Through my eyes…

The other night my sister suggested I start a blog as a way of documenting and sharing TC’s recovery with our friends and family. In time, I hope that’s what this will become. Many people want to know exactly how TC is doing and how our family is holding up. It’s impossible to imagine this situation unless you’ve experienced it yourself.

I want people to know that there are good hours and there are bad hours. There are hours in which I feel hope, faith, and confidence in TC’s full recovery. There are hours where I am forced to acknowledge the severity of his injuries, along with the unthinkable amount of time in which he laid on the street fighting for his life. In time I’ll be able to better write about the past 11 days and my experience during that time. For now, I have to share where I am mentally.

Today TC worked with a physical therapist. With her help, he was actually able to get out of bed and with his left leg, take a few steps. I’m told this is “huge” in terms of recovery. I should be smiling and thanking God and focusing on the future. But what went through my mind in those few minutes was this: two Fridays ago my husband got up at 6:30am and went jogging. He put on his sneakers and some athletic shorts and kissed me while I stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth. I remember thinking how grateful I was to have a husband that cared enough about his health to actually get up that early and go running. He looked so cute in his workout clothes. He’s been so busy with work lately that I hadn’t seem him in his sneakers, looking relaxed, and ready to take on the day. That image tore my heart up in more pieces than it already is. I can’t envision the TC I knew two weeks ago. I can’t hear his voice in my head or imagine him talking to Jack or giving me a kiss or sleeping next to me. I can’t do these things because the anger that lives inside of me rushes to the front of my brain, making me want to scream, throw things, sob uncontrollably, and seek vengeance.

Who is this man lying in the hospital day after day? His left eye puffy, protruding from his head. His swollen skull held together by 50 staples. His right limbs tensed, unable to move. His neck invaded by a wide tube that sucks out bloody mucus so grotesque that I actually have to turn away. This man, this stranger, is my husband – the kindest, most intelligent, most caring human I have ever known. There is no one on this planet less deserving of the hell he is in.

TC is trapped inside his own brain at the moment. He wants to communicate, but he has no way of doing it. His eyes plead with me to get him out of his misery and when I tell him I can’t, he pushes my faces away and signals for me to leave him alone. This new man hates me, hates everyone around him. He’s angry and frustrated as he rightfully should be. We can’t help him. All we can do is wait. Hour by hour, day by day, constantly reminding ourselves we should just be grateful he’s alive. But this isn’t a life. In the weeks ahead we’ll go through more agony, more hell, and more frustration than most people do in a lifetime. We don’t have a choice. This is our “life” now.

No Facebook post could ever adequately convey what we’re going through. While I appreciate all the food that’s been sent our way (it has fed every important person in my life with the exception of my husband), I hate eating. Eating is a reminder that my life has to go on and I don’t want to be reminded of that fact. The only joy, the only solace in this misery is my son, for whom I owe my life.

I know we will have bad days and we will have good ones and today can probably be classified as somewhere in between. I have many people on this journey with me, but unless you’ve been in that room with me, held me while I stopped breathing and went into shock, my writing is the only way you will be able to know what this is like.

I appreciate your love, the incredible generosity that has been shown to us, and, most importantly, every prayer for TC that has been uttered in the past 11 days. I wish there were enough thank yous to let you know how truly you are appreciated.

15 thoughts on “Through my eyes…

  1. Abby, you are being so brave. You are right, none of us could ever understand what you are going through. Take the time you need to heal and express yourself as you see fit along the way. Your words bring tears to my eyes, but also make me so much more appreciative of the small things that I have been taking for granted every day of my life. Lots of love to you and your whole family. Katie (a fellow MoTH)

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  2. Thank you Abby for your honest, courageous post. I pray that you can use this forum as an outlet for expression without obligation. You have no need to thank the community for support or feel guilt for not posting about each hour or day. Please know that you are loved.

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  3. Abby- My girlfriend and I met TC at a Greg's party over the summer. We're both incredibly shocked and sadden by this, particularly because TC struck us as such a cool guy. I just wanted to drop you this note so you know that people outside your immediate circles are thinking of you guys. We admire you courage and resolve, and wish you all the best. Above all else, we wish TC a speedy recovery in hopes that we'll see you guys again next summer at Greg's brew party! If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask. Take care.

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  4. Abby, thanks for your updates and your honesty, and know that the entire community is pulling for TC and is eager to support you all through this trial. So sorry this has happened.

    Rebecca Thomas, a fellow MOTH

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  5. I went to high school with TC, and my husband and I spent our first few years of marriage living on Capitol Hill. I know hearing sorry from yet another stranger doesn't help the situation, but know that you and TC have been in my constant prayers since I heard about this.

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  6. I grew up in Scottsdale and am friends with a few of the Arcadia girls and heard about your awful situation. Please know that TC and your entire family is being lifted up in prayer. I admire your strength during this difficult time. Stay strong!!

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  7. I know when Blaine passed that I was unable to eat for weeks, actually months, & only when friends or family made me. I still have HUGE eating issues – I only started eating lunch this spring, & it is still very sporadic. May I suggest Boost – the high protein variety. It only takes a minute to drink & will keep you going for your son & husband. It is easier than preparing food and avoids the physical & emotional revulsion that comes with eating when you are stressed.
    I think of your family everyday – xoxo!

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  8. I've been following the horrific story of what happened to your husband on the news and now on your blog and I'm praying for and sending positive thoughts and energy to you and your family. I do believe in miracles…they happen every day and I've even encountered one or two. I believe with all my heart that, in time, your husband will be another one.

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  9. Hi Abby, we have never met but I also live on Capitol Hill and my heart hasn't ceased to go out to you and your husband after I heard the news a couple days after the assault. I've been fighting back tears as I read your blog since it would be unprofessional for my co-workers to see me cry. Your blog was shared with me by a church friend of mine who knows you through the school. I want you to know many, many people like me who you've never met care about you and your husband and son, and we are rooting for TC's full recovery. I'm praying for you and your family. And I'm going to do my best to make it to tomorrow's fundraiser. It sounds like the journey isn't yet over, but I'm so thankful to hear that TC is doing better and better every day!

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