The end of a long but good week. Our angel of a nurse, Debbie, showed up for work two hours early because I “looked so sick” when she left yesterday. I almost cried with relief and gratitude. I had pushed it a couple days too far on the “no-sleep” front, and my body was collapsing yesterday. I got some rest yesterday and today and feel much better now.

I love going to PT when Lynette makes comments that match what we are seeing at home. She was bouncing Abbie on a ball and looked up at me in surpise, saying “Her spine is so straight now! There’s no curve any more!” I laughed and nodded, and told her that Abbie is now a “29”!! We are also noticing that her troublesome left arm is relaxing and straightening out, and the range of motion in her ankles is better than it’s ever been even though she hasn’t been wearing orthotics since she was burned. God is at work! The blessing is that I am watching things change that we haven’t been working on, which lifts such a tremendous burden from my shoulders. Any mom of a challenged child will tell you that there is never a night when you go to bed feeling you have done enough, and that’s certainly how I feel. God is reminding me again that he doesn’t need me to aid him in Abbie’s healing, He is simply allowing me the privilege of joining in this adventure.

At her speech group today there was a special treat – Lisa, our therapist, brought her 12-week-old Yorkshire Terrier, Mara. The kids LOVED her, but I’m not so sure Mara was as enthusiastic. Abbie hit her switch innumerable times to say “I want to see Mara” and had wonderful soft hands and arms to pet her with.

I took the boys out for an errand tonight and returned to see Ray sitting in the family room with a visitor. We weren’t expecting anyone, and I didn’t recognize him from the back. Once we got inside I realize we had a special guest…Darrell from our PICU days. Darrell was a friend of a friend when Abbie got hurt, and came to the PICU for the first time with our mutual friend. After that he began showing up at midnight, saying “You should go get something to eat.” Since I did the nightshift with Abbie, those midnight hamburgers were a lifesaver. He soon made a routine of coming at midnight and staying until around 4am. At the time he was a grad student and said simply, “You need help, and I’m able to be here…” What a blessing! We hadn’t seen Darrell in almost 18 months, during which time he joined the Marine Reserve, went to Boot Camp and training and is now preparing for Officer Candidate School, with a Flight School follow-on. I was excited to hear that the plans we’d discussed in the wee hours had materialized! I was also excited to hear his reaction to Abbie, “Wow! The changes are so drastic since I haven’t seen her in a while!” Love that!! She was talking with her switch and making lots of facial expressions for him. When I said that with her switch we’ve been able to confirm that she’s cognitively intact he said, “Yea, isn’t that what we were all saying from day 1?”

As I watched Darrell leave I was again overwhelmed by just how many hands have lifted us through this journey, and how our hearts will be bound to theirs forever.