Oh my where to begin! Today was a very joyous day as we celebrated Jon's birthday, even though it was tempered a bit because we had to celebrate in the hospital. But it was a big day! We FINALLY head home tomorrow, and as we've said before, we have mixed feelings. We have a little bit of unease on the eve of the day we have looked forward to for so long, but we are obviously excited about Jon being home and our little family being together once again.
Jon's next to last day of inpaitent therapy was another busy one. He had two full hours of PT with lots of walking, without the cane! (granted his therapist was by his side the whole time and made it frighteningly clear that it only happens when she's around!) Jon climbed stairs and went up and down curbs, getting ready for his foray into the "real" world. He is slowly realizing that the things we take for granted are more of a challenge than he ever expected.
OT and speech therapy went well as usual, and while the progress in OT might be a bit slower than what we see in PT, it's still progress! So we are grateful for anything we see.
Jon had a chance to spend his birthday with the family. His mom and dad brought the kids up so we could have a birthday dinner (which did NOT include hospital food) and his favorite - RED VELVET CAKE! We were able to spend some time together, play games and unwind and have fun. It felt like we were already getting back to "normal", which gives us the encouragement that although we've been thrown quite a curve ball, we're back on the path to normalcy and it's going to get even better from here.
As we get ready to head home, we have to mention that the staff here have been wonderful and have truly helped Jon achieve his goals. Their work and support, combined with the outpouring of encouragement we have received from our family and friends have also helped Jon achieve his number one goal - to WALK out of rehab.
And as we go through this and keep up with the blog, I keep thinking more and more about things that we haven't said and people we haven't thanked. And of course, I realize we haven't thanked enough those who are the closest to us - our parents. I know for a fact we could not have gotten through this without the love and support of our parents. Looking back, we wonder how we got through all that we did, and I can't imagine having to go through something like this without our moms and dads! And thankfully, we didn't have to. Jon's parents have been by our side since the night Jon had his stroke. They have made countless trips to Temple and Waco, have stayed with Jon in the hospital, kept our kids at their house and stayed at our house to help with kids and cats! And Jon's sister and her family have been there since day one! We can't thank you all enough, and we know it won't end when Jon goes home.
And my parents have been with us throughout it all as well. From the night of the stroke, when my mom rushed into town to keep the kids, to the day Jon gets to go home, they have offered love, support, encouragement and help with household chores! I know we can never repay what they have given, but it's important for us to share with all of our friends how much support we have in our own families and how much it means to us that even though we are grown (I won't say old!), we never stop being kids to our parents. We know they will do anything they can to help, which means more than we can ever express or show. So thank you to Jon's parents - Jimmy and Katherine, his sister Jennifer, my parents - Joe and Marilyn Hammer, and my brothers. We love you all and wanted to embarrass you by calling you out in the blog!!!
Tomorrow will be a busy day, and we'll try to update when we get home, but it might be Saturday before we get to post again. But one last thank you to all of you who have showered us with support for the last five weeks. We can never repay you, but please know you've all played a part in Jon's recovery, and he's fired up to get home and keep the momentum going!