First, a heartfelt thanks to our friends who supported us in honoring the anniversary of Charlotte's death. Our day of remembrance was full of friends and comfort. We had about a dozen (or so) who stopped by to help us release some balloons (and attached messages) to the sky. Noah's Children, an organization that continues to support us in so many ways, brought a chocolate cake. Hot chocolate was enjoyed by all.
And it snowed.
Some of you may remember that it snowed the night that Charlotte died as well. The snow on Friday was reminiscent of the light dusting we had received the previous year on the same day. It seemed a poetic ending to a bittersweet day.
The events that followed in the next 24 hours in Tucson have continued to rock our world this week. Our thoughts have been with the families of those who were injured or killed during the tragic shooting. Most especially, we have thought a great deal about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her family. I have found myself leaking quite a bit this week. Maybe even more so than last week. It just hits very close to home.
It is hard to believe that almost two years ago, we faced our own encounter with neurosurgery. The brain is a delicate, complex, and amazing organ. I have thought many times this week about Charlotte's first surgery on 1/22/09. The doctors explained all of the risks as we learned about the dangers of inflammation and infection that followed any type of brain surgery. We were warned that while the neurosurgeon would do his very best to repair that which needed fixing while preserving that which needed to remain, it was a complicated process and there were a lot of unknowns. After all, it is brain surgery. We were warned to expect slow recovery, paralysis, permanent weaknes, blood loss, and, of course, the risk of death.
When Charlotte emerged from her surgery, one of the first things she did was give Dr. Tye the thumbs-up. After everything we had been told, we knew this was a good sign. This image became an enduring symbol of Charlotte's strength and courage. It led us to the inspiration that became CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation.
Needless to say, it warmed our hearts and gave us hope when we heard the promising news that came over the airwaves Monday that Rep. Giffords had also given her thumbs-up. We know that she has a long road ahead of her in terms of recovery. We also know the incredible strength that comes from surviving something of this magnitude.
Every day, there are families who fight these battles. Whether they face chronic illness, terminal disease, or a tragic accident, we know that the road for some is a long journey and an incredible battle. As Roger likes to say, go hug your babies a little tighter tonight. Never forget that Every Day is a Bonus.