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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Over the last 2 months we have said goodbye to several people instrumental on our journey. Goodbye is never easy, though there are certain scenarios where it is meant to be for it is part of a necessary cycle. Though the intellect understands, it does not make it any easier on the heart.

While we did not have the opportunity to work with her for long, we saw the glimpse of possibilities through a summer intern named Kelsey. She brought much to the table. Her smile and youthful enthusiasm were matched only by her knowledge and will to succeed in her quest. And that quest – simply to see Tori succeed. I cannot imagine where we would be had she not decided to go out for coffee and to read the paper one morning. This simple choice led to an interesting read for a how I spent my summer vacation assignment titled, “Volunteering with a leading cutting edge research group making advancements in Augmentive Technology”.

Next, we said goodbye to James our music therapist. He was always so gentle and sweet. His smile and light blue eyes twinkled at the sight of Tori. She melted in his presence and giggled when he sang and guided her hands along the piano keys. He moved on to bring the gift of song to children at a major hospital system in Boston.

And then there was Steve our physical therapy student. Ever the professional, he was always so proficient, and polite. And he was also wrapped around her little finger. Gosh he loved working with Tori. She could pull all the barriers down with one dip of her head and an upward glance peeking at him through a stray strand of hair. His studies here are concluded and his internship and travels await him.

Finally, our last goodbye is probably the hardest. This will be made most difficult because she will be within our reach but unavailable to us. For years we visited this physician once every quarter for Botox injections to relax tone. Not one physiatrist in this entire state had a practice devoted to brain injury. There were sports related practices galore but none related to our cause. Then finally, on one of our quarterly visits she told us she was “moving” over and taking charge of rehabilitation services. We were home. And it was a loving and nurturing home. We grew under her tutelage. Now, she is moving on to an Institution that recognizes and will maximize her worth allowing her to nurture so many others in their most vulnerable states while inpatient and in the infancy of their recovery journey.

And while we will feel the void left by all I am reminded of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs:

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you…
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes the sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

When you come to the edge of the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen… there will be something solid to stand on, or you will learn to fly