Jackie and I visited you today. Mom had been there all afternoon and Buddy was there too some this morning. When we walked into your room, your right eye was completely open. I said, "Hi Johnny" and you raised two fingers. I said, "how are you doing Bud?" and you made the sign for okay. Of course, Mom, Jackie and I all gasped. Your respiratory nurse came in and started working on you for a few minutes...your secretions from your trach are clear and a little frothy or foamy. In other words, normal and, in the words of Martha Stuart, "that's a good thing". Well, after your nurse was done I told you to put down your bunny (a toy with lots of texture for you to hold and work your hand with) and hold my hand. You did! You dropped it and grabbed my hand. I had Jackie come over to you and she said, "Hi Daddy" and you stroked her face. It was the sweetest thing! A little bit later, I asked you to raise two fingers if you knew who I was and you did! Then I said, "raise two fingers if you think I'm pretty". Woo Hoo! You did! Now, I realize I was taking a chance with that question but a girls gotta try and boost her self-esteem any way she can...you see, if you didn't respond in my favor I could have blamed it on your condition. My ego might have been bruised but I'd of had an excuse...but, amazing as you are, you encourage me even from your hospital bed. Of course, the whole rest of the night I wore out the phrase "my brother thinks I'm pretty!" Wait, there's more...I later gave you a taste of a cherry flavor jolly rancher sucker, now, for all Johnny's fans, if you've never had one before they are intense with flavor...very delicious! Johnny, you must have thought so too because I put it on your lips and you ran your tongue back and forth on it. When I pulled it away, you made a sucking motion...like you were getting it off your tongue. Then I said, if you want more, open your mouth...and you did! I put the sucker on your lips and told you to lick your lips and you did. I put the sucker away after that, I didn't want to make you sick. It made me a little sad because you were enjoying it so much. Mom didn't want to leave, we were all enjoying interacting with you, but the nurse came in again with your meds this time and you were done. So, mom left for the night. Jackie and I stayed for a long time after mom left. We watched you go from active to slow motion to asleep... your meds had kicked in. We left after you had been asleep awhile. It really is hard to leave you. We know your in excellent hands but it's still hard. When I left I was on cloud nine! I didn't mention this in Friday's blog but I felt so helpless and discouraged when I left from seeing you. I think it was a combination of things...seeing your muscle and fat loss, seeing you in yet another hospital, you were sweating and unresponsive. I cried all the way home and most of the night. But, everything was different in the morning. It's amazing how God meets you where you are and gives you what you need. He knew I was in despair and He lifted my spirit, my faith, my hope, by the communication I had with you. Amazing Grace! Johnny, I pray for you constantly and I believe that you are strong enough to overcome.
Love you little brother! XO Jen