John 1:5

Christmas flew by in a joyous blur, but there were some profound moments and lasting memories.

We went to church on Christmas Eve morning, and as we sang those familiar songs I realized that I am now living in a much different place, a different “day”. Long ago, around the time of the first Easter after Abbie’s accident I wrote about feeling “stuck in my Saturday”, the day between the suffering and the resurrection. Still overwhelmed by grief, each day challenged me to take one more step towards Sunday, even though it seemed so far away.

Last weekend my heart rejoiced with the understanding that I am now living in my own Christmas Eve. The hope is reaching its fullness, and I am deeply assured that even more than we have dreamed is about to come to fruition. Like Mary, there are things I cannot explain right now, and some that I don’t even understand yet, but I wait in the stillness of the night with a quiet smile, knowing…

My parents were with us for a week, and it was encouraging to see them note changes in Abbie even during the short period they were here. Abbie would think the most important thing to tell you is that she lost her second front tooth the day after Christmas. I joked with her that she is keeping us busy with all the nighttime visitors, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy…that elicited a big grin from her. She clutched her two shiny quarters all day today, even during her bath. Her vision continues to improve, and the pupils that have been hyperdilated since her injury now appear normal much of the time. That size difference has a big effect not only on how well she sees but on how good she looks, making her look more “there”. Her upper lip retracted quite a bit in the months after her injury, but it is now coming back down into a normal position, which will eventually make eating and talking much easier for her.

One of Abbie’s biggest concerns right now is being left out or left behind. There are times when we take the boys to do things and leave her at home with a nurse, sometimes for health reasons and sometimes for logistical reasons. This is starting to be increasingly aggravating to her, and we are trying to include her in as many outings as possible. I am happy to see this desire become more pronounced and strongly communicated. She now does exceptionally well when we take her out, unless it’s to a movie theater. We went to lunch on Chase’s birthday (12/23) and after a brief catnap she awoke to show off her dimple as she grinned at each of us. It was the first time I saw her independently engage to the point of smiling without someone being in her face or physically entertaining her. Another step…

At this time of year, like most of you probably, I find myself reflecting on my greatest treasures, which are all people. I am overwhelmed that God has blessed me with such a wonderful man to share my life with, and that he has given us five amazing, unique children. Every day is an adventure! I am also a proud auntie to the smartest boy in Seattle, Cooper and his budding sidekick, Oscar. I knew my sister was worth keeping around, even though I tried to give her away when she was born. I am profoundly thankful for all those who’ve joined “Abbie’s Team” – the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other professionals. They inspire me with their wholehearted dedication and love. I am forever indebted to the other families of brain injury survivors who I’ve met, corresponded with, or followed via the internet. You have been my guides, comrades, encouragers, strong shoulders, and knowing hearts. And, I will be forever humbled by all of you who have joined us in this journey (even you lurkers out there who’ve never posted…I still feel your prayers!) You have been many things to us – our lifeboat, a rescue line, the voice that says, “Yes, you can” when we think otherwise — you have dreamed the dream with us, and we will never be able to thank you enough.

John 1:5 says, “And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it.” (AMP) This Christmas a new Light is dawning in our family, and it is illuminating a whole new day. Joy comes in the morning!