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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just today

There is a pregnant space between the last breath of sleep, and the first of wakefullness in which every morning I get reminded of the reality of what is now. It is a painful second where I remember how our lives have been changed in so many ways.
It is also the time where I can dare to dream with the fullness of morning bearing down...for out of grief and pain .. a new feeling emerges ........hope. It is in hope that I can picture us smiling in the future, without a grimace behind the lips. It is in hope that I can hold fast to the possibiliteis of us. It is in hope that I dare to dance with the thoughts of what will be.

Caleb, my Caleb ... I miss you so much.. and yet you are here - a different you, a softer, more silent you. You are emerging; a wobbly, foal legged man with a grin still so big it threatens to eat me up. I will today, think the most positive thoughts and dream the most daring dreams for you.....for it is not in this moment that change occurs, it is in our thoughts of tomorrow..... and the next and the next........

Monday, May 26, 2008

Graduation for Kai was everything I had wanted for him. Arriving the day before, we settled into our cozy B&B run by a gracious elderly couple who actually cooked a "full" breakfast for us the folllowing day. On the day of Graduation, Kai was found on the great steps to Stockbridge Hall, dressed in cap and gown, speaking with Jeff Lewis (all the way from Maine), and David Kennedy who also traveled from the Cape. I want to thank them for making the effort to stand beside us through all of this turmoil in our recent lives, to put aside all of their desires and put us first, and for taking the time - yes- just time, to be along when we needed them the most.

Caleb traveled without a glitch and we arrived back home to prepare for yet another Potter/Lindsay yard party, complete with cold beers in tubs, wine for me and a Pinata to finish up the celebration.

Now a word of thanks to Elizabeth Esher - Kai's long term girlfriend who has also passed through this journey with him, and has given him the love and patience that has helped to carry him through. ( We would post a picture..but all of you single bloggers would be hitting on her)...Liz also graduated with honors.

I have been feverish just thinking about all of the support we have had, all of you who follow along with us, all of your blessed intentions for us, and wondering just what I could possibly say to convey our appreciation. So re-read what I just wrote to Jeff and David, for that very same thank you applies to you as well.

When I wake each morning I ponder how this day will go - will we get through without turmoil, or another accident, or loss? Or will we be graced with cherry blossoms dreaming their way to the ground, the melodious sound of a single chime somewhere off in the distant woods, and safe and ever so gently sleeping boys above me?
Love is the only reason to ever go forward..... and with love for you today- I step out into the day .

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Up and rolling - off to Western MA. for Kai's graduation. Caleb, Max and I are so excited and the element of cheerfullness and expectation has permeated our hearts for the past couple of days.
When Caleb graduated from high school, he was given a standing ovation from his peers. Caleb suffered in school. ( It wasn't till he reached the water's edge that he found his element.) Caleb needed more credits at the last minute and he struggled as it was...so when he walked across the stage all hell broke loose. He had by then also cultivated his cowyboyish charms and disarms, and even his teachers could not help themselves..... they too joined in the clamor.

Kai was given a standing ovation from his peers and faculty at the Stockbridge School awards dinner. He struggled with his final year as well. First his beloved brother suffered an injury and then 2 months prior to graduation , his father dies. Kai carries a 3.9 grade average through all of this.

As I recall when Caleb graduated.. no one in the crowd was louder than Kai, who is usually reserved. At Kai's graduation it was Caleb who climed the rock wall and perched himself higher than anyone so he could be the most obvious supporter for Kai.

I have a feeling we will all be sitting in the scaffolding this time around.

Thanks for being with us through all the ups and downs ..and the falling and all the climbing out again. Such is life!

Please, as Caleb would want ...extend your comments to Kai today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It is always in my words to others that I am made aware that, I too need to pay attention to those words.

A friend is witness to troubles with a daughter, and was sharing her fears. ...my words to her were ... let her know that you are aware that she has her own guidance system in tact, and that you trust her completely. ...... Hummmmmm.
Now I see that I should eat those words, because it is just what I needed to hear to avoid the fear that bubbles up in me concerning the boys. Often times, I believe, it is in our advise to others that we find the information that we need also...or perhaps more so.

Caleb had his first Doctor's visit yesterday - shocking since we have been home since January and have not had to have any medical attention for him. This was just routine blood work.

We are pleased that some of the nurses from MGH will be taking the time to stay with us this summer...they became extended family after so long a stay, and I was deligted beyond belief to hear the familiar bubbling voices on the end of the line. Kai's graduation is hovering on the horizon, and Max and Caleb have their own guidance.

We are looking forward to looking forward and with all the ups and downs and cycloned emotions, we still wake with an outlook that says -- I would not want to miss this day. Another opportunity to love.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A word of thanks...to all the students of Stockbridge who decided to forego their graduation gifts of beautifully crafted jackets with the Stockbridge logo - in order to put the funds into Caleb's account. The jackets were ordered - so this did not fly - but you are all hero's in my eyes. Thank you.

It is indeed lovely to see the progress on a daily, weekly, monthly basis with Caleb. I must admit that at this point in time, he is doing better than the the rest of his family.
Jan has left his boys with a very dark legacy. The struggle to keep them going, while caring for Caleb, is a feat of no small means. I feel as tho we each have an appendage sewn on by one suture and we are all dangling out there- waiting to heal.

Yes, we are smiling, yes we go off to work, yes we are seeing a professional; we are getting out a bit, taking baths and being kind to ourselves .. and yes we do have all the support in this community and beyond that we could possibly have ..

and yet the thin veneer of hope runs out when I see the anger in the eyes of my spiritual child and the anger in the eyes of my already pre-disposed loner child. I want to lash out, scream, kick and bite. This suicide is a very personal affront on our systems that usually say go - and we are stalled in the road with the train "comin" down the tracks.

I have spent most of my adult life being angry with Jan for one thing or another (usually having to do with his children) and
now I have the opportunity to forgive and move forward, but that "ole" anger still lurkes in there and is rearing its ugly head once again.
All things that can be said here are true- he was ill and could not think clearly, he was kind and good, he was a great friend, he helped so many.....he has left us for the second time.
No words can help us come to terms with what must be dealt with now..and this rainy, bitter day is fitting for Kai's return into this household that once prior was filled with laughter, and is now bursting at the seams with unsettling thoughts and stale memories.

I do not wish for any of you to think me ungrateful for all you have done--quite contrare......
I just want to paint a picture that is honest and true to where we are now...so that perhaps someone hearing of our story will take pause to cherish his or her own life more.

And to help us trudge forward, we must cherish the angry thought right along with the softer ones...as the anger is the fuel which will move us off the tracks, even if just in time, with our faces tipped up to the sun ..........and moving on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Girlfriend update!!

This is Caleb ready to hit the tide on a pretty day on cape cod!! it almost brought tears to my eyes watching him get those waiters ( sorry fellow fisherman if i spelt that wrong) on. That smile just tells you how much he loves working again.

I am so sorry this picture is alittle dark, but I still had to use it. This is Caleb and his boss Richard, who he was worked for, for about the last 7 years. They are like family and watching them work together today was like old times.

Caleb and Richard loading crates and equipment off the truck!!!

Some people sit in a cubicle or office all day long for their job.....but these lucky guys and many other fisherman get to go out on the ocean and breathe the fresh air all day when they are at work.

So, as you can see, Caleb went out on the tide with his boss, Richard today. When Caleb's mother told me that caleb was working today, i was so excited. Caleb absolutley loves to work on the tide, and anythking that makes him happy, makes me happy. He used to go work on the tide no matter the weather or time of day. As I used to, I parked myself in the back of Richard's truck, with my beach chair and book, and watched Caleb do what he loves. Caleb dug clams for about 2 hours. Shellfishing is something that he has not forgotten, so with a little direction at times, he rellly knows how to work the grant and enjoys it the entire time, with no complaining. Caleb is also landscaping with his mother, which he always loved to do before his accident.

Caleb has meet one of his goals at home, and that is moving into his own room. He has the breeze on his face from the door in his room and you can still hear the lil pond down below. We are slowly decorating it with some of Caleb's pictures and drawings as well. we are working on his word associations and many other aspects of his brain development in worksheets from his therapists and work books that sharyn has collected. He is always open to exerices that will make him better, because that is something that he wants so bad.

I do not want to make this really long, but just a reminder that it is caleb's bday soon.. MAY 31ST. He is very excited and maybe we can get everyone to celebrate, since caleb is our lil miracle, as he has overcome so much.

i will definitly be writing again soon and ill put up some more pictures as well. I hope everyone is well and we love you all!!!!

~~love jennie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Caleb is bowling with the bro's - Timmy and Max. Kai is in the middle of finals and we are looking forward to our pilgrimage to Western Ma. next week for graduation.

Here is what it is like to convince yourself that everything is fine.

This past week, when Kai was home, Cedar, Ennie, Max and Kai set out for their first outing with Caleb to kayak on a beautiful day. Lunches were packed, Caleb was fitted into life jacket..boats were pushed off and life was good. Ethan came home and quickly donned his wet suit so as to be able to swim out and surprise the said boating excursion. It was supposed to be so fun! An hour passed .. me soaking in the rays of a beautiful day, finally reading a book, and imagining what great times all must be having out on the waters.

But .... Ethan and Caleb soon re-appeared looking glum at best. It was reported that a Ranger was reading the rest of the group the riot act for not having life jackets on.... about to issue them each $50.00 worth of ticketing... he was having a hay day explaining to them the dangers of the cold waters. ( In spite of the fact that I have lived here for over 30 years and was not aware of this fact that life jackets must be on. The waters are not that cold.. and jeees- kayaks float... could you just not kick your feet and hold on till you get to shore?) ( Personal freedoms)?

Ethan walked Caleb back to avoid the spewing of rules to a brain damaged chid which lasted more than a half of an hour.. . plenty of time for me to run down and unload onto this poor, unsuspecting character all of my hurt, aggravation and anger from the past 9 months in about two seconds flat. He jumped into his Ranger car and drove off into the horizon.

Now a week has passed and I was bookin it down OVD. (ocean view drive) I saw a Ranger's car pulled over to the side and thought he must be doing Ranger things in the woods. I was late getting back to Caleb and was keeping Jennie waiting... just after visiting the site where Jan last breathed. The lights flashed - and Oh God - it's me getting pulled over. He was kind, a straight shooter, no frills, no lectures and not all puffed up about himself, like the last Ranger ..
so I was going to be issued a $150.00 ticket -- well now , because he is giving me a break it will be $100.00.

I pulled out all the stops and pleaded that I was distracted, mindless, pre-occupied. I filled him in, using my facts to free myself. I used Caleb's situation to my advantage. That was low. .

I have an addressed envelope which will be delivered to the Seashore tomorrow. Enclosed is the $100.00 that came by me honestly.

I was mad at the first Ranger for executing his power over the boys - and I did the same thing! I guess the lesson in this is -- when we are angry and pointing the finger - we must, like the Chinese say --point that finger back in our own direction.... for that is were the problem lies. Bad girl ... at this age I am still learning.. the difference is that I do not any longer beat myself up about it - I laugh and say out loud---bustedll!
Love ya, mumsie

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We have been born into a mystery from day one. So no point in being afraid.....just breathe it in and go with it.

The loveliest gift that my mother gave to me was to tell me that I was her toughest child - ---but that she had learned the most from me. That has stayed with me forever... the simple truth ( tho it was painful at the time) that has carried me through and has given me the courage to forge forward. Honesty has become so underrated ... learn to be impeccable with your word.

I have been bestowed with the great honor of being granted the opportunity to be a mother. It has given me enormous satisfaction as I walk this walk. Motherhood is the life force that I inhale and exhale. It is my weakness when I lift my face up, and my strength when I find myself face down.

My sons placed their trust in me - but is my trust in them that pulls me forward.

So put your hand in mine and walk with me, not knowing what to expect and not expecting to see our way ...
because life is a delicious mystery from day one. So do not be afraid ...just breathe in and go with me....

Happy mother's day to all of you who walk.

Happy mothers day to all of you mothers and fathers out there.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The dishwasher purrs, the rain subsides, the Oriole's opera belts from atop the crescent slice of orange nailed to the apple tree, Caleb is perched atop many billowing pillows eating homemade muffins slathered in butter and strawberry jam..... Max has just stumbled out of bed - off to his new job, and Kai will call precisely at 8.

There is something bigger than me! Than all of us!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring has arrived .. I have new baby chicks to attend to and in doing so I am watching similarities unfold between them and Caleb. They are so feeble, but so determined. They are grateful for the food and water I provide. They are full of life even if they do not yet see outside the limitations of their pen. Caleb is moving forward. He has always managed to be the most courageous person I ever met and I know he will not settle for the conditions he now lives with. He will find his way.

We are all reaching way down deep to find our strength. Kai works his mind to categorize and make sense. He is very capable of verbalizing his hardship and putting a name to it. Max uses his silence, his stillness. I simply put one foot in front of the other. I garden, I weed, I rake. I raise chicks.

When long ago, my friend Ellen and I cleaned houses to supplement our income, we would walk into a mess of a house and immediately put the fresh flowers out before picking up any cleaning agents. We did this with fanfare .. arranging it just right. It was, in a way, like putting the horse before the cart, but in doing so we could actualize, in our minds .... just what the end result would look like.

I feel the boys and I doing this now. We speak of happier times in the future. We are creating substantial plans for the fall. We hold in our minds the vision of Caleb as whole and complete. We plan to create something that Jan would feel a part of ... something that will remind us that he has not left us at all.

If you want to do something to help us --- as many of you have demonstrated already. Don't add to the Caleb Potter fund ... go buy yourself the biggest bouquet of flowers that you can afford today and arrange them as if nothing were more important .
Arrange your lives with beauty .. for beauty abounds.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

If you have not noticed prior to this rant .. I think of this blog as my private journal ( odd since it is anything but). It is my way to keep track (again, for myself), of the sequences, the highs and lows, my movement, my joys, my sorrows at the time ..... so that at some point way down the line, I can sit with my coffee some foggy early morning and read the story of our lives since July 4th. Right now it is still all just a blur.. a fast passing train going nowhere.
I say this so that you do not pity me .. I am ...... just observing.

I do indeed have back-up and we are all seeing a counselor, but she/he does not cover the calls coming in from prior dedicated customers who now cannot wait any longer for their gardens to be addressed ( I don't blame them), while I have a pile of bills climbing up to the ceiling. There are other landscapers ( not the majority) scooping up my jobs without a single courtesy call. I now have much of Jan's paperwork and mess to sort through, and I have the boys to worry about. I have no time to even sort through my own emotion, let alone those of my three young men. This is a nightmare of proportions that seems to have a life of it's own and threatens to swallow me down in one gulp.

I can only think that we are destined to do something else, the Potter's three and me. All signs are pointing in that direction and I don't wish to swim upstream, fighting against the current when I can jump in the rubber raft of my mind and drift downstream. The space in between what will be and what is....... is the void that must be created before jumping off into a new adventure......
and here on this precipice is where we stand.

In a way, Jan has bought me my freedom. In spite of the fact that we could not traverse our marriage as it was .. I always held in my heart the possibility that he would find his way home. Now I am not any longer tethered to hopes or dreams that will not be.

In all of the grief, despair, worry, confusion and anger, there is a feeling of divining water .. a bubbling spring that is working it's way up and up to find me. It is refreshing and new. It is the person I have already become, and have just not caught up to her yet........... but I will.

Caleb's memory and good humor is coming back, he is someone new to us .. a baby bird in hand, all puffed up with himself and waiting to fly.
Kai is a miracle child .. but he now has all the weight of this on his shoulders and carries it without the help of Atlas.
Max is tender and dedicated to Caleb in a way that is both touching and heart breaking. So much to bear.
I look forward to a day where we sit around the kitchen table and laugh with abandon .. with no hidden hurts dulling the sparkle in our eyes.

A footnote:
a call was made , an e-mail sent, and I found another one of my favorite people no longer walk this Earth with us.... Sandy S from PA.
I will miss you - you lovely creature of the gardens, you sparkling light, you lover of laughter,
and I will see you in my dreams.

I will see all of you in my dreamsl! mumsie