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THOUGHTS FROM MOM
Christmas Day, December 25, 2000.
As I was wishing
a friend from Florida a Merry Christmas, she reminded me of the fact that
as Jonah's web site is being updated, there is nothing from me on it and
my involvement in Jonah's life. Mark pretty much controls the web site
and bless his heart for doing so, but it doesn't mention me a whole lot.
I want to take this opportunity to share with the people that are my friends
and family that Jonah and I spend a lot of quality time together.
I have had the best Christmas that I could ever
have hoped for. As I think of what could have been, I have so much to be
thankful for. I could be mourning the loss of my only child, and instead,
I get to celebrate his life, the progress he is making and the great time
we spend together.
Mark and I share our time with Jonah. I usually
bring him into my world on long weekends. He continually has "homework"
from his Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapist. He attends a weekly
session at the Phillips Eye Institute for his vision deficiencies and there
are daily exercises that take up a lot of time. His Visual Occupational
Therapist, Jane, has done much to improve his vision. His eyes do not converge
and do not fuse together. In other words, he sees one thing with one eye
and another with the other eye. Plus he has a black spot on his right side.
Jonah's special interests are coming back. He
is again involved in his music and his art.
When Mark went to St. Louis to bring back Jonah's belongings, he brought
his collection of albums, turntables, mixer, etc. along with airbrush equipment.
These things are Jonah's passion and he is once again getting involved
with what is important to him. In other words, Jonah as his "person"
is coming back. He was in denial for quite some time and now recognizes
his deficiencies and what he needs to do to overcome them. What is so wonderful
is that he has not separated from who he was before the injury and who he
I have been recognizing this about him, and last
week it was very refreshing to hear one of his therapists say this
"Most people who have a head injury have separated themselves from
who they were before the injury and who they are now. Jonah has not lost
that sense of "self". He truly knows who he was and who he is
and who he wants to be." Jonah has a good self esteem that he has
Another thing I learned about people with brain
injuries is that many have behavioral problems. They lash out, get angry,
abuse the ones they love, loose control in social situations, have sleep
problems, have serious depression, etc. Jonah has not exhibited any of
these symptoms. He has always been a "sweetheart" and since his
injury, this quality is a part of who he is every minute of the day. He
is very passionate about life. He freely expresses his love and gratitude
to the people who are important to him. He deeply misses his friends in
St. Louis and feels a loneliness for them. I've heard from a couple of
his friends that some don't know how to reach him. Let me take this opportunity
to say that Jonah's connection with his past and his friendships are of
utmost importance to him. Just put yourself in his place for one minute
and you'll understand. He can be reached by calling or writing to my address:
1880 East Shore Drive
Maplewood, MN 55109
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Jonah is spending time with me we are very
active. I involve him in family activities with grandparents, aunts and
uncles and cousins. His Dad and I also make sure he stays in contact with
friends that he had when he lived here.
I like going out and listening to live music (particularly
rhythm and blues). I've involved Jonah several times on outings with
my friends as we listen to bands and he has enjoyed that immensely. Last
week we actually got him out on the dance floor. It's great to see him
smile, laugh and move his body to the rhythm. It doesn't take much to please
Jonah. He is such a trooper and rarely complains. He is the total joy
in my life and I always look forward to him staying with me.
The goal is to get him to live independently.
We, as parents, family and friends, have a major role to play in this process.
Jonah is trying very hard and pretty much does as he's told. Encouragement
goes a long ways! Soon he will begin Vocational Counseling. One step
at a time and hopefully Jonah will be a self-sufficient young man that he
yearns to be. Jonah has his dreams of once again starting up his own business.
He has a deep passion for life and now realizes how it was almost taken
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time
and interest to tap into this web site. To get to know Jonah on a different
level and to pray for his recovery. You are part of this journey
a path in a young man's life that was changed by a random act of violence.
I am constantly reminded of Love in this Holiday
Season, and that Jonah is the real winner here. The two brothers who did
this to him are in prison. They are not surrounded by love. Jonah is
the victim and he is surrounded by more love than he ever could have imagined.
God Bless all of you who continue to be a part
of our lives. We love you.
And the prayers are making a difference. Please continue to remember him.
Written on July 27, 2000
I have realized the true meaning of "Time
waits for no one".
One minute your life is moving along in a normal fashion and the next minute
it is disrupted and you're on a whole new journey. A journey that requires
you to trust like you've never trusted, to have strength that you didn't
know you had, and to stay focused and positive every minute.
I arrived in St. Louis from Minnesota where I live,
the morning after Jonah's surgery. I stayed with him for 3 ½ weeks.
As I write this on July 27th, I am back in MN but plan to return to be with
him as soon as I can and my job will allow.
At first his progress was very slow - almost unnoticeable
for someone like me who was standing by, anxiously waiting for him to get
better. In the past couple of days, he has made tremendous progress. I feel
it is miraculous! Jonah is a very strong willed young man. I feel that the
passion he has for life and for his art is helping him to recover. He had
a lot of plans in the works right before this happened - plans that would
have taken him to a whole new, exciting level with his art. I am hopeful
that he is now remembering what those plans are and will be inspired by
them. God has spared Jonah's life and has given him a second chance and
he's now on a new path. I am so very proud and privileged to be his mother.
I have learned first hand what love, support and
the power of prayer can do. I truly have felt the prayers and have gained
strength from them. I honestly don't know how I would have handled this
from the beginning if it had not been for all of you who have called, emailed,
sent cards, made financial contributions, and most importantly have been
there in prayer for us.
God placed many wonderful, caring people in my
life during my stay in St. Louis. You now have a special place in my heart
and I'll never forget you. To my new St. Louis friends and to my personal
close friends and family, I want to send a special thank you for your support
and kindness - it means the world to me.
I am also very touched by the many emails that
Jonah has received on his message board. Messages from family, current friends,
old friends and people who have never met him. Thank you for your words
of encouragement and your prayers. I'm sure Jonah will get so much enjoyment
and inner strength from reading them.
Yes, time waits for no one. Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present!
Thank you everyone and God Bless you.