Just a quick post this time...I'm operating under the philosophy of "It's now or never!"
First, THANK YOU to those who commented after the last update. Your feelings, your thoughts, your prayers brought me to tears. I do try to keep Christ's perspective in all this (and everything!), but our family is most definitely human and we do struggle every day with doubts, fears, and temptations. The prayer that was posted---thank you so very much for that. You captured what my heart cries out each day. I appreciate all of you who lovingly and thoughtfully comment, who have followed our son's miraculous story from the beginning or perhaps just found out, who never comment but pray along with us each day. You are allowing God to touch you, mold you, change you through Dale---and we will never be the same, will we?
Second, let me give a short (but, praise God, ever-growing) list of Dale's recent accomplishments. (1) Dale is able to speak more now and more clearly as well. He still screams some but can express his feelings or needs verbally better now. We still have to remind him to use his words! This morning on the way home from school, we decided to stop and get some tomato soup for lunch (nasty weather outside, grilled cheese and tomato soup inside!). Dale said something which I didn't hear, so I asked him to repeat it. He said, "When you get to the library, stop." He hasn't been inside the library--family favorite---since his accident. You know I had to let him! We only spent a few minutes, but it was worth it. (2) Dale is doing well with the worksheets we use at school. Some are reading comprehension; some are math; some are "tell me about the picture." He really does verbalize more now. SP has been working with Dale to lengthen his sentences, using five or more words instead of one-word answers. (3) Yesterday, Dale surprised me twice by getting out of the van by himself! He unbuckled his seat belt, opened the sliding door, and slid out to his feet. The first time, I unbuckled myself, got out, walked around the back of the van---only to find Dale on his feet outside the van! I nearly jumped out of my skin. The second time, I was ready. (4) Yesterday, during our walk, I asked Dale, "If you could be any character on Regular Show (cartoon), which would it be?" He answered, "Either Mordecai or Rigby." These are the main characters and pretty cool---to a kid. I then asked, "If I were a Regular Show character, who would I be?" Dale answered, "Benson." Benson is the boss. I said, "Why Benson?" Dale very easily replied, "Well, he's always yelling orders." Dale was punished severely for his impertinence---just kidding! We both got a good laugh out of it. (5) Dale sits by Dad in church now. This enables Dad to poke him whenever he tries to slump over; thus, Dale is encouraged to sit up straight and listen properly. This also means Dale is at the other end of the pew from his sisters, which means peace and quiet during the service. Also, I get to focus on the sermon more and not on Dale's quirks like standing up, slumping over, leaning on me, etc. We all win! Except maybe Dad. At least he's not complaining. :-) (6) Dale's teeth brushing techniques are improving. He used to brush well on the right side, upper and lower, and that was it. I began brushing his teeth at night after he had tried, just to try to prevent cavities because Dale was not quite doing a good enough job. Now, Dale brushes well on both right and left sides and even the front teeth! If you think this is not a big deal, try switching your toothbrush to your other hand and brush for a while. It's hard! Dale is re-learning this as well as many other things; it's good to see improvement in this vital area. (7) I saved the best for last! When we got home this morning after school, the library, and the store, I made sure Dale got out of the van safely, then helped him up the one step to our front porch. I then said, "Dale, wait a minute. I've got to get this stuff out of the front seat." By the time I had leaned insde, gathered up the books and bag of groceries, shut the van door, and looked up, Dale was at the front door, trying to turn the handle. I hurried up behind him, saying, "Are you trying to open the door? It's locked." Then I looked at the lock. Dale had found the spare house key (I won't tell you where we hide it, but obviously Dale knows!), inserted the key into the lock correctly, and had turned the key. I reminded him to let go of the key and turn the doorknob, which he did, and the door opened. Dale had remembered where to find the key, how to insert it into the lock (I still have to remind myself if the teeth go up or down!), and just needed a bit of help remembering to turn the doorknob! WOW! All of these seemingly small bits of progress add up to such big improvements over the last few months, few weeks, even few days. Thank You, Lord, for letting us see Your miraculous work in action! Like those time-progressed photographs that show a milk drop splashing up, we can see God's hand working in Dale's brain and life. And, by simply being here and being near, we are touched as well. Amen!
Luke 1:77-79 "To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."