Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
I am also linking this post to Miracle Monday, over at A Mom's life.
Today, I'd like to showcase a photo that I DID NOT take. In fact, I wasn't even there......physically that is, but my heart has been with this young lady for a little over 2 months.
I am thrilled to introduce you all to Michelle!
Isn't she beautiful? I think so. This photo was taken September 22, 2008, and I met her for the first time this week. As I stood in her presence, I trembled with emotion that pulsed through my body. I basked in the glow of her mother's love and gratitude as she proudly stood at her side.
You see....This is not the first time I have mentioned Michelle on my blog. In fact, my August 7th Photostory Friday was dedicated to her. Here is a photo taken of Michelle on August 12th.
Yes, Michelle suffered a very serious head injury on the last day of July. They almost lost her 3 times in her ICU stay. In fact, when I wrote my post, I was nearly certain there would not be a happy ending for this story. I am beyond ecstatic to report how wrong I was. With the part of her skull removed, to provide room for swelling, Michelle hung on. Her mother, Janet, never left her side. Family and friends were worried not only for Michelle, but for the health of Janet, as she refused to do anything but be with her daughter. Her own basic needs ignored. The following photo was taken on August 17th.
Somewhere around this day, the tide changed. Michelle was able to handle being out of her coma and started to respond. She wore a helmet to protect her brain, and sat up for some time, and gave a hug to her mother. The following photo was taken on August 18th.
From that day forward, her progress was rapid. With physical therapy, and a surgery around Setp 15th to reattach the removed skull flap, she has been healing, and as you can see in that first photo...she is THRIVING. Go ahead...scroll back up...you know you want to. :) AMAZING! As little as a month of time separates the first and last photo I have posted here. A MONTH. 30-some days....and she goes from being on life support, and in a coma, to dancing.......sigh. Now you can not tell me that Life isn't good!
Janet wrote the following in an email update on September 7th:
Well, many things have changed in the last few days and this past week finds Michelle doing much better. I can't even believe where I was 2, 3 or even 4 weeks ago....holding onto my daughter's hand wondering if that would be the last moment I would share with her; listening to the machine breath for her and imagining I could hear her say "I love you Mom". I prayed with all my heart to trade places with her even while knowing I needed to stay strong for Michael (Michelle's brother). Now we can go for a walk, talk, hug and kiss. She asks me why and how this happened to her and all I can do is tell her that with God, family, friends and each other we can get through this.
This week, when mom and daughter stopped by our work, my emotions were on overdrive. I gazed upon a woman living on the high of having at least one more day with her daughter. I saw a daughter reach to comfort her mother as she was overcome with tears of gratitude. It was a beautiful thing. As they left, I asked permission to share more of their story here on my blog, and feel so blessed have been allowed. They sent me these photos, and Janet offered these words:
Many things happen that make us look at the world differently. Please take something away from my situation, because there is no heartache like the one of watching your child, slowly slip through your finger, and the joy to see them slowly come back to you. I prayed on my birthday that she could just tell me she loved me. She did and I got a "happy birthday" too. I couldn't wait for her to hug me, and when she did for the first time, I knew my world was whole again. Please remember all the sweet little things your child says to you and hold them close to your heart, and when they hug you truly embrace the moment and hug tightly back. Which moment will be our last with them, tomorrow or fifty years from now, we don't know, but please cherish each word, hug, and memory for it needs to last us a life time.
Let's honor this mother's wish, and hold our loved ones a little tighter, cherish the moments we have, and LIVE AND LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!