Sarah Goone's Journal
Written Sep 14, 2010 9:25pm
So it’s now been four months since the accident happened. I have to say, it seems like it happened forever ago. For the past few months, I have felt like I am back to my old self, just with some shorter hair. I am just as amazed as everyone else about how quickly I recovered, and so incredibly thankful. I think that what helped me the most was the support from every single person who reached out to me. Everyone who has been reading this website, all of my friends, and everyone in my family who have been concerned and caring this entire time have really brought me back full force. It every so often still hits me how amazing everyone has been to me lately, and how much that pulled me through.
I have to especially thank all of my friends who came to visit me at the hospital or once I got home, because your presence and all of your positive energy finally put me in a good mood and helped me connect with the outside world again. To everyone in my family, I appreciate every second that you were with me at the hospital and RIC. You all helped me as much as humanly possible, and thank you so much for spending time watching me at night so that my parents could sleep, even for a short amount of time. Without all of you, I would not have received so much love and support, and as always, I was glad to see you so often. And last, but definitely not least, I want to thank mom and dad. Writing this down is difficult to do, even to put it into words, but I think that the best I can say is that you are the best parents anyone could ever ask for. You spent every minute with me through all of this, barely slept, and never left me alone when I was away from home. You did everything for me, and since I have recovered, I feel even closer to both of you than ever before. I don’t think I would have made it through so well without you being there for me every step of the way. I love you so unbelievably much.
Ever since the middle of summer, I have felt better than ever before. I spent a lot of my summer in rehabilitation, but the rest of the time with all of my friends, doing whatever we normally do. I went to quite a few concerts, met some amazing people along the way, and am now back at school in all of the classes I was going to take anyway. Even though I have never particularly enjoyed school, this year is so far going really well. I feel like I have a whole new view of the world now, and my life has changed completely. But that is not a bad thing at all, in fact I think it is great to see everything differently and enjoy the smallest things in life when you know just how fast it can possibly end. So all I can hope for now is that the rest of my life unravels happily, and that every day I successfully overcome even the smallest thing- just like everybody else.
Written Sep 14, 2010 8:13pm
As I sit down to write my final entry on this website I am reminded of all the people who have been touched by our writings. I am aware that many of you have asked us to continue to update everyone about Sarah’s condition, plans and accomplishments. Thank you for your continued concern and support. Let me just say that as much as I want to yell from the rooftops how well she is doing at any given moment, I also want to respect her privacy now that she is moving on with her life. We saw her neurosurgeon today who after giving us the medical diagnosis of her recovery simply summarized it all by saying “you were very, very lucky.” I cannot believe how quickly she has returned to being herself and to doing all the things she loves to do. She has gone swimming at the beach, rode her bike all over town, seen Passion Pit up close and personal, attended Lollapalooza and for the most part made the best out of this summer despite the time spent unhappily in activities related to her recovery. She thankfully does not remember the accident and she just wants to move on with her life. I cannot say I blame her we all want to move on. Our hope for her as she starts school is that she can resume her involvement with art and the theater program at New Trier. To juggle school work and extracurricular activities can be challenging for even the best of students. We hope she will relearn to balance each sufficiently enough so that she is happy with her accomplishments with both.
We are so thankful to everyone who has followed her story on this website. That dark Saturday night four months ago when I sat up at one o’clock in the morning trying to get this site going seems like a lifetime ago. Possibly someone else’s lifetime because I still cannot believe what we have lived through. I had no idea the impact our journaling would have on others it was just therapeutic for me. Thank you Rabbi Weinberg for suggesting we do this site and thank you Adam and Rachael for helping me set it up. I am so glad for all the support we have gotten from our family and friends, Sarah’s friends, the medical community who have helped Sarah in every way and even from people we have never met. I thank you all for your support and for sharing stories and anecdotes, experiences and wishes of good health. I have heard form many friends about how they eagerly waited for our updates every morning. I can tell you that we looked forward to reading your guestbook entries every day. We were renewed with hope and energy from every word we read even when it was 4:02 in the morning and we hadn’t slept in 20 hours.
It has been a pleasure spending so much time with Sarah this summer, something I would not have had the chance to do if not for this accident. I miss her terribly when she is in school but I know she is in good hands at New Trier high school. Everyone involved in Sarah’s plans for getting back to school have been fabulous. In an odd way I feel this might be her best year yet!
In one of my entries I wrote that she just wanted to get back to being “normal”. This is a word I cannot use anymore in describing someone’s life. What we do as we move through life is what we as individuals choose to do, therefore, nothing is normal in the sense that there is one regular, usual, typical way to do things. She will forever choose to do that which creates her own individual personality and that in itself, is something to treasure.
Thank you for everything, for following her recovery and for cheering her and us on in your messages of hope and love. We could not have gotten through this without the support from all of you. We appreciate your support more than you could ever know.
Written Sep 14, 2010 5:02pm
Four months ago today, Sarah was hit by a car and almost died. The journey for us, with its many ups and downs, has seemed surreal. I know it has been a long time since we have updated this site. I will explain why, but first, I would like to tell everyone about how Sarah is doing. Simply put, Sarah’s progress has exceeded all expectations. She is back in school and all is good, very good. Sarah had many things she wanted to accomplish since the accident on May 14th; going to a Steve Martin concert (just 5 days after her second brain surgery), attending a July 4th Passion Pit concert, going to the three day Lollapalooza concert with her friends, riding her bike, swimming in Lake Michigan, and just hanging out with her friends. She accomplished all of her goals and we have been simply amazed. Reading through our previous journal entries her progress is hard to fathom.
I had a goal and I kept it to myself; that Sarah would start school in the fall and be in all of the classes she had signed up for, before the accident. Earlier in the summer the goal seemed more like a pipe dream, a one in a million chance, yet here we are. Sarah is in all her classes; virtually all honors classes at New Trier High School, and so far doing great. New Trier has been unbelievable in supporting her. She has support and tutoring available as she feels she needs it. But she is definitely getting back into her normal groove. She is as busy as ever. She leaves for school in the morning and does not come home until dinner, doing homework at night. She is on costume crew for a fall play and has started to attend her BBYO youth group meetings. Her brother, Adam, told us as he was leaving to return back to college, that she is gotten so much better, that he won’t worry about her while he is away this semester. Yes, things are very good.
Incredibly, the entire time since her surgery, Sarah has never been angry or upset that this had happened to her. She would occasionally complain about having to spend her summer in various therapies (which are now ending), but that was it. She did not get frustrated early on when things took her longer to do, or when she could not recall the right word, she just moved on. She was not depressed, nor did she dwell upon what happened. To her the accident is in the past and she just wants to move on, to move forward and not look back. Laura and I look at each other stunned at how truly lucky we are, life is pretty much back to normal.
We have not kept up the journal this past month or so because Sarah is getting very much back to just trying to be a normal teenager, getting back to her normal life. The public aspect of this site and the attention it brings can be uncomfortable for her. So we have decided to put in these final posts, myself, Laura and yes, Sarah. Perhaps we will also add some new photos. We will then leave the site open for several weeks for those who wish to make final comments and then we will shut it down. We intend to print it all out and save for us to look back at and remember not just her incredible journey but more importantly the people who cared so much about her. Friends, relatives, and many complete strangers, whose words of advice, comfort, prayers and just letting us all know they were thinking about her, helped us all get through this ordeal.
I need to thank all the people who came to her aid at the accident, the paramedics, the doctors, the nurses and hospital staff, all who saved her life. I also want to thank the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), her tutors, teachers and her many friends and family. There are so many people I need to thank, including the many people who have followed this website that I will, unfortunately, never know. I am trying hard to thanks those I know, but forgive me if it takes some time. It has been wonderful hearing from friends both old and new, and literally from all over the globe. It has been a truly humbling experience.
People ask me how the Sarah’s accident has changed my perspective on life. For me the answer is about the importance of friends, family, community and the support of others. The kindness of strangers and the thoughtfulness of so many people are the things, sometimes the little things, which made a huge difference for us. The note from friends we had not heard from in ages, people we grew up with, or a letter from someone we did not know, telling us of their stories and that they were thinking about Sarah. These are the things that made the unbearable bearable. For that, there are no words that can convey the gratitude. I can only say that we see these efforts every day in Sarah’s truly remarkable recovery. Perhaps someday I can return the many acts of kindness, but for now I can only say, Thank You.