On Aug. 22, 2013, anticipation and excitement filled the air as Britten moved from home and up on campus at Utah State University. A monumental step in his 18 month recovery!
I experienced some of the same feelings that day as when I sent my 1st child off to school. What an exciting process it was, as we shopped for clothes, school supplies, and met the new teachers, with the anticipation of the 1st day of school!
With little sleep the night before, he was so excited to think that he would see his friends everyday, he would make "new friends" and he would study, learn and progress.
As butterflies swirled in my stomach, I watched as my child stood, anxiously waiting for the bus.
When the bus approached He turned around and with a radiate smile, he waived goodbye and bounded on the bus ready for his new adventure. I stood there with mixed emotions, not sure whether to smile or cry. As I waved goodbye, I was choked up with tears. Tears of joy for his exciting new future that lay ahead, but also, tears of sorrow not wanting to let go.
Thoughts race through my mind as I question if he is prepared for this next step? will he be safe... what if he gets hurt...will he be accepted by his peers? It is so hard letting go after you have had him in your constant care, teaching, nurturing and protecting him, and caring for his every need.
As tears are rolling down my cheeks, these same emotions consume my entire being, as I know it is time. Time to let go. Time to let Britten go and spread his wings...and progress in his "New Life".
Yes, I am a little nervous...But I also know that I have to trust. Trust an all-knowing God to Britten's unknown future.
This past year Britten has dedicated himself to speech therapy everyday as he continues learning to read and write while he still deals with nausea every morning. Sometimes the speech therapy and doctor appointments seem never ending.
It is crazy to think that one year ago Britten started with the process of re-learning everything, like people names, places and things. He lost every one's name including his own family and friends. He knows who you are when he see's you, he just lost everyone's name.
He lost every word, that we started learning from the time we were born such as; names of animals, birds, fish, flowers, trees, vegetables, meats, and every type of food. He lost the words that are associated with our body like arms, legs, tongue, wrist, elbow, knee, Britten has had to learn all over again. Learning names of Cities, Capitals, States and Countries; names of occupations like policeman, fireman, farmer and objects like rake, shovel, hammer, watch, blow dryer have been part of his daily routine.
Recently we were doing some yard work and I asked him to get the broom for me so I could sweep the grass of the sidewalk. He brought me a rake. Well.. we had a good laugh. The rake didn't quite do the job. It is crazy to think that he has had to learn so many words that is part of our everyday vocabulary for us to be able to communicate but he is succeeding!
This summer Britten went on a trip with his Uncle Ryan to Chicago. Ryan had business meetings in the morning, so he told Britt that he could go down to the convienent store and get something to eat til he got back. Britt asked, "what's a convienent store?" Ryan chuckled and said, "a store like Maverik, 7-11".
When Ryan related this story to us, we laughed and said, "You mean we haven't used that word yet?"
Recently we made a trip to the Bank and terms like, "line of credit, credit card, interest, minimum payment" were all new terms to him. So many, many words to learn and then to retain. Besides learning the words, its learning how to spell them. Then its learning how put those words with correct grammar to make a sentence and then paragraph.
Can you imagine sitting down in a restaurant and not knowing what one thing is on the menu? It's like going to a foreign country, not speaking their language and being expected to look at the menu and then order your meal. Well, that's how it has been for Britt. We would have to describe to him what things are and what they are called. (We got really good at playing charades!)
This summer it was So Exciting, when we went to a restaurant and Britten didn't need any help ordering. It was exciting for 2 reason's. First because he could actually read and know what the item was on the menu, but second; because he could SEE the writing on the menu. I'm sure people were wondering why I was squealing, when he put the menu up and said, "I can do it myself mom!"
All the "Little Firsts" have been such incredible blessings in our lives.
The little vision he has in his left eye is getting clearer and he can see things better close up. He is almost reading normal print now. His vision from about 10-15 feet away though is still blurry. But...We are so very grateful for what he has, as it seems like he can see the whole world!
At times we really forget that he has little vision, because he gets along so well. He still has his determined, strong spirit though, as he plays competitive basketball and fails to tell them that he has very limited vision. Lately we have been playing volleyball, and he amazes us (having no depth perception) how he can dig the ball, spike it, and scores the points with his powerful serve.
He is truly an inspiration to me as I see his determination and how he has never given up on himself!
Our lives have been filled with so many blessing this past year as we have felt our Savior's love and seen his hand in Britten's recovery.
Yes, we are excited for Britten's unknown future because we know,
"The Future is as Bright as Your Faith."