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, 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.