One year ago today, I received that phone call no mother ever wants to receive. "Your son has been critically wounded in Afghanistan while on foot patrol resulting in...." You hear what they are saying but it is so hard to believe. The information of that day trickled in over the next 5 days.
Trying to comprehend what is being explained to you, preparing to pack to fly across the country for an undetermined amount of time, taking care of household items that need to be looked after, seeing that the dogs are going to be taken care of, getting time off from your jobs, relying on that phone to ring with any updates because it is not like you can drive to the hospital to be with your loved one. Such an emotional whirlwind. Then there is flying all the way from LAX to Washington DC, arriving tired and drained, picked up and driven to the hotel you will be living in for the next few months, check in and then be driven the hospital to finally see your son.
Seeing Justin for the first time, his beautiful face is the first thing I remember. Not a scratch on his face or arms. He cannot talk as he is on a ventilator so he is sedated and will remain that way for the next 19 days. During that time, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday was scheduled surgery for wash outs. This routine continues for months. Justin remains in ICU for months as well.
Time goes by and Justin gets strong enough to get off the vent and I think that is where we started the Blog. This feels like a good place to start to end the Blog. Once we get back home and share the final news that we are home I will post our final blog. The blog has given us a way to communicate with all of our family and friends and we thank you all for taking such an interest in reading it. We have tried to keep it light and up beat for the most part. When you experience a life changing event such as this, writing about it seems to help let everyone know what is going on, but most important helps with our emotional balance getting it out onto paper. This has been part of our healing and I tell everyone who is going through an emotionally tough time, to journal. Trust me it is healing.
Anyway, today is a day of celebration! Justin, Happy Alive Day! You are (as you say,) invincible! So go out and live your life and enjoy each and every day. Thank you God for giving Justin back to us, we know you have plans for him and us. We will be ready. Thank you all again for all the love and support and prayers you have given to this family as well as all our wounded warriors. Please continue to pray for our military who are defending the very freedom you enjoy. God Bless you all! Happy August 26th