Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Three Years

This past Saturday September 19, 2009 marked the third anniversary of the car accident that changed the lives of my little family forever. Like last year we went camping and enjoyed a spectacular fall weekend. Despite the glorious weather I found myself in a melancholy if not downright grumpy mood on Saturday - very much consumed by thoughts of how things used to be and what could or should have been. Fortunately for myself and all those around me these days don't happen very often. Actually it's quite rare and I am confident that Jim would agree wholeheartedly that I seldom complain.

What if thinking is a waste of time just as dwelling on the past. Feeling sorry for oneself also accomplishes nothing. Focusing on the good stuff and putting my head down and getting to work is how I usually cope. However on this day I gave myself permission to wallow in my grief firm in my conviction that things would be better tomorrow and sure enough that is what happened. Maybe sometimes you need to take a look at and feel sad for what you've lost to truly appreciate what you still have.

I continue to have some hope for myself and am currently seeking another opinion from a fourth orthopedic surgeon. I have more hope for Bennett's future but also realize that we have years of hard work ahead. We have a lot going for us - determination and the love and support of family and friends. We'll get "there" eventually wherever that is. I know that our expectations and our destinations will change but we'll keep on trying to have as much fun as we can along the way!

*Footnote: I DO believe in accidents and I DON'T believe that all of this happened for a reason. I can respect that you may not agree but ask if that is your belief then please keep it to yourself in this case as I don't find it helpful. I believe that things happen in life - good and bad. It is what it is and you have to play the hand you're dealt. It's how you play that matters.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Knew This Was Coming...

Warning: Angry Post Ahead. Read at your own risk!

Over the course of the summer I have encountered a few people who have made some insensitive (ie. stupid) comments to me in regards to Bennett and his lack of speech. I would be lying if I said that I didn't expect it. I also knew that these comments would make me angry. I wasn't sure though, exactly how I would react at the moment. I must admit that each time it has taken me off guard a bit and I haven't said much in response. I expect that I'll get more comments and questions as time goes by and Bennett gets older and his lack of spoken words becomes more obvious. So, in preparation I've decided to organize some of my thoughts here.

First of all to the person who asked, "Really - he doesn't speak yet?" My answer to you is "Yes, REALLY - now suck it!"

To the person who inquired, "Is Mama all he says?" My answer to you is, "Yes, yes it is - now do you want to talk about your mama?"

To the snarky woman in the grocery store who interrupted Bennett's joyous babble to ask, "What kind of language is that?" My answer to you is, "It's the language of #*!$ off. Would you like to hear more?"

We don't owe any of you an explanation but I would like all of you to know how amazing my son is. He may not speak but he understands EVERYTHING you say. He knows and uses more than 60 signs. He would know more but he's been too busy learning how to use his communication device and book which both have more than 200 pictures and symbols - he knows them all.

Bennett knows the alphabet - he can pick out letters and tell me what words go with each one. He knows the numbers 1-10 and can count up and down. He knows all his colours and shapes and pretty much every body part a human being can have. He can communicate in a variety of ways and you will be blown away by what he has to say if you take the time and make the effort to see it.

Does it sound like I'm ready for a fight? Yeah - it sure does. I'm ready to fight for Bennett and with Bennett for as long as it takes. And for those of you who still don't understand, although your words come easily without much thought or consideration, I have two words for you - BRING IT! I'll be ready for you next time and rest assured that I have access to all sorts of words and I'm not afraid to use them!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Long Overdue Update

It has been a long time! The past month has been busy - camping, a fair (not an affair!), a wedding, the start of preschool, Dr.'s appointments and a flu bug that just won't seem to leave me alone. I have been coughing and sniffing for almost 4 weeks now. I lost my voice for more than a week - I haven't been sleeping well and haven't been eating much. But enough of my excuses. Here are some pictures and videos from the last month.

#1. My beautiful cousin Sherry on her wedding day.
#2. My boys swimming.
#3. Checking out the sculpture.
#4. Pucker up fish! (notice Bennett's fish lips - part of our ongoing speech therapy efforts)
#5. Checking out a cow.
#6. Waiting impatiently for the parade which started 45 minutes late!
#7. My monkey on the monkey bars.
#8. Looking at the falls while camping.
#8. Giving Daddy a pat on the head to encourage him to get out of the tube!

And now for videos - first up is Bennett "talking" on the phone.

How about a little Flamenco dancing? The moves he had before I started the camera were much more impressive. Murphy is squeaking his toy in the background.

And now, a little bit of Jeepin' with Poppa. Check out the big thumbs up from Bennett!!

Last but not least - taking a drive in his own car. He's still working on the steering.