Update on us 8/9/11

9 Aug

I clearly remember this day last year as a very sad, lonely and painful day.  It’s hard to get past the memories of something like this and I often think I’m just beginning on this journey and at the same time just starting to heal from so much.  Just as Graham had to deal and work through the lifting of his ‘fog’ and come to more, I’m realizing that my own ‘fog’ is still very much in place.  I would watch Graham’s lift over the months and I cried sometimes with happiness and sometimes with hurt as I watched him struggle with the simple things in life.

We were married 8 years ago today and just like many of you out there who share in the joy of marriage, the memories are still vivid in my heart and mind.  It was a day etched as special, unique and in my mind should always be as each anniversary rolled around.  Last year was by far the worse day of my life and it just so happened to fall on our anniversary day.  I had just received news that Graham would most likely not wake up and I had had about 12 hours to let it all sink in.  The sinking in part, by the way, is torture.  I had never cried like that before; weeping that comes from such a deep part of you, perhaps the deepest part of you.  I didn’t know how I was going to survive it and for some reason instead of the memories being clouded by pain or that “blocking out” method that some are able to do; I remember everything very clearly, even after a year.

I remember how Graham looked, smelled, how he wasn’t doing anything, how his lungs filled with fluid and every few minutes the nurse would have to come and stick this contraption down his lungs and suck it all out.  His skin changed color, he didn’t even look like someone that I knew and his body was ravaged with fever.  The machines beeping, the endless beeping, watching them beep, dreaming about them beeping and knowing that without them he would not be able to survive.  The chair I would sit in was hard and I sat for countless hours praying, crying and holding his hand, desperate for answers and any kind of hope to hold onto.  The chair would skid loudly across the floor anytime I wanted to move or change positions and it was heavy.  Sometimes I would sit on this ledge in his room that overlooked the parking lot and I watched life continue for everyone else and wonder why the sun was still shining.  The weather was gorgeous and I was inside, torn about where to be and when to be there.  Should I stay with Graham or be with my kids?  It was a constant question on my heart.

Depressing memories I know and there’s so many more.  I’m having trouble figuring out why after all this time it’s still so raw and painful.  Graham is healing, he’s home, he’s doing so well, so why do I find myself tearing up every time someone talks about it all.  Why do I feel stuck, unable to move forward?

I have been completely open and honest from the very beginning of all of this.  Perhaps that’s a reason why I’m so supported and loved on:  I’m real and don’t try to hide things.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, maybe even a bit too much.

It’ hard to explain exactly what I’m going through and like others I find my emotions oftentimes getting the better of me on some days.  I think what is happening to me is normal and actually healthy because I believe I’m just entering the healing stage of this.

Healing from what?!?!  You have your husband back, he’s here with you, he lives with you…what on earth do YOU have to heal from?  I scream these questions in my brain all the time.  But here’s what true.  Just as Graham is no longer exactly the same person, I too, am different.  It’s hard enough dealing with a loved one changed and finding your life going down a road you never could have imagined.  But to have your own self, your own core, rocked so hard…..the terrain is just different now.  It’s not a nice flowing meadow filled with flowers and butterflies.  I guess it was never quite like that, but you get the point.  It’s rocky now, steep, dark and I’m walking it barefoot.  Not alone, just barefoot.

I see this next year of writing our story evolving into something different, even more real, and I’m excited about it.  Scared, but excited.  I will continue to share of Graham’s continued healing, but I want to dig deeper into my own healing and transformation.  The ups and downs of an 8 year old marriage with two little kids and a brain injury thrown in there just for fun will provide endless topics for me.  This whole ‘writing’ thing has been therapeutic for me and although I’ve considered stopping, I feel it’s necessary for my own self to keep going.  I hope you too will continue to be encouraged and blessed.  I don’t ever want this to turn into something it’s not and I only want it to be used for God’s glory…His ultimate story!  I believe God has called me to keep writing, so I will continue to do so until He tells me to stop.

Miracle of the day:

This is more of a prayer request…but Graham’s arm has really regressed this summer.  What is good is that he knows and sees it, but what’s scary is that it’s gone backwards so quickly and badly that I’m nervous for him.  He’s frustrated and I’ll be honest I was hoping we could be done with therapy.  The hard fact is that we will most likely not be done with this for a LONG time.   We are both anxious for things to slow down around here and get motivated to work hard on things!  The miracle for me in this is that he’s aware!!!  He knows it’s bad and he’s willing to do the work to get it going a bit better!

Humor of the day:

We have had an amazing week with Graham’s parents and little brother, Tommy, in town.   A much better stay this time around than last year!  They have survived us taking them to the beach, tubing down the river, picking endless blackberries, 4-wheeler rides, horseback rides, and fishing.  The ‘city-slickers’ have even survived a gruesome attack from a yellow jacket nest and a poison ivy outbreak!  All in all a great vacation I think!!

Some wrestle time with “Pa-paw”






 Can someone say Cheese balls?

10 Responses to “Update on us 8/9/11”

  1. Roseann beard August 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    What an absolute blessing this was to read Randi. And I’m so glad that you’re going to continue to write…..I know it helps you….but you’ll never know, this side of heaven, how much it has helped me. I love you sweet girl ~ and I rejoice with you in how far you guys have come. Kiss Graham and the boys from Aunt Roti. Love you!!

  2. Erin August 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Love this post… in a way, it’s so encouraging. Having had several friends walk through this kind of journey, it seems that sometimes the first year is sometimes more about surviving than really living through all the experiences – not to say that you don’t feel them vividly, but that it’s just about getting through, day by day, moment by moment. Then the time comes to remember, to feel, to sort through the trauma of what happened, and to heal. I really appreciate that you continue to share so honestly because it helps me remember that this marathon is NOT over – really, you’re just starting mile 2. Your commitment to Graham is for this lifetime, and it’s amazing to see that you refuse to waver, and you continue to cling to God as your hope.

    Through it all, God’s glory continues to resonate. His presence and the fact that He is the one holding your family together on this journey is always evident in your perspective, your words, and in the things you choose to share.

    You have always been such an example to me – in all the stages of your life. It’s been a joy to know you as you and Graham dated, got engaged, married, lived in that tiny apartment where you could almost reach the bathroom AND your bedroom while standing in the middle of it, hung out by the round pen and tried to decide which two baby horses to call your own, built your house from the ground up, expanded your family and parented your kids, and walked through this last year… the thread that runs through it all is faithfulness. You are faithful to the love of your life and, even more importantly, faithful to the God who has led you through all of it. You have been faithful this last year because you walked faithfully long before that.

    It challenges me to be a woman who is faithful. Keep up the good work, Randi. You’re not perfect, but God is using you. Your kids and your man are blessed to have you. I am blessed to count you as a friend, even from 3,000 miles away. One of these days, hopefully Bruce and I will be able to stop by and chat over french toast casserole again (SOO good!), and I can introduce you to our little one and we can meet your little guys. It’s definitely something I pray for! Pottersville/Schroon Lake will always be a place we hold in our hearts.

    In the meantime, I continue to pray for you and think of you often. Love you! -Erin

  3. Amy Harness August 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Randi….your sentiments are SO familliar to me. After a long battle w/ infertility, we conceived triplet boys. All was well. At EW weeks, all were “breathing” and we were headed for the last little bit before our sons arrived. 4 days later at a routinee (if you can count anything about my pregnancy as “routine”) OB visit, we learned Isaac was dead. It was the worst day of my life. An urgent C section…I can remember it ALL. VIVIDLY, burned into my sould. Sights sounds, smells. Mostly sounds though. And my sons are 15 1/2. When they turned 14 (why 14??????) I had a HORRIBLE time w/ grief, crying all day long, praying for no students to come to the school clinic so I wouldn’t have to fake being OK. It will take years, Randi. But God is good. He finds the hurt places, we don’t even kow about and kisses them and heals them. So blessed to have heardyou both speak @ the Rodeo last Fri. I’ve waited a year for it. I knew he would stand and give God glory! I KNEW he would.

  4. Lisa August 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Changed, Randi, but doubtless closer to the image of Christ. He’s not finished with you yet…or me, either. 🙂

  5. Cindi August 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    thanks for your honesty Ran! I love you lots and wish so badly that I was in NY to be your friend “in person”. Please know that I think about you often and pray for you.

  6. Shannon August 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I remember those first years after my sweet husband (then boyfriend) was injured (TBI) I actually spent a year in weekly counseling as I learned pretty quickly what Post traumatic stress disorder looks and feels like. When you talked about the smells, the beeps, the chairs…it is all still very “close” for me…even 11 years later. Something about trauma causes all those senses to be heightened and if I am talking about Mike’s accident or thinking about it, I can literally close my eyes and be there again. I often have to look around me, at my sweet girls and very healthy husband and remind myself that I am not there anymore. I love the realness of your blog, I think I stumbled upon this one and another for some added “therapy”. It often defies logic why my husband is here…I need to remind myself that I am not the driver of this bus and that it is God’s plan and will that he is here. I ponder often about what I am supposed to take from this. I am afraid there may still be lessons to be learned and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn them. I send you many hugs for strength…I know what the best possible outcome looks like and while intensely beautiful, it has its challenges as well. Prayers for continued healing for Graham…and also for you, because while physically you did not have to recover, emotionally, everyone who loves Graham does.

  7. Marci DeHaan August 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Your words are always so encouraging, even though I know you are writing not so much for anyone else as it is a way of going through your own healing. Fortunately for the rest of us, you have a way of puting your feelings to words that encourages all of us that are going through the trials of life, or maybe are in need of healing from past hurts. Thank you for being open and honest, and for continuing to write, even amongst your super-busy life.
    It is so great to hear of all the recovery and blessings that you and your family are experiencing. It’s exciting to think of what is coming next for you!

  8. sharon faulkner August 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    I understand what you are saying Randi… it’s a grieving I think that you are experiencing… a grieving of what in your mind is “normal” but not wanting to let go of the blessings and lessons you’ve learned. Thanks for you honesty and inspiration! Sharon

  9. becky gray August 10, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Thank you, Randy, for your transparent honesty. I’ve not “checked in” for quite a while, and what I see are genuine faith working itself out through genuine flesh and blood struggles and genuine day-to-day, ongoing victory. What is interesting is ongoing victory doesn’t always look and feel like that, until we keep trudging along in the Lord, then look back, and suddenly, we’re aware of what God has done right under our noses! Thank you for encouraging me by your “keeping on” attitude. God bless!
    Becky Gray (Lauren Gray’s mom :))

  10. marlene a hibbard September 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    By all means, as stated in other comments, you need to keep writing. I hope you have backedup all of your posts. I know God will use it. I have an unsaved friend who’s wife acquired a brain injury. A virus attacked her brain. About four years ago when her children were 2 and newborn. I hope to be able to share your thoughts with him.

    Marlene Hibbard

    also have a blog and am an author and your blog makes mine look sick. You have an excellent communication gift. Descriptions are well stated.

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