From Aaron

She pops up out of the water, her glasses are half way on her face, she says she needs help, you can tell by her voice something is really wrong. Another one she is laying on the dock all ready out of the water. Or there is the one when the helicopter is taking off in the field. There are a bunch of others. 

Technically they are called "flash backs", at least that is what I remember neuropsych calling them in Springfield. They come as fast as go. Sometimes they happen when I am busy doing things, most of them happen during "mental free" times, like driving to get the kids at school, laying in bed, etc. I know they are normal. I know as time goes on they will lessen. It's just part of the process.

I remember having them when others have passed, dad, grandpa and grandma; but those have been different. There wasn't an accident. Closest to this would be uncle Rick. It wasn't necessarily an accident, and I wasn't there, but it had the same shock that brought me to my knees. Flash backs of him are different, lot of them are just of great memories or even more often just funny dumb moments (and like many of you know, there was always a plenty of them with Ricky J). Over time those have gotten less frequent, the flashbacks of the accident will too.

I will tell you reading your notes of support really do help, more than you can even imagine. Generally I try to read them when I am laying in bed for the night. Water comes out of my eyes when I read them, not much, just rogue drops that just fall when I read. Cant start or stop them, they just fall. In a weird way it's a good pick me up before I fall asleep. It's the reminder that everything will be ok. For those who I haven't met, I am 6'6, about 250lbs, so lets be honest it's more comfortable for everyone if I read in the dark. : -)

When I look back at the last 30+ days, there is a lot of stuff to remember and take in. In many ways the accident feels likely years ago. Even when we were in Springfield it had that same kinda feel. Of course the major actions/events/milestones are memorable, but its also some of the smallest acts that are as fresh as the day they occurred. I.E when the helicopter left the field the local volunteer responder gave me a paper map out of his truck to show me how to get to Springfield. Something so small was such a big deal that night. I don't know his name, i don't even completely remember what he looks like, but I'll remember him forever because of that old paper map. 

I think the most important thing in have learned in this journey to date is how much the smallest act or word of encouragement can matter. I've always heard that phrase with kids, and I fully believe that it does. I guess what I forgot is that we are all kids deep down. 

Writing most of this while I wait for her surgery to wrap up this morning. This will hopefully be the last surgery for a while, and in many ways is the most straight forward. Because this was the most scheduled (pre planned) , in some ways it has also felt the most scary. There wasn't really time to think about the prior procedures, they just happened ready or not. With any luck she should be out shortly, and I know everything will be ok. It did make her smile this morning because her pre-op room was #24. (One of her favorite numbers). It's got the makings of a good day!!!!!

Aaron