A Long, Cold Winter
Dear friends and loved ones,
It has been a while since my last update, and folks have been asking about Kris. First, let me say it has been an extremely difficult few weeks since our daughter, Diana, and I flew out to San Antonio to spend a week with her. Kris’s spirit when we were there was wonderful: upbeat, working very hard, and trying... always trying hard. Her humor was fully in tact and she was answering questions with “yes” and “no” nods quite readily. She was working in a workbook in Speech Therapy and answered multiple choice questions by pointing to the correct answers after reading the question herself. Wow! I was so proud!
We are still so very proud of her and always will be. Her courage, her will and her drive to push forward astounds me every day. However, while the reports of her progress have been good for the most part since we were there, she seems to be a bit weary lately and that could be for many reasons. Her case worker at RIOSA explained to me just today that traumatic brain injured patients will go through periods of not accepting change easily and becoming complacent in a way.
Change came to Kris this week in the form of being placed in a new mode of care at the facility. She will be given more therapy directed toward teaching her how to re-enter community and home living (from learning how to dress herself to using a microwave oven). She will have all new therapists and actually have longer work sessions than before. Quite a bit of change in one fell swoop!
This new program started just yesterday, and no doubt she will be exhausted for a while until she is more acclimated to the care and the new program. While we are excited that Kris has progressed this far and has been able to move up into what is called the TLP (I don’t remember what it stands for!), I hear from different ones that she is just really very tired.
I make a daily phone call to Kris and either Russell or one of the nurses puts the phone to her ear. It is an encouragement to her, I believe, and it is certainly an encouragement to me! During these few minutes each day, both George and I talk TO her (she still cannot speak) and we hear her laugh or hum or even try to talk. It’s our time to give her as much encouragement as we can, and try very hard to let her know she is loved and prayed for and that she is constantly in our thoughts. George actually sang to her the other day as we were practicing (an old Jim Reeves song, “Put Your Sweet Lips A Little Closer To the Phone”), and she laughed and hummed, and seemed to really get a kick out it. I know we enjoyed hearing her laughter!
Of course, you know what I’m going to say next: please continue to keep her in your prayers. And keep us in them as well. We have started to fulfill the show and concert commitments here in Florida, and they are going quite well in spite of not performing for so long. We are hoping beyond hope, however, to return to Texas by mid April and to be able to book some performances out there as well. I will fly out again on March 1st to stay for another week with Kris because April is just too far away!
There is so much to do here in Sebring before we can go back and stay again, but I believe with all my heart God will make a way. I believe with all my heart, too, that she needs us close by and, even with her family there, she progressed and worked harder with the daily encouragement of our presence. Many have said that our place is with Kris and I fully agree!
Your prayers are still so deeply appreciated. They continue to be our support, and they have surely lifted Kris up many times.
Blessings and love,
Carol and George