Friday, October 08, 2010


Last week I posted about how different my life was this time last year. How I felt ridiculously lucky for my house and family. Obviously I still very, very much do. But . . . how do I communicate this? I suppose I could just tell you what prompted my thoughts, well what prompted me to write them.

There was a woman at the hospital yesterday who had just been told that her fiancee was possibly going to die, and if not, that he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. This woman was alone, utterly. She had no friends, no family. Those she had called were not coming to be with her. It was very hard to see. Because I saw myself in the panic, fear, lostness. The big difference was that I was not alone. I had, and have, people to mourn and celebrate with (plenty to celebrate). It is a very powerful thing to know had things not gone this way I would have had such support. I would have been held up, and given light. I have been given so much light. It's been sent by people we don't even know. This experience is one I wouldn't wish on anyone. But I am grateful for this one part.

There's this great book I read after Gus was born called Here If You Need Me. It's written by a minister whose husband was killed in a car crash. They have four children. She tells a story in the book (I'll shorten it) about a man sitting in a bar. He tells the barkeep, "I was lost in the woods, and I prayed and prayed, but God didn't save me". Barkeep says, "well, how'd you get here?". Man says, "Helicopter rescued me". Now I am not a religious person. But I get it. Rescue doesn't always come in the form you want it to, sometimes it doesn't come. But when, and if, it does, Recognize It. Do I wish we had never had to go through this? You betcha! Do I wish he hadn't needed the second surgery? Heck, yeah! Do I wish there was a miracle and he just recovered and that there was going to be a medical journal written exclusively about my husband? Yesiree, I do! But I am trying hard to be grateful and recognize the rescue we did get. There are people in that hospital who will never see there loved one again. People who are hearing the diagnosis that they won't be rescued. I must remember, and you all can remind me, that I am lucky.

We have a long recovery ahead, and I have no idea what's going to happen, good or bad. But I hope I remember this. Because this is good.


  1. We witness you sweet J. You make-a me cry. I love you and I am so grateful for YOU. EFS.

  2. This is Ken's mother. We hung on every word of Ken's blog before the surgery and loved his eloquence and wit (not that we were surprised by it; writing is one of Ken's talents that has always amazed us.) Now we're in awe of Jamie's beautiful, honest messages as well. And we're so grateful to all of you out there who have been bolstering us with your warm and heartfelt comments. Ken feels the love and we know it's giving him strength. Thank you!

  3. Surely the best thing to come out of all this is that it's reminded ALL of us to be grateful for every moment, and to truly appreciate everyone that we love and care about. Sometimes we need that reminder (although I'd prefer a more subtle hint next time) to tell everyone how much they mean to you, to take some time every day to just give hugs and kisses and say "I LOVE YOU". Love to you and all of your families! ♥

  4. It sounds like you're back, honey. You know what I mean. THDM. Oh, and yes, my fave Physical therapist did say that visualization is huge and touch stimulation is a close second, so I actually did know what I was talking about. I asked the PT for the five most important things I could tell you to do for him. She gave me four: (1)visualization, leading him to it verbally (he's probably not as focused as you can be), because so much is about reforming those intentional connections(see, i did know what I was talking about).
    (2)Touch being essential in healing post stroke. I am sure you and Sara are constantly touching him, but my PT gal assures me that varied touch to his L side is going to be majorly beneficial in recovery. (3) And frequent passive range of motion supporting the joint below the joint being ranged.
    (4)And sleep because people heal and grow there.
    Much love.

  5. I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU AND I WANT YOU TO COME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Whew, that's better. Now, I'd like to tell you about the time I almost died. A fireball, and dust I could see through, and a sound so loud I couldn't even hear it - and something took over, took over my Hamlet-esque whiny flatness about life and its difficulties and compromises and incredible bullshit, my chronic not-sure-I want-to-be-here-edness. Suddenly I knew like I could feel my feet on the ground, that I could run as far as I needed to, or climb anything, or fight anyone, or fill out any number of forms, or wait in lines 8 miles long, to live. Living, the right to, the will to, for me at least, is deeper than feeling, it's probably the deepest thing I've ever experienced, my furnace - always on, always ready when I need it. Since then, I've pretty much known I'd be ok, which is a strange lesson to take from the World Trade Center disaster I know. I'd like to give it to you, the knowledge that you'll be ok. When I think of my good friend Ken, I think - yes, it'll be there for him to, just like it was for me - after all, he's a much better person than I am - I love you. K

  6. You and Ken never cease to amaze me in your strength, caring and loveliness. I know Jill, Phoebe and I a remarkably grateful to have you, Ken and the boys as close family friends. I think the some of the greatest beauty in life comes from experiencing moments with friends you care deeply about. The light you and Ken are and will be finding in the days and months to come will be something to cherish forever. The light of him gazing into your eyes, of squeezing each other's hands, of picking up kids, making each other food and all of the other natural daily events that many people take for granted in some aspect or another. Not only has your strength and love towards Ken and he towards you given both you so much strength, but it has inspired me and given Jill and I strength to realize how much we share love with each other and our daughter. Both of you are great examples of resilience and I thank you for your inspiration. May the light of the universe hold both of you gently as you move through time.

  7. Know that there are many more people whose lives Ken has touched, who are following,rooting for and praying for his recovery and for you and your family's continued strength and hope. We are not as eloquent as some, but we are here silently raising up powerful thoughts and prayers.

  8. It feels like the rescue net is being cast wide and it feels like we're all being rescued. Saved from the banal by the near death experience Ken wrote about in his last pre-surgery post, when he wasn't yet sure what that near death experience would be.

    Well, Ken, I think you covered all your bases, you over-achiever you. Thanks for cutting that out now and getting back to the planning for the future you want: getting back to your boys. Thanks in advance for all the crazy-hard work you're going to do.

    Thanks to you to Jamie, for the crazy-hard work you've been doing already. Thanks to you both for rescuing us right back.

    much love, Amy K.

    P.S. I also see, Ken, in rereading that last pre-surgery post that you TOLD us that Cougartown is on Wednesdays--my bad!

  9. You are amazing Jamie. I am in awe of you and Ken. Speechless and wordless ....So I just send love and hugs and kisses to both of you...sara~

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