Aaron Insley's Journal
Written Dec 8, 2013 7:54pm
We made it through another Thanksgiving weekend, through the sixth anniversary of the boys’ accident. Many thanks to those of you who were thinking of us and called. With my mom still unable to get around easily, we opted out of the traditional gathering and went out to eat with Jenn one evening and my mom another. Thanksgiving Day was a quiet day at home for baking holiday goodies and working on Christmas cards. Aaron is now finished with his fall round of appointments and we will be taking our wheelchair conversion van in for maintenance on the ramp system.
We are fortunate to be having our home care visits continue through the winter—home care nurse, massage therapy, and music therapy. We have a new music therapist, a young woman with a beautiful voice and a variety of instruments. It is interesting to see how Aaron is responding to a female voice now, after a male voice over the past year. She is skillful in engaging his gaze and getting him to follow her with his eyes, called “tracking.” Even when the session begins with Aaron seeming restless or agitated, it ends with him appearing to be relaxed and satisfied. Likewise, the therapeutic massage therapy sessions give Aaron a reprieve from his periods of restlessness, and we are pleased to see him so completely relaxed, even if it is for just a few hours after the treatment.
The Christmas season is still in a process of being re-invented for our “new normal.” Tom saved a few vacation days so we have time to go out and enjoy these short daylight hours while we have help at home. We are keeping with some of our traditions, discontinuing others, and for the most part trying to stay under the radar of all the rushing around of the season. We look forward to the New Year and making plans for the Stargazing on Richard’s birthday, Tom’s outdoor trips, and hopefully some time away for the two of us.
Holiday greetings to all of you, thanks for staying with us, and our best wishes for the New Year.
Written Oct 30, 2013 12:27pm
There are times that we realize how fortunate we are that Aaron’s health is so stable and that we have such excellent help. This month has been another very busy month with Carol’s mother, who fell on Sept 30 and broke her femur. Between the daily phone calls, every-other-day visits, the management of her medical and business affairs, and the maintenance of her 12-year old cat, we have had our hands full. She is ready to go back to her assisted living apartment tomorrow, and with additional help, we have our hopes high that she will not fall again. On the days when we have help at home, I have been busy all day with errands and it is actually a relief to have a day when I have to stay home and care for Aaron myself. He is good company, (a very good listener!) I can catch up on work at home, and I am still able to have people come to the house for his therapy. Only two more appointments left for Aaron before winter.
Tom did get up to the Boundary Waters for a canoe trip (photo on Cherokee Lake), while I stayed home to host a visit from my BFF from Chicago.We both had beautiful weather and excellent conditions. The following weekend we made a quick trip with the camper to enjoy hiking and lots of laughs with the dogs. We are ready for that quiet stretch of weeks we’ve been counting on and hope it will come soon. It’s rather unusual that most of our leaves are still on the trees at this time, and are still very colorful.
Written Sep 18, 2013 3:19pm
We are at the end of a very busy stretch of weeks, leading up to Richard’s interment and a large family gathering held at our home. The photo shows the ground marker at Richard’s grave site in Stillwater, MN. It has taken every bit of the almost-six years since the accident to get to this point, starting with the decision to postpone the interment in the first place. We had hoped from the beginning that Aaron would make progress to the point that he could participate in the ceremony, but since it did not work out that way, we continued to question whether we wanted to purchase a family grave site here in Minnesota. Finally, last fall at the fifth anniversary of the accident, we decided that Lake Elmo is our home and we would stay. We then chose this past weekend for the interment because of the family gathering.
Having the whole summer to plan for this service allowed us the opportunity to make it very special. Taking the time to carefully design the ground marker with an image of Granite Peak was Tom’s idea, as was using a block of granite to hold Richard’s ashes. He used the climbing rope from his and Richard’s trip to Granite Peak to lower the 50-lb. urn into the ground. Inside the container we each (including Jenn) placed something significant to our relationship with him. It was a short but meaningful service, and we had 12 friends and family members share it with us.
The rest of the weekend was busy with shared meals, photo albums, and lots of hugs. We are looking forward to a quiet month as the leaves start to turn. A fall camping trip is in the works and Tom’s annual canoe trip into the Boundary Waters is on the calendar.