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, March 31, 2008

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Perhaps Amy would like to let us know how she is...we too are thinking about you.

I had a phone conversation with my friend Shelly yesterday--- we spoke at length about how difficult it is to reach out to those who know you well at times like these.... she assures me that this phenomenon is reciprocal .... it is difficult to find the words to say and just easier to be still. I found could open up to her because I was on the phone and could not see her eyes-- always the eyes that are luminous with truth.
As I look into the eyes of various people around town I see the searching, the pleading, the
wanting for me .. those eyes are most difficult to look into when they are fixed on a friend who knows me well .. because those eyes remember a time that was before .. a time I myself want to return to and cannot , and I observe in them the longing and the pain.
It is with our eyes that we scrutinize, inspect, detect, discern.... want and love.

As Caleb heals, he is more often that not bothered by the loss of his eye. We re-assure, we placate, we try to convince.

Now I am more aware of eyes than I ever cared to be ... look into the eyes looking back at you - so beautiful ... and they do hold the soul in them ... you can peer deeply inside if you choose.

With Caleb - I m convinced that even before, he was able to see into the souls of people ..... it was, I believe, why he was compelled to be kind to everyone. He could climb down inside of people through their eyes.
Now he has a vision which is more direct, fine tuned and his force is greater..

I tell him that blind people often see more clearly than do we!

Friday, March 28, 2008

voices in the night

Caleb keeps amazing us with his propensity to heal and to do it with his own signature flare. He is always up for whatever comes his way and moves through his day with dignity and delight. The therapists at RHCI have suggested that he move forward to another level of physical work as he cannot any longer be challenged by them.....so I am looking into the rock wall at the local gym ( Caleb used to climb) , and have signed us both up for pilates classes. We try to find challenges for him each day ---yesterday Max and I loaded the kayaks and sent him around Long Pond with Max beside him...... Spud and I running around the periphery of the pond, both of us panting trying to keep up.
He remains confused about his state and is sad about the loss of his eye..and has challenges which seem insurmountable at times...
We in the family are trying to concentrate on staying positive and moving forward and believing in Caleb and his determination to heal That pesky little voice still sneaks into my brain from time to time trying to coax me into depression and would have me curtsey to sorrow, but I am staying the course...Max remains always positive and Kai is in his deep well of contemplation, working things out in his own way. . Timmy is around always to keep us focused and laughing, and as always Jennie sees him each day.
Ethan, who lives with us, is around on weekends to add some relief.

Last evening as I lie awake listening to Caleb who was fidgeting well into the night, I ask into the darkness just what it was that I could do for him .......
"Wish me luck" was the tender voice that answered.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ride away!

From now on- I'm holding up a bit longer on my post's because the comments start getting good and personal. On that note- scroll down to the last girlfriend update and read the very last comment---it is from Caleb and will give you a little insight into where he is inside his head.
Caleb is now experiencing some freedoms with each improved day, and I am allowed to be less and less of the mother hen that I needed to be for the past 8 months.
Jennie takes him off for lunch alone - often grabbing a sandwich and Spud and heading to the beach. Max and the boys haul him off for bowing more often and yesterday my dear friend Donald decided it was time that we tried a real bike -- and yes--Caleb rode his bike yesterday on a beautiful day with Donald and I running at his side to keep up. He was radiant! That ride took me back years to the first successful ride of his life and made me so proud!
We are forging ahead, not knowing the outcome, and learning not to care, but enjoying the passage all the same.
We are learning that our sorrow might just turn into our joy in another reflection.

Love ya all, mumsie

Saturday, March 22, 2008


When the boys were little we always celebrated Easter ( by far my favorite holiday) by building little nests outside made of twigs and moss or stones, or anything that captured their fancy. The boys spent at least an hour on the building part and the nests would usually be tucked into my perennial beds... each nest displaying certain aspects pertaining to that boy's personality . Just before dawn on Easter morn the dog would eye me suspiciously as I dragged him outside to keep me company. I filled those nests with chocolate rabbits, onion dyed eggs and jelly beans....perhaps a toy car or two.
The morning brought so much delight...pudgy feet running outside on the dewy cold grass to see what the bunny might have brought them. ..... all three of them carrying their baskets which were left empty on the table the night before, and now too were filled by the Easter bunny. I loved those moments of Grace!

If I could go back in time and I could choose to do one more thing as a young mother...... I would decide to build on the times that memories are made of.

The onion eggs are on the table, the rabbits are tucked into the bags ready to go into the baskets--(which we still do
religiously) and the Easter bunny wishes you more years filled with light, love and laughter..... and most importantly...eachother
these are the only memories worth making...

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I never met her..but one of our cyber family members just passed over....
Last month when I was feeling particularly low, she sent me a care package with pansy colored chocolates, and some other delectable things, but it was her enclosed note that captivated me .......she spoke so tenderly about Caleb , whose story she had been following since July 4th,almost as if she knew him. I could tell that she was genuinely concerned for my son and followed along with us each day...with all the ups and downs. . The encouragement in her voice was at the same time sweet and fierce and her message to me was to just be well.......just be well.

Just be well Maria--I will miss seeing your name among the others.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Caleb's progress

Last spring I watched with utter delight as a fat, fledgling chicadee took his first flight out of the nest. The mother, perched close by watched and called, coaxing and prodding. The little bird was frightened and shaking and uncertain, but with a sudden burst of confidence..it took offf.....such delicious delight..such freedom!
Caleb is like that little downy soft bird and I am once again watching as he unfolds his body and takes off for the first flight into a new and uncharted sky. I imagine it resonates with his deepest fears..will I make it? Will I fall? Will I be abandoned?
Willingness is what he brings to the table along with fertile dreams of what can be and he never permits himself the slightest bit of hesitation to try, .......and I might add...he never feels sorry for himself.
He is so brave and is not easily frightened by the unknown.

Ethan, Max and Caleb joined Richard on the flats today ...Caleb bull raked which is extreme physical work while Kai and Jeff started up my lanscaping business. We are moving...we are in motion.

..spring is in the air..and we stand perched and ready to see who we will all morph into---but the journey is what it is really all about......once you are flying- you are flying. The best part is that exhilarating moment just before you jump off...

Don't worry about us.... We are solid, seasoned travelers banned together, arms intertwined, sunburned and a bit parched...and yet always excited to see what is around the next bend........what's on the horizon for the Potter boys now...?
Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

where from here?

The fourth of July, 2007 was Caleb's day...he was working the crowds as he loved to do. The last glimpse of him that I got was when he swaggered by me a second time. . I was at the Juice where I would run to after first seeing him in front of the Spirits Shoppe, Main St. . I always ran to the Juice in order to watch him again. ...his smile could not have been bigger, his laughter could not have been more pure in sound , his heart could not have been lighter. . Shaye was just to my right snapping away and producing the vey last photos we would see of Caleb as Yellowbeard as I knew him then. The 4th was Caleb's day ..... he lived for this day
......simply just for the fun of it.

When I was pregnant with my Caleb, I had visions in my dreams ...always the same one....of me holding a small hand placed ever so gingerly in mine. I could not see faces, only those two hands and I knew with a young mother's certainty, that I was going to have a boy. For the next 25 years that boy would be my teacher in the art of laughter. He cultivated smiles, planted the seeds of amusement and harvested people who in turn loved to laugh with him. He was masterful at it.....and he simply insisted on it with his family. Although Caleb was a very complicated person, he made a conscious decision to live freely from affectation, to demand little , and had decided early on that he would just happily make his way through life by smiling.
.....simply just for the fun of it.

By the afternoon of the 4th, the call came in and our lives were rivited to change. As I ran through traffic to get to him; barefoot and in a blur, once again I experienced that mother's certainty thatshouted to me that he was badly hurt. I knew it in every dark corner of my body.
I stood beside Kai and stared down at a bleeding Caleb .......the Caleb who now would once again change my life forever in ways that I cannot yet know . He brought us 25 years of laughter before..........what will he bring us now?
I look into a future and wonder who we will all become with our newly born boy. The obstacles seem to dance before me..taunting, beckoning. But I remeber the lessons I have learned in the past from that boy and I will not fall prey to doom. We move forward inch by inch, smiling when we don't feel like it, laughing when it feels strained, looking into his eye and wondering how he will emerge.

Last night, comfy in my bed and about to fall into sleep..I found myself crouched under the front porch in my leopard robe, lying in wait for Timmy, Max and Kai to come out; knowing they had just decided to go off to a party. I made eerie sounds that caught them off guard and created a search till Kai exclaimed " Is that mom?'
I have been taught by the very best of them...

and did it simply just for the fun of it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

star gazing

Caleb has never allowed a dull moment in all of my life with him............and so it continues.
He has short term memory loss but not long term --so when he wakes at 3 am and goes off to the bathroom he will suddenly remember, as he walks back out, that he should be headed home instead of staying at moms -- ---
so he saunters out the back door with me a half asleep pace behind. Instead of arguing (which I have now found does not work) I instead choose conjole him into thinking that we should gaze at the stars for awhile before he goes.........and as a consequence......
I am the receiver of such a lovely gift.
Standing barefoot in the middle of the yard in my night slip - it is cold - so cold, but beautiful- so beautiful...
I fight against the urge to drag him back, but now I too am compelled..... and we are star gazing at a time when I would never conceive of doing such a thing. The stars are briliant and blue ...... we are standing inches apart marveling at the wonders of the world when most otheres slumber, and I feel priveledged to be there with him.
We are cold yet happy and alive.. so alive!
It is a moment of clarity and Grace.
We are rounding a corner.. a bit more relaxed, a bit less cautious, a bit more convinced...
We are moving in the direction that we all wish to be headed.... the pilgrimage to mecca ......full of promise.

My friend Timmy told me a story last night which I feel deserves to be repeated.....a local woman who was in awe over all the people who showed up for Caleb this summer .. over and over, night after night at the town center in all kinds of weather, under all kinds of busy circumstances. ... was commenting that if anything should ever happen to her - she was certain only her brother and Timmy would show up in the dark of the night with lighters flickering to light her way.
Tim replied at first - yeah that's true --knowing that most of us feel this way......
and then with further thought he added
oh --------- but Caleb would be there too--- and I know this to be true!.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Girlfriend update!!

Today was a beautiful day on Cape Cod. The sun was shinning, there was blue skies and we had a little wind in our hair. We felt we had to take advantage of the nice weather, because on Cape Cod, you never know when the weather is going to change. So, we took a nice long walk to Great Island, and this is where i realized why i love living here so much. Caleb had a great time throwing rocks, laughing at his brother and spud getting wet when the tide came up and just enjoying a nice day out with the sun our his face.

This is my twin brother matt, caleb and max hanging out on the dunes!!!. Look at the view in the backgroud....breathless!!!

It looks like caleb is doing a lil dance, and his smile says it all!!!

There was just something about this picture...all the boys walking with their backs to me and spud in the front. Like a cape cod card or something.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and comments on the blogs. It definitly makes me smile and sometimes shed a tear when i read the comments at the end of the day. Love u all and i hope to see u all this summer!!!
love jennie

Sunday, March 9, 2008

all in one day!

Caleb had a fantastic day today - brunch out with Shaye, Katie, Kai, and Jennie, bowling with Kai, Max, Timmy , dad and friends..then horse shoes to follow at the homestead .. he is exhausted and happy!
Does anyone remember the name of the movie with Steve Martin? - loads of kids with one on the way and the granny who lives with them who says very little until the end where she has the most profound lines-- life is like a roller-coaster. ...frightening...so many ups and downs. Some people like to play it safe and never get on... but I prefer to ride!
I am probably butchering it but that is the gist of the thing ..........and I am on the ride.

Today with my salt-stained face..I was tired of the ride..and I wanted off ........I cried into the forest and ran with Spud trying to get in front of the pain. I demanded the ending that was promised would be mine .......I convinced myself that this was only a dream that I once had had .
That mawkishly mournful wail that quickens the heart..... I am certain you must have heard ...the one that straightens your backbone just a bit too far and stops the air from moving back into the lungs....it echoes long after the sound concludes. . .
that was the sound of a mother's heart breaking!

Tonight the lull of the dishwasher has put Caleb to sleep. Kai is back at school and Max has retired to his room, but not before tucking his big brother in for the night.

We sit around the table and laugh like old times and Caleb makes a joke and Max remembers a story and Timmy tells the story over.....and I am once again glad that I am on the ride ...wind whipping through my hair, tears drying at the edges of my eyes, a smile plastered on my face....... and my hands up in the air with abandon.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I ran into my negativity at The Marketplace the other day - that is what my good friend El would claim always happens in a small town. This bumping up against pain is a constant reminder of how very important it is to right the wrong.
Since Caleb's accident, I have found it all so important to start picturing the opposite of what I have been dwelling on, the flip side, the mirrored image. It has been his gift to me.

Betrayal is such an ugly word, one that corsets you to another till the strings tighten and twist, strangling both of you like a couple of bad ass snakes who won't give up till they both perish. I have been one of those snakes. The particulars are not what's important- the story of now - is! When I am able to stand back and scutinize this situation, I realize that the people in your life who seemingly give you the hardest times are your guides in growth and they are to be thanked and blessed. It does not mean that you have to like what they did, but you must accept that the two of you created the situation together- and together is how you will stay until one of you lets loose of the grip, un-coils and forgives.
My story has the same title that so many others have..the headline does not very much....what you choose to do with it does. When I bumped up against my hurt the other day, I realized that in fact I no longer hurt because I was deciding that above everything else in this world, nothing was more important then that I be happy.
Caleb is broken and confused and still I feel that it is our priveledge to be shown this through him...we must be happy because in doing so we believe in him. We believe he will get better, we believe he will laugh again out loud, we believe that he is the creator of his own destiny and that he can do anything he needs to do . We believe that he will walk the walk with us and that we will each follow our path the very best we can..but we will be holding eachother so tenderly, so lovingly as if to say......
"we know a different kind of life from here on....."

Monday, March 3, 2008

To watch him sleeping, is like catching a glimpse of creation.
It is pure perfection.

My friend Morgan came by to help me with the ever increasing pile of bills that get tossed into the dark recesses of the file cabinet and come back out to glare at me in the middle of the night.
Morgan graduated with Caleb and she was one of the many people who pulled together a very successful fund-raising event this past summer. As I said---these young women just knock me out.

On graduation day Morgan gave Caleb this Dr. Seuss wild looking stuffed creature that had a motion sensor in it. The sound when lightly touched was a fairly loud boing - oing oing oing. Caleb kept the animal for a few days and then gutted it to get to the "boinger" as we called it, knowing that it would be far more useful to him outside rather than in.

I was walking with him one summers day down the busy street of Fleet when a pretty girl approached. When she was almost at Caleb's side , he lightly touched the pocket in his jeans and the boinger went off with Caleb glancing innocently at the girl with that "s--t" eating grin of his face...... She turned bright red with laughter as did we. That is Caleb in a nut shell. He lives to make people laugh.

He is beginning to get that sence of humor back again and can crack up at our jokes- he is silently holding his back for awhile.....just awhile.

All of you were correct---spring is in the air... my flyers went out for my landscaping business which Kai will run this year, the birds are actively searching for nesting materials, the daffodil's little heads are crowning, my fish are thawing in the pond and are swimming about.
Life feels better at a warmer temperature.

As I mentioned..one of Caleb's goals is to walk in the parade this 4th. There will be the usual Yellowbeard accomanied by red beard and grey beard flanking his sides. I am considering a big pot luck on the 6th at the Lindsay/Potter residence so that perhaps some of the cyber family can meet their Fleetian family. ---can anyone make it at that time?
We promise to break out the boinger!

Love, mumsie

Saturday, March 1, 2008

From my dear friend Anne- Sky & Cedar's mom

It is my privilege and pleasure to tell you that when I arrived this morning to spend a few hours with Caleb, he was in "rare form" as we say when someone is full of spunk! He always greets me with a Caleb Hug and a big smile. Kai is home for the weekend and I know his presence always adds an upbeat atmosphere here; Caleb is so glad to have him home. This morning Caleb's wonderful sense of humor is spilling out with every sentence; that wry -- almost-sarcasm that gets the whole room rollin'. In the past month I have seen such an improvement in Caleb's vocal/conversational abilities. The thoughts and words seem to be lining up and forming with much, much less hesitation and awkwardness. The spontaneous quality of his retorts is returning: watch out!! It brightens my day so very much to spend these few hours with this remarkable young man, who is working diligently and continuously to regain his independence. Caleb's schedule is rigorous with visits to various health practitioners and rehabilitation therapies. Never does he object, however, and he seems always genuinely grateful and eager to participate in whatever program is offered. With this attitude, there is no doubt that he will continue to progress as the Spring bursts new life forth from the deep sleep of Winter. It is also certain that on every level the support of all his friends - both new and old -- helps to carry him forward on his road to health. Blessings to all!