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.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tonight is a new beginning- I realized with certainty that I am going to grow old. Along this journey I have not been convinced that Caleb and I would make it. I was driven by fear. ...this is the nature of this game.......but tonight I have clarity of life. I am now looking forward to the day in the kitchen when Max comes around and I leak with laughter over somethng he has said..or I cry with the tender understanding of a simple sentence that is uttered out of a shared thought that Kai and I pass between us ......and I would never miss the new beginning of Caleb - whatever it might be. Life in it's tragedies and it's triumps is still to me so rich and vibrant...I cannot miss it.

This journey of ours is not like any other. I sit before you naked and scared and alive and breathing and not sure of anything I knew before. We are jumping in - feet first, heart closely behind, with the hopes and fears that all of us share along this path -

and with the dream of something better!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Year

We made it through Christmas...no actually we thrived, not just made it. I went out to the "girls" party..a tradition with my friends for 26 years now (we think) The boys and I and Timmy walked down to visit Jan on the beach after a morning of opening presents and downing homemade sticky cinnamon buns. Aunt Carol's peaceful and beautiful home is where we landed in the evening for a delightful dinner and laughs.

We are Rehabilitating each in our own way. This is what it feels like to be in this situation..we are on this little tenuous raft and we are trying to go with the flow of that which is current. ...which is easy if you just let go and ride it out.......the current will take you. We get into trouble when we change course or think we know a better way..or worse..we try to go back........we paddle against the current and we paddle with no gain.
I recently burned myself on the stove and as the scar heals, I watch as each of us heals...Kai is packing for Bali ..Max is packing for his move to Jan's apartment, I am packing up my thoughts of how I thought we would be.

We look toward a New Year with healthy anticipation.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays to all

We are nearing Christmas and at the Potter household our very favorite thing to do is decorate cut out cookies. It has always amazed me that even as the boys became young adults, they still always took the time to sit at the kitchen table, frosting in hand, and they would create the most lovely, artistic cookies known to man. Last night Amy St John and Timmy joined us. Timmy ate every cookie he decorated save 3, so we were expecting a full blown stomach ache. Amy packed hers up for gifts and my boys batches are stored for further stomach aches. We are in good shape..tackling this Holiday with vim and vigor.
I personally love Christmas...and I am looking forward to this day to celebrate, along with the remaining days till we pass into a New Year, the gifts we have been given this year. Not the kinds that are boxed up and wrapped, but the kinds that are tucked into the corners of a smile or a kind word. The veil of love and comfort that has draped over us this past year has caused me pause and I bless everyone who has been along on this journey with us...the two little sister's who wrote Caleb, all of Caleb's caregiver's along the way, Sabra and her love for her sister, a hand held longer as I walk away, and eyes that well up as they wish me a Merry Christmas. The thoughts and prayers, the writing's on the blog....and the fact that Caleb is still with us on our collective journey through this life. The young man who never seems to grow tired of giving in the true sense of giving. He extends his heart to all he sees and he gives of his love completely. We are blesed.

Happy Holidays to all of you and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lump in my throat

I never knew at all my Grandmother...mother's mother. But what I do know is that my mother sat by her at Christmas time, holding her while she was dying and she sang a hushed and impassioned song to her as she slipped away. Silent night.
So isn't it funny that I cannot get through a single verse of that song without a lump in my throat and without welling up in spite of the fact that I never laid eyes on Grandma. That feeling alone speaks to me of the ties that family brings to the table. It is an emotional gene pool that extends beyond our skin to those who join us in our walk on this Earth. I can still feel my mother's pain when I attempt to get through that song and I know that on some level, my boys have inherited that emotion surrounding Christmas. That is what families do - they share their victories and they share their pain.

We are busy decorating the house, collecting pine boughs for the urns, picking out our favorite wrapping paper and are desperately trying on a different Christmas this year. Jan always was with the boys on Christmas eve when they were little. Being of German blood lines - this was when his family celebrated and I got to tuck them snuggly into their cinnamon sprinkled sheets that night with great anticipation for the following day.
So this year Christmas eve will be "Silent night , Holy night."
and Christmas day will be " all is calm, all is bright" as we who still remain in this family realize that we are together and all is well.
" Round yon virgin ( well that has to be me) mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace."

The last part is where we wish all of you tender sleep with dreams of another day where you are together and perfect as you are and complete .
So with a lump in my throat and tender swelling eyes, I forge forward into an uncharted season of love and giving and I thank my lucky stars that we have people like you out there who cry at commercials, who fret about their children, who look to the future with impassioned hopes and dreams...and we wish you silent nights, holy nights. And we hope that you too sleep with heavenly peace.
Happy Holidays from the Lindsay/ Potter household.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Kai

It was a very special day for me 24 years ago when Kai Potter came into my life on December 9th . He had jet black hair that would quickly shed to blonde, and an adorable smile which would introduce us to his kind nature to come. He has been as an adult my right hand man in my business and he would become my hand holding partner when the shit hit the fan with Caleb. His dedication to his brother goes beyond measure and his love for Caleb is palpable. I just recently learned that as a little boy he complained of headaches to Caleb and Caleb told him that pouring gas into a rag and huffing it would cure it ( Caleb always had a little bit of the devil in him.) Of course, being the adoring younger brother, Kai indeed found some gas from the mower..poured it into the rag and sniffed at it till (of course) his headache went away....and from that day forward that is what their relationship would be like. Kai always believing Caleb and Caleb always causing trouble.
Kai is thoughtful, serene, zen in all ways, beautiful to look at, smarter than the average genius , a slow motion study in beauty as he whips across the waves and just the kind of person everyone deserves have in their lives....but we got lucky! I love him to pieces! Happy Birthday Kai.

I had a delightful phone conversation yesterday that has me flying. I spoke to a yound woman who had an accident years ago on her bicycle, suffered a brain injury which almost killed her, who now sounds like a very giving, thoughtful young lady with an adoring husband and small children who kept yelping the entire time we spoke...and she is happy and complete, and loving life. She will never know what a gift it was to speak to her and how much it helped to know that there is a real live person out there who has gone through this and feels she is better for it. Thank you.

A few more thanks that are in order ...so many gifts and cards are pouring in - but a few without return addresses. Caleb and I try our level best to keep up so if we have skipped over you - please forgive us. These are some we know we missed as no return address was sent.
A beautiful prayer shawl form Lisa which warms my heart, chocolates from Gracie, fun stuff from Mia in Boston, and a book from Sam, Will and Johnny. We try to not single out anyone as we appreciate all of you..but this had to be said or I would not be able to sleep.

A beautiful picture of Caleb arrived taken by my friend Judy who happened to be at a party where Caleb opened oyster for his raw bar end of business, and the first response was to hold back tears and silently watch him watch himself and see his eyes as they register the changes in himself....but I am trying to shake myself into the reality of where we are instead of where we were...and I smile down at the picture and then up into the new face and I realize he is just as perfect as before.
He looks back at me and says " I like this picture" and we both slide it back into the envelope for safe keeping and continue with our day as if nothing is out of order...and in truth ..it isn't.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When life sends you easy breezes and laughter - take it and cherish it. I do think we need to have these times as a rest and a reprieve for the times when life sends us it's twists and turns. And life does do this. But I am beginning to think that we have it backwards.. we cherish the happy times and recoil in horror at the dark and uncertain hours.... I now understand that we need to look at this differently. It is in the hard times that life beckons for us to become who it is that life has called for us to be. With Caleb's accident all sorts of rockets of desire have been sent forth...good health..a bigger me - a bigger him...a more centered Max and a more complete Kai. We are all finding our way. It is a strange dichotomy. I want my old life back, realize I cannot, under any circumstances have it, and move forward with a semi guilty, positive outlook. Guilty because I feel I am leaving Caleb behind, positive because I am finding almost a new, renewed and better me in all of this. Could it be that on another level Caleb and I agreed to a pact of sorts where he said..... I will come to you and be your child and I will live with deliberatenous and generosity and I will fill everyone I meet with laughter and love in my short 25 years? My life will be more of a life than most people will experience in over a span of 75 years and you will love me more than you could ever know ......and then you will lose what you knew of me.... and in doing so I will give you the gift of finding yourself. It is the only thought that keeps me sane. I rest tonight with this thought in my loneliness and I feel better knowing that Caleb continues to gift us with his effervesence and his widows peak and his contagious smile........ and his proclivity for life.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I am looking at a picture of the "before "Caleb before my computer. He has his summer hair cut..really short, and his smile is brilliant..the kind that can stop you short in your tracks and make you forget what it was that you were doing....and I am thinking of what it is to love someone. The last thing I needed the first thing that morning was for Caleb to check out on who he was and to become who he is....I miss him.
Thanksgiving went quite well. We walked the 2 miles to the beach where Jan last sat and we offered up a rose and a prayer and a reason for loving him, losing him and survival. Taking new corners! Caleb and I patted the ground and Kai and Max stood stoically behind. It made me cry for the time I've wasted.
But loving..oh yes loving....you open your heart so wide and let it all in to the point of breaking...and then, much to your surprise, it can break even more. But love him , I do ...one eyed, peevish, a bit more chubby and not quite who I remember...but perhaps that is what we all experience... you look across the table to the fat, bald man sitting across from you and wonder who he is ..a lot of negative thoughts can get projected onto the back of a bald head ...till you see the older, grey haired woman staring back in the mirror and remember it is you. There are exquisite pains and gifts from this loving thing...I am discouraged by my lack of movement somedays and then I am bowled over by my bulging kinetic bursts of love for him.
I can only tell you that as I stare at that picture of Caleb, I remind you to stop and think about what really counts in life...run your fingers over the arms of the man you love, look deeply into the eyes of your child, touch the end of another nose with yours and breathe in their breath, kiss those magical lips with meaning, and remember, remember what it feels like to love.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Well I was remembering last Thanksgiving..sitting with tray tables and trays full of MGH hospital food (not bad really) with Kai and Timmy and Max surrounding Caleb's bed and feeling pretty darn good about how far we have come over the past year. The Potter/Lindsay/Timmy family will be counting their blessings this year around a stuffed Turkey at my decorated table in my cozy warm home by the fire.

I have been wanting for the longest time to comment on a big part of my support group which has remained unmentioned. Namely my family back in Ohio.
Both my parents have been gone awhile now..Grandpa Beezlebomb and Grandma goody as my children knew them ...but my oldest and wisest sister Laura and husband Ed live in my hometown of Fremont, along with my brother Steve who I hold responsible for all the dissapointing dates I have had had over the years, since he is the man I hold all standards to.... and then there is the pretty one of us girls..and clever and wins for best mother; Suz..then comes Carol whom you all know as the one you want to put your money on when you need a fighter on your side...and then came me followed by Jean.....who is the worlds funniest person and the most generous.
I have a very special family and all of them have special significant "others" who are equally wonderful.
Funny how as a younger woman I felt the need to find my own place in the Universe and I have never regretted moving to my new home in Fleet. But there are times when blood ties are so valuable and irreplacable and I am missing all of them now. My family has become so small and I miss the giant pot-lucks and crowded, noisy family gatherings of home. I want to thank them for being with us through this past year and for holding me in their hearts.
For me, having family has become the focus of my existence...nothing finds a place with more importance than this. And now I have come to find that I have an even larger family than I had thought possible...bless all of you and enjoy your holiday as we will, with stuffed bellies, gravy drippings on our shirts, a fat , begging dog under the table and smiling faces staring back over the pumpkin pie and enjoy the belessings bestowed on you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The first batch of letters to Caleb came in and the smile on his face was similar to the look the cat gives as he tackles a fat mouse -- pure, exquisite, pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to do this. He keeps remarking that he knows so few of the names attached..and shrugs it off with - well I guess I'm just famous! If he only knew!

So how does one move forward when life throws you a mean punch that seems so unjust, so unfair and so unnecessary? The temptation is to tell the same old sad story over and over again when people ask, to repeat the injustice like an actor who regurgitates his lines, and to wallow in self pity. I know not a single one of you out there would hold it against us if we did...but as the days move forward and our sad story seems to be drifting off with the smoke in our chimney, we are trying to tell a different tale. One of three brave souls looking forward with promise and the hero who defines who we are by basking in his courageous clarity of who he will become, never allowing us to falter or feel sorry. We are proud of Caleb and what he represents. When he is tired and spent, he will still give me that extra little that I ask of him; when he is sitting at the table alone and lonely he will peer up at me and exclaim "what's next" with the expectation of a child at Christmas knowing that something good is to come,....... he does not, will not, cannot quit!
I have learned a great deal from him, but what I want to remember the most is that when it comes down to it all..the final reckoning...our lives are only as important as the moments spent taking time for other's. It is absolutely all that matters.

Thank you for taking the time for us and especially for Caleb.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What's up?

Caleb's short term memory still suffers, and his cantankerous healing attitude remains for now, but with each day we settle into more of a routine and find life bearable...even at times exciting again. Max will be moving into his own place this winter, Lara attends school off Cape but is here with Max quite a bit. Kai will travel to Bali in January ..then off somewhere with Liz who is now in Spain celebrating her 21st! Do I even remember my 21st? Life not only moves forward, but marches at times.
The Toastmaster's meeting gave me something to focus on...through all of this I have discovered that I no longer have a desire to continue my work..there is something else out there I feel I am meant to do --and somehow public speaking is going to be necessary..so in spite of having the most terrible stage fright, I am pursuing this angle. It's interesting to find that out of a tragedy, a new desire is born..... Caleb was being asked by a Neuropsychologist about his goals and his reply was " To settle down and have a nice little wife someday " So the rockets of desire are churning strongly in him as well.

The Timbo Foundation ( another son who suffered TBI) has generously paid for Caleb to have a trainor at the local gym -so we are pumping iron twice a week and loving it. Caleb continues to Bowl with the gang on Tuesday's, has Speech with his adorable Lee, walks Spud and hangs with friends. We are busy!
Everyday when Caleb walks to collect the mail I notice his dissapointment that I get mail ( well mostly bills) , as well as Kai and Max...and I had the thought that during this Holiday season, if you had the desire to drop an encouraging note this way, Caleb would adore it.
Thank you for all of the support you send my way, and for walking this walk with all of us.

Caleb Potter RR2 Long Pond Rd Wellfleet MA 02667

Thanks, Mumsie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A note about Anne. Anne, as you have gathered by now is the mother to Cedar and Sky, the quintessential Earth mother, the one woman I have moved from young woman to crone with. We married together, raised children together, divorced together, in short, ..we share a life! Anne has taken on the task of relief for me three times a week in the morns to help with Caleb. When he first returned home from the hospital she cleaned up after his accidents, fed him and tucked him in for naps. She smiled down at him, encouraged him , nudged and reassured him. She helped breathe him back to life so much so that she now walks in the woods with him, drives him to Yoga and accupunture, and talks with him about his future.
What is the definition of a friend? I looked it up in the ole word book and found ..."person one knows well and likes" This definition falls short for me and yet I don't know how one expresses the feelings that are wrapped up with this subject...
Anne is the encourager for me when I am down, she nudges me and reassures. She walks with me into the quiet places of my soul and breathes with me when I can't take another breath. She drives me into the corners of my mind so that I can sort out my terrors and she talks to me about a time when this will pass. She helps me to wake to each day and she tucks me in with moonglow and a promise of tomorrow. I could not have made it to where I stand now without her.
So...for me I would say...
A good friend laughs or crys with you...but a great friend does both.
And my definition would read more closely to something like this.." a friend is a person who knows you well, and loves you in spite of it"

Thank you Anne.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I don't know why I can't remember to remember this - but when I am feeling low - it is a simple turn toward nature that turns things around. This early morn we got a call from Kai .... surfing the breaks at Lecounts. I bought 2 coffees to go and a perfect pecan cinnamon swirling sticky bun from the Blue Willow and set off with Caleb to the shores. We perched ourselves about the dunes, now at Marconi sight, and watched as Kai rolled out over the waves time and time again in perfect poetic motion..the good Doctor from Boston happened upon us with his crazy energetic dog, Daisy, and the mushroom pickers appeared to clear the forests of their sport .
Later the same day we walked the woods...what I noticed are trees tall and proud, trees in perfect order, and trees bent under the weight of older, fallen trees, broken and spent from storms which passed by without warning...and saplings with high hopes.
Some trees have snapped under pressure, but some just accept their fate and grow stronger, bent tho they may be and not as beautiful as others, but surviving just the same. The thing is they all belong to this forest as we belong to life - big and tall, small and bent, perfect and splintered, they make up what is comprised of a forest and a life - it is not perfect, but it is what it is ... as we all are perfect in our imperfection.. doing what it is that we do best ...going on in spite of it all.

Friday, November 7, 2008

They come to me in dreams..I see Jan driving by in that black pick-up with signs plastered on the racks and he nods to me as he passes by. Caleb speaks to me at night ..he is his old mischievious self driving off to Texas to visit Dimitri without having bothered to tell anyone till just now and I am questioning his going all the while I am secretly pleased that his spirit dictates his life..always on a whim...always for the pleasure of it.

The permanancy of our situation has moved in and has finally registered in my pores...tho Caleb will continue to heal, he will never be that Caleb I have known and loved for 25 lovely years. I live in opposition now to almost everything. What I have is not what I want - what I see I do not wish to see and what I feel is like a foreign object which I want to expel. I am quite certain that we will emerge- Kai, Max and I as more complete human beings..perhaps more compassionate, perhaps less fussed over the little things, probably humbled and humane. I look forward to the day where we can say "I would not have done (so and so) but for Caleb's accident. It has changed my life in ways I never dreamed of." But for now the sad truth is that I am just lonely and missing him in every crease of my day.
I have lived long enough to know that I will pull through this..but I want more than that - I want to find myself again in all of this and I want to believe that living in opposition can bring about beauty. For isn't it true that the sun rests in oppositon to the moon on the opposite side of the Earth before the moon can be in it's fullest, brightest glory!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Perhaps it is the guilt I feel over the fact that I am still fully functioning that makes me feel sad when I look into Caleb's face and detect the regret in his eye. Perhaps it is the loss of the many years that he will miss out on while he is healing that summons tears forth. I have up close, binocular vision when it comes to him, and yet I cannot find him. I am on the see/saw side of life..watching for the old him and finding the new. I believe the struggle with this type of accident is that, unlike with a death where you miss and mourn, with this you miss and mourn and invite in the new all at once and it is difficult at best to wrap one's mind around that. We are missing our old Caleb and inviting in the new Caleb that we don't yet know very well...but here he is with all the new, startling behaviors that a newborn brings.
He is healing and with that comes some usual, expected patterns. The kind and soft patient that he was has turned into a short tempered, demanding and frustrated young man with a bit of spike to him. We do not recognize him in this. In spite of the fact that I am quite certain this will pass as well as the last stage did, and we wecome it as a sure sign of health, it leaves us frustrated and hurting by nightfall, too weak to discuss it and too forlorn and fragmented to focus on the positive.
The boys and I hold up by holding eachother up.
Now I must discuss another phenomenon which takes place all the while that I am hurting and feeling down. Richness. There is a richness to my life now which was not present before. A springing forth, a new beginning. I used to walk with my father to the newly planted fields of Ohio and watch as he stooped over to scrape away the soil with his big farmer hands to unearth a new seed just beginning to sprout. It was in that promise that he would then cover it up and expect good things to happen. There was a richness in the movement of his hand, and assurance and faith. So now in this day I am that little, toe headed girl walking along side a bigger force, holding his hand and allowing the miracles that happen when we let them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my voice

The truth is falling heavily and the emotional roller coaster plummets again. The folds of wreakage line up like the folds on my blanket, and sometimes I am able to push them back into a neat pile at the end of the bed till once again I am cold and I pull all the sorrow up and over me to stay the night. I have been weary and tired and hoping to find my voice so that I could be here with you again...
the talk of hoilidays is upon us and with it comes a pain of loss and love and memories which need to be left behind.
We are finding our way - it is a slow and arduous journey..but only for Kai Max and myself..Caleb is able to stay focused on healing, does not succmb to sadness and has an insistence on his own personal human dignity. I question why it is that he is able to do this, while all along he clearly is the one who has lost the most out of all of this, and I have come to realize that he is simply following along with the flow and is allowing the changes in him to flood over without resistance. He is becoming the person which his life and it's experiences has bekoned forth .
I, the proverbial tigress , fight and claw all the way through this and blame and hate and shred myself in doing so. It is only when I can align with who it is that life has asked me to become that I can make my way forward with clarity and purpose.

I tried so hard to instill in my troika of boys the idea of healthy self-esteem. It is clearly the quality I value the most in a person and the one which I strive to change in myself. I keep beating myself up over this accident and I keep wanting to punish ( at least in thought) those who I find responsible in some way for my unhappiness. It gets me no-where!

So now I am trying deliberately to change the words to my story..to reach for the best possible thought .to look up instead of down and to find whatever amounts of peace and understanding I can. Like the pie in the kitchen, all the ingredients are out there..I only need to choose what it is that I want to add.... I want to add laughter and happiness. I want to feel a time and place where I will be fine and a place where you will walk up and recognize me.. that place where all that has been, all that is, and all that will ever be which is in all of us......is well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Photos of Cedar and Ennie's Wedding

October 11 &12, 2008

The Wedding Party

Caleb, Anne, Ch

The guys: Bowen, Max, Cedar, Julian, Caleb, Kai, Sean

Kai, Caleb, Max

Sunday, October 19, 2008

new life

As I hesitantly open the door and offer in our new life and try to accomodate it's needs and desires, I find I am filled with a new joy and a similitanious horror. Joy- because life is being breathed back into our little Long Pond home..nothing like a catastrophie to make the wheels of invention turn and churn. I am starting a Toastmaster's club in Welfleet so that I am better prepared for public speaking as I know I will want to share this story. Kai is more focused on what it is he will do with his life for to design it without Caleb in mind is out of the question for him. Max is now not so distant and is becoming much more involved with me and family decisions. As if we were not a team before? - we are now in the play-off's.
And the horror? Acceptance! Ever try to accept something you absolutely did not want to? When it comes to heroism, I am not the quickest study. I like to drag my feet, kicking and screaming down the pike for quite sometime, certain that "I" will be the one who can finally figure out how to turn back the hands of time. But every day presents me with proof to the contrary ( can you believe it?) , and I am beginning to see more clearly now that every moment I spend in this tangled mop head of misery only serves to hurt Caleb. We must move on!

Today I am struck with the tenderness which each and everyone of you present to me as a gift each time you arrive here on my threshold....if you knew me you would find this humorous - I am (was) the quntessential strong type who needed no-one. I was the poster girl for power and proof. Now I am learning humility and humbleness..the two "h" words which I feared and loathed and am now learning to wear like a favorite clinging dress which shows all the bumps and lumps, and how funny now--I just don't care!.
Thank you for walking this walk with me - with Caleb and Kai and Max....... and for teaching me more about love.

Monday, October 13, 2008

back in Fleet

The big, blue sky wedding of Cedar and Ennie's could not have been a pinch more beautiful. Perched atop a mountain top bursting with color, they exchanged vows. Caleb stood tall next to Cedar and Kai and Max stood pensively beside.
There were the usual moments of laughter and tears that arrive as guests at every wedding, but the difference with this one was that you felt in your core that these two people belong to one another..that just perhaps they are the very same soul living in two bodies. We lived in celebration for two days and two ( very cold camping) nights, and returned home as better people.

These celebrations are now a new experience for me. I missed the usual Caleb jumping out of trees, the boy racing over the moss covered rocks in the river below, the infectious laughter that sprang from him as if he had held it in for a bit too long and it had to escape with a boistrousness and an energy that had a life of it's own. I watch with sadness as he sits in a chair and cannot keep up with the movement of conversation that a large group brings. I plummet and plummet until I almost hit bottom, then a yo-yo snap of life brings me up again into the safety of a warm hand holding ...I am fine, I am fine. We will be OK.

As best man Caleb was expected to come up with a toast at dinner..and being the mother..I was nervous. Could he pull it off? would he freeze up before the microphone? would he stumble over words?
Caleb stood firmly planted into the Earth below him and spoke these words..
" I have known Cedar since I was little and I want to say how proud I am of him. ( Then with a directed point of a finger, he looked at Cedar and said- here goes..I'm proud of you" )
I have known Cedar longer than than he has known Ennie, And I am a little pissed off that he didn't ask me to marry him. I want to wish you the best...shine on you crazy diamonds."

The crowd went crazy with laughter and cheers..Kai noted later that many tears paused for a look, lingering at the corner's of eyes before spilling over .... but there was one person in the crowd who could not hear a thing , or see a thing....she was stuck in that state of Grace where no one else exists........but for one.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I had an early morn conversation with my dear friend Ellen who now has moved to Arizona. I find the distance doesn't matter with matters of the heart, and when I speak to her it is as if she is sitting across from me at some dark cafe, sharing secrets and speaking from the depths till I lean in to make a point and torch my hair on fire as it dips into the candle ( this really happened).
When you find your own "tribe" your life suddenly makes sense..it took me years to find Ellen and Anne who both speak my language and who walk this walk with me, never leaving me without words of encouragement and intoxicating me with tenderness.
I found that I was saying to El " I feel that I function the best when I come to the conclusion that on some otherworldly level, Caleb has chosen this.
He will be my teacher for the rest of my life and the strength I will garner from all of this is what I, on some level, have always asked for." So in this regard, we are partners in crime, he and I.

When I look into a mirror now, I fully expect to see the image of an old photo which has been patched and taped together after the torn areas have been discovered. There is a seam which doesn't match up , a crease that won't go away and a gap that will never come together- but it is the same face staring back at me non-the-less. In spite of this, and in part because of this, I am yearning for lightness and laughter. I am feeling vitality concentrating in me-spotting the glimmers of hope and giving myself permission to feel freedom. I am seeing the same happen for Caleb .

As we know, motherhood does not come with a mannual, and I was always second guessing myself . At some point, and Caleb taught me this, you must choose between being conventional with your children, or you must decide that you will forge your own path and you will write your own script along the way. For 25 years Caleb lived with freedom of the heart, laughter was the name of his game and now I am ever so grateful that he taught me to let loose and not worry so much, to allow him to grow into who he was to be without my hovering, correcting and insisting. He wanted to live on his terms, not mine and I am ever so grateful for this now...he will be a different kind of Caleb , but never has anyone impressed me with a life as rich and big as his has been.
If I had it all over to do again I would remember that there are times when innapropriate is not always innapropriate at all- go with your hearts first - not your head!
I intend to try to remember that for the second half of my life.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sitting down the road from Caleb's therapy sipping mocha at the Chocolate Sparrow.
I spy a man who I recognize from the Club (my former life). He was always gregarious with hello's all around the room - then he, like me would settle into his workouts not wanting to converse, since we were the rather serious about working out kinds.

Somehow he looked older, shruken, and not as chipper. We exchanged hello's again and I settled into a seat next to his, waiting for Caleb's hot cocoa to go.

Soon we were sitting closer, like lover's we were face to face, not aware of anyone else in the room. He lost a son around Christmas time and he was aware of Caleb through the papers, but was not aware that Caleb belonged to me...so there we sat , eye to eye, telling our stories and finding solice in eachother....It is interesting when you can feel..actually feel another human's pain ---till now it was always- "oh I am so sorry" and then I got to walk back into my normal life. Now I sit on the edge of my chair and hang on every word and look into the pained soul who is now my mirror.
But isn't this why you are all drawn to this page - this written account of love, love lost,death, pain, strength,laughter, courage and the willful urge to go on. It is within all of us - it is us, each and everyone. ... and like lover's - you and I on this page sit looking into eachother's lives with dewey eyes and a lump in our throats, and we feed eachother the necessary ingredients of hope in order to go on.

Jenny came to Fleet last night and stayed over with us - so wonderful to see her...she is bubbly as ever and doing well. Bowling night left Kai and I on our own- so we went margarita hopping around town and found ourselves on the upper deck of one of my customer's houses (and friend) overlooking the bay ...and so high up that you might touch a star. We finally spoke openly of Jan and Caleb, our lives . Kai said when he would see Caleb's truck around town..he would park and seek him out... he said that it was like that feeling of being in love where you are only focused on seeing that one person and nothing else matters. I know it well.... we are perched across from each and every one of you out there who follow along with us and feel for us and hope for us....and I would not give up my chair for anything!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It has been a good couple of days. I am finding I am able more to concentrate on what is rather than the what was of our lives, and we are making headway into a new place where we all reside more comfortably. Caleb's memory improves by increments, but it improves. He seems to be moving forward in other areas of healing with bigger steps now and I am getting an OT to come into the house to guide us. Till now, we all wanted to baby him (me mostly) and to make certain that we were keeping him healthy enough to just move forward...now we are beginning to see that a push phase is upon us.

Caleb's nurses return once again - for Oysterfest and Cedar's wedding is fast approaching...with Caleb as best man and Kai and Max as groomsmen. All of your fundraising efforts accumulated about $2,300.00 for RHCI - and because of rain we are scheduled to walk on Oct. 4th ( thank you to all) ..... So there is alot to concentrate on and to be happy about.

Kai and I had dreams about Jan last evening which for the first time were comforting rather than disturbing. He is ever present with the boys, I feel.... and watching over them.
I guess you could say that we are doing what all of the rest of you are doing...we are busy filiing in the hyphen between our birth date and deceased date on the tablet that represents a life.

The new Jonson and Johnson baby ad reads " when a baby is born..so is a mother." I just love that!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Conversation

Taking a walk today with the ever fat Spudly dog and the impressive Caleb, we are rounding the corner and start down a hill.
At the bottom Caleb says.."that was fun"
And mom says Ya - we really started moving fast.
And Caleb says." .yes.... but I meant the sound..our footsteps were exactly the same all the way down..like two people and one sound"

We are climbing our way up and out of depression and are moving rapidly down the other side towards oneness...and I am finally getting the feeling that we will be fine!

Blessings to all of you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a new day

I don't know how it is.. but I feel like today we have a new start - a new beginnig, my perspective has changed and I feel better. I remember when my boys were new to this Earth and for a couple of months they would refuse to sleep---- with number one it didn't matter so much - I could catch up on sleep when he napped during the day.. then son number two came along and the no sleep thing became bigger - then number three and the sleep deprivation seemed monumental and took me to the very brink.. to the breaking point --- and then it seemed as tho they somehow sensed it and would suddenly sleep through the night.. which of course created still more sleep dprivation, because now I was up all night wondering what was wrong.

Today feels like that - I am beyond - at least for today -- the worry stage and am finding my footing.
I miss Caleb - the Caleb who I have known for 25 years - who I grew up with , while he grew up by my side, who I lived with through my wild years and my married years, and cried with through my devastated years , and walked next to as a friend; who's hair I fluffed with my finger tips'' 'the boy who's eyes could penetrate mine and could see beyond what other's could see...

But today for some reason I am looking up instead of down and I am finding my footing in spite of not looking where I am going - and I feel better for just trusting!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Had a friend pop by tonight like a wonderfully, unexpected gift which appears on your table and brings with it a novel feeling...he caught me fresh out of the tub, wrapped in my leopard robe, and feeling still a bit drippy and vunerable...which was good because when he reminded me to stay in the present and not to give in to worry too much, if at all.... I was not in my usual guarded mind set...and I could "hear" him.
I recognized in his language what we all share.... this morose feeling of wanting to be separate - to know that "our troubles" are far worse than anyone else's troubles..no matter what they might be. We love to cling to the hot kettle, all the while that it is scalding us. Why don't we just let go? We like to feel important I guess, and if we can prove that we have it far worse than anyone else, well I guess that does the trick!
I have been suffering this week....but at this point I am aware of it, and being aware means that I have the power to exercise change over it ...and exorcise it!
Caleb continues to be my teacher. He remains steadfast, kind, positive, knowing, and complete.
I am honored to be his chosen mother.

It is a different household now without the "girls" We are down to one and I miss the constant female energy of Lizzy and Jennie. They are both doing so well in their new places in the city. I am most pleased to be getting to know the new kid on the block Lara.. she is a delight.

We are making our way through the fall with courage and I have an unequaled desire to be just like everyone else -- just normal---full of pains and misery at times and full of laughter and light at others.

Monday, September 8, 2008

what today brings

Sitting around the kitchen table, having a Kathleen chat over coffee. She tells me about her experience with her new puppy - she is a dog person- and this pup is her new love who, while out strolling, is hit by a lumber truck and nearly dies. It is months before it shows any signs of pulling through .. many dollars... but mostly the desiring spirit of the animal that makes her and the pup pulse to life .... Kathleen gives up her being, and waits, and sits, and waits, and sits and her pup comes back to her - but ...she says - this dog is not the one she had before-it is not recognizable ...
she has not had the time to grieve the pup- and now there is a dog she does not exactly recognize.... but it is hers and she knows that she loves it...it is built into her, but still - it is as if someone switched it up with another dog -this dog and the old one -- where is he- the one I knew?
As I am listening, I hear the echoes of an old dream, a remeberance of what was ... my Caleb and where is he now .. I too have traded in the familiar for the unknown...I love him, but he is not the same. I am but the squirrel in the road..vasilating ... should I run left --- no right...no left ....debating while in the throes of death . the rubber tire is bearing down on me. Our life is like this now ---trying to find safety .... the familiar...and all the while knowing that life changes at all turns.. and it must be accepted.
Kathleen says that when she could finally let go of the old and welcome the new...she felt relief, and could fall in love all over again. I am at this point..but it feels like a betrayal to let the old go and the new in ... yet I know in my heart that this is what I must do... but I am just the squirrel in the road.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am just sooo miffed that I remain human.
We got word from Jenny today that with the help of those fab nurse friends of ours, she landed a job at MGH. The same floor Caleb was on, and one that she frequented like an old friend. We are so happy, Caleb and I, sitting at the kitchen table and listening to her excitement over the phone is like watching bubbles burst. Then the conversation ends and Caleb looks down and begins to quiver, as he will do on occasion.

Our conversation "Caleb - do you quake when you get emotionally charged?' "yes, I thinks so" is his response

"Does it upset you to know that Jennie is gone and no longer lives here"? Yes is his response.

I say " It makes me so sad..it breaks my heart...all that you have been through, all that has happened to you, and to watch you struggle with all of this. You are a 26 year old man and I know how difficult it must be to hang out with your mom all the time while life goes on around you."

"I know - I'm gonna make it tho"

So while I tend to look at the negative..he remains as always, positive. God love him!

Monday, September 1, 2008

home in fleet

We are back home! Our journey was just like a microcosm of life itself....sometimes it was fullfilling and whole, sometimes it was disjointed. It was damp and cloudy and our thoughts were congested, then the sun would break through and it was clear that all was right in the world. We traveled 2000 miles and we got it all- all the bumps in the road, along with all the benefits.

No trip is complete without it's dangers ..and we had ours ...at a darkened campsite in Nova Scotiaa at around two am, I woke to the sound of a bear in the campsite. I could not remember putting the fruit basket away and was certain he was drawn to the smell of ripe pears. I listened and assesed that he must be hangin in front of the truck, milling around...I called to Kai who was a few feet away. He too was awake and listening...then came the rustle of Max, equally concerned. Within moments - we were standing in our amoured underwear, Kai with his machette, Max with his bow knife, and me with no weapon at all, "cept" for a bra that I considered unsnapping to use as a slingshot, perched and ready like sentries on guard and in front of Caleb's tent.

We listened for what felt like an eternity , waiting for the charge, till we finally figured out that it was the sound of a very large man who was snoring in the tent across from us. But never was a mother so proud!

The scenery was breathtaking, the pause in our lives, necessary!
Our time together was not as it was in the past. Things have changed, and we were not willing to talk about it, but we were all privy to it, keenly aware. The laughter was strained, and a little too loud. The conversations were deep, but a little too distant..

Jenny is leaving for Boston tomorrw to resume a life which is badly needed. She has been a trooper throughout and I admire her for being with Caleb as long as she has...we wish her the best and bestow blessings....

I felt it on the way back - the overwhelming feeling that nothing had changed- we were coming home to the same situation and life would go on as before...the before in our new way. At one point Caleb leaned into me and said " Are we taking pops back with us ?' No honey, I whispered.
" But he was here a minute ago". Yes, Caleb - I am sure he was, I parleyed....and believed.
And in that metered moment I found I was envious of him..... for Caleb lives in a world where Jan is still with us, they both are fine and we are surrounding and adoring him....and we are all happy!
but Kai and Max and I live a different kind of life...one that will be dissimilar from this time forward --- we are home!

" Do not go where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path,...and leave a trail."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Seawall Maine Last Weekend

Judith here and I have a couple pictures that I'm sure the fam would love you to see.

Please excuse the clarity, but I kept forgetting the camera. So this is on my phone. A great time was had by all, and they shoved off to Nova Scotia smiling and ready for the drive.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The living room is piled high with camping gear, and we are geared up for a road trip. As I sat all too briefly with yet another blogger and listened to her story of how she discovered us and her compassion in following along, I thought to myself - what a great gift to return home to - hearing all your stories of how you first were made aware of Caleb and what compelled you to stay by our sides...please don't feel as tho your words will not sounds as good as the person posting before you - to me it matters!
If I am ever to write a story about this - it must be your story too! Thank you my fellow travelers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

There is a piano lyric which wafts through the house late at night while I am trying to sleep and he cannot. It is both melodious and melancholy at once. It is coming from somewhere deep down in his soft, flannel heart..both warm and tattered . Max plays it...but it plays our heartstrings as well, and echoes how Kai and I feel . We have days filled with lovely occurances, nurses here, friends dropping by, dinner with Sarah.....but at night when the world hushes to a close and whispers are heard throughout, we are trying to soothe our fears and confine them to ourselves...but our eyes give it away, and Max's music grinds us to a halt and brings us back to a gauntlet of emotions. I tell myself that a new breath is only a breath away.....
we continue to connect, and in doing so, we feel sane, but sanity is only as strong as our interpretation of it...and I worry night and day about how we really are doing.
Caleb is continuing to improve. He has more clarity, more memory, more reasoning. We are excited to travel together. This Friday we voyage as far as Bar Harbor with Judith, Timmy and Ethan joining us for the first leg of the trip. From there we will pass to St John's in Canada for an overnight, then on to Nova Scotia. We need to be away from the phone, the bills, the commotion.
Traveling together is what we have been doing our whole lives on so many levels...we wend ourselves forward once again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A generous thank you to all who donated to Caleb's rehab- we have been so happy with our new friends who work so hard and give their undivided care for Leb. The walk is along the Canal on September 6th if any of you care to join us.

We are expecting Caleb's nurses again this weekend and have more adventures planned for that visit.

On the 22nd the boys and I are packing up and taking a road trip to Nova Scotia where Jan purchased coastal land some 35 years ago as a young student and surfer, interested in finding a place to hang. I camped there once when Caleb was 2 and have not been back since. This is a badly needed respite from the "norm" and we anticipate climbing into the truck and heading out into uncharted territories. As is our usual way of travel, not much in the way of planning has occured..we just jump in and go and see where the road leads us with only a general idea of which highway to take, and a map which usually gets lost in the shuffle , or in the translation; whichever occurs first. Like a band of gypsies..off we go at sunrise and we follow instincts, or we follow nothing at all, depending on the day. It has always been our way and often we will share a laugh about how we got to a place simply by coincidence, and it undoubtedly turned out to be one of our favorite memories. So here we go again. I cannot say what this means to me- sitting under the stars with a crackling fire feels like home to me. We are comforted by the dark and cherish the quiet and adore the occasional bug in our cup . Bundled up, a bit worn, and tired, out of our comfort zone and at home whever we land is what I have loved best about my time with the boys when we are traveling together. The night skies, the cricket saranade, the certanty that someone is sitting across from you in the blaze , smiling back, even if they cannot be seen......... with the indistinguishable feeling of acceptance for what is.....is staggering.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Capt. Caleb

Once again Caleb has inspired other's to take up arms, pick up swords and knives, and to march....
He has been chosen to Captain the march for RHCI, the facility which has been responsible for his healing where he received great care from his loving Occupational therapist, his physical therapist team and his loyal Speech therapist, all who are angels walking on the face of this Earth in my estimation. This is their annual fundraiser...a walk along the canal, with Caleb leading the procession this year...and of course, pirates is the theme.
So now is the time where all of you who have ever asked what it was that they could do - and I said..I'll let you know--- can help. We are trying to get pledges. If you can help please send any amount that you are comfortable with to me at Rr2 Long Pond Rd Wellfleet, Ma02667 checks payable to RHCI....... and I thank you with all my heart.
( we have 4000 plus readers each week according to my site meter - if you can each spare a dollar for this cause - we will raise $4000.00)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It is dusk, and the night white flowers finally have their say, and with dignity and a silent presence they shine under the night sky and perhaps look more beautiful than their colorful counterparts.
So it is with Caleb. In his purity and innocense, he is more beautiful in a way than before and we watch him unfold and blossom before us. He is genuine; a naural beauty.

As many words and thought swirl around me, I am continually pulled back to one statement..." do what it is that you fear the most". For me that would be to abandon the role of caregiver; the be it all kind of mother..to dump it all and just be with Caleb.....to step back from my life as I knew it (work, work, work) to travel and to walk the walk with him - wherever that might lead me, and to whatever lengths that might take us. If I knew that I had but just one year- or one month- it is what I would do in a heartbeat...so why the hesitation? Life does get in the way - or we let life get in the way of what it is that our heart so clearly speaks to us...subtly at times - and shouting at us at others ....... if we allow ourselves the slightest of hesitations, we always hear more clearly what it is that calls to us!
I am trying to penetrate the voice of "me". I have determined that I will try to take this time for Caleb while he is healing. I am waiting for guidance, who I am certain is hanging out at the next block up the way and I am peacefully planning my next move.
Life is too short - I keep telling and telling myself that- but it is time to change that mode from words into action.
We are holding up well/ the boys are doing fine with all of our changes/ they are all turning into white flowers.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Who I was before, I cannot recall. I have morphed into a new mother, a new woman, a new identity. I am lost in the fog as tho I am suddenly under witness protection , I have lost who it was I was before and I have become someone new who even I don't recognize and cannot at times find that I respond to my new real name.

This is tough..juggling a new born child at age 54, and children who are craving after their father with no guidance from the mother who is just barely holding it together enough to pay the bills and put meals on the table. This is a process, and one that I know we will pass through , but really, I have not had such a challenge ever in my life before.
Feelings come and go - and wash over me like soap bubbles that blow up to super size and make me laugh and then quickly pop and make me sink into dispair. I know that well intentioned people want us to move through this faster, but it will not happen at their pace, only ours...and I am sad to say that I, for one, have always been a slow learner.
My sister and I had a tandem yard sale this past week-end......at one point after hauling numerous boxes to and fro, she paused to examine her hand, and eeeeked out - damn - I broke a nail...at which point, I examined my fingers and thought to myself...I wish I had a nail to break.....and so isn't it how it goes. What one person has and cherishes...another views lustily and wishes it was hers. Are we always in this state of wanting -- or will there ever be a time when acceptance is accepted. Will there ever be a day when I will be happy with what is rather than what it is I want? Time is a timetable now.. and only time will tell.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dear Caleb,
As I watch from afar, and nurture from near, I am always smitten with the integrity with which you live your life...in spite of all that has happened to you...... while I tend to be suspicious...you have not altered your belief in people, you have not stopped smiling, when tears are far easier for me to let loose than laughter, you are positive and giving, while I fight to stay afloat and draw in, and you beilieve in yourself, while I have discomforting doubts.
Like marriage vows, you repeat your intentions , and I in the congregation believe in you and hope that you will beat the odds.
You have taught me more about life than I have learned in a lifetime., and you have caused the
temperature of my heart to be altered from a chill to a fine burning ember that glows for you.

Late at night when I cannot any longer sleep, I steal away to your room. I lie down to watch your brewing breath and I snuggle while you suck in life in a way that I have never been capable of doing. I have often wondered how one human can be so negative, while another meters with magic.

Life is given to us as a gift, but not many of us take it... you, my Caleb, prior to your accident and still now, know the fine art of receiving.......We are nearsighted beings..so busy with the things that take time and which give us a false sense of importance, but you have slowed to a fine tuned, sensual song, and while you dance the day away......other's are rushed; while you sit silently, other's are haughty, vying to be heard, while you dream, other's are distorting.... you have bravely taken your life beyond and to a breaking point, which was such a fragile move, and in it's fragility has become a strength...and while you sit back and observe....... I am observing you -
how I am smiiten with you...really, no different than the first second I laid eyes on you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's always good to have a fresh perspective..and this time I have two. Mike and Kate, just back from Peru, and close friends to Caleb are pointing out how very well they think he is doing from the last time they saw him, just two moons ago.

I have been giving him chores to do - take out the trash, put the dishes away, make your bed, simple things in the past...and now we are progressing to cutting a section of grass, and helping move wood. He is pysically doing quite well, if only slower than his rapid fire velocity prior to the accident. He has more weight on him than I am comfortable with - but that can be said about me as well. We will take to the gym this fall.

It seems to me that his brain is the mirror to the movement of his eye. It moves at a slow, blinking, staring leisurely pace, this eye, as tho he is trying to siphon out what makes sense to him in his new world. It remains a sincere eye, one that holds so much hope. It is a big, beautiful blue eye with feathers dusting over it ..so soft and protective are his lashes.

We hold faith in him and in each day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I can tell you that when I want to, I can conjure up Caleb's voice. It comes to me at night when I think he is calling to me, but when I wake the voice turns pale-- the color of a person who has just died or that of one who has not yet been born.
I am trying to turn the corner.
I arrived on the shores of Cape Cod when I was 21. But mostly it is my 22 birthday that I remember because my mother made such a fuss, for some unknown reason, over the day of birthdays which coincided with the day of birth .. so I turned 22 on the 22nd of June - my birth- date. and I was celebrating alone without family - exhilerated to be as far East as one could possibly go..young and feeling free... a bit frightened..but did I mention free? - oh yes so free!
I did not intend to stay here. I was destined to go to Wyoming, or Utah to become a cow girl.. that was my calling. Instead, after staying here a few years, working to make enough money to move, I met a handsome young man -and simply after one day after our chance meeting.. I found myself exclaiming to my girlfriend
" I have just met the man I am going to marry" then just as quickly I found that I sucked in those words because I could not believe that I had uttered them. I was not the marrying type...and even the girls in high school voted me the most likely to travel and never settle down.
So... My first major mistake - getting married because I thought it was what my mother wanted of me - it would bridge the gap, make her happy..make us closer --- so I did what I thought was right instead of what I thought was me -- -----Life became a a blur of babies, bedlam, bottles and barters for sleep ...and soon my handsome young man was no longer as interested in me.
I remember the look that passed between them on the forth of July. ( The universe loves to choose the same dates in order to to drive things home.) The graze of eyes was electric and was seared into my brain. It does not matter what her name is - or even the face...because, as I have painfully learned, someone else would have filled the shoes if not her.. what matters is what I have now long after discoverd... I had been vying for my mother's attentions , have not learned to love myself enough, did not choose myself over her, and therefore gave my power over to someone else. I invited her in!
We have been locked in battle ever since... till now. I had a chance encounter with her today...no different than before - we ignore eachother and slide by like slimy snails ...but this time I stopped to remember who I am and and I knew that if she knew all the horrific thoughts I have had of her over the years.. she would laugh out loud as I am doing now...and I realized that above all.. as it was when I turned 22 ..all I want is freedom. I will be choosing myself this time around - thank you very much!

So tonight's voice, along with Caleb's stengthening voice will be mine - strong and clear -- I will perservere, I will choose for myself, I will pay attention to myself above all, I will choose differently -- Thank you my beloved Caleb for showing me the way! Thank you for helping me to turn the corner.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

There are days, maybe now even stretches of days where I really do envision us as" making it", then with a single blow we enter into a night like last night, which threatens to unravel us to one single silken thread that some bird will most likely spot and simply add to her nest...leaving absolutely nothing left of us behind.

Kai is sporting anger, which like a cheap suit, does not sit well on him. It bulges out here and there and it folds and crumples him and makes him into someone I cannot recognize. I am worried again, and sleepless after a longdrawn out night of sitting up with Max, who is suffering inside and does not have the tools to work through this particular pain of ours . So I pace and I fret and I run between rooms to check on Caleb, and then to check on Kai and then back to Max, all of whom have become patients in their own way in this hospital house of mine. I am wearily making my way through night shift and don't know where I will find the strength to continue into another day.
I have been accused of writing of things too personal to share here in this space, but I feel strongly that if we can give a name to someting frightening, it then becomes more familiar and is forced out of the closet so that we can face it down with integrity. If I can reach but perhaps one young mother who is traveling down the road that I did and I can get her to recognize this and turn around , then this writing , this spillig of my soul is worth it to me.
When Max was young and Jan and I were recently separated, against my better judgement, I allowed him to become Jan's child. I think that at the time I believed that it would somehow link Jan to us and force him to become the father he never knew how to become ..I was wrong. The effects have been just the opposite and Max resides in a body that is prisoner to this miscalculation.
It has taken me years to reconcile the love that people had for Jan and the distaste I had for his ways. With age and experience under my belt, I have realized that he could be both -- and both he was--a loyal friend, a "great guy", a wonderful boyfriend...but to us, and to me in particular, he was difficult at best to understand.. My mistake, and one that I so regret...was in letting Max be the "fall guy " who got caught in the battle between.
I should have insisted, in spite of Max's loyalty, on wisking him away and taking him back into the fold. I simply did not trust my instincts the way that I do now , and even tho I can forgive myself for this, I am left with the risidual mess that I helped to create.

And now I apologize if I have spilled too much...but I am weary and tired and forelorn.......the night shift is over and I am just wanting to find a sliver in the clouds where the sun might reach us again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This night, not unlike many others, Caleb and I are alone for dinner. Kai is off with his beautiful and lovely inside Lizzy and Max is off fishing at the gut waiting for his equally lovely Laira to get off of work ... so Caleb and I are standing together at the kitchen sink shucking corn and rubbing the fine silk off of it, slicing into the first juicy home grown tomato and talking about how delicious dinner will be when he phophetically announces " but when it is done..it is finished."
Which brings to mind my feelings about life in genenral...we have had some really rough moments, some incredibly difficult days, some notorious nosedive nights, monumental months ..and still I want to wake each morn with a renewed look at life.. I want to figure out my demonds and face my foibles and realize that yes .. when we are done, we are finished - so why not try to get it right this time around... I am a the perfect example of a life gone wrong... I thought that I had it figured out, I was soooooo together, I knew with certanty that I was certain......what a farse this silly little life of mine....
I sat today with Caleb, rubbing his head as he tried to fall asleep, my hand sliding over his bumpy railroad track of raised skin scars...and I said to myself - I want to get off at this stop - where all things are well.. he looks like the same ole Caleb I remember and want - but I do not get to choose...this is what I have to work with--- so work with it ...and remember that when it is done - it is finished....
so laugh away the days and find peace with what is ... and love .... just love!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Caleb's Nurses Visit Wellfleet

Thank you to Cortney, May and Corey for sharing these photos of your visit last week. It was great to have you ladies in Fleet. Hope you'll head back this way soon!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We are bound as a family to Caleb and his physical/ mental condition, so instead of trying to overcome it, which would be futile and frustrating, we instead simulate his handicap in order to understand it. We have all slowed down a pace; we all talk a bit more leisurely, we saunter to wherever we are destined to go , we mosey through meals, we delay chores,.... in short, we are living the way that I believe we were all meant to-- a fine tuned, metronomic pace of slowly measured ticks that moves us through the day...not huridly, but well marked and almost casual... as if we are living in a dream.
.....and the effects on our personalities? well..I should have behaved this way long ago. Not much can ruffle me, not much can shock me, not much can give rise to my temper.... I have lived through hell and have come through the other side of darkness back to light. I appreciate more, and the subtle changes in my personality are welcomed guests who I wish will never take leave.

It is by no means a picnic having a child who has suffered so many humilities as Caleb has. It is no means a simple task to traverse the choppy waters of suicide with your children, ...but long ago in a younger phase of my life I vaguely recall a dream I once had where as an older woman, I was standing with my three sons , old and tired and towered over by them now that I had shrunken to a diminished size. But it is the look in their eyes that I remember clearly as they peered down on me with love and I call to mind the fullness of pride that welled up inside...and I know that we will make it to that very same point...... somewhere down the line.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Like old friends, indeed, we here on this blog connect in joy and in sorrow....These kind gifts filled with your words sustain me and keep me centered throughout the day and the wisps of musings come to me in the night to cradle and to rock me into the dawn's new light.
I feel comforted by all...and by knowing that there is nothing more powerful than a mother's prayer!

If we only allow ourselves to breathe through it ..the next day usually turns out to be a better one, and so it was with today. I refuse to live a boring, airless life...and Caleb, who taught me that long ago, is still teaching. I will say "Have a nice rest" and he will reply "Have fun". I will say "I'll be in the kitchen doing paperwork" and he will respond "Have a good time" I will say "Goodnight and sleep tight" and he will always wait till I am almost out the door and he will echo "Thank you".
Somhow I knew if I stood in the summer wind and watched the summer moon rise, things would shift.

There seems to be a bit of stardust in that boy of mine!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am scorched, not only by the sun , but the realization that we have a ways to go before we can determine how Caleb will do in the future. Tonight as we eat dinner, he is asking for his real mother - and I am sittting across from him, staring in disbelief. This is the kind of emotional fire that when drawn near... only burns, but never warms .
Jenny comes by and reports that hot shot surfers are reaming out others..mostly their best friends.. for dropping in on them...when Caleb only ever went into the water for the sheer delight of it ---to have fun and to push Kai off his board at every opportunity...and yes ...I do find myself asking why? Why my kid when there are other's who seem more suited for danger and are less appreciative of life! I know it unfair of me ... but those are the thoughts!
Remember ..Life is a daring adventure..life is a daring adventure!

I netted and dragged a bloated and very dead chipmunk out of the fish pond today..perhaps and oversight on his part as to how far from rock to safe rock... perhaps in curiosity he leaned over too far, perhaps he jumped out of frustration..I know not! But what I am learning is that we are ..none of us safe from what will be and it is only in our imaginings that we live fully - be well and think happy thoughts!
Not far from the busy highway is the rock wall... not far from the rock wall is a sapling. That sapling will grow and overtake the wall at some point.. that seemingly weak sapling will grow into the oak and the oak is stonger than rock! History has not been written yet!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

There are times in your life when all things seem good, and this day is one of them. The cat stayed out all night and fought off the coyotes single handedly, the humidity is down and the MGH. nurses are here. I have been waiting for this visit since the invitation was put forth. Toasting them at a table full of friends, and sitting under the canopy stars at Mac's Shack, I found myself saying " The doctors may have saved Caleb, but these nurses saved mine.." And that is the truth! These young women are dedicated, kind, thoughtful, professional, funny at the right times, and on top of that they are luscious and bodacious. The boys of the beach who gave them all a successful surf lesson yesterday joked about why it really was that Caleb pulled through with this staff peering over him!
We are off sailing today with a cooky professor/sailor friend of mine and then a trip down the streets of PTowne should top off the night.
I am learning to look toward the directions that bring joy. Sounds so simple, but each day I find myself strolling back toward sadness and prying into pain. But now I find I am able to pay more attention to my emotions which vividly act as the barometer to my present moment........ and I am learning to choose differently, just by paying attention and switching my focus.
Today I am grateful for life, for my children, for my well being, for my ability to be joyous and sad, for all of life's lesson which nudge me forward, for all of the people who walk with me ....and for Caleb's lovely nurses. Bless you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We are all connected, and so I imagine that you too are becoming a bit more used to the new Caleb, just as we are. The parchment paper layers of emotion that we peel away at each day reveals another and always yet another feeling to deal with, and this rawness leaves us bloodied and spent sometimes, and then laughing at others. The ups and downs of having the kind of year that we have had allows us to re-invent ourselves each day...because with pain, and the unbearable burden of it, also comes rockets of desires that we shoot off because we hope for a better way. We have to insist on it to get through another 24 hours.
I do not know why this course is now ours to follow...I do not know how we manage sometimes...I do not know where this will all land, but I do know that love never fades .
I have been remembering the morning how it was that I walked into the silenced room where mother had died. The permanency of it. Caleb is holding my hand each day and breathing a thank you of gratitude at every turn. He is smiling and studiying the birds who perch outside his window seemingly for his entertainment alone, and I watch from the shawdowed corner of the room and am glad that tho this is tough, it is not by any means permanent,and I bear witness to this miracle called Caleb.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4th Parade. Wellfleet. Pirates Take Grand Prize.

Pirates take over Wellfleet

Cedar and Caleb heading to the pier

Captain Yellowbeard and his crew


Linette, Jill, Shannon, Caleb, Keri, Cedar, Amy and Ennie

Cedar, Ennie, Jill, Linette, Amy and Sky

Sharyn, Cedar, Amy, Jill ('s hair), Caleb (with Grand Prize trophy) and Ennie

The crowd looks on while the pirates entertain

The next generation (Dante)

[Photos: Sky]

Check out this video (thanks to Kevin):
Just click on the play button in the window below...

More photos from the parade (Thanks Kevin and John!)

Friday, July 4, 2008

It was no accident that twice when I tried to call Max today, I instead got Jan's answering machine. "Hi this is Jan"......and then the familiar voice that followed. At first I was slightly annoyed, then frustrated, finally amused... and then a calm came over me knowing that he was joining us for the day!
Caleb was in full regalia at the parade, beaming and playing the crowds as usual. He was light dancing on light and was connecting with a memory of past that was built into him like a fine tuned machine. . As a tribe of pirates, Caleb and friends never officially signed into the parade roster in years past, or this year for that matter ... and Caleb always lamented the idea that they could never receive the big bang prize of "best in show" without being "legit" ....however the judges saw fit to hand over the golden trophy today to the man who would defy the odds. Thank you for that kindness!
My pleasure was in not only seeing Caleb march again, but also in meeting so many blogger friends who were so kind to show up and say hello and to lend their support...... and of my silent girlfriends who escorted me wherever I went.

At three I woke Kai from his slumbering dreams of days gone by to celebrate and toast the year gone by. It was around three that I stood in the kitchen, barefoot and exhilirated from a lovely day watching last year's parade....when Shaye called to let us know that the mighty pirate had gone down.... it was the call which would change my life forever.
It was the call that would change my life from now till eternity. That call is now a ringtone that has been branded into my cells!

As we left his friends and brothers on Fisher beach tonight after an exhibit of fireworks, compliments of PTowne, we stumbled like drunken ole friends down the quarter mile of dark beach to get to our truck..arm in arm ...my eyes weary from age and sadness..his vision diminished to one ...and I thought for a moment that I just might be jealous of all the young people we had left behind so full of promise with lives untouched by Father time. But as youth passes, and the blazing fireworks pass as well......we found we were were following the dim light of the skyline, stumbling- yes-but still with one another, hands locked in hope.......and I realized I would not trade this moment for anything!

Happy Fouth of July

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Fourth

The Pirate Route will be :

Jumping in on Holbrook about half-way between the Pier (which is where the parade begins) and Main. Continuing down Main through town.. down to the boat , turning back on Commercial as far as the Juice. I will be in front of Kevin's Spirit's Shoppe with Kevin as I always am. For those of you wanting info on the parade - the old cars start around 9:30..the parade starts at 10- but it really is always about 10:30. However since Fleet is small and they close down the streets, you must get there early!

I would love to meet any or all of you who are here--I don't think I will be holding a get together at Long Pond as I said earlier that I might because we are still quite overwhelmed...but walk up and say hi in town.

I am looking forward to celebrating all that Caleb has conqured over the past year and for all of his accomplishments. I am one proud mumsie! Thank you all for being with us --we are all walking this walk!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another night in the ER...but this time with the 3rd Potter boy!
I can remember all of my sister's going off for a day alone with my mother, a rare occurance with 6 kids, because they needed glasses and I never did. Boy did I hate my 20/20 then. I felt somehow as she carted them off that I missed out on all the attention that would certainly be slathered on them for the day....well now all 3 Potter boys have had their turn alone with mom and I hope we are in the clear. It was difficult at best, as we near Caleb's one year mark, to sit in a waiting room full of distorted memories of sleepless nights and heartache and fear. Watching other mother's holding their crying child; their fears echoed in their child's eyes, ... staring at old women with thier even older fathers who sit and twist at a wedding band which threatenes to slip off the crusty and knarled knuckle...the last reminder of a life once lived. The endless feeling of waiting for your name to be called when it reminds you of those horrible gym line-up's where you think you will most certainly be the last to be picked.
Max is probably facing the fact that he has a bleeding ulcer.. not so bad in the bigger picture, and we can deal.
What still remains - is what remains...we are all here together and facing a new day with a gentle breeze and an even gentler reminder of what counts as we pass our time together.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Caleb's short term memory is eeking it's way back - little by little. When at Yoga he can now remember where it is he will find his shoes, and he is beginning to remember events which happened earlier on in the day. Just like with a newborn, there is no manual which helps to guide you through this. Brain injury is as unique as all of us are individually and alot of this healing is guess work. I am constantly reminded of the Neuor surgeons words to me as he sent us packing "Do just what you did before, it worked then and it will now." So I make him do his homework when he wants to go out and play, and I make him eat well and sleep well and we hold hands when we are walking in the woods or crossing the street.
Our big event is coming up so rapidly and I can feel the heartbeat increase in my chest when I think of all we have been through this past year...and has it really been almost a year already? I have elation and trepidation about this day- but I am trying to remember, it is only a day...and like all others the sun will rise and it will set and we will wake and celebrate the fact that Caleb survived, and we will sleep with dreams of a better tomorrow.
As I will guess all mother's do as their children get older, I pondered just which song I would want to dance to with Caleb on a wedding day..his wedding day . So I will leave you with the words which not only resonate with Caleb and I - but now with you as well.

"Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you there's no one else above you? Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness. Soothe my troubled heart, that's what you do"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When pressured, I cannot always remember the Latin name of a plant, but I can always recall it's look and feel, it's beauty and grace, the way it moves in the wind, and how it responds to the rain. When pressured, I cannot always remember what my family was like before... but I can assure you that we laughed alot, talked alot and we danced in the rain and swirled with the wind.
Living with the new Caleb has brought silence to the dinner table , blaming and guilty thoughts to our eyes.....and worries of the future. ..and in the face of danger and in the face of uncertainty ...it has also brought about the realization that something big is going on here . bigger than we know..... and like our origins.. I rememebr who I am and who he is and I have faith that he will find his way back home....as we are are all finding our way back home!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I am marking the passing of time by the pill box that needs to be filled and re-filled each week and with the number of birthdays that pass. We are all summer babies, with the exception of Kai who likes to be original and arrived in December. Jan's was the 5th of this month...Timmy's was yesterday, Max is in July; Aunt Carol as well, and mine is today.
As I was lying in bed this morn watching the hummingbird who has taken to my particular mix of sugar water, I found myself asking for a miracle. Then just as quickly as the pill box empties, or the birthdays come and go, I realized that I am sitting right next to one who is busily munching on his morning snack of berries and cream.
My gift to myself this morn...to consciously try to choose the better thought. If I am to try to see this situation with Caleb differently, then I must change my mind about how I perceive things.

The Fourth is approaching and we are looking forward to celebrating freedom, and life and all the things that come our way to teach us how to live.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I tucked him in for a nap today and my heart skipped a beat as he said " Thanks mom ... for taking care of me"
Gratitute for the simple things in life is one of the greatest treasures.

We are gettng our routine down... a walk in the woods, lunch on the green with his friends, separate time with Kai and Max. Timmy is interested in oils, so he and Kai will be attending a class this summer with Caleb, who used to paint. Max will be bowling with Caleb. Jenny is working so much, but still manages to squeeze an hour a day in at least. Anne, my angel friend, is still on board 3 days a week so that I can work, and Aunt Carol and Ray have our backs at every turn for whatever we need, even if it is just warm bananna bread and a kind word.
Caleb still has difficulty with short term memory..he is slower than his old self, and his speech is labored at times. He gets easily confused and can't always remember what to do next without prompting. But he is still and always pleasant and smiling.

At times I feel my life has just been a mush of bad messes. I can only see the trials and I can only feel all the hurts that still are in need of healing. But then a "Thanks mom..for taking care of me" brings me back to what is important. Slowing down, looking around, being grateful for what we have and looking forward to each day with the joy of the unknown.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's day

Father's day - hummmm. Well I can only tell you that once Caleb looked up at me on a ride home from an evening event - I thought he was asleep on my lap- and those big blue eyes pierced me as he said .." Dad spends more time with his girlfriends than he does with us" What are you supposed to answer to that? Especially when it is the truth that he spoke.
I think the tendency is to revere the dead - almost to the point where they can no longer make mistakes or be wrong.. we tend to make the dead perfect....but this is not always the truth. There are many truths about Jan - so many people loved him - and why wouldn't you love someone who would drop everything to help you - it was a lovely quality that he possesed- unless you happened to be a son of his. The boys have had a life full of wanting - wanting more of his time - more of him. I know, because when I was married to him, it was what I wanted too.
I am so tired of keeping family secrets- and I find them so harmfull to generations that follow. Yes we dedicated a beautiful day to Jan and remembered him for the many lovely things he contributed to this community.. We spoke about his humor and his art and his lust for laughter...but behind closed doors there was more - he clearly loved his young men and yet he never learned to show it - he was old school, could not open up and never allowed his boys to know the depths of his love --- so they are left dangling off a cliff with not much to hold onto now - just when they need it the most.
I will probably be run out of town for this entry - but I feel the need to speak the truth - My boys deserve to know the truth. I want them to be able to read this some day and realize that all of their feelings were validated - they were left behind in so many ways..and they deserve to be loved more than anyone I know!
Happy father's day to all of you who have worked hard at it. It is the best gift, and the only gift that will count in your life.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This winding little dirt road leads you to a home tucked into lusty leaves and fleeting flowers. It is a sactuary of sorts, a place to hide from the real world. The fish swim with delights of locust leaves that skim and create resting spots for the unprotected bug. And are we not all like the bug, thinking we are safe and then..... for even in our little sactuary you will find blue hosta, whispy white astilbe, a chocolate mimosa, .......and four bleeding hearts.
I am thinking today about the necessity of healing. I am feeling that we each have a responsiblity to heal ourselves for in the larger picture, we in turn ....heal the world... one by one.
When I can focus on the larger picture and stay the course of trusting in a bigger plan, I am OK. When I focus on the little hurts and the impossibilities, or the betrayals, ot he idea that I am alone... I lose it.
We all get to do this sooner or later - no one escapes. But I have known people who agonize over the sleep deprived nights that they experience as at the same time a friend with MS marvels at the birds. Where do we want to put our attention? Where do we want to focus? I am the first to admit that I can so easily get caught up in my woes...and no one would blame me -I am certainly justified they out there tell me. But I want to choose differently.. I want to try to know in my heart that I have a choice every second of every day ....always a choice ... and that I have the freedom to dictate how I feel based on that choice. And in choosing the better feel -- the better theme... we heal.