Monday, December 12: Update

A lot can happen in a month. I was surprised so much time had passed when I looked at the last update. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way now that the ubiquitous Holidays are upon us. I hope you are taking time to relax and catch your breath. Events continue to lumber on for our family.

First and foremost, Claire continues to make progress. Claire has improved her muscle control and is responding to commands with increasing frequency. Her therapists noticed as well and requested another session with her each week. Therefore, Tiffany is in the process of applying for her taxi driver’s license since she is driving around the Metroplex so much already as chauffeur.

So stress relief will come this week: it took four months, but Claire was finally approved for an in-home nurse. We have mixed feelings. We are glad to finally have a response; however, the coverage is for much less than what we originally anticipated. Based on Claire’s needs, we had been told that we could expect between 60 and 80 hours of care each week: we got 20. We’re glad to have some because it will help Tiffany as the primary care provider; yet we are disappointed it wasn’t a little more. We will be completing the necessary requirements Wednesday and will start interviewing nurses later this week.

Autumn and Heidi have both put on their thespian hats the past few weeks along with countless other elementary kids across the States. Autumn has a lead part in her school play and has been regaling us with lines and off-key songs. I’ve taken to wearing a mouth piece so I don’t grind my teeth because I’ve got one of her songs in my head while I try to sleep. I know it’s a problem because I too can sing the songs and miss the same notes she does. After the play is over, I hope they invite all the parents up on stage so we can perform our version. I’m sure we could. While we groan (just a skoach) about it, we’re enjoying it. But Autumn’s biggest fan is Heidi. Heidi actually makes requests for some songs.

Heidi has also been coming into her own right on stage. When roles were handed out to the kindergartners for the Thanksgiving play, Heidi drew the turkey straw. It was a character that would have to express so much. Contentment, joy, shock, fear, solidity and anguish were a choice few of the emotions the turkey would endure and express for the play. I tried to explain method acting to Heidi. She listened. She concentrated. And her reply was, “Dad, I’m going to be wearing a box shaped like a turkey.” Duly noted. This may not have been her break out role; she did well nonetheless.

The theater work has done well to distract them from what we all know is coming: Autumn and Heidi are leaving their school at the end of this week. With the move to Coppell brings transition to Coppell schools. Thus far it’s been harder on me and Tiffany. I anticipate it will set in on January 3rd for the girls, the day before they head back to class. Please keep them in mind as they begin adjusting to yet another change.

We have a lot of time before then yet, and we’re looking forward to it. My side of the family is migrating south for the winter to spend Christmas with us. We’re excited to have everyone in the house. We have grand plans, knowing full well it with devolve into a series of shenanigans and mishaps (that’s the real plan anyway). I’m excited about our Christmas day announcement for the girls. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my time when I’m not able to say “I know what we’re getting for Christmas and you don’t” to them anymore. They’ve started ignoring me. I don’t know why.

Our hope has not dimmed with Claire. We continue to pray and work toward the same goal, that Claire, walk, talk and lead a full, independent life. ThereĀ  is a lot of room for discussion in that last statement and what it means, but we mean it pretty explicitly, without any caveats for what a “full, independent life” means. Please continue to pray and hope for the same.

We hope you enjoy your time with friends and family. Please take the time to understand just how valuable they are to you. Merry Christmas!