14 March 2009

Happy Alive Day, Guys!!!

A big shout out to Hack, Mayer, and Knapp! Like many others, not a day has gone by over the past year that I haven't thought about you guys.

Because nobody says it better than a Mom, here's today's entry from Knapp's Caring Bridge Page. (Mayer's can be found here.)

Dear Alex,

As we celebrate this first Alive Day I am completely overwhelmed with emotion. I am brought back to the day when our lives changed forever - it was a beautiful day in Michigan, 60 degrees in March is not something you see all the time - I had a closing that day and told everyone that you would be coming home that weekend from Iraq on leave... we were so happy we were giddy. Dad was sick from chemo, but we knew he would be better for you guys to go to Vegas.

When I got that phone call at 9:35pm I argued with the dispatcher - it could not possibly be you - you were on your way home on leave!! Thank you so much Reedy's, Donnellys and Delbenes for being with us that awful night - desperate for information. Thank you so much Joyce Groller for getting me directly to the Intensive Care Unit in Germany to get accurate information. Thank you forever to Maryann Phillips (a Soldiers Angel) for sitting with Alex for 2 days straight and giving me (almost hourly) updates on him and telling him how much we loved him as we could not be there. I can live forever and not be able to thank everyone for thier love and support during that time.

Alex, I cannot believe how far you have come - from the time that you "woke up" on Easter (and I fed you the Sobe Energie) with a spoon because you were so parched and the nurses said you could only have ice chips - to the "picnics" in the courtyard with the fountain. The mustache. The first haircut, because you were out of military protocol. The first time that you got in the wheelchair - that was really the start of your recovery - you had control and were on the move!!! The first outing at Austin Grill - with Mike, Tim and Dad... how much fun was that!!! The first outing to the Nationals game, tough on you- - but a definite good time and close to normal!! Out on Saturday night with Bryan and the guys - kicking your pain meds on your own - you are the strong-willed one!! Barbeques in the courtyard at the Molonge House - surgery and praying, praying, praying that you would finally heal.

You are so fortunate - so very many people love and care about you - everyone has been pulling for your recovery- you have done your part to get well, and will use this to continue to improve. I know that you will take this experience and do great things with your life. I am so very grateful to have been with you on this journey. I am so very grateful for the wonderful friends that we have made at Walter Reed (Hope, Vicki, Marcy...etc)

I am SO VERY grateful that you are here to receive this "letter", and I am grateful that you are well enough to embark on the next chapter of this adventure. I love you so very much.

Love - Mom

I, too, am grateful you're all here to celebrate your first Alive Days. Wishing you many, many more!

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