"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's good to be back!

Gosh! I know we didn't get to know each other well enough for y'all to miss me in my absence but I sure missed y'all. But my life got totally crazy this summer. My eldest son, Clifton was badly burned at our automotive shop on July 3rd. He has second & third degree burns over 43% of his body (even 4th degree on his right hand, which required amputation of a couple of fingers) & has had to undergo numerous surgeries for skin grafts. He spent over 3 weeks in ICU & then another 3 weeks in the acute care ward @ one of the best burn hospitals in the country. I spent all of that time, living out of a hotel in Dallas, so that I could be w/ him when I could & then he came home w/ my husband & I & we cared for his wounds & his needs. When he came home, just 6 weeks ago, he couldn't feed, dress or toilet himself but that's all changed now....now he's almost self-sufficient again. With the exception of driving & he plans to start that soon.

Clifton has no health insurance but because of generous donations from friends, family, customers & even complete strangers, he has a substantial account to pay for his rehab & therapy sessions. Hopefully medicaid will cover his hospital bill, which is in excess of $1,000,000.

He is doing miraculously well. It's hard, painful work for him & it must be done daily to avoid contracture & loss of mobility but he's determined & he has great inspiration in his new son. Noah Christopher was born on Sept 18th, one month to the day from when Clifton was released from the hospital. We prayed so hard that Clifton would be able to attend the birth of his first child & that was just one of many prayers, that God has answered. Noah has been just the spirit-lifter my family needed! Clifton's accident has had a profound impact on my whole family's lives & at times, we were filled w/ despair & concern. But Noah's birth & Clifton's rapid progress (rapid as far as burn injuries go...he still has a long, hard fight ahead of him to be able to do all that he used to) has brought hope, optimism & confidence in Clifton's future.

I wanted to share a slideshow of Clifton that my daughter put together. He is, bar none, the finest, bravest man I have ever known & I can't tell you how proud I am to be his mother. http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=6557e533ec52cd558364d6&skin_id=601&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=email

I also wanted to share a funny story that happened the day Clifton was let out of ICU & was allowed ice chips for the first time in almost a month (fluids, especially water, are no-nos for burn patients). I had given him a couple of spoonfuls of ice chips & was filled w/ such happiness, watching him enjoy a simple pleasure that we all take for granted & it prompted me to ask, "Can I tell you something?"

I go on to say, "Son, you are the finest man I have ever known....I am sooo very proud of you!" to which Clifton replies, "can I tell you something?" My eyes fill w/ tears, in expectation of the warm, fuzzy moment we are about to share & I lean forward in anticipation. Clifton looks up at me & says "I want some more ice chips." *grins* So much for the warm fuzzies!

Clifton's face was burned & they thought he would need a graft on his cheek but it wasn't necessary after all, thank God. His face will show only minimal scarring, mostly under his chin. It wouldn't even be too visible to people if he weren't 6'6"!

I took this picture right after Noah's birth. I can't see it w/out tearing up & thanking God for my blessings.

Clifton has moved back to his & Stacie's home now & I only drive him to therapy 2 days a week & soon I won't even need to do that, so I am eager to get back to some normalcy & hopefully, a return to blogging, cooking, decorating, spending time w/ the grands..........my life.


What A Dish! said...

Yay!! So glad to see you back! :D I loved your post, especially the slide show. Very moving. I'm so glad he's doig SO well. Hope to hear more from you soon!

Vanessa said...

So good to have Clifton recovering, Noah safely here and you "back". Your family story is amazing and you are the glue dear lady. You were so missed and I am so proud of you.



Linda said...

I'm so happy to see you back Vinty! You, Clifton, and your family have an inspirational story to share--and thank you for sharing.

tardevil said...

So sorry to read about what happened to your son, and glad to hear he's better. Congrats on being a nana!

HoneyB said...

Vinty, I am so glad you are back. I'm also so very happy that Clifton is doing so well.

Megan said...

wow, what a story. I'm so glad Clifton is doing so good. God bless you all!