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, 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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes at night while he sleeps, and I cannot, I steal away into his room and lie next to him just studying his face ...and I match my breathing to his to comfort myself..... In sleep he looks the same - eyes closed and peaceful, storing up for the next days's mischief.
I try to guard against the raining down of emotions, but with umbrella opened, I am still drenched with tears that well and will not stop. The adrenilin for survival has stopped its pumping and a new feel has moved in and has occupied it's station......grief and coming to terms with what is. Loving is not an option here - it is already in place and in truth sometimes I wish it were not....the pain is engulfing and whole.
To love is to risk. To love is to be held hostage to rawness the color of blood. . I have been processed through the meat grinder twice and then again....and yet I am still bold about love .... I would not, could not choose differently.....the love for my boys has a life of it's own ..it moves forward without me , in spite of me, and like the prominent nose on Caleb's face ..it takes shape. Love in this hour is the only thing that propells me into motion.

A certain religious group came by and stood in the doorway with the promise of a life that is bliss and peaceful with no more pain.... I was asked the question- if you had the choice between this life or the hell we live in- which would you choose...and I can honestly say that without blinking an eye, or pausing for a second, my response was----- I will take the contrast that this life offers- how boring would it be the other way? I choose life and all of it's heartbreaks - because I am a feeling, thinking human being, with many faults and many dreams..and my dreams ..my dreams are what keeps me going.... do not take that away from me! Never can you take that away from me!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life with a brain injured person takes on a whole different dimension- a different pace. Like the maple leafed mobile that swings in perpetual motion over Caleb's bed - I am used to moving around. . I am a do-er. Now my day begins with a cup of coffee at his bedside. We watch the birds who hover on the portico watching for the cat and vying for their turn at the feeder. They spot us and gossip. We count the birds...we blow at the mobile. We don't even think about getting up for another hour. We plan our day - will we go to the General for an egg sandwich and then watch Kai surf? Will we wait till Max is up and walk the dog? What slowly measured plan will we come up with for yet another 24 hours? I am the kind who winds the top up tight and begins to pump it again when it shows any sign of slowing...now I am forced to be on the lilting, tilting end where the top threatens to fall over if it does not get juiced up again. Deep breath! I am grateful for this langour. I am learning to trust the process.
I was at a grief seminar and I learned through other's stories that time reveals all unanswered questions. We are changed people from now on - never to be returned to our former selves, but what we might unfold into is acceptable, even welcomed. Will we always want our old lives back? Yes yes yes a thousand times yes....But already I am noticing that when I look people in the eye as we speak, my eyes linger jut a bit longer and peer a bit deeper. I listen better and I understand more. My heart has softened and clearly - even tho my top is slowing down, I trust that I am turning in the right direction.
We hold you in our thoughts.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I have two very close girlfriends who touch my heart on a daily basis. One of them I would describe as iceing on the top of a cake; the effervescence in champagne; or the phospherescence on the sea depending on the day or on her mood. She recently reminded me of the exercise of writing a list - and making it specific- when you want something to materialize. Write it down! She tells me she compiled her list last year and a partner ( a serious player) has arrived in her life and she will be moving to Arizona. All night long I contemplated this list making and feel certain that it works on the principal that what you give your attention to grows. (Abraham/Hicks). I will start my list today for Caleb and invite you to join me with your wishes for him.
I think it is those times when we think things are done, finished , that new ideas and hopes spring forth. It is also the time to re-examine our beliefs and to realize that what we "see" is not always the whole truth. I told you about the little rooster meeting his demise. What in truth happened was that at some point I could no longer watch this dog mauling my peep so I walked away, assumed he was a goner, spent two nights in utter disbelief and guilt over being a bad farmer, spent a good amount of time feeling horrible......and yesterday Kai called me over because he had spotted a chicken in the grasses..my rooster is back.
Time to make my list for Caleb - time to concentrate on what will be instead of what is..time to set my sights on the invisible .
Caleb is back at work on a semi -part time basis..both on the flats and on the shore in the gardens with me. When I tell him each morning that he is getting better - his response is "I hope so".
I am asking him to respond with "I know so".

Today is a rough day for the boys- it would have been Jan's 57th birthday. We are going over to his place after work and will continue working on the memorial garden that we along with the neighbors, have begun to plant.

I have a monthly calender with the names attached where birthdays apply and long ago I penciled in a big red heart next to June 5th and Jan's name. Our big red hearts wish him peace and love as we will always be beating away with thoughts of him. Happy birthday Jan.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Caleb's 26th

The skies threatened to pour down on us- but we were not having it---the Caleb Potter birthday party would go on..and on it did! Pizza at Chad's, lots of laughs, and a great effort on everyones part to be a part of it. When I am in this crowd of young men and women, just coming into their own, I experience a jello laugh which shakes from head to toe and reverberates till the night is final.

And today is full of more surprises... a well intentioned friend came by to drop treats and her dog killed my ever so little rooster..before his time... and it was a reminder to live each day as tho it could be the very last..we protected him as best we could for the month that he lived..but there are forces greater than us out there........and so it happened.

On the flip side, Max has met a darling young lady -- and the timing could not be better -- thanks to the powers that be! There is a smile plastered on his face from morn till night and a relief for me to know that at the time most needed ... he has a healthy distraction from the darkness.
In small, but healthy increments..we are pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps - Max's are builder's boots, mine are cowboy boots, Kai's are surfer's booties and Caleb is baring his soul through his bare souled feet.

I have been presented with the task of sorting boxes..some of Jan's and some of mine to make room for the things that the boys stake a claim to ....those which belonged to their father. So as I mentioned above the words .. "on the flip side" ...as I am becoming aware that there is always a flip side to everything and I want to remember this...... I was depressed for a bit thinking that a life in the end resorts to someone..perhaps anyone... pilfering through a box that once was a life. Photos, boy scout pins, money clips, coins, a small journal of a trip to Europe..... is this what our lives are reduced to? A box or two- a lousy box or two? Then I remembered the flip side ... all the people writing who have mentioned the many kindnesses of Jan, or the building project that Jan did for them - not just with a hammer and nails.. but with a flair and style..and soul - a Caleb kinda soul..an artistic soul .. a caring and an attention to detail...the extra time it takes to be special.......to be remembered.
And so I want to remember that our attention can be focused on the negative .. or the positive... one is not any more difficult or easier than the other- it is simply a matter of choice. i am still recklessly swimming to find the way upward toward the sunlight, and sometimes the water gets cloudy and I cannot seem to find my way....then something happens and I once again see cleary the path set for me- the direction to follow........when I come up for air I am determined to be mindful of the choice I am presented with. The rooster was killed, Caleb had a horrific accident, Jan took his life....... but Kai is surfing, Max is fishing, Caleb is on the mend, and I am sitting here with you.