In Honor of Tori
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Two and a half years later Tori moves forward with an attitude of ongoing hope. Day after day she faces her disabilities with winsome grace. She knows little of despair which allows her to exist each suffering moment with a smile on her face. Her biggest desire is to “BE” with anyone who offers her their time. She has few words yet in her silence she speaks of much. Her eyes reveal her loving heart. Her hugs are plenty as her arms reach out often to all who are willing to receive her offered love.
Her life has modeled a foreign picture to me. Since operating now with limited function in her brain, it appears she has been set free from the trap of the false self where ego now has no say. As I have watched her, it has felt like a crash coarse in the transformation of my soul as I observe how freely she lives. She has no ability to carry out any pretense. Her impairments have served to teach me many things. Among them all is excepting change then embracing it as I would a trusted friend.
Her physical recovery continues to improve. Although plateaus exist, more often spurts of progress proceed. She now walks independently with the need to be weened from the security of her wheelchair. Her balance is sufficient yet her brain can be controlled by fear of falling. The mind is the biggest obstacle to break through ones ability to recovery. Couching with tough love along with words of encouragement seem to help the process. Good friends and committed family continue to stand with her cheering her on to push through when she wants to quit. Her PT coach rewards her hard effort in therapy by allowing her to shoot baskets. Her game face lights up when she tosses now a left handed shot and the ball makes it into a makeshift hoop. Her dad steps up to rebound reliving memories of them spending hours on the court.
Its now time to begin finding movement in her right hand. Up until this point little has been done as they did not want to loose momentum with the needed time to get her walking again. Building strength to bring back dormant movement is a slow and rigorous process. Her therapists believe Tori will gain something but only time will tell how much she will regain. Having use of this hand would open up doors for her independence that will otherwise be impossible. Much of what I do for her is because of needing both hands to accomplish the task at hand. More and more she is choosing to struggle through difficult things as she utters the words “by myself”.
Although life at our home is met with daily challenges, the gift of caring for Tori never seems to find its end. Gratefully loving friends and family have given their time to care for Tori to provide some needed time for me and Tim to get away by ourselves. Fortunately in spite of all that has happened, by the grace of God I am able to greet each day with a peaceful knowing that the loving generosity of God will continue to reveal Himself. The pain and sorrow of Tori’s disabilities is ever present in my heart causing a desperate desire to encounter again and again God’s redeeming ways. Day by day we all experience death and loss but we find hope in knowing that in the loss the birth of a greater thing always comes forth. Watch with me and be awakened to the reality of His redemptive promise to restore all that we experience in human suffering.
Once again I say, standing with us has made our hearts lighter as your prayers prompted by love have carried us along our uncharted waters. It’s unbelievable that this much time you are still asking for an update. You are a gift. We plan to stay in touch as Tori perseveres week after, year after year.
Living one day at a time finding beauty in every moment, is where I always hope to be.
We love you.