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One year

Today is June 3rd. One year ago today is the day that Aaron was in the car accident that almost took his life. So much has happened in the last year that it seems like a lifetime ago.

I remember endless days at the hospital – listening to the medical staff use terminology that became very familiar to us. When your child is injured or seriously ill, you quickly learn all about something that meant little to you before…in our case “Traumatic Brain Injury” or TBI. The first day or two we just prayed that he would make it. Then it was more waiting and watching. One of the rating scales they used was called “The Rancho Los Amigos Scale of Cognitive Functioning”, and the scale runs from Level 1 (coma) to 8 (appropriate cognition and behavior). It sounds complicated but it’s just an evaluation tool to help follow the progress up the scale as they recover. Aaron was a Level 1 with a severe TBI when he was admitted – and that scale was a scary unknown for me. No one could predict with any accuracy of where on that scale his recovery would end up. And as I looked at it many times, I thought anything other than a level 8 would have been very hard to deal with. But we couldn’t do anything except watch him heal, and pray that we could deal with the outcome.

Aaron left North Memorial eight weeks later – amazingly an 8 on that rating scale, but with much healing yet to do. Aaron had a month of outpatient therapies, and then started school in the fall with his class. He’s had had a great senior year at Maple Lake High School. His good friends stuck by him and treated him just the same as they always had, even though he was different in some ways. The entire staff at MLHS supported Aaron in countless ways too, as well as outside vocational / rehabilitation agencies.

Aaron graduated on Friday, June 1st along with the senior class of 2012 at MLHS. We are very proud of his hard work and determination throughout this past year, even though the challenges have been many. He is now also employed part-time at Wal-Mart in Buffalo, and is registered for fall classes at St. Cloud State University. Aaron never lets any limitations get him down for long – he just strives to be as successful as he can in what he does. I’ve been thinking over this past year while gathering photos and articles together for his graduation open house next weekend. It would be easy to wonder what Aaron’s successes may have been had the accident not happened – would he have finished a year of college already doing PSEO classes? Would he have an easier time with difficult school work? Would he be more independent and would he have been able to do more with his friends all year? Yes, all of those things. But would Aaron appreciate life as much, and would he have the maturity and compassion for others that he does now? Would he have realized how many people really do love and care about him? And would he have learned that sometimes things happen that you don’t plan on, and you have to just regroup and then keep moving forward? No, I don’t believe he would have. Those are things you learn through adversity.

Congratulations on your graduation, Aaron, and for all your hard work this year. We are all very proud of who you are, and who you have yet to be. We love you very much!

“Your journey has molded you for the greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” ~Asha Tyson

Thank you to everyone who has prayed, visited, supported and wished Aaron well this past year. Sue