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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh happy day!

Y'all ready for a sweet, heartwarming post? OK, grab ya a tissue, you'll probably need it. ;o) Today is my son, Clifton's 29th birthday & I have a very inspirational tribute post to the finest, strongest, bravest man I have ever known. I cannot tell you how proud I am to be his mother! Most of you know that Clifton was critically burned over 43% of his body in a tragic accident in July of '08. When he was released from the hospital, he was unable to feed, dress or toilet himself. His entire torso, both arms & hands were severely burned (even his face but to a lesser degree).....the burns on his right hand were 4th degree & two fingers had to be amputated. The Drs' prognosis was not good....they told us to expect minimal use out of the right hand & limited use of the left. Their words still ring through my ears, "he will be disfigured & disabled & life as he knew it, prior to his accident, is over." Many of you have prayed w/ me & some have even cried w/ me. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for your prayers & concern!

Before I go on, I want to share w/ you a discussion Clifton & I had, while he was still in the hospital. He was looking @ the photo board we had made him (full of pictures of family & of Clifton fishing & playing football) & his eyes filled w/ tears & he began to cry. I asked him what was wrong & he said, "I'm never going to play football again." (he played minor league football w/ the Ft Worth Rams). We cried together & I sympathized w/ him, reminding him of all he has to be thankful for & telling him that sometimes life sucks (& secretly thinking "it's about time you quit that nonsense anyway!). But that night I laid in bed & I thought about how important it was to Clifton & the next day, I told him that I had been thinking & that if he wanted this bad enough & was willing to work hard enough for it, his dream of playing football again was possible..... for he was ALIVE. He laughed & blew off the idea, saying "If I started playing football again, they'd have to make a movie out of me."

Well someone give me the numbers to the movie studios! Look at my boy!!!! He is living proof that anything is possible if you have the gumption to work for it.

We spent Valentine's day, last Sunday, in bitterly cold weather, snuggled up, covered up, drinking hot chocolate.... watching #55 kick some butt on the football field, just like the old days! The Rams had retired Clifton's # after his accident, in honor of him...vowing noone else would ever wear it. But nobody dreamed that just year & a half later, #55 would be back on the field.

The Rams won! YEAHHHH! This was the team that beat the Rams in the SuperBowl last year....all it took was Clifton to be back on the team & they smoked 'em. LOL

Clifton has always stood head & shoulders above the rest...even in a pack of football players.

Clifton getting a congratulatory "Rahhhhh!" from his coach. Coach Fabian visited Clifton right after he was released from ICU & he knows what condition he was in & how much he has overcome. Clifton is recovering so well that now it's hard for those who didn't witness it, to grasp how severe Clifton's injuries were. He has worked so hard that he has full range of movement, everywhere but his right hand...& it keeps getting better & better. Maybe one day! His scar bands at first, were very thick & rigid but he stretches them out & breaks them open, "teaching" the skin to loosen up & they get less & less over time. (a feat usually only accomplished by release surgeries). Some of Clifton teammates (the newer ones) don't even know that he is "the burned guy."

Look at the smile on his face...it warms a mother's heart, I can tell you that! I guess I'm OK w/ him playing football...it sure makes him happy.

Happy Birthday Son.....I love you! Your Daddy sure raised you right. ;o)

I've had so many comments come to my defense over my "your Daddy sure raised you right" that I felt I had to let y'all in on an inside joke. Right after Clifton's accident, he couldn't tell Stacie & me from his nurses. we were all covered up & he was super drugged up (was supposed to be in a medically induced coma but they were never able to get him to...Drs said it was sooooo strange to have a critically burned patient conscious & responsive). Anyway, we wore the same masks, gowns & hats as the nurses & Clifton would mistake us for them. He was always very, very polite & kind & thanked us for anything we did for him (even if it hurt him!). It prompted me to say to him once, "You sure are a polite, respectful young man...your Mama must have raised you right." To which, Clifton responded "My Daddy raised me right!"

It's been a family joke ever since cause I've always said "Moms get no credit" & this just proves it. ;o)


Charlene said...

Oh I think his Momma & her LOVE had a bit to do with it too. Congratulations to all of you for a fight well won! And I am so happy he is back to doing what he loves! Give him birthday hugs for me.

And for your sweet message you left on my post... THANK YOU! And for not talking about it last night at Art Night because I don't think I could have stood it if anyone starting talking about it. Today is the first time I am alone in the house. Joann just left. Hubby is at work & for the first time since I have lived here for the last 12 years... I AM ALONE!!!!

THE HOUSE SCREAMS WITH QUIET! Her rugs are still there, the food bowl gone but, SHE is everywhere I look... yet no where to be found. My heart is broken & I feel so ALONE!
HUGS Charlene

Dorthe said...

You must be so very happy, that life turned around once more for your son, giving him a new chance, for a new happy life, I`m sur he struggled hard to achive this.


The Muse said...

happy day to him...and to you...your love is so clear here in this post.

what a shining example you have been for him...he has been blessed to have you!

QueenBe said...

That is one touching story....thank you for sharing it with us. I needed that inspiration just now as recently my son (age 19) has had a heartbreaking blow and disappointment that has changed his life, and as you know, a child's unhappiness = a mother's unhappiness. What you and your son have had to endure has made what my son and I have had to endure together seem so much smaller now. You and I both have strong determined boys as sons, and I am sure you feel as thankful for that as I do. Thank you, and congratualtions. Carol

HoneyB said...

Oh Vinty, this puts tears to my eyes to see this. Your son is definite proof and encouragement to me that we can all overcome. Happy birthday Clifton!!! BTW, Your momma did a darn good job herself! :)

Romeo said...

WOW! What a great "movie star"! Thank you for sharing this - and two paws up to Clifton for his courage and determination! Happy Purrday buddy!

And to his mom....it wasn't just his dad that raised him right....I'd bet high that he has a lot of his mom in his character too :)

cindy said...

Cam....that's beautiful. Your son is amazing and what a wonderful story, and yes...someone should make a movie!

Last night was so much fun! Wonderful to see you again, so neat to see the beautiful things you were working on, to be inspired by you all and to laugh my butt off! (OK, not off...but, ok...allot!): D

yapping cat

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Happy Birthday to a very courageous and determined young man. You have every reason to be proud of him. Way to go Clifton! laurie

Stacey said...

Oh that is the best story of life that I have read in a long time. Congratulations to all of you. You are a wonderful example of perseverance!


Oh, Cami, what an amazing boy you have!!! A family's love and belief in prayer can result in miracles. A super happy birthday to Clifton-such an inspiration, and thank you for sharing your family's story of the power of prayer and healing. ~ Angela

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Happy Birthday to your precious son ! What a wonderful joy !!

Collected Treasures said...

How incredibly beautiful.....thank you for sharing and how wonderful that he is so very happy....and still alive.....a good story with a happy ending.

Tardevil said...

What a sweet post, Cami! So glad he has had a remarkable recovery! Happy birthday to him!

Knitty said...

It's a chilly day here in Michigan, but reading this warmed my heart! Happy Birthday to your son and congratulations to both him and you.

Kelli said...

Wow. What a terrific story! I'm so glad Knitty told me to come and take a look at this story. Definitely heartwarming! :) Happy birthday to your wonderful son and congratulations to you for raising such a fighter!

Katy ~ said...

Vinty, miracles do happen, and prayers do work, and mothers and sons are blessed. It's all here.

Many many hugs and blessings xoxo to all of you.

Then and Now at Collected Treasures said...

I'm so proud of him for being so strong and fighting so hard to prove everyone wrong.He is such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
xx00 C.

Debra@Common Ground said...

Cami, what an AMAZING miracle, I loved hearing about his recovery! Thank you for sharing this. Encouragement from you and loved ones has given him the strength and desire to overcome what happened. He looks wonderful!
hugs and blessings,

Laura said...

What a wonderful tribute. he is indeed a courageous young man.

I am also a Texas blogger- so HI!

I enjoyed visiting,

Rebecca said...

Hi Cami
What a wonderful tribute to you and your son but most of all to the Lord who loves both of you. How proud you must be, congratulations to your brave son. Blessings

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Cami, what a beautiful loving and thoughtful tribute to your gorgeous son!! ANd I think his ol' mama had a lot to do with helping raise him, too!! And I KNOW that you were surely paramount in his cheering section to make a full recovery! Hooray for him and the entire family!!

Big Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Auntie Cake said...

Thanks for sharing that story. It was so heartwarming, and it was so wonderful to start the day off with such a story of determination and triumph! Way to go! And tell him congrats on the win, he plays D-tackle?

PS- and I am sure his mom had absolutely nothing to do with raising such an incredible guy:)

Kim said...

Cami,that is one of the most wonderful stories that I've ever heard. SO GREAT! And yes, it totally should be a movie! Your whole family should be so, so proud of what your son has accomplished.