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Aaron’s Story

This is for the Insley boys- Aaron and Richard- who were in an auto accident in the early hours of Nov. 25th, 2007, near their home in Lake Elmo. Richard, 23, did not survive. Aaron, now 28, was hospitalized in St. Paul and continued his recovery in Red Wing. He came home on Nov. 11th, 2008. Aaron is stable, healthy, and receives excellent care. He remains in a minimally conscious state with the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Aaron and Richard were very close and shared many of the same interests and friends. They were both avid mountaineers, having climbed Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana, with their dad on separate trips.

Richard was a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, and was currently working as a bank teller. He was engaged to be married in April and was thinking of going to law school. We share in our grief with his fiancee, Jenn, and hold her in our prayers.

Aaron was a senior at Gustavus Adolphus as a geography major, and planned to go to MSU-Mankato fall 2007 for a graduate degree.

Aaron has made an amazing recovery in the first year and continues to heal from a head injury. Our hopes are very high for his continued progress at home. Thanks for your continued letters of encouragement and support, and for all the prayers for Aaron and our family.

Latest Journal Update

We've got land!

Big news—we bought a piece of property for Granite House! Only five miles away, it has almost 4 acres of woods with a nice high building site. The upper floor of the house will have a river bluff view to the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River. Since closing on the land, Tom has been out there on the weekends with a chain saw, brush trimmer, and skid steer, clearing out the burrs and dead trees. (see photo)We had a nice work crew last weekend- our business partner/nurse and her dad hauled brush all day. There’s much more to do before the snow comes—call us if you want to help!

Since our last entry, the Walk for Thought, things have been kind of a blur. I almost feel more relaxed on the days there are no caregivers because I can stay home and work on the phone and computer and hang out with Aaron. He and the dogs are good company. Tom and I took a quick overnight trip just north of us with the dogs in the camper in late September and caught the leaves at their peak. Aaron was once again at respite care for 8 days in October while Tom and I took our first REAL vacation in 7 years. We spent a week in Sedona, Arizona. It was beautiful! We visited my cousin in Phoenix and Tom’s cousin in Camp Verde but mostly hiked, dined, and shopped. We made a day trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon—my first time there. No words or photos can describe it!

Tom had to cancel a planned hike in the canyon because we needed to get back to close the purchase of the property for Granite House. The day after we returned we signed the contract, and then Carol’s mom went into the hospital, her mom’s cat was put to sleep, and we started working on the land. Whew! We have our full board of directors and are scheduling the first meeting before Thanksgiving. We’ll be filing for our Federal Tax Exempt Status, so when everyone is ready we will be able to accept donations to GRANITE HOUSE, INC. Our grant writer is already busy on looking for capital funding and our website will be up by the time we do our next Caring Bridge entry. By the time we reach the seventh anniversary of the boys’ accident, we will have something to celebrate.