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Tori’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Latest Journal Update

Tori Linda Two Years Later

I was caught by surprise yesterday as I watched the clock  approach the hour of Tori's accident two years ago. As everyone around the world was gearing up for the celebration of a new year, I realized this" Eve " will forever be a something different for me.  As the day unfolded a flood of emotion took over my heart as I relived the loss we experienced and still do today. As time goes by we are better able to embrace the progress she has made leaving us with fewer tears and more hope for her future. It is so beautiful to experience her the way she is today . The accident effected Tori's brain in a way they has made her live free. I admire her authenticity since there is no capacity for an ego or false self, much like Tori was before. I think that is why she was loved by so many.  She is all heart with an intense longing to connect with everyone she loves. Her speech continues to be very limited, yet her desire to communicate has increased leaving us frustrated as we try to understand. Each night she makes her calls to her friends and family hoping they will pick up. Everyone is so unbelievably responsive to her desire to be in touch. It's painful to watch her struggle through a conversation yet the people on the phone always meet her with patients and compassion. Her good friend Maddy takes the record for maintaing a conversation for 22 minutes. Because she was her caretaker, Maddy learned ways to draw Tori out and I think they created there own language. Having her live with us that first year is among our greatest blessings. When it was time for her to move on, God provided two of Tori's high school friends, Marissa and Jesse to help us while they were home from college. Lexi Brown, another sweet friend has stepped in this last semester. Care taking for Tori is constant.It seems like the more she improves the more needs she has and is less content to play endless hours on her i pad. She moves about in her wheelchair reaching and trying to care for herself. I catch myself wanting her to stay put then I am quickly reminded that this is really good. She is at a place where she desires purpose but very limited to what she can do. She is so happy when she gets to empty the dishwasher which really means putting them all on top of the kitchen sink. Her sweet friends and teachers Robyn and Sara from OLU High school have invited her to come after school to "help" them too. They give her small tasks to give her some feeling of accomplishment. It's amazing to see how much joy it brings her. This year our goal will be to continue to move her toward more independence . These past few weeks I have been able to park her wheelchair at her bathroom sink and leave her there to struggle through her morning routine of brushing teeth, washing her face, and brushing her hair. Limited to the use of one hand makes everything she does difficult. I am told she needs to figure out ways to improvise. Its really important I stay out of her way and hard to do. I have found I need to leave the room in order not to rescue her.  So far she has slowly come up with ways to do things using only her left hand. She is getting closer to walking with a cane.  Hopefully 2015 will find her back on her feet. Her close friend Kaitlyn, motivates her by telling her one they can move out together the way the had planned before the accident if she continues to keep fighting to improve. We know the chances of her being on her own again is probably not in her future but we want her to keep trying to recover with the same tenacity that she has revealed the past two years. 
Again, for all of you who continue to follow Tori we are without words to thank you for the love, prayers, and support. A great big thank you to Cheryl, Kara and everyone who participated in the last fundraiser. You all continue to be wind beneath our wings.  The road ahead can feel long and impossible to travel when I don't stay focused on the present day. Each new sunrise brings beauty along with a subtle ongoing grief. We press on seeing God in our midst in the cycle of life which is a series of death and redemption. Today in all the loss, including the death of my mom, we are living the blessing and joy of adding two grandchildren to our family tree. I have thrown in the towel on most of my past dogmatic points of view of religious theology  but today I am holding on stronger then ever in knowing God is beyond good. His extravagant love and generosity toward us all is reveled at the cross to exemplify His person.  May you open your eyes with me to see the wonders of His ways even in the darkest of hours. There continues to be no words to explain the presence of joy in this ongoing place of sorrow. The greatest tragedy for all would be to have missed it!
I will continue updates... Happy New year! 
Much Much Love , Tammy

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Comments

30 Comments

Jessica Barco
By Jessica Barco
Thank you for sharing and updating. Your trust in the Lord and sense of his extravagant love, generosity and joy blessed me as I read. I pray the Lord continues to lift and sustain. Abundant Blessings.
Jennifer Archer
By Jennifer Archer
Thank you for sharing Tori's progress, your hard work, your family's journey…truly inspiring. You are always in my thoughts.
lainie allen
By lainie allen
What a gift of Epiphany your update is to me/us. Thank you for sharing. I continue to pray for Tori and each of you/yours. May strong grace hold you up today!
With much love
Alexis Brausa
By Alexis Brausa
I am so happy to hear of Tori's progress and will continue to pray for each of you! She is so blessed with the love, support and dedication of her family and friends and that is truly a testament to God's love and compassion. You have each been in my thoughts and prayers over the last two years and I am so grateful to learn of Tori's evolution through this intensely emotional journey. May you each continue to be lifted up by the love surrounding you and through His Eternal Grace.
Becky Coleman
By Becky Coleman
Thank you for the updates, I tear up every time I read an entry. I feel as if I know you all and I know your story will and has been a blessing to many. I told someone about you today who's daughter was in an accident a few months ago and reminds me so much like Tori. I encouraged her to look into tori's story and to connect with you. God bless you and yours!
Jean justus
By Jean justus
Tammy -- this was SO beautiful. I especially love how you ended it. This is so very touching.
We LOVE you all -- we faithfully pray for you all -- and we long to see you.
Sally Apffel
By Sally Apffel
Thank you Tammy. Your words are beautiful and hopeful, just like Tori.
Jenna Cray
By Jenna Cray
Hardly a day goes by where I don't think of Tori. Please send her my love and know that she is always in my prayers!!!
Donny Anderson
By Donny Anderson
Loved reading this Tammy. Wishing the Cahill's a blessed 2015! Love the Anderson's
Audrey Gregory
By Audrey Gregory
So good to read your thoughts this New Year's Day. Yes it's true...God gives joy in the midst of sorrow. That is certainly
Evident in your lives. Praising our Great God for all the progress Tori has n is making!!! 😍😋🙏😘