Good and Bad – in so many ways

First a GOOD part : Today, DH and I were privileged enough to be invited to attend a Baylor Health Care System Board Meeting. I was told that the video of my recovery (taped in May 2005) would be shown to the board, and that I’d be there as a ‘success story’ – ‘proof’ if you will, that besides the positive financial numbers, Baylor affects each human being they treat. My physician, Dr.C, has been rehabilitating patients who have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), since long before I was her patient. Regardless of Dr. C’s number of success stories, she made me feel special when I was in her direct care. I could go on and on about Dr. C , respective therapists and nurses at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation with cheerful memories, but to sum it up in one sentence: BIR helped me to heal physically, mentally and emotionally, so I could resume my life. At the Board meeting, I expected to hear a lot of information that I knew nothing about. What I did not expect was to discover a passion about my state government! I never knew that Dr. C was so involved in the passing of bills that directly relate to her own patients’ care. Listening to her share about a bill that is headed into ‘sunset‘, and wanting to make sure that it does not simply die in legislature made me want to travel to Austin and stand in front of both Houses, pleading the bill myself. While I have made myself available to share the story of my accident and recovery with anyone who’ll listen, I never imagined that I could have so much impact in the Texas Government. DH sat in the seat to my left, out of my line of sight. Though we held hands though the presentation, I could not see how Dr. C’s words were affecting him,
until the meeting was adjourned, and we simultaneously volunteered to go to Austin with her.
Entirely possible that DH and I will be in correspondence with Rick Perry’s office in the future.

Let me take this opportunity to personally thank all of the staff at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation who taught me, guided me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and strengthened me. God used each of you in a phenomenal way in my recovery, and you still continue to touch my life.

But of course, the BAD part: When I saw Halie waiting under a tree with the rest of her class after school, she looked like her clothing had been mauled by a wild animal. I dropped her off at school this morning in an entirely solid outfit, consisting of jeans, t-shirt and a red zippered hoodie. The child who climbed into the vehicle was wearing what resembled jeans, ripped from crotch to cuff down one leg. What was left was being held together by staples and a prayer. My little Joey Ramone wannabe! If I had not already had a phone call from Ms. F about these jeans, I’d have been asking some serious questions. Ms. F approached the car with a bright red bundle in her hands which she held up for me to see. It was the hoodie that Halie had dressed herself in this very morning – ripped apart! All I could say was, “Halie does not need anyone else to entertain her.” (insert tone of sarcasm here)This day was getting better and better. As I drove home, I (silently) went over some ideas for potential discipline approaches: 1) Make her wear them anyway, just the way they are, 2) make her pay in sweat for the two pieces, 3) see if Grandma can repair them, and still make Halie wear them to school. I called DH when we got home, and his thoughts were to let her just be ‘cold’ for one night, since she doesn’t seem to appreciate the clothing provided for her. I agreed. So, Halie spent this evening in her bed. In her underwear, with only a pillow and a blanket. She had PB&J for dinner with water to drink( read: plain bread and water seemed too harsh). She was sound asleep by 6:30PM. I called Grandma, who agreed to survey the damage, and tell me ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’ regarding repairs.. This story is to be continued…

But this adventure ends well, I tell you! Not long ago, Halie created a pumpkin for a school contest. I’m kicking myself for not snapping a picture of it before she lugged it off to school. I can easily describe it for you: a medium-small pumpkin, wearing a baby bonnet, complete with pacifier and large google eyes with hand-drawn eyelashes (of course). She turned it in last week, and over the weekend, in the Texas HEAT, it began to rot as it sat on the floor outside the classroom door. Monday morning, I got a call from Ms. F that the ‘Baby’ pumpkin was no more. Halie was devastated, convinced that another student had sabotaged her prize-winning creation. Ms. F’s own daughter, a third-grader at the same elementary school, found another pumpkin and reassembled Halie’s ‘Baby’ pumpkin. My hero! More importantly, Halie’s hero! My first grade daughter proudly showed me a certificate that showed her ‘Baby’ pumpkin had won the prize ‘Funniest In Class’. It’s tough to stay mad when Iamsoproudofmydaughter!



  1. Jenny Bee said,

    October 26, 2005 at 12:21 pm

    Wow..what a testimony you have. I read the story of your accident and all that followed is astounding. What a great witness to the staff and your a miracle in and of itself. Talk about making lemonade out of life’s lemons!

    I had teenage flashbacks reading about your daughter…LOL! Me wearing one thing leaving the house and ‘modifying’ my outfit (oooh, Joey Ramone! I wanna be sedated!)

  2. Jenny Bee said,

    October 26, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    By the way, on your webpage you wrote you used ASL with the medical staff? Do you sign regularly?

    I just caught up with an elderly friend of mine that poo-pooed me for letting my sign get rusty. Use it or lose it, you know? Years ago, I took several ASL classes and used my vast knowledge (haha) a great deal when I was working in banking. My friend was one of my customers 10 years ago and I just caught up with him recently. Anyway, that caught my eye…

  3. Erin said,

    October 26, 2005 at 1:33 pm

    Jenny Bee – I learned in New Mexico, at a summer camp I attended there some years ago, as a teen. I knew quite a bit of ASL, enough to teach each of my daughters beginning at six months of age. Now, the signs we use daily are:please,thankyou,more,where,no,milk,enough,cracker, bread,cookie, cheese, sleep. My daughters do know the signs for animals, as well as ‘Mom”and ‘Dad’, but because they have no deaf friends, they don’t use them much. When I’ve silenced them in the car, I can hear their clothing rustle as they sign to each other. We give each other the one-handed ‘I love you’ sign thoughout the day, since it seems to take more effort, thus it is far more meaningful. My first sign when I was coming out of the coma was to my sister (who knows ASL as well). She says I signed ‘Jesus is still Lord of my heart’. My DH was told that I might not even remember my committment to Christ after the severity of my brain injury. God gave me my memory, my family, my faith, and my life to live all over again!

  4. Buffi said,

    October 26, 2005 at 1:41 pm

    Erin, you are simply amazing. Im not sure how you found my site (well, I AM sure actually..)but I am so glad you did. You inspire me!

    I need to know…How did Halie’s clothes get ripped up?? Is she in a gang??LOL

    That is awesome how the teacher’s daughter fixed the pumpkin. What a sweet girl.

  5. October 26, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    WOW… if memory serves, when we were Halie’s age, we were only tearing up each other’s clothes.
    In fact, just now I’m remembering the night I went into your closet with a straight razor and cut your favorite denim jumper from collar to hem 1″ slits, leaving the seams intact so you wouldn’t realize anything was wrong until you went to pull it out of the closet and it went like

    If her outfit doesn’t look salvageable by her Grandma’s standards, I think you should put them back together with duct tape and make her wear them a few more times.

  6. Erin said,

    October 26, 2005 at 10:38 pm

    Buffi – I think I used a link from another mommy blog to reach your site. I bookmarked your blog! I found another mommy who’s dealing with the same stuff that I am, and I’m hooked! Here’s the background on the ripped clothing:
    Ms. F called me to let me know that while on the playground, Halie found a space under the perimeter fence, and taking advantage of her slight frame, pulled herself, on her belly, under the fence. While making the daring escape that went unnoticed by the adults supervising recess, Halie snagged her red hoodie on the chain-link fence. So the jacket already had a small tear to the left sleeve. My daughter made short work of the hoodie, and when she got bored, grabbed a pair of scissors and hid behind an easel in her classroom. Halie used her Fiskars student scissors to first stab a hole near the crotch of her jeans, then forced her strong fingers into the small hole and proceeded to physically rip open the leg of her jeans down to the hem (which she couldn’t get through, by the way). Did I mention we’re wanting her tested for the Gifted and Talented Program at her school? MWAH-HAHAHAHA. I’m serious.

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