Way back on August 8th, about two weeks into the beginning of this blog, I mentioned a few charities that were helping our family with financial assistance. One of those charities that has been there since the beginning and continues to be there for our family, is the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Looking back, I don’t think I really gave them all the kudos I should have, so I wanted to take some time to remedy that situation.
I remember back in Bethesda, getting visits from the “guys in the red shirts”. These were the very proud members of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. I don’t know if it was the red shirts or the white hair, or both, but they all seemed bigger than life to me. I remember being so touched by their sincerity and empathy; they made us feel like everything was going to be ok and they were really going to be there for us—which they have!
When we were in Palo Alto visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday, we received a visit from “Doc Barker” who is with the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. When he was visiting, all those same memories came back from Bethesda….”It’s going to be all right because the Marines are here!” They have truly been a blessing to Erin and Sam and our whole extended family and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their continued support; both financial and moral. Please take a few minutes to look over their web site, and if you feel moved, please contribute to this wonderful organization.
Sam’s medical status:
Thanksgiving Week (November 19 through 24): Our family (Erin’s side of the family) spent Wednesday through Friday with Sam and Erin. On Thanksgiving Day, Sam’s dad, Eric, was also visiting. We ending up going to Marie Callender’s with my brother and Sister-in-law (and family), and of course Erin. It was very different as Thanksgiving Days go, but I think we all were just so thankful that Sam is still with us and he is doing so well.
I’ll have to admit that, over the last few months, I’ve been pretty impatient and have wanted to see Sam progress more quickly. It usually takes a few days for me to recover from our visits because as you might imagine, I worry so much about Erin and Sam and my heart aches for them after I leave. But this past visit, and maybe it was because it was Thanksgiving, the Serenity Prayer kept coming into my mind.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I wanted to pass on to all of you something Sam did when we were visiting on Wednesday that really touched my heart. It’s been a few weeks since his trach tube was removed, but he still is unable to talk. At one point during the day, Erin left the room. Right after Erin left, Sam looked at me and started mouthing some words. He did this four different times in a row and did manage to vocalize a few grunts. I have no idea what he was trying to say, but I thought it was so strange that he waited until Erin left the room to try to talk to me. What was he trying to say? In my mind and heart, I think he was probably saying to me, “I’m strong and I’m going to make it, don’t worry”. Or maybe he was saying, “Tell Erin to stop pinching me!”. Hopefully it was the former.
Yesterday (it’s now Monday Nov 26th) Erin told me Sam seems to be having “flashbacks” (PTSD) from Iraq and maybe the actual IED explosion. She said at times he really starts to sweat and just looks like he’s under a lot of duress. Erin came in to his room very early on Sunday morning around 5:30 AM and he was wide awake and not looking very happy. She asked him if he had a bad dream and he said yes. She then gave him lots of hugs and massaged him and he eventually fell back asleep. Erin is going to ask the doctors if there is something they can give Sam that may help his anxiety.
One last note on Erin: On Saturday, she took her first day off in four months and came up to Sacramento for the day. As you can imagine, it was pretty hard for her to be gone from Sam all day. She is so afraid she is going to miss something significant. But—she did good and may come back up next Saturday to celebrate her birthday (November 29th) with us in Sacramento!