This time last year we were settling in to a new hospital room. Well, Joe and I were, Matthew was in a coma again. It was one year ago today when his heart stopped, just stopped. 365 days and it still takes my breath when I think of that day. After first becoming ill just after Christmas in January of 2013, then spending the better part of December 2013 at Children's Hospital Orange County to correctly diagnose, wean and start a better drug course we are so happy to be home.
Matthew isn't where we've wanted him to be, he still has so far to go. Remembering back now, thinking he might play baseball that spring. . .not having any idea what our future looked like, we just all feel so beaten. Matthew was released from TLC again in September. He was doing so well that they felt he was ready. It breaks my heart to know that either ignorance on the part of the administrator there, or just plain finances took Matthew off the path of healing he was on at the time. They didn't communicate with any of his doctors, just exited him saying the insurance was finished. If you know me at all, you know that wouldn't have stopped us getting the care Matthew needs. Unfortunately, the director wasn't having any of it. She was finished, for whatever reason. Matthew was exited back to day treatment and the transition, again, has been difficult. There are good days and horrible days; content days and tragic days. Joe and I feel as if we've aged decades in these past 3 years. Matthew tells me, in times of broken honesty, that he is depressed every day. That he hides it from us the best he can, because he knows how much we have on our plates already. The loneliness, the life we thought he'd have that he watches his friends bask in, passes him by. At times it breaks us all. Joe seems to be an island. Men are so different, he tries to stand alone, to carry this burden on his own shoulders way too often. Only one or two men come along side him to help him stand when he wants to give up. I'm so grateful for Zachary and Jake, near men, who love Matthew and stand by him with a stedfastness that amazes me. I have dear, precious friends, who listen and hold me up; Joe only has me so often and I want him to experience the love and support I have from my friends. It seems men just don't know how to accept, or often times offer, that kind of friendship. Forgive me for generalizing, I'm speaking from my own experiences.
But, its Christmas time and he's home! No hospital tonight, or any time soon. Matthew and I remain confident that he will be back on his feet one day in the not too distant future. That he will be able to serve the God he loves and is so faithful to. Tomorrow we go to Nana's house to celebrate, then on Christmas day to our adopted family, the Longe's. We are so blessed by those who still travel this road with us, those who remind us that they still think of Matthew and pray for him. A gift here, a note there, those things have strengthened Matthew and I so much. Maybe this coming year will be the one, the year of healing we are waiting for, crying out for. . .be blessed and have a wonderful Christmas. Take a moment and look at the people around you, those you love, be grateful.