THANK YOU GOD FOR ANOTHER YEAR WITH ALEX MICHAEL ROSS! I can’t believe today marks the year anniversary of that fateful day. It’s 4:30am, Alex just woke me up because he had to pee and I cannot for the life of me….go back to sleep…… a million things racing through my mind. I can’t tell you the last time he woke me up to go to the bathroom….. it’s been awhile now as he is on medication for frequent urination so he rarely wakes up to pee. I think he just wanted me up early today of all days lol! I can tell you how very thankful I am that he woke me up today for sure! A year ago today I was told I would only have him for 3 more hours. UNIMAGINABLE how I got thru that first night sitting here looking back. It all seems so surreal. Like… really… did that really happen? A mother’s worst nightmare… how did I, as a mother… get thru that? I sit here and look back at the crazy year I have had and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I was told 3 hours….. 3 hours… I can’t even fatham that! Thank you God for showing me just how very real you are. Thank you for grabbing my attention…. Along with everyone else watching… thank you God for soooooo many things, but at this moment…. Thank you God for giving me my boy back, by performing a miracle with his life and saving him to do great things for YOU! I learned the hard way that night…. GIVE IT TO GOD. Amazing the peace I felt once I did that night… I knew there was nothing that I or anyone else could do to save him. I just remember praying over and over and over again…. “Lord, please give me my son back. Let him come back to me and I promise you he will do great things for you. I don’t care if he is paralyzed from the neck down, I will take him anyway I can get him. I will deal with whatever comes my way as long as I can have him back!” I think he gave me a little more than I bargained for with Alex Michael Ross, lol! Crying and laughing at the same time as I write this…. So surreal! At this time, one year ago I was getting ready for work, Alex was getting ready for school. His car was broke down for the moment so I was dropping him off to Dax at McDonalds on my way to work. I loved our morning rides and had missed them when I used to drop him off at school before he got his license. It was MOM time…our quiet time together, one on one. It’s just crazy how even as I sit here, it all just doesn’t seem real…. As if it didn’t really happen. One phone call can change the rest of your life….how crazy is that? That I could be sitting at my desk one minute, not a care in the world and the next minute I am on the phone trying to figure out where Alex got shot. When the words come thru the phone “ In the Head”…. My whole body went numb. I remember thinking… “ Ok, he was shot… where like the arm, the foot…what”? I never imagined in the head… the right frontal lobe. HOW DOES ANYONE SURVIVE THAT? It shouldn’t be…. He shouldn’t have…. But by the Grace of God, Alex Michael SURVIVED something that the doctors can’t explain. In that little room… Dr. Arcy said “I’ve done all that I can do. He was bleeding so bad I had to close him back up in a hurry.” I could not grasp those words for anything….that was NOT what I wanted to hear and I was NOT going to accept that. People all around me freaking out and crying…. I was numb. I couldn’t cry…. I was in shock and disbelief that I only had 3 hours with Alex until he passed away forever. Brooks looked at me and said “ Mom, he was my best friend….. what am I going to do without him?” Tears streaming down my face as I write this….. Thank you God for saving us from a terrible heartache and void in our lives because I truly do NOT know what I would have done or how I would have gotten thru the loss of my son. And then on the other hand….. I am crying for the loss of who Alex once was. He loved to play basketball and was GOOD, run up trees and do backflips, run around and torment his brothers, a GREAT second baseman with quick hands and feet…. He loved making crazy videos and dancing! I miss him soooooo much and I know that I will never have that boy back….. the little boy with the awesome hair (smile). I have to focus on the positives and appreciate what I have in front of me at this very moment in my life. Thank you God so much for the many many blessings you have bestowed upon me. Alex is a miracle…what more could I ask for? I can take myself right back to that night in the hospital room in the blink of an eye and know how precious God is to me. I kept telling Alex… “Tell that brain of yours to stop bleeding… right now!” Brother Joe, Jonathan, Chad, Nick and I….. praying…. Crying….begging God to perform a miracle and bring Alex back to us. Thank you God! Thank you! Soooo many emotions running wild this morning… what a crazy year this has been. 4 months in the hospitals….. 4 brain surgeries, a tracheostomy, a g-tube (feeding tube), 2 throat surgeries…. a total of more than 10 procedures where he was put under anesthesia. CRAZY! If you were to look at the cat scan of his brain….. it is only explainable that he is here as a miracle of God. There is no other explanation. With the bullet still lodged in his brain….. the cat scan looks as if the bullet spray painted his brains on a wall. Graphic I am sorry…. But that’s the only way to explain it. Like a burst…… there is nothing on the right side. I remember asking the nurse that night…. “ Is it possible for the bleeding to stop at all?”…. her reply “ Not likely. He has a very severe brain injury.”. IT IS POSSIBLE…. With HIM… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! 3 hours turned into 5 hours turned into 8 hours turned into 365 days! THANK YOU JESUS! You know, as I sit here and write this I can reflect on the past year….. I certainly have been thru a lot myself. I see things thru a different set of eyes….. I am now in the handicap world of which none of us ever forsee ourselves. ONE PHONE CALL! Most of you probably never use the handicap bathroom now, lol….. I have shown you the flip side of the coin. I never realized why handicap parking spots were so big before….. it is so that people in wheelchairs can get in and out of the car… DUH! Hahahahahaha! Just things I never thought about before and took for granted. DRIVING … INDEPENDENCE …. WALKING … TALKING …. CHEWING, SMILING, EATING… SPEAKING…..VISION …. things we all take for granted on a daily basis. Things that Alex had to learn to do all over again and still continues to retrain that brain on a daily basis to make that left arm move and to make those hips and left leg do what they need to do to be able to walk on his own. Yes he has come so far …. But he still has a very long way to go! We certainly have taken the scenic route, as I like to call it, every step of the way. Nothing has been easy on this roller coaster ride for sure! From surgeries, to dehydration, to poops in my car, to waiting on him hand and foot. WHAT A YEAR! He looks great…. He talks great…. To see him out and about you would never know he was shot in the head and that is why he is in a wheelchair. But trust me…. There are issues in the brain, the kinks if you will….. that still need to be worked out. He is OCD …. Those of you who are his facebook friends and see his posts… that should explain a few things. He will post the same thing like 5 times within a 10 minute period… sometimes changing a word or two, maybe. He says the craziest off the wall things…. Impulsive… VERY IMPULSIVE. IMPATIENT… to say the least. We have lots to work on mentally…. Socially acceptable things….. and hopefully with some great therapy we will get that squared away and back on track. If you talk to him or he texts you…. Please don’t take anything he says to heart. He knows not what he says may affect you or how it impacts you. There still is no filter and he says things with no emotion. He doesn’t process information the same as you and I. He has one emotion…. JOKESTER. Even though I am most thankful this is the one emotion I do get…. Sometimes it is not appropriate and he doesn’t get that. Even when he aggravates us or I get mad at him for something he shouldn’t be doing…. He will crack a joke or repeat a movie quote (of which he does ALL DAY LONG) to throw us off or make us laugh. There is no sadness, no depression, no tears, no anger out of him. I am sooo thankful this is the emotion that stuck with him thru this. Things could always be so much worse and I see that on a daily basis as we go to therapy. My son has his sight… it might not be normal and he may never drive again, but he can see! My son can not walk by himself…. But he will one day! My son’s left arm doesn’t work and he only has one arm to do things with….. atleast he has ONE that works…. The other will ONE day! My son is in a wheelchair…. BUT I HAVE HIM HERE! Soooo many people have it worse off than us…. This I know. Yes we have struggles on a daily basis and my life is not easy by any means. WE GOT THIS! Alex and Brooks have both grown up this past year…. Literally both hit puberty at the same time and grew into young gentlemen. I look at their pictures from the beginning of last year and they were babies. Both now taller and weighing more than their momma! A crazy year I tell ya!
To my husband Chad…. Thank you for standing by my side through all of this. It certainly hasn’t been easy putting our marriage on hold while we worked thru this ordeal but I truly believe it has made our marriage stronger and I now know that I have a best friend in you. You have been our rock and I love you with all of my heart! Thank you to the Brannan family who took Brooks in for 3 months and treated him as if he were your very own. You got him thru a very difficult time in his life and for your love and support I am forever indebted to you and hope that I can one day return the favor. To my sisters…. There are no words to explain the gratitude I have for you. All 4 of you left your life behind… your husbands and kids…. Your jobs… to be here for us and I can’t tell you how much that means to me! To my mother…. THANK YOU for your continued love and support on a weekly basis. Thank you for driving 45 minutes one way sometimes twice a week to help me around the house or with Alex. I am so very thankful to have a mother like you…. So giving and patient. I love you mom! To Brooks and Nicholas…. Thank you for being the best brothers any kid could ask for. You two have been put to the test for sure and I thank you for your gentle ways and patience with your brother on a daily basis. Nicholas.... you shaved your beautiful blonde hair to raise money for your brother..... what a huge sacrifice for someone who LOVED his hair! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments thus far..... you continue to WOW me on a daily basis. THANK YOU for your generosity and giving spirit.... you have great compassion and unconditional love. I LOVE YOU! Brooks… you are Iron Man! Thank you for all you do with your brother… from giving him showers to wiping his butt, lol…. You are his best friend and he is very lucky to have you as a little brother…. Even if you are bigger than him! To my closest friends… AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE…. Thank you for being a CONSTANT in my world of changes. Sooooo many in the beginning and you have stuck with me thru it all…spending countless hours at the hospital till now…..THANK YOU! To the awesome nurses that I have had the pleasure of new friendships…. THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR LOVING ALEX AS IF HE WAS YOUR VERY OWN and treating him like a KING while you were on duty! I LOVE YOU ALL! To all of those who prepared meals for us while we were in the hospital… I thank you. Nothing has gone unnoticed or unappreciated…. I can assure you that! THAT WAS A HUGE BLESSING and One day I hope to be able to repay the favor if any of you are in need! For the countless hours of preparing and working the fundraisers….. THANK YOU! To Alex’s therapists along the way…. THANK YOU! Thank you for tolerating and putting up with King Alex and for pushing him to the limits. He will be back to normal one day and will have each of you to thank for that. Thank you for your patience and understanding when he can be a pill….. Your job is a tough one and you are my saints! Thank you to all of you…. My angels and prayer warriors, behind the scenes, for your continued love and support. I still get trickles of email that carry me thru my days….much needed at times. The overwhelming support of this past year is just as surreal as the incident itself. We have an awesome community and without the fundraisers and incredible support, I would not have been able to stay home and take care of Alex as I have. Chad has had to carry the brunt of the blow as we were a two income family now down to one and I thank God that he has been providing thus far. Once again we had to give it to God because we all know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We have to have faith that God will provide so that I am able to continue to stay home until Alex is at a point to where I can go back to work. I have enough stresses in my life without having to worry about bills so I have given THAT worry to God for sure. :0)
Please pray that the “Celebration of Life” event for Alex comes to light and that all obstacles are lifted. Sooo many of you want to meet him and I can assure you …. He wants to meet you as well! A special thank you to Kimberly Screws and Melanie Clough as they have diligently been working behind the scenes to make this happen! I just don’t have the time in my day to make all the phone calls it is taking to get the permits and venue up and running. We are focusing on January 22nd at this point so stay tuned and hopefully we will have it locked in soon! Alex is very impatient and wants it this weekend as I had previously intended. However… my little 4 year old brain injured boy doesn’t understand all the things that go along with planning an event of this nature. GOD LOVE HIM!
So many of you comment on what an amazing woman and mother I am … thank you. I say this to you… “ I am in survival mode. I am not doing anything different than any parent in my situation wouldn’t do for their child”. True… some can endure more than others… some may be stronger than others. God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle. I have had a talk with Him today and told Him that I am stronger because of Him, however… I have had my fill and now I would like to relax this year, lol!
Don’t forget to tune into ESPN tonight at 7 pm…. Alex will be in Tim Tebow’s Documentary, TIM TEBOW: EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. As I close my writing today, I leave you with some vivid pictures of how far we have come. Given three hours to live and with the miracle of God…. Making it another 365 days! THANK YOU GOD FOR ONE MORE DAY WITH ALEX MICHAEL ROSS!
( I decided not to spell it out for you but to make you go look it up. Open your bible today and make it a new years resolution to spend a little more time with God this year…. You never know when you just might need to call upon him!)
PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP! LISA