Seasons Greetings, Happy Ho!Ho!Ho and Happy "Anniversary"!
Ok - so we've gone from updating this site hourly, to daily, to weekly... and now after a several month absence- we're back!
Believe me, a lot of thought and reflection has brought me to this update. I wanted to write everyone at Halloween and tell you about Connor and his buddies going as "N SYNC" to a halloween party - and even choreographing a dance to perform that had those of us who watched it doubled over. I wanted to sit down and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving - remembering how BIG our table would be with all of our new family across the globe, and I especially wanted to write everyone about 2 weeks ago when Connor made it back to the lacrosse field and played in his first game. But, every time I had some momentous news - I had to remember that Connor is every inch a 14 year old boy who's only wish is to "hang" with his friends and not be 'the kid who was burned' and have his life chronicled for all to see.
So to catch some of you up without being too intrusive - Connor continues to amaze us with his recovery and his attitude. He has achieved many things that we never thought would be possible a year ago. He continues to eat and grow as only teenaged boys can, is navigating through high school without a problem and keeping his buddies Harrison, Colin, Zach, John, Bo and the crew busy trying to keep him out of too much trouble with the girls and his usual "connor-foot-in-mouth" syndrome that is unfortunately hereditary on his mothers side.
He maintains his sense of humor and only brings up the fact that he is missing the use of his left hand when asked to take out the trash or bring down his laundry.
When I asked Connor if he wanted to do anything special today, he said (and I'm quoting here) "What's today?" - he then grabbed his gear and headed off to a field with his brothers and buddies for a pick-up game of Lacrosse. As Donald, one of our many saviors in Augusta said - it's amazing what a difference can be made in 365 days! And honestly, could I ask for anything more than that image of normalcy?
Last December 31st, I had just been released from the hospital and tried to type everyone a letter on caringbridge. My hands were wrapped up, my hair and face were still singed and I was in a complete fog trying to comprehend what had just happened to us, and thinking - if I pretend to be hopeful, maybe no one will realize how utterly terrified I was. I knew everyone else was praying - and I was not exactly the praying type - but pray I did. At stoplights, in waiting rooms, in line at Target, before trying in vain to sleep. I had many, many conversations with God, the universe, Connor's guardian angel that didn't do such a great job - and I made a great many promises. To be a better person, to be more tolerant, to live in the moment, to relish every breath my children take, to appreciate my unbelievable - whacky- gorgeous- generous - too good to me friends, to cherish my scared, broken hearted husband, to not care so much about how I look and count calories, and what size my jeans are, to reach out to those who needed love, to "pay it forward", to volunteer my time, to be the best mom, sister, daughter, friend, niece, granddaughter, cousin on the planet. I would do whatever was needed if God would just keep Connor with us for one more day, then week, then month....
Well, suffice to say - I'm really glad God does not hold promises over our head! I did a really good job on the "not caring what size my jeans are" part as my 12 "happy to be out of the hospital" pounds can attest - but though I try very hard to "be all I can be", I still find myself slipping back into the old routines again. I worried about mailing the Christmas cards on time, did I get everyone meaningful gifts? How horrible was I to my sweet husband who snored on the couch as I ran to the store for the 50th time to make Christmas "happen" again this year? When was the last time I called my mom just to tell her how much I love her and not ask her to "research a doctor" or find information on a new burn treatment I heard about?
A person we met through the burn community said that people who have had near-death experiences usually mark the day of the accident as a "rebirthday". The day you were supposed to leave this earth, but for some reason did not, and that day is the day you were reborn to the "new you" with a chance to give your life purposeful meaning. Well this is Connor's rebirthday and he is happily doing what he loves to do, with the people he loves to be around and will eventually be eating wings at Town Tavern watching Monday night football... a perfect way to end his little "hopefully" uneventful day.
I will use this day as my "recommitment" day. To remember all the promises I made and consciously think about all the people that have made such a difference in my life and the lives of my little family. Because of all of you, and the power of one collective shout to the heavens - we have this rebirthday to celebrate and reflect on today - and I have the opportunity to take a moment to be grateful.
So, as we close out this chapter and wrap up 2009, we'd like to share our annual Christmas video - we send one out every year, but since our family is SO much bigger this year (wink) we figured we'd share it this way - the last little part is from Connor's first lacrosse game. It's a way for us to show you that prayers are heard, and answered - no matter what promises we make! And the true miracle that unfolded in just 365 days!
All our love and many hugs and here's to a healthy, happy and positively joyous 2010!
The McKemey Family