the journey has been worth it. This walk has been full of pot holes and land mines and cow dung and I am realizing that stepping into the poo is what has lead me to where I am now: a woman of substance who has a long way still to go - but one who for the most part is willing to laugh along the way while trailing all my many flaws, like a long tail of toilet paper stuck on my shoe. This holiday will ever remain in my heart as I count out the gifts I have been given : the ones I cherish the most.
From Caleb I have gotten the giggles. No one can make me laugh like he does, nor piss me off and then just as quickly disarm me with his charm. Caleb has given me his heart, fully beating, wildly warm, pulsing and pleasing. He is pure, positive energy and is indeed the heartbeat of the family; the one who holds us all together like glue. He slams through the door like he is walking into a saloon and we feel drunk and a little crazed in his presence. He has taught me to not take myself and things in life so seriously.......Caleb has given me a lighter heart.
From Kai I have received the gift of purity. He is honest and kind, quiet and sincere. He is the Ed McMahon to Caleb's Johhny Carson - always willing to be in humble background and therefore is never overlooked. Kai does not settle - he strives for perfection and pushes himself to be a bit more than he was yesterday. He is Zen in his approach to life.
Simply put...by example, Kai makes me want to be a better person.
Max is the mirror that I get to look into. His pool full of big brown eyes calls me on everything and like the good poker player that he is, he is seldom wrong. He forces me in his silent, but deadly way, to look at my shit and to right myself as best I can. Max is a no frills, keep it straight kind of guy who grounds me. From Max I have learned about honesty and the possibility of being humble.
From you - My head swims with all the warm words of encouragement and I float atop the bubbles of kindness that have been presented.
From this laughing,humbled woman who is attempting to be a better mumsie I want to say - Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight. I love you.

Friday, December 21, 2007


(click to enlarge)
I just came across this photo. I couldn't help but draw a connection between Caleb's facial expression and your words in the post below, Sharyn.
with love, sky

Thursday, December 20, 2007

kiss in the night

It's a three dog night and I am numb form the snow, the cold and the chill of hospital life. Caleb continues to progress and we are encouraged, his strength is awe inspiring and his determination is dense. I still ride the veritable roller coaster ride of ups and downs, of laughter and tears, of stength and weakness, but it is when Kai and/or Max arrive that I find my heart shatters like ice. I have lived through the death of both parents, a good friend in high school, my grandparents and a divoce so I have learned to trust that time does heal and life does go on, but they have no reference for this and I can see the distraction in their eyes and the pain in their souls. It is difficult to suggest to them that they need to let go of the pain and accept when these words are hollow to me and so hard to digest that I vomit them up.
I was asked today to comment on what positive things I could say to those who are following Caleb's story but it is not in words, but in gesture that I find hope. As I lie beside him tonight rubbing his hand till I think his skin has disolved, he feigns sleep and when I begin to move away he tilts his chin ever so slightly and blows a kiss into the dark.
So many of you will be enjoying the company of those you love this Christmas and we wish to remind all of you to enjoy eachother and to take time for one another and to tilt your head ever so slightly.....
Home is where the story begins.
Merry Christmas

A Nice Initiative...

Hi everyone,
The following message is from 'Susan in Portsmouth'. Please take a look. love, sky

This request went out a month or so ago and had a sweet but limited response - I'd like to try again:

Wondering if all of the far-flung members of this tribe might contribute photos of themselves for a virtual family album...I'd be happy to collect and paste if any of you would like to donate. I'm a visual person and would relish images to go with all of your names and beautiful words....thinking that some of the rest of you might feel the same. We are all blessed on a regular basis with fabulous pictures of Caleb and Sharyn and Jennie, et al. - I'd like to offer them a small glimpse of their extended family of friends and well-wishers - perhaps as a "Happy Holidays - Welcome Home" gift!

My email is ssavory@comcast.net. If you have something to send - please write "Caleb" in the subject line.

Susan in Portsmouth

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We are on the 19th and Caleb's count plummets and stays there. He is fighting the infection and is strong. The Doctor's say that he will have to run the course till around Christmas and then we can start talking about putting a new shunt back in. Everytime one goes in or out, he is at risk of more infection, but we are running short on choices, and this is a necessary step before we can get Caleb back to re-hab. His appetite is good and the meals are the highlight of his day. Whoever thought hospital food could be so tantalizing? Perhaps with any luck, we will be moving on around the 2nd or 3rd week in January.
Kai will be finishing up with his semester this Thursday and he will more than likely join me full time in Boston. Max comes up as frequently as he can, usually catching a ride with his dad. We are hoping that the neighbors will watch Spud and Buuf so that Tim can join us for Christmas day. Carol and Ray will celebrate with me the following day so that we don't overwhelm Caleb with too many people. I am blessed to have such a wonderful beatings of hearts for Caleb.
Lack of sleep is becoming an issue and I feel myself slipping a bit... emotionally and physically . Like having a burning fevor while sitting on ice cubes. Time is an inch worm and I sit most nights holding Caleb's hand, fading in and out of a delusionary state myself, listening through the diaphanous cutain as the Columbian next to us speaks almost silently in Spanish, counting out the ingredients to his favorite paella, going over and over the chopping of onions and tomatoes and making certain it is just right. He comforts himself with the repetitions.
I find comfort in the sounds as well. Caleb's voice brings me home as does the sound of his IV banging gently against the pole. It is the sound of lines of our boat clanging softly in the breeze in the harbor while we sleep. The boys are small and rock with the waves. The nurse whispers in the dark and I think she is my mother, encouraging me to be strong. The quiet sounds of the night are defening and I try to remeber that this too will pass. Por Favor.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Forward Ho Ho Ho

So as I sit here and miss the smells of the wood burning stove with cinnamon/clove steaming on top, the fresh smell of sheets on the line, and my pine Christmas candle billowing around the house disguising the smell of boys, I am happy to say that this Caleb of ours who always throws the snake eyes, pulls a rabbit out of a hat and trips over four leaf clovers has done it again -- he is slowly - but most definitively pulling through. The infectious disease people are once again smiling and saying things like " he makes it look so easy"..."he has done it again".

I am guarded, like a snake just out of his skin, but I am confidently basking none the less and I want to say that if your prayers are working this well... couldn't you just ask for Brad Pitt to come waltzing into this room?

Another week and we will have a time line for the new shunt which needs to go in and then it will be a wait and see situation before Caleb is discharged. He has lost ground here - happens whenever someone is in bed for a time, so he will more than likely spend the next four weeks in re-hab at Spaulding -- this time we hope the Spaulding in Sandwich instead of Boston. For the time being I have been graceously offered the use of the apt I had before and can stay till the 27th..thank you. The boys, Tim, Jan and I will celebrate Christmas in room 34A and I am in hopes that for Christmas I will get one more kiss from Ari before he and Loren head back to California. (Ari is yet another one of my boys . now a grown , successful man.)
I have packed some Bailey's nips into my purse and will flood my hot chocolate tonight in celebration as I sit on the sill looking over the Charles. I have this game that I play where as each car passes over the salt and pepper bridge, I match it with something I am grateful for. Your names are glowing in those headlights. mumsie

More Candles for Caleb

May the light of the candle I lit for Caleb in Freiburg Cathedral
yesterday bring some warmth and hope to all!
Ken

Sunday, December 16, 2007


“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.”
-Irish Blessing

Saturday, December 15, 2007

gluttons

I think we must be giving the impression that we are gluttonous for hospitals but I assure you that we are feeling frozen in time, stuck in a funky plaster of Paris. Yes, Caleb is back for another round and as discouraged as we could choose to be, we were indeed warned and we are indeed trying to focus only on the positive. Caleb has a staph infection in the CSF fluid once again, but not the same ugly bugger we fought before, but a gentler cousin- one we can tackle easily. Caleb is stronger on this round, was home long enough to gain some strength along with some weight and is no longer a welter, but instead is ready to be in the ring with the big boys. He is beckoned from illness by my feminine yearnings and I am asking for the powers to be to handle him like clay; to mold and fold life back into him and to shape a fine destiny. It would be untruthful to say that we are not frightened. The Neuro's warn us that with each infection, the cure becomes more and more laborous........
Coming back so quickly? - well it has been difficult with another Holiday facing us with yet another prospect of being here instead of home. Kai, Max, Jan have rallied and Aunt Carol arrived with Christmas decorations. They are strong when I can not. I have a slow numbing feeling and I am as removed as the compact staring back at my face. It is the same old, sorrowful moon in the night sky who keeps me company and I shiver through the darkness along with him waiting for the warmth in a ray of light while Caleb remains angelic. mumsie

Friday, December 14, 2007

Girlfriend Update--Start Praying again...

I am so sorry to report this, but we have had a set-back. This past Wednesday, Caleb had to be brought to Cape Cod Hospital, because he was having severe stomach pain at the site of the incision in his stomach. When he had the shunt put in, the valve went from his brain to his stomach, where the extra spinal fluid would drain into, and this is where caleb was having pain. Sharyn brought Caleb to the hospital and he had a fever and his white blood cell count was high, which means his body is fighting an infection. They withdrew some spinal fluid from Caleb and they discovered that he has bacterial meningitis again.
He was then brought to Mass General Hospital, so they could figure out where the infection started. They then discovered that the infection started somewhere within the shunt, and the infection traveled to his brain. This morning, Caleb's shunt was removed. The Infectious Disease doctors are looking at the cultures of the bacterial that were found in Caleb'ss CSF ( Central Spinal Fluid), and when they figure out the specific strain that he does have, they will then know what specific medication to give him. Last time he had bacterial meningitis, the medication took 3 weeks to go through its cycle of healing, so we think that Caleb will be in the hospital for a little while again to heal from this.
I will give updates about Caleb's condition when I hear new information. Right now, he just got out of his surgery to remove his shunt and he is recovering with his mother by his side. Mass General Hospital has become a second home to Caleb and his family, and we are on the floor that we have visited with Caleb many times before. The doctors and nurses there are amazing and so caring.
The main reason that I am writing this post, is because we need everyone to start praying again. Before, as you all know, the prayers and positive thoughts worked. Right before Caleb was starting to have stomach pain, he was going really well. There are many different types of bacterial meningitis and we are just hoping that he does now have the same strain as he did before. Lets all pray that he has a less dangerous strain and pray our hardest that Caleb will get through this and fight his hardest like he always has. I love you all.
-love jennie

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just how far we have come

Hello out there in blog land- I have missed hearing from all of you, but find it difficult to sit down at the computer as often as before with soooo much to do. Caleb is progressing - sometimes it feels like a snail pace, but he is going forward and I have to remember that it was the turtle not the hare that one that famous race. Leb is now ambulatory so we are finding it condusive to doing his therapy as an outpatient rather than an in home where we could not convince a speech therapist to travel this distance. Is Wellfleet in another country or something? He likes his work at RICH and does it willingly knowing that this is key. He is now making little jokes when they occur to him and we are delighted at this as this is a reminder of Caleb's former self - always so full of laughter and always with full intensions of making us crack up. We are quite simply blessed to have him home and blessed to be able to feast our eyes on him at all given hours of the day. Kai has been traveling home every weekend which is a strain for him, but he insists on it and Max has been my right hand man, always eager to help out with his big bro when possible. Max is generally in charge of the day's walk with Caleb and Spud and I feel this bonding is perfect for the three boys even tho Caleb was caught eating the dog's treat during the last trip and Spud was pissed. Caleb's appetite is enormous .

As for me- well I can only say that out of this tragedy - a tremendous treasure has been placed in front of us. We are stronger now than ever and we are each seeking out the gift that Caleb has brought to us. This has touched each of us personally and has shown us that a slightly lower form of us has transended into a slightly higher one-- we are becoming a better self.

As always- blessings to you, mumsie

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Girlfriend update!!

This picutre was taken today when Caleb and I took a walk to Dyer's Pond. Caleb's smile is getting bigger and bigger everyday and he is looking so handsome!!

Caleb and I trying to keep eachother warm!!!

Caleb and Max taking a walk at Indian Neck Beach. What a Cape Cod view in the background.

Caleb and I taking in the Cape Cod fresh air!!! And ya, it was alil cold that day.


The first thing I want to say, is that having Caleb home is so unbelievable. Today is the 6th month anniversary of Caleb's accident and I think that he is going so well considering what he has gone through. As Mumsie said, Caleb has a very strict schedule and he is now having his therapies in Orleans, which is an out-patient facility. Physically, Caleb is going great. He does almost everything by himself; including dressing, showering, making his bed and cooking. We let Caleb do these things on his own, but at times, we like to keep a watchful eye on him. His speech is getting better by the day, and he now speaks what he is thinking, instead of just answering questions that we ask him. His memory is something that he will start working on at his therapy, and we try to work on it at home as well. His short term memory is patchy, but I think that his long term memory is slowly coming back. We can now have little conversations with Caleb, and hearing his voice, is like hearing an angels voice. He is such a sweetheart and so thoughtful. He is thankful for everything that everyone does for him.
I get to see Caleb everyday now, and walking into his mother's house, and hearing him say, "Hi sweetie", puts the biggest smile on my face. This morning he made us french toast and eggs, we went on a walk and watched the Planet Earth DVD, which is the best DVD's ever, and Caleb really loves watching them.
I just wanted to give everyone a lil update and let everyone truely understand how well Caleb is doing. All your prayers and positive thoughts worked, and are still working each and everyday. I love you all and I am going to try to update weekly and post some new pictures with every post.
-love jennie

Sunday, December 2, 2007

For Peg

You have been with us all along on this journey with Caleb so you need not think of it as Caleb's alone - this belongs to all of us. We wish you well and are sending thoughts of healing your way. Please let us know.
In so many ways, and in most ways it is good to be home. Now the work of the family begins - we are inching Caleb back to life with little pushes and prayers that he will heal well enough to live a fullfilling life, independent of us as much as can be possible. It is a frightning path. At some points we are convinced that he can get there, at others we are worried sick. What do we do with the memories that glare back at us and carve the lines around my eyes deeper and deeper? Night time is the hardest when I sit alone next to his bed. While sleeping he looks ever the same ole Caleb, then he wakes to say that he is in pain and I fall apart inside- that gut wrenching pain that cries out to the heavens- let this not be! I also worry that the boys will forever be watching over him and will not live their lives - they are so young and deserve so much goodness.
Here is where we are- Caleb has a rigid schedule with time for visitors on weekends. He starts outpatient therapy this week. He is strong physically but suffers from dilusions and headaches almost daily. He has short term memory loss, but smiles at familiar faces and has the demeanor of an angel.
We are adjusting the very best that we can. Kai and Max are right there with him and are strong. I am staying positive for the most part and will wear this journey with Caleb until we are as worn in and comfortable as the soles of my walking shoes....
A poem from Max - given to me on mother's day when he was in kindergarten...
She has long yellow hair.
She has a peach color face.
She puts make up on her eyes and lips.
She likes to drink coffee.
She likes to be outside. She helps plants grow.She plays with me alot.
I love everything about her. I hug and kiss her when she is sad. I love her alot. Max

I am in good hands don't you think?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blessings

The bloggin babe is back again- just trying to settle in a bit - tho this time without the additional appendix problems or any other maladies that might be hulking about out there! Caleb is home - that is the best news... we arrived here the day after Thanksgiving and have finally settled into a pattern of daily living. Caleb has traveled into town a couple of times to visit with friends and to dissassemble his gifts around the cannon. His language is improving. He is strong physically and is making more sense of the world around him. In short - we are happy to be home. I must say that this community strikes me as no other - the entire town seems to rally behind us and we feel the energy. It is so easy to find myself thinking about the what-ifs and I have shared these feelings with Kai and Max who also do their share of second guessing, but we are finding it more helpful,if not necessary to consentrate on what we do have and what is rather than wasting our time on the past. In that regard, being home has been perhaps a bit more difficult for me - it is a constant reminder of who Caleb was as we face the unknown of who he will be. One thing I can tell you is that his golden personality shines through at all times. He is eager to work, he is smiling more often than not and he is grateful to any one who is present with him. He is a gift to us and we intend to make the best of what life has dealt to us and to remember that all that is important is the here and now and that we are loved. We could not have done this without each and every one of you out there. Life is good. Blessings, Mumsie

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

making it clear

just order tees and hoodies under comments - that gets to me directly and wait to send checks- i want to be able to fill your order - then i will ask for the check when your goods arrive to you -- yes- they all run small. Mu,sie

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hoodies and tees

They have arrived- Hoodies and tees for Christmas presents - order now while supplies last as they say!
We have black hoodies - size small through 2Xlg - all unisex sizing - see below....

Alternative Apparel

Women's sizing

small/ 0-2 Med/4-6 LG/6-8 XL/8-10
Chest 30-32 32-34 34-36 36-38
waist 25-26 27-28 28-30 30-32
in inch 15 16 17 18

Men's t (can be unisex)

Hanes 50/50 T Lg 22 inches wide

Gildan zip up hoodie unisex

Gildan zip up med lg XL 2XL
chest width 21.5 23.5 25.5 27.5
(inches)

If you live near us - call and you can pick yours up. 508-349-7409.
otherwise - e-mail your desires. I will ship out next week in time for Christmas.

Pricing---Hoodies $40 per hoodie- $5.00 shipping per hoodie - $3. for every extra order.
Tee shirt $20.00 $3.00 per shipping plus $2.00 extra for each additional.

We are using the honor system so as soon as you place an order - I will send them out on a first come , first serve basis... no refunds... so pay attention to sizing. I think they run small. Kai is in a Large and Max is in a 2Xlarge. I am in a Large as well. Tour bill will be attached to your order - please send in as soon as possible. Thanks - we are well. mumsie

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Get your gear!


A local event is happening tonight at the Harmon Gallery in Wellfleet. Traci has offered a space at her Small Works Show Opening to the Caleb Potter Benefit Fund crew to sell shirts etc. So if you're in the area, join us tonight for some art, some wine and some fund raising!

WHEN: Tonight
WHERE: The Harmon Gallery, Commercial Street, Wellfleet
WHAT TIME: 5-7 PM.

!!!!There will be sweatshirts, tee-shits, stickers and pirate CDs available!!!!
All profits will go to the Caleb Potter Benefit Fund.
Thank you to Traci and to all of you out there for your support!

P.S. Volunteer lads and lasses are more than welcome. The more the merrier!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

out of surgery

Celebrate tomorrow- pig out for me, kiss someone you have just met and celebrate life with continued thanks for all you have!! The Lad is fine! We are even better! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!! Mumsie, Jan, Tim, Jennie, Kai, Max and the fat and ever present Spudly dog.

Here we go.........

Strong but gentle, pliant but tough, fierce but feisty, scrambled and yet hard boiled at the same time--my Caleb is under going surgery at this very moment. We have girdled him with our love and expect nothing less than a positive result. Kai, Max and Tim will arrive tonight and tomorrow we will light a candle on Caleb's tray table, eat a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by disgruntled cafeteria workers who want to be home, and we will bless the time we share and the love we have grown to expect from one another. Indeed - it will be the Thanksgiving that memeories are made of. I will let you know of the outcome as soon as I know- but rest assured- the boy was ready to roll and is looking forward to the sands of Fleet between the feet. Enjoy loving one another tomorrow. God Bless...Love you most decidedly. Mumsie

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quintessential Caleb

All of the logged comments are so helpful to me at this time- as always, thank you. Like a run-way, Caleb and I are in a holding pattern waiting our turn for take-off to the operating room. Seems that airports are not the only places piling up around the Holidays. Looks like we will go Wed. or Friday - either way Kai, Max, Caleb and I will be enjoying a turkey dinner from some exotic take out in Bean town! Thank you Mr.Judith's sis for the generous and lovely invitation to join you, but I move with a tribe and that is just too much to ask and besides - we would not be anywhere but beside Caleb.
I am looking out the window watching the rain drops that are about to fall and I feel the tears well...holidays are so special to me, to us in my family, and to miss this is hurtful. I cannot explain the short, sweet taste of being home and the disapointment to follow of being flung back to our home away from home so suddnely. Caleb is fine and this will be brief in the scheme of things, but to taste the tastes of home and to not be able to stay leaves a bitter smear. Still - we hope!
My friend El and I used to sit around and pontificate on the belief that on some other plane at some other time, we all chose our destiny. In that place in time you clearly see what it is that you need for the evolution of yourself and excitedly sign on for yet another try. It seems so obvious and so easy at the time and then the next thing you know you are getting slapped on the behind, crying the first of many tears to come and your journey has begun. Believing this, I must remeber that Caleb has signed on as well and I must trust that the outcome will be for his evolution and growth. Kai, Max, Jan and I will be forever changed through this and I know deep inside that it will ultimately be for the better. The very thorough universe never effects just one when it can touch five. I, on the other hand will get to exercise my right as a mother to love unconditionally while realizing that I do not get to choose for him what his life will be. I will learn and re-learn the art of letting go. I look forward to the day when I sit next to Caleb and recount all that has transpired and he smiles up at me knowingly. Happy Thanksgiving, all my blessings be bestowed upon you. Love, mumsie.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rude awakening

We arrived home to such a wonderful gathering in Fleet, helped Kai to heal from his yanked out appendix, mourned with Anna and her sister over the tragic loss of their mother and just when we thought things might get back to some semblance of order - we find ourselves back at MGH. It looks as tho Caleb might need cerebral drain for the CSF fluid that will not automatically absorb - so here we are. I now get it - things can always be worse so try to focus on the positive. Kai can live without one body part and we still get to be with Caleb. I need to constantly remind myself lest I forget! If all goes well, this procedure will take place Monday and we might be still home by Turkey day!
So the good news is just that - Caleb is still with us and in the short amount of time that he was home, he was doing beautifully....walking the dog each day down our beautifully, crimson covered, tree lined roads through the woods, eating lots of home made dinners and healthy soups, doing his brain gym ( exercises for the re-wiring of the brain)and as the boys said - just looking more like Caleb and less like a patient. We are blessed, as all of you are who are loved and who love. Mumsie

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Snapshot of Edie Sweet

This is what she had to say when she said it July, 10. She always said it so well. Please open your hearts to support her family. Thank you.

A Good Crop

I'm older than two-thirds of the people I know. I rode in on the shirttails of the sixties and twenty years later the boys who did return home from Viet Nam were men who didn't vote; twenty years after that are men who are dying from cancers caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Then there's the hippy side of the sixties. We all know the history; the disappointment, the drugs and money, and 'it's not going to work anyway' attitude. And the nether side of the Civil Rights movement -the gunning down of leaders, the violence and inequalities that persist today. All of this coupled with the breakdown of formal religion results in a breeding ground for violence, apathy, or if possible a materialistic scramble to the top of a ladder of opulent spending. Gross generalizations, I realize, but I am trying to give a picture of where I come from as a single mother, artist, and laborer.
I've seen a lot go down. The demise of the local fishing fleet has been one of the most heartbreaking. To have the tradition, culture and livelihood wiped out by international factory ships depleting the waters while our own small boats post for-sale signs or go off to auction in the government buy-back program, a list as long as those lost at sea, while displaced fishermen and families move off-Cape - is a loss that makes the heart sink.
And then there's all the greed. And the war. Not to mention the present regime so unhealthy for the working class.
Sure. Lately these last years of feeling my age, is the knowledge that, if I let it, the hot fetid breath of disappointment in life could very well sour what I've got left of it.
However…
This week an overwhelming tide of hope washed in, so strong, so viable, so present and so here-to-stay-not-going-away. It came onto the shores of Cape Cod where a tragic accident occurred on Independence Day. A beloved member of the community, twenty-five years old, was injured in a skateboard/truck accident, the board dragged under the wheel and our friend up in the air and down on his head. By nightfall the word was out. Seven per cent chance of survival.
And then the tide roared.
His generation, the twenty to thirty year olds, are praying. On the Town Hall lawn they're praying. Twice a day they're praying. In every store in five towns is a magic marker flyer 'Pray For Caleb". On surfboards paddling out in the Atlantic into a circle one hundred and twenty-five strong, they're praying while Caleb's pirate kites fly high from the dunes. Praying all over town. Praying in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. They are brothers and sisters and they are not going to let this tragedy go down It's as simple as that. They are not going to let it happen.
Each day as Caleb wiggles a toe or blinks an eyelid or comes off the life-support and takes a breath on his own, the prayers are rampant. The young women sew leis for the off-shore surfer circle. Donation cans are stuffed and emptied five times a day. Tourists in restaurants read the news and voice their rational, judgmental, negative opinions and are blasted out of their coffee cups by the waitresses. Only positive thoughts for Caleb!
Now I am drawn into the circle of prayer by my twenty-five year old daughter. Beside the pirate flag we light the candles at the vigil on Town Hall lawn for Caleb, the much loved shellfisherman and surfer. Tomorrow undergoing brain surgery. Tonight, hands held, the prayer circle rings three deep to include two hundred and fifty people; octogenarians and three week old babes and the rescue squad who picked up his pieces. The gathering swells. Chanting soars. Only positive vibration is accepted.
Here I am uplifted by the hope, the determination, the force and yes, the know-how of this young crop of people.
It's here again. The hope. It can not be dismissed.
I don't know how they know how to do it. The drumming. The chanting. But it's here again. A gift of the spirit.
And I'm thinking because I've felt it before, and I've witnessed it go down just as I've witnessed the local fishing fleet go down, that these are the people who can do it. These twenty to thirty year olds. This generation. This good crop. They can raise the young man, brother, lover, son, best friend, beloved, raise him off his death bed. They can sustain the local traditional industries. They can collectively raise natural wind and solar resources to replace death-bound oil. They can find a way to feed the people. They can spread healthcare to those who can't afford it. They can. They will.
For God's sake they've even brought me into it! No longer tottering on the edge of skepticism and cynicism, I can say 'we' again. We will do it.
I'm with them. I'll give them all I've got.
Because this crop has given me back what had slowly hemorrhaged away these past forty years. Hope.
Hope.
More power to us all.

Edie Sweet July10th, 2007

Anna and her sisiter

We too are so sad for Anna and her sister. Anna worked so hard for Caleb's wicked jag and has been a devoted friend to Caleb, and a constant bright beaming light of positive energy. We will all rally to help.

On that note, it is difficult to post today so I will just say that we are blessed to have Caleb with us.

Love, Mumsie

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Report from the Homefront

Caleb, Mom and I just finished a tasty, home cooked dinner. Spudly dog and Boof (the cat) sitting at our feet, waiting for something to fall into their awaiting mouthes. All the normal sounds, smells and sights that make a house home surround us. This is where Caleb will heal. He had a pretty good day today. We woke up early, showered and ate breakfast and then set off on a walk. Calebs walking seems even more comfortable and natural on the grounds where he first learned how. Most fleet kids are so used to walking on dirt that we actually walk crooked when you put us on a level floor. We walked with spudly out to Dire pond, all the while talking and telling the kinds of stories that start with "do you remember the time" and end in everyone laughing. I think this is the kind of stuff that is really getting things turning- to have all these reminders around that stir up memories and emotions, even if only subconsciously. Things are going well here and it is just so good to see my boy smiling, talking and laughing at home. I was lying in bed last night, listening to the sounds of Caleb breathing. I was thinking how I almost lost that sound, how we were all so close to never hearing that sound again. All I could do was lie there and love that sound, coming from a few feet away in the perfect dark that surrounds our home at night, and just love it with every bit of my heart.

Mom wanted me to mention that there is a meeting at our house this sunday at one for all who are interested in being closely involved in calebs recovery. she says that to get in, you have to bring at least one bottle of wine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

hospital ward

Kai is in my make-shift hospital room (Caleb and Kai in twin beds next to one another). He is medicated from the pain but feeling better and after a full day of house cleaning, sorting, unpacking, loads of laundry at Carol's house,cleaning again- we are settled in for the duration. Carol and Jenny spent most of the day with me and Max ran errands. Had a visit from the nurse and will start into a home routine with PT, OT and Speech tomorrow. I was at first questioning my decision about coming home instead of going to a nursing situation, which is what was suggested, but now I am certain that in spite of the extra work load on the family, it is best. Spudly's cold nose on Caleb's face first thing in the morn was the first sign among many that this is where he needs to be.
As far as the generator - my good friend Donald brought a little one by yesterday so we could wash Caleb up and do dishes...it was not powerful enough to run a household - so like you, we did the storm in true Fleetian style. As of yesterday around 3- we have power! I am proud of the way the boys do so well under adverse situations..power outage to them at a young age meant staying up late and playing poker by candle light. I just didn't give them whiskey or cigars, but other than that - they looked like profesional card sharks.
I am coming to get my wine Kevin -- before you and all the towns folks decide that it would be better to make a toast to us
and celebrate with my gift - I know how this works. I am a fan of Steinbeck - and that is just what the paisanos would do! Thank you for the marvelous gift - I will put it to good use.

I have ordered tees and hoodies and as soon as they arrive I will give you sizes and cots and we will start shipping......meanwhile-- thanks for all the continued well wishes and for the love. Caleb is going to make it!! Mumsie

Monday, November 5, 2007

stange beginnings

Mumsie here - and what a welcoming home it was. I tried to say to myself over and over - don't cry, don't cry - but when we were greeted by signs for miles over the over-pass...."welcome home Captain Caleb.. welcome home yellowbeard, good to have you back Caleb"... and when we neared the Fleet and Caleb got sick to his stomach but still insisted on driving through town, and then there were all of you- flags a waving, oyster shucking smiling faces - I lost it! Home -it's so good to be home! Well- we arrived at Long Pond, settled in as best as we could considering the power went out from the hurricane. Carol greeted us with hot soup and a warming smile and immediately tucked Caleb into a soft bed. We shared a quiet evening together and off she went . Max, Kai and I settled into what was to be our first quiet night at home. Not 2 hours passed - I was back on the phone telling Carol that I had called Jan, Kai was writhing in pain on the kitchen floor and was rushed to the hospital with acute appendicitis. He was operated on at midnight and I spent a sleepless night pacing the floor, and walking Lizzie through it. Caleb has always loved fanfare.
Now - we really are settled in and I am missing all of you----Life is good - Kai is healing, Max is strong and Caleb is home. Love you all. Mumsie

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Wellfleet braves storm to honor brave man"


From the Cape Cod Times November 04, 2007
By Robin Lord

WELLFLEET — It was a homecoming fit for a pirate.

About 60 well-wishers gathered in driving wind and rain on the lawn of Wellfleet Town Hall yesterday, some holding long poles with flapping flags of skull and crossbones in a salute to the man they have dubbed "Yellow Beard."

Caleb Potter was on his way home.

Chuck Cole shucked oysters for the crowd and intermittently banged a drum as they waited for his return from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Potter, 25, had been in hospitals in Boston since July 4, when he was severely injured in a skateboarding accident.

Cole's son, and Potter's good friend, Cedar Freyss-Cole, had draped signs across Route 6 overpasses, and along the highway in Eastham and Wellfleet, so Potter would know of the warm welcome that awaited him.

Soaked, but still of good cheer, the gathering let out a collective roar when Potter pulled up in front of Town Hall in a silver pickup truck driven by his mother, Sharyn Lindsay. When he stepped out of the truck in the parking lot, he raised a water bottle in his left hand in salute, and at first seemed a bit overwhelmed. Lindsay smiled through her tears.

When friends and family members drew close, many crying openly, a grin grew across Potter's face and he raised the bottle again, pumping it in the air. He was back in "The Fleet."

Robin Lord can be reached at rlord@capecodonline.com.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTO

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Get out your boots folks. We'll see you there!

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
-Jimmy Dean


YES, it's rainy. YES it's windy. and YES, Caleb is still coming home! The crew has left spaulding (around 9:30 am) and will be coming through Wellfleet Center soon! We'll plan to be in town around 11:30/12ish. We're not sure exactly how long it will take them to get to Wellfleet but we'll be waiting...nor' easter or no nor' easter! Caleb left Wellfleet during a storm and he's coming home during one. Gotta love that lad! Hope to see you on the lawn!
love, sky

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hurricanes can't stop us!

I agree with Paula - it is very appropriate that we blow in with the winds --- I was going to take my broom, but this is far better.
It is a sad day for me in truth..saying goodbye to my Hospital family is difficult. These people who have come to know us pretty well and who now are among the many who count themselves in with the rest of the Caleb fans will be missed terribly. They are a dedicated bunch - smiles on their faces when we are down, encouraging words always on the tips of their tongues, a warm hug at the end of a long day. You will be meeting some of them who we have convinced that they are true Fleetians at heart. Kristi will never leave after she shows up - and that is part of our masterful plan.. Tonight Kai, Max, Jan and I will throw a party like no other this re-hab has had!
We are celebrating........now I know that it might be wet and a bit uncomfortable tomorrow around 12:30 - but come on - when did a little hurricane stop you? --- do you remember Kai's 21st birthday celebration? Trees falling down, snow blowing sideways, electrical lines down sparking the roads, lights out, a veritable blizzard.........but all of you trudged through the snow from town down roads that were closed. Chad arrived with Pizza's from his restaurant - we had live music by candlelight and one of the best parties I can remember!!!
Fleetians - get your rubbers out!!!!!! Mumsie

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rich

So the very first and most important order of business is to wish my Sky a Happy Birthday. I spent a lot of $$$$ on something with very little fabric -- so make sure you ask Sky to show it off !
Just returned from MGH for a final CAT scan prior to our departure - Caleb lost his breakfast in the transport and I am reminded of how very fragile he still is. So on that note... we will indeed be passing through Town Lawn - but most likely will be staying in the van - and I will be asking all of you to stay at a distance to wave and to call out your well wishes for him. This will more than likely be a draining enough for him -- so many physical and emotional changes in one day. The rest of the day we will be spent situating Caleb and myself into home! To better understand the seriousness of wanting peace and quiet for that day - I have ask that even Jenny not come by (and bless her heart, she understands.) We will be in touch beyond that when I have had time to make out a schedule which will allow all of you in.
Yes - we are excited beyond belief!!!
As my stay at Spaulding comes to an end, I have been reflecting on this journey called life. I was talking with a friend who was saying to me " You never know - this is so hard for you - life is so......" and at that point she was at a loss for words. My dear friend Ellen W, who was standing next to me chimed in with "rich". Life is soooooo rich. And isn't it! Mumsie

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fleet bound!

I was just walking to Spaulding this morning counting down the days, hours, minutes till we return home. We are elated....
Yesterdays bike ride was marvelous! Caleb was perched out front on a tandem, big grin plastered on his face and a six foot rec. director on the back. I came behind on a oversized tricycle with giant basket attached which held my sporty patent leather, zebra bag and PT Christine followed on a Harley looking rig wearing blue scrubs and matching helmet. Man were we a sight! We rode for 6 mile and did I feel it - Caleb, however was in his element.
So ---- coming home! I will be calling Shaye, Sky and Jen prior to our leaving the hospital and perhaps the time could be posted on the blog. I will ask Shaye to film it for all of those who want to be here and can't. I will be packing up all of our belongings..the cards, beads, red lipstick, the pictures, the Yellowbeard oyster. I will be discarding all my fears, pain and tears from MGH and I will ferret the positive energy from Saulding nurses and therapists and we will be homeward bound - a beginning - a new beginning. Mumsie

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jennie Update!!-- a beautiful day in Boston

I started my day out with the sun in my face and wind in my hair, and waking up thinking about my Caleb. It is a beautiful day in Boston today, with the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. Caleb is on a new medication that Sharyn and I are researching because it is altering his mood and alterness. These nurses at Spaulding Rehab are so caring and they want us to understand everything that is going on with Caleb. They print out information about his medications and give them to us, so that we understand what the effects will be and important information we need to know about the meds.
I just wanted to remind everone of a couple things when Caleb comes home. Yes, Our Caleb is coming home on Saturday and will probably be home around noon-time. We will give a better update on this later in the week and as you all know, we are all meeting on the town hall lawn to greet Caleb. Sharyn will be calling me and Sky when they are leaving Boston, so that we know exactly what time they will be arriving. If you are in a time crunch, or have to work, you can call me that morning, and I can tell you exactly when they will be in Fleet. I know that you are all going to want to go to Sharyn's house to see Caleb, but for the first week, as Sharyn said before, no one is allowed to just "stop by". I know we are all used to going over her house whenever we want, but now we can not do that. Caleb is still going to be having therapies many times a day so that we can ensure progress, and he will have a very scheduled day. Sharyn and I are going to make a schedule for visitors and there will be certain days and times for certain people to come see him. People will have certain times and days that come, it won't just be a free-for-all. I know this may seem harsh, but for Caleb's sake we need to ease into people seeing him, and do not get me wrong, having his friends visit is definitly making him get better and it sparks his personality, but we just have to do it slowly.
Other than Caleb being alittle foggy this morning, which iswe expect to happen with his medications and not sleeping well sometimes, ( as we all get grouchy with no sleep), Caleb is still making progress. He is walking on his own and his balance is getting better and better. His speech is coming and going, because sometimes he just speaks when he wants. He is eating really well and going great.. That is all for today, because caleb just started typing on my computer. he just typed all this by himself. he is off for his 4th therapy of the day and its on 11am. he is a busy man, and working sooo hard. love you all

Caleb just typed this--->" hi lads and girls I love you all very much yeah yeah!!!!!!!!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Caleb's comeback": Cape Cod Times


This morning an article about Caleb's recovery was printed in the Sunday Cape Cod Times. To read the piece (written by Robin Lord)
CLICK HERE




Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fancy Dress

Hi all,
This is Jan's sister Ken again. Talking about what to wear for Halloween? - I just had to share this fancy dress photo of the three guys, Caleb, Max, and Kai taken last June. For my wedding (in Renaissance style), the three came down to Pennsylvania with Jan and Sarah to help us celebrate with a bushel of oysters and a case of champagne. The three, aka The "Three-Headed Knight of the Oyster" or "The Knights who say Shuck!" were the hit of the party. In fact, the whole event was so much fun, we will have a re-enactment next year!

When I showed Caleb this picture a few weeks ago I saw him smile for the first time. I also asked him whether he would come to the party next year, and he nodded a definite "yes". So Sharyn, as your appointment calendar is filling up for the summer, please reserve the first week-end in June for our re-party.

By the way, one of the bloggers was wondering why Jan is so invisible on the blog. He and Sarah and Caleb's 89 year-old grandmother Vivi have been visiting every week-end and are very involved..They just don't show up on the web site, because to Jan, a computer is still a highly mystical, magical object...

Just found this great picture of Caleb. This has nothing to do with anything, but it just seems to embody a lot of what we all love about him.

Take care,
Ken

This is what they look like:

LOGO:

White Print: "Pray for Caleb"(above and below skull and swords) and "Wellfleet" (below heart)

TEE (GUYS):

Black T-Shirt, logo on chest in upper left corner, backside blank

TEE (LADIES):

Black T-Shirt, logo on chest in upper left corner, backside blank, girls' fit

SWEATSHIRT:

Black zip-up hoodie sweatshirt with pockets, large logo on backside in the center, front side blank

Carving time


Timmy, Caleb, Kai and Max carving pumpkins.
October 27th, 2007

Thanks to Judith for taking this photo and to Nicole for sharing it with us!

Happy Halloween

Caleb is now walking on his own! Caleb is talking more and more clearly. He still has issues with memory and sequencing and his mind still sees things which are not there..but they are all good things - like food. All in all, he is rapidly moving forward.
Kai and Lizzy are here and we had a lovely evening out at a beautiful Persian Restaurant to toast to Dennis (who was with us) for turning over his home to me for so many months this summer...and to celebrate Caleb's homecoming. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by such beautifully, positively, handsome people.
Today's activity when Judith, Max and Timmy arrive will be pumpkin carving..something we have done together since the boys were little. Max, although he never considers himself as artistic as Caleb and Kai, always manages to carve the coolest one (we all agree).
Shaye and I have the possibility of re-ordering tees and hoodies and I would want to know how many of you are really interested in having one --I will soon post sizes and costs and perhaps you could let me know right away so we can get going on this. Also on my mind is.. when next summer would be the very best time for a meeting of the minds who got me through this - one big party at the Long Pond homestead is in order! Perhaps when you make your comments this week you could included the month or week that you are here in the summer and we could co-ordinate so that most of you would already be here - the rest can arrive by gondola, carriage, dog sled, Chinese junket or whatever! I am so excited about this!
So last night we were celebrating because --- you better have your flags ready - Caleb is traveling home this coming Saturday!!!!!! Yes - a week from today! Yahoooooooooo!!!! Would it be possible to get a glimpse of you on town lawn as we travel back into Fleet for the first time in four months? I was thinking we could just stop briefly and wave from the car before we settle into our new life of healing from home. This would be a good way to show Caleb that you are still there with him, as we all know you are. I will give you more details as the week passes and for now - I am going out for my Latte with coco topping! mumsie is overjoyed..

Cape Cod Times Photos

Thanks to "joan b" and to the anonymous blogger who posted the link for the Cape Cod Times' Photo Gallery:"Caleb's Journey"
Take a look at the photographs by Merrily Lunsford
BY CLICKING HERE

Thursday, October 25, 2007

cyber friends

Do not think for a moment that I will be letting all of you out there who we do not yet know off the hook so easily. I fully intend to continue the blog. I was thinking tho that I will more than likely take it down to one day a week as soon as we arrive back home. Sunday is the day! This has been a two way street for me - I suspect that you all feel that you are the ones who gained from this blog but I seriously have to say that I could not have made it this far without all of the supportive comments from all of you. There were many times when Caleb lay lifeless and I would be stuck alone with my terrifying thoughts till I clicked on the blog and found just the right words to sustain me, encouraging thoughts to help me fight back tears, comments which brought a smile and valuable insights that brought back faith for another day. I have come to love you all - the old familiar names and the new and each day I lit up as I saw the return of familiar names - all of you out there, signing on to guide me through. Bless you.
I will be expecting a call, a visit or whatever you are comfortable with when you next arrive in Fleet. Do not be shy!
Caleb was running through his drills today - we walk, we talk, we work out with weights. We laugh. He is very steady on his feet now and was actually out canoeing today. His speech therapist was flipping cards with familiar activities drawn on them . He was responding correctly; "walking, pushing a baby, going to the store". The next card was a picture of a white man and a black man shaking hands. Caleb looked up at Erin and said "inter-racial harmony"! I think we are making progress.
Caleb's dinner tray just arrived and I thought to myself-- each day life is like a menu put in front of me-I get to choose what the plate looks like when it arrives. I am trying to order spicy things, juicy, succulent things. I am ordering up love and seasoning it with passion, I am insisting on quality and have asked for a doggy bag full of compassion to go!
Can't wait to hear your orders! Love, mumsie

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

closer to home

Caleb seems more like Caleb lately..and as we are nearing the time when we arrive back in Fleet I would like to explain our situation here and how I will need for this to transfer to home until we get our bearings. Caleb and I have lived in a sequestered, sheltered situation here at Spaulding and the greatest challenge for us will be to integrate ourselves into our home without being overwhelmed. I can tell you that at the end of the day, when Caleb has company, I am exhausted just from talking so I know he is effected even more so. I will be asking that upon arrival and at least for the first week that no-one come by..no exceptions other than blood family, those who live on the property and Timmy who has become Spud's lifeline. I plan on calling a meeting soon after that where all of you can come by and I will have worked out by then an outline of how life and healing will best be approached for Caleb. I am so appreciative of all the helpful ideas and plans and will take everyone into consideration in due time. I feel it will be best to always remember to put ourselves second, without involving egos. This is about Caleb, and only Caleb. Jenny laid out what he has been doing as of late so I will keep this quick and to the point. I am a fierce mother whose energy has thickened and grown with this experience and I will be ever-watchful of those who are team players. I know for certain that all of your big hearts are ready and waiting and I will line you up and set you up with plenty of Caleb time- so not to worry. You will all play an important part in his healing and he needs you - just be patient with us. As for our new blogging family - any ideas on how you want to participate? I am willing ! The days are now flying by for me. I watch the leaves turning colors and think of how much Caleb has changed; we have changed through this event and I trust we will all be as brilliant!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another picture for ya!!

Okay, I know this isnt a picture of Caleb walking like I promised, but Cape Cod Times was here today and they all got all the good ones, so you'll have to buy the Sunday paper and see all the good pictures they took. Sharyn took this picture in Caleb's room and I thought you could get a little idea of how well he is balancing and standing. Look at his little smile...so adorable!!!

Jennie update!!!

These are pictures from last week because I was having problems putting them up using my computer. Caleb is in therapy right now but at 3pm, he has physical therapy and that is when he walks. Since he is doing such a good job, the nurses said I can walk down the hall with him, so I am going to get some pictures taken of that so that everyone can see his ongoing progress. I will post them tonight when I get home from Boston. And I really do promise I will post them tonight, so check back.


Caleb and I lodging outside, enjoying the sunshine!!!

Caleb walking down the stairs...looking good buddy!!!


Caleb walking down the halls with his PT's and his walker, but now he walks down the hall almost all by himself.

Katie, Caleb and Mikie going for a stroll around the Charles River.


Caleb playing catch with Mikie. As you can see, the gardens outside Spaulding are beautiful.


Today was a good day for Caleb and he had a lot of visitors. He is gaining a lot of his strength back and I can tell this by the way he gets out of bed and the way he walks by himself around his room. He now weighs 132 lbs and reallying beginning to fill out. He is still learning how to use his voice at the correct volume and we recently learned why he is having trouble with that. Caleb went to Mass Eye and Ear yesterday for extensive test on his eyes and ears. They came to the conclusion that Caleb has significant hearing loss in his right ear. Therefore, it is hard for him to hear himself speak, and that is why he speaks so low and almost in a whisper. As for his left eye, the optical nerve is too damaged to be repaired. The optical nerve was damaged when his temperal bone, which is part of his skull, was fractured and went into his brain. I know this sounds a little graphic, but it is reality and it will better help you truly understand his injuries. His orbital bones, which are the bones that hold his eye, also was fractured in my places, and it made his eye "drop" a little down. Therefore, his eyes are not in line, meaning that if Caleb was even able to see at this point, he would have very bad double vision because his eyes are not on the same plane.
Matt Parent brought some oysters up for Caleb to open. When I watched him throw his gloves on and pick up the oyster knife, I had tears in my eyes. It was almost like the old times, when I would go watch Caleb in our yard working with all his oysters and gear, and that is truly when he is the happiest...He was so concentrated in what he was doing and he opened 4 oysters and handed them out to us to eat.
Caleb has 6 different therapies today and when I walked in this morning he was already resting in a little ball in his bed, because he knew he had such a long day ahead of him. He is up for every task them give him here and says thank you to every nurse to comes in the room. We want to take these nurses home, they are just soo sweet and always want to make sure Caleb is happy and comfortable and they always come in with huge smiles. They are actually asking us for some of those bracelets that we are all wearing that say, "Pray for Caleb Potter." Sharyn and I are thinking about getting some more made up. I meet the mother of the children who came up with the idea of the bracelets at The Juice a couple weeks ago... thanks again for the bracelets, they are a hit!!! I have two on my arm and have not taken them off since I bought them.
Well, sorry this so long again, I try to keep them short, but there so much good stuff to write about. Caleb is working so hard and ready to come home. He still has a long way to go for his brain to heal, but we all have the time in the world.....love you all
-love jennie

Monday, October 22, 2007

Potter History

This is Jan's sister, Kerstin, also known as Ken, signing in to give a bit of Potter family history. Now that Caleb is going home, - hooray!- family history might put the events of this summer into perspective.

The Potters have always been great risk takers, "roughed it up good", throughout the centuries. The earliest known Potters settled south of Boston in the 1600's, and were soon expelled to Rhode Island, because their wild lifestyle did not conform to Puritan standards. Their descendant, "Captain Potter" was a privateer (yes, pirate!) sailing out of Newport in the 17oo's, attacking ships involved in the triangle trade for His Majesty.

In the early 1800's, Abadnigo Potter left the relative security of Rhode Island, and settled in the wilds of Vermont, where he founded some textile mills in the town of Pownal, becoming an early industrialist. Relatively well established there, he went into the hills and brought back an Indian wife of the Mohegan nation - a socially rather risky action at the time. His three sons went into politics, that is, they disagreed with the town officials, and in a drunken rage, burnt down City Hall. This earned them the official title "The Three Wild Potters". One of their sons, Chauncy Potter, ran away from this unstable home as a boy and hopped on the Boston & Maine Railway as it ran through town and started work as train porter. He worked himself up in the ranks, and became Station Master at Porter Square Station in Cambridge. Here, he took another risk, and married a lively young woman, very many years his junior. The marriage was stormy, but produced George Potter, the greatest risk taker of them all.

George, Caleb's grandfather, was sent to college to become a lawyer, but secretly got his degree in Far Eastern poetry. He travelled the world over, explored and experienced as much as he could, and never "let anything dangerous enter his mind". When stationed in Okinawa, he took the family out on trips to outlying islands (whose inhabitants had never met a non-native, and could have been nasty...) on a very temperamental de-commissioned PT boat. Neither impending typhoons, coral reefs, or constant engine trouble would stop him. Due to the absence of nautical charts, he regularly explored channels by diving into the shark infested waters. Soon after returning to the US, this risk taking continued; once, we camped on an unfamiliar beach close to the water, and at midnight, we woke to being washed by the incoming tide, with three month-old Jan floating out far out to sea in his bassinet in the light of the full moon. I will mention just one more example of disastrous family outings; our trip through the Mexican desert in a VW bug (all five of us), with nothing but a bag of limes - not even a drop of tequila, or water for that matter - , and of course the car got stuck in an arroyo with desert stretching to the horizon...and we almost died.

And then there is Jan - we all know him....

Most Potter family stories end with "and we almost died",...but then didn't and then we went on to tell some very exciting tales. This is where Caleb comes in, as he continues the same family tradition. As he returns home, and in the years to come, I fully expect him to eventually look back and tell his grand children about his skate boarding adventures and how he never let anything dangerous enter his mind.

Portrait of the Potter men in 1992 or so:
Jan, George, Kai, Caleb, and Max

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Normal

Hello everyone- mumsie reporting........
Caleb's spirits have lifted and so have ours....first things first tho-
Shaye had his final court date yesterday and fared pretty well. He will have to take one class in brain injury (which I believe he could teach by now) and has two years probation with no fines other than court costs. I am certain that he is breathing a sigh of relief and we are as well.
As I sit here watching Caleb shave aided by Kai's helpful instructions, I could almost feel as tho I am catching a glimpse of them as I walk past the bathroom door at home - there is just a normalcy to it. Last evening Kai and I sat across from one another at Paramount eating Talapia and Steak dinners and chatted about school and Lizzy and the road that we have been on as of late. There is a normalcy to it. Max is home, staking wood, feeding Spud and Kitty and has begun the tedious task of cleaning his room so that mom doesn't nag him when she gets home......normalcy.... and yes you caught it - I said home. The Potter/Lindsay household is happy to announce the return of Caleb Potter to Fleet town!
We will be arriving by mid November ..no exact date as of yet. According to the hospital, Caleb should be going to a nursing facility for this in-between step - but a whole lot of begging convinced them that he would fare better with us. ( We still have the option of going to the facility if it doesn't work out for us.)
I am pinching myself to check for signs of dreaming. Nope - I am awake.
It will be four and a half months since we have resided at the Wigwam down our little dirt road full of flowers, roosters, young men comin and goin and noisy dog. I am beside myself. Normalcy! Almost - but close enough - and that is where we are striving to go- Normalcy.
So things will different for us a bit at first -and for you too and we will have to all work together to do the best thing for Caleb. I have met with the hospital psychologist to determine a plan of action which we will all have to strictly adhere to - and I will fill you in on the game plan as we near out time. So put on a smile, put a skip in your stide, get your clean underwear out and make Kevin a rich man today - we are homeward bound. Love, mumsie

Friday, October 19, 2007

This time, from one of "the dads"

Dear friends...family ......and Caleb "circle-mates"....we've shared so much....just thought that I could shed some light....illuminate a little more of the Wellfleet web....and celebrate the connections...seen andunseen ...heard....and unheard... blogged and un-blogged!!!

I am ch/dad....or chuck Cole from Paine Hollow in SOUTH wellfleet....I, too...can remember Sharyn...before the boys...and even "before Jan/Yawn!" (just!).... We met Sharyn at the Congregational Church....about the time that Anne F. and I were finishing up and launching our small 22' Block Island Boat and heading out to the Islands(Caribbean) for a few years(1979-1983)...
A year after Cedar was born in Tortola, B.V.I...... he returned to wellfleet-with his mom- for a short visit "back home" for his 1st birthday...his first Oysters...and his first steps....

If I remember the pictures that I saw upon their return to our little boat home...... Caleb was still "inside" at that July12th Birthday party..(when IS caleb's b'day...anyway??)..so that would qualify as "before Day #1"....Sharyn was radiant THEN as she is NOW....


Cedar Oceanus was almost 2yrs old in this photo!He lived aboard for his first two years!!!another tow-headed Fleetian!!

We returned to Wellfleet in 1983 and Cedar and Caleb have been best buds....ever since....

In 1985, Sharyn was an important part of our birthing team for Cedar's little sister....November Sky...Yurt-borne in the Hollow November 1st.... Sharyn watched over Cedar for the whole night...as his sister emerged....a Second MOM indeed....
and Yay! to Anne another Super-Mom of the Fleet

..our families were enmeshed and sharing the joys and challenges of parenting/Life...then ...as we are...differently...NOW !!

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part of my reason for my guest blog-appearance is to mention and celebrate the "dad-side" of the wellfleet equation...and fill it out for those "who are new" to our Wellfleet circles.....

Fleetians are families...often with Many "chapters" to their Lives....some, together....and some ...not so together....and sometimes re-togethered...if you know what I mean!!

as Sky so aptly put it..we are a wreath of many flavours....and one flavour that has been missing in our blog mix ..is that of the many many dads who have made our kids who they are...and indeed...Wellfleet the way it is...we have often been the strong and silent types(OK, I'm NOT the silent type!!) that have built and rocked the cradles.....carried the tummy packs....built the homes...the boats..the surfboards....indeed, the lives that have cradled the calebs and cedars and skys and kais and maxes....shayes and zacks and jonahs....Ryans and Kens...nicoles and mias ...etc...etc.... etc...of our little town.

Shaye's dad, Brian C. was the one who proposed a skateboard half-pipe to the Town selectman....he would design/model and build it--gratis!!....but/and the Town wasn't ready at the time!!....or Wentzl R.who has been there for the building and Re-building of the current skateboard park in recent years....Or Bruce who just 2 years ago launched his 35 foot catamaran...and is now, with patty C., sailing the Bahamas and Western Carribean aboard LILY ...in search of Life, fish, warm waters and more surf!!! or Jan who taught his kids how to surf...and ride BMX...climb ladders, roofs and trees...because it was fun....and necessary...and sometimes dangerous...and LIFE-filled....!!!
There are dozens of dads who have given that extra zest to their kids lives...and "been there" when our kids sometimes "came back to the ground" sometimes with bodies or egos bruised!!!! O-;

Here, my/our Big Boat project..this is the view from 45 feet off the deck of it's newest re-incarnation...(38 feet long....14feet wide...11 tons approx.!!Cedar/locust/ Oak and Pitch Pine)


there are dozens of dad/son....... dad/daughter...... dad/mom "expressions" such as this throughout Wellfleet...and indeed, in all of our families...where-ever WE are!!


Last January--Four Mile!! ...an hour before this picture was taken...Cedar had laid down his "performance sled tracks"...I laid mine down and an hour later....(at the stump Dump!!...now THAT was a run to remember!!!) ....I seriously injured my rotator cuff...and I could split no wood last winter.....Couldn't get into my wetsuit til MAY!!! YIKES!!!

will I sled again this winter???.....I can't wait!!!
Will I stop doing stuff that can be scary...absolutely NOT!!

It's not about being Fear-less...it's about facing your Fears....Dads are often about THAT....of course I am again preaching to the choir.....you all know dads that have "been there" in whatever fashion for their kids and families...and HERE I am celebrating All those dads.....and heck, we couldn't have BEEN dads without the Moms....Hail to all the "Super-moms" of Fleet!!!!....and dads , too!

Yes, it is Little Sunspirit's bowsprit -with Caleb atop it- that graces the Blog each and every day..over there to the right hand side of the page!!!What a smile on the lad's face!!!!

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Hey, Caleb......wanna have a launching next year??? before or After the wedding????

....hey you're ALLLL invited, too!!

thanks to Sharyn von Wellfleet and clan........light!ly....ch/dad -- of Cedar(26) and sky(21) and soleil(9 1/2)--

Thursday, October 18, 2007

journey

Hey - mumsie here! Thanks to all the great, recent bloggers and pictures of the Fest and yes I have missed you - I feel as if I haven't written for weeks! As Jennie said, Caleb continues to improve. His motor skills are incredible considering he came in here without being able to move his toes at all and is now walking most of the time with a wheels in front walker. He is capable of eating by himself once his tray is placed in front of him and dress himself and the only concern still pressing on me is the brain and how well it can mend . There is no given with this as there might be with a broken pelvis or leg and it is a wait and see game. He is very easily confused and still sees things which don't exist. His sentences are short and sweet but often times do not pertain to anything we are talking about. Perhaps, and I certainly hope so, this is only a matter of re-wiring, but I do not know! The drugs he takes to spark his brain can cause this confusion, so it's a difficult balancing act but I have faith in his Doctor.
I must admit that the pressure cooker is starting to leak steam and I am feeling burned a bit. My only goal in regulating Caleb's visits, or not giving credit on the Blog is to care for Caleb in the best way that I see fit..and that takes time and energy. I am not busy trying to hurt feelings - I have no time to even contemplate that. So, Caleb can be best served by putting Caleb first and then everything should fall into place --- please try to do this!
On my walk home each night I have the choice of taking the well lit main road or literally the smallest, darkest road in America. I liken this to my situation here. We can all play it safe and choose the easy way but in doing so we miss the beauty of a journey that is filled with a bit of fear and perhaps a bit of danger but it is laced with beauty and challenge and growth. I always take the dark road home. Love, mumsie.

About Barbara Jordan's Memorial...

Thank you to Nancy Civetta for sharing this information.

Barbara Jordan's memorial:

WHEN: Sunday, October 28, at 1 p.m.

WHERE: at the Wellfleet Pier, followed by a gathering at the Bookstore Restaurant.

FOOD: The restaurant is very generously donating finger food for 125, and they are also allowing us to bring in some of our own food. If anyone would like to do that, they can call Kathy: 508-349-1014. (She just wants to make sure we have enough, not all the same, etc.)

CONTRIBUTIONS: Anyone wishing to contribute to the costs of the memorial service, flowers, cremation and the commemorative granite bench to be installed at the pier can make a donation at any Cape Cod Five branch to the Barbara Jordan Memorial Fund.

CONTACT: Please call Kathy, Carolyn Cosker (508-349-2749) or Chris Kelley (508-349-1094) - another oysterette! - for any other details or offers of help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oysterfest 2007

The Wellfleet Oysterfest was this weekend and as we have all experienced or heard by now, it was a great success. There was music, dancing, drinking, eating, crafting, playing, selling, buying and a whole lot more taking place. The booth for Caleb was arranged by Shaye and was held down over the weekend by he, Katy and Jennie with the help of many other "tribe" members. We hope you enjoy this selection of photos by a few of our Camera-men/women!

Photos were taken by:
Ryan Birchall, Kevin Scalley, Jack Smith and Sky Freyss-Cole