Monday, May 28, 2012


This morning was a time when I woke up and immediately thought, "Are we really doing this again? Does it have to be so hard for another day?" That's hard when that's your first thought of the day. I've probably said this before, that the good days outnumber the bad, but when the bad days hit it can be very overwhelming. Brad and I were riding home this afternoon and, for some reason, when we are in the car my mind fills with thoughts. I told him that if I could only use one word to describe our situation it would be 'suffocating'. When my thoughts get the better of me, it almost seems impossible to live in the here and now. It's almost like I'm swimming and can't come up for air.

I was also thinking about Brad's time in the NSICU and how I had no clue what was ahead of us. No clue. I don't think I could have handled or comprehended how completely life was about to change. 

I talked with a friend this afternoon and she reminded me of the importance and necessity to live each day for what it's worth. I have found this to be so true; just hard to do at times. She also has gone through a lot in the past year and she said one of the hardest things to move past were all of her dreams she had for her and her family. This has definitely been hard for us as well. Not that we won't be able to accomplish things we wanted to prior to the accident, just now they aren't done on our timeline. We think we are in control until that control has been stripped away and we are forced to focus our eyes on Him and seek His council. Too bad it usually takes a tragedy to come to this realization.

I told Brad this afternoon that if God said, "Do this one thing for the rest of your life and I will change this situation" I would do that one thing and many more. Brad responded, "Do you think we would appreciate our situation being changed forever or do you think we would get used to it again?" It's sad to say but I think we would get used to it again, being able to do things we did prior to the accident, taking things for granted. If we could only go back in time...

This simple pose is one of the hardest things to remember. I always loved that Brad was so much taller than me. It's the little everyday things, like standing in front of him in this way, that really hit home.

James 4:10 "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I haven't posted anything in a while... the last few days for us have been weird in a way. Weird moods and attitudes, we are learning, come with the territory and I haven't felt like sharing lately.

Update: Brad did get a release letter from the pulmonolgist to play golf! Hopefully in a few more weeks we will be learning more about the SoloRider and getting used to using a new technique to play a game he loves so much!!!

Yesterday we got to spend one-on-one time with Brad's Aunt Karen from TN. She came down (with her other sister and her parents) when Brad was in the NSICU but didn't get a chance to see Brad. We had dinner at Brad's mom's house and watched a movie afterwards. Tonight we had dinner with Brad's family from TX. We really enjoyed both visits and look forward to visiting with them again before they head home!

I wanted to share some pictures that Brad has taken recently with a new camera he got for his birthday!
This is a nest from one of our fern's hanging from our pergola! You can even see pieces of carpet in the nest from the construction that was done at our house!

Brad gave me this orchid on Valentine's Day in 2011. I thought it was dead when all of the flowers fell off then one of my friends told me to cut the stalk back and be patient. I watered this flower for over a year before any more flowers grew! Awesome! (This is also the flower used as our background on the home page.) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Golf Again!

Brad has always loved reading forums on different topics (motorcycle, truck, etc.) He has now discovered that there are forums geared towards people who are paralyzed. There are many different threads in these forums and one Brad read recently was about different things that annoy people who are paralyzed. One person mentioned that one of the hardest things is watching people their age move on with their lives and participate in "normal" activities. This has been one of the hardest things for me to consider as well. It is extremely difficult to see friends and family members carry on as usual, all the while thinking that everything is now different for Brad and I. Well, today we got a piece of 'normalcy' back...

While we were still in rehab I met a woman (Ginny) in charge of sports and activities for patients. She mentioned that I should see if Brad was interested in fencing, basketball, etc. I shared with her that Brad's favorite sport is golf but that the adaptive equipment to play golf (para golfer or solo rider) is very expensive. She said that she bought one 2 years ago and that no one has ever used it for its intended purpose; people simply rode it around to keep the battery running! Well, short story... The SoloRider is now here in our neighborhood! Ginny agreed to let Brad try it out, with the help a the golf pro (Kyle), who happens to be a friend's husband! Today we talked with Brad's pulmonologist to get a release letter so that he can begin using this equipment. The next step is to begin working with Kyle and re-learning how to play golf. There is no other program like this in the state and we are praying that it is a huge success and that Brad can continue doing something he enjoys so much!

This is the SoloRider Brad will use! His clubs strap to the front of the car and the seat swivels and stands Brad so that he can, once again, play golf! Thank you Ginny and Kyle!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This is one of the last pictures we took before the accident. This was taken at our house at our annual cookie party. I asked our pastor, Bro. Phil, to display this picture at church the following Sunday so that everyone would have a face to go along with a name when they prayed for Brad and his recovery.
It has been a little over 4 months since Brad's accident. In any given day there are many different emotions and thoughts that go through our minds. Today was the first Sunday that I can honestly say I wasn't mad, angry, or upset during the service. It was also the first service since the accident that I didn't cry through every song. 

Brad and I realize that we may never know the reason for his accident and we don't understand why God allows bad things to happen to people. The thing we do know is that, if we let Him, He will turn our situation and what we have been through into something bigger and greater than we could ever imagine or wish for ourselves (Isaiah 55:9 states, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts"). 

My attitude turned towards this way of thinking about a week ago. I am trying to be more intentional in finding things to be thankful for and praying that He would open our eyes to all we have and all that He is doing for us. Since then, every day that I have prayed that prayer, I have been amazed at what He has shown us. Unexpected donations, peace of mind that construction is complete, Brad having the ability to drive again, looking forward to learning to play golf using adaptive equipment, just to name a few. 

This is one of the earliest pictures of us that I could find! I think this is our junior year of high school and we are taking the train to New Orleans with his mom!
My grandmother recently shared an email with me about a lady who wrote the 45 lessons that life taught her. One that really stood out to me is, "Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy clothes. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special." I have realized more and more how true this is. Don't put off 'til tomorrow, what you could do today. Let everyone know how important they are to you and how much you love them. 

I am so thankful that the day of Brad's accident I got to get ready for work with him and get one last "normal" hug and kiss before everything changed. My favorite memory from that day was him hugging me, looking down at me (like he always had being an entire foot taller than me), and telling me how pretty my eyes are. We both said I love you before I left for school that day; what better way to start the day! 

We have come a long way in 4 months. I am pretty sure we have experienced every emotion possible. Lots of sad days, but we are glad to say the good days far outweigh the hard ones. We have grown so much closer to one another and I respect him now more than I thought possible. He shares his thoughts, good and bad, about our situation and always realizes we have so much to be thankful for. Brad has been a huge inspiration to me, been so patient in learning a new way of life, and let me know how much I mean to him. Because of this, I know we are going to be OK.

This was taken about 2 weeks ago on our way to Walker's. Brad's parents treated us to dinner to celebrate Brad finishing his licensure exams and me getting my master's degree!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Our story begins almost 12 years ago when we met as freshmen in high school. Brad and I began dating in October of 2000 and have come so far since then. We have been married for 4 years this month and have 2 Yorkies, Ally and Charlie. In December Brad finished 7 licensure exams for architecture and I completed my master's degree in elementary education. Our lives changed forever on Thursday, January 12, 2012. 
My husband was on his way to work, just like every other day, when he hit a patch of gravel on his motorcycle. Brad had to straighten the bike out and ended up riding down an embankment. Simply by the way he landed he suffered a T6 (middle of his chest) complete spinal cord injury (SCI). Although this was the injury that would change things forever he also suffered a C6 fracture, nerve damage to his left shoulder, as well as cracked ribs. 

Friday he underwent a forever long surgery to stabilize his spine. While in surgery he had to have quite a bit of blood transfusions and for the next 7 days he was  in the NSICU. Every day our families would wait in the hallway hoping and praying that he would wake up that day. 

Finally one morning he wrote my name down on a sheet of paper for the nurse; he was asking for me! I was on the way to the hospital with my mom when I got the call. We rushed to the hospital and I literally ran all the way to his room. At this point all he could do was write things down because the ventilator tube was very limiting. We conversed this way for a day or so before he finally asked me, through writing on a dry erase board, if he would ever get his feeling back. This is when I finally had to tell him the extent of his injury. This was extremely hard to do; I felt, at the moment, just as paralyzed as he did. Then he told me that this didn't change anything for him (life, kids, etc.). 

After leaving the NSICU he spent 2 days in a regular hospital room before moving to the Methodist Rehabilitation Center where we would spend the next 8 weeks. While in rehab I had the thought a few times that creating a blog would be a source of therapy for me, while also keeping friends and family members updated. Once at home I had a friend suggest the idea to me and now, here we are. The upcoming posts may be out of chronological order, but I just wanted to share our story with others as the memories come back to us.