Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Sorry, I've been MIA. I fell off the grid for several days due to the holiday. Danny and I headed up to the island to celebrate Christmas with his and my family. It was so much fun having children of all ages around. We ate obnoxious amounts of delicious food, played games, and mostly visited with each other. It sounds odd but it was therapeutically exhausting. Does that make sense?

It's nice to get back to the house though. We made the mistake of leaving our Christmas tree in the living room while we were away. Live trees are wonderful...when they're watered.

Now it's back to the daily grind. I had my last speech therapy session for a couple of weeks. I'm now practicing what I've learned at home. Julie (the speech therapist) said that at this point in my recovery I need to continue to challenge myself. If I just sit on the couch watching daytime TV, my mind will grow stagnant.

I'm on a schedule to write a paper each week. They're short and sweet, but it's great practice to do an outline and organize my thoughts. Also, I read aloud for about 20 minutes a day, working on my fluency. I've been doing the papers for about 6 weeks and the fluency reading for about two weeks, now my new task is a word a week. I've decided to pick a word out of the dictionary and use it multiple times a day each week. This week's word is, austere. Julie said that I should only incorporate one new task every three or so weeks. With these tasks, I'm starting to fill up. This is like mental juggling for me. Just the act of organizing all of this stuff should count as a new task as well! :)

On a side note: Thank you for all of the hugs in Friday Harbor. I ran into so many people, whom I haven't seen in ages. It's a powerful thing, growing up in Friday Harbor. I appreciate the support, so much so that I can't even begin to explain it. Thanks you guys. I'm truly blessed. I had the chance to jog around town while I was there. It was extremely nostalgic. It's fun having little ghost like memories, so vivid. As a 12 year old, in line at the movie theater, with its' one showing. Walking past Islanders bank headed to the Elementary School for JV softball practice. Wandering around town with my friends because my mom frowned upon sitting on a bench (she wasn't keen on loitering, "It leads to trouble."). I remember walking the 1.5 miles to the drug store with Nicky, we each started with a few quarters but on the way home, it had magically transferred into one hundred Swedish fish.

Most of all, at the age of 17, I remember jogging along our dirt road to a neighbors private grassy landing strip for their Cessna (sounds swanky, but that's the island - it takes all types). I dropped down to the ground, and looked up to the sky. I knew that no one could see me, since the grass hadn't been mowed in months. It was a few feet tall, and the perfect disguise. I remember thinking, "There is a purpose for me. Something big." I knew that I wouldn't have a typical life (although, now I wonder what that definition even is). I remember that moment. It was pretty powerful. I don't know if this brain tumor is my purpose, but I'm incredibly grateful when I hear that my story helps people. Hearing that my story, or this blog, touches people in some way is extremely rewarding. It makes me feel like my journey is not only for me, but for others as well. Health is real. It's probably, the most important thing for every individual - for without it, your body ceases to exist. For those of you who are dealing with anything hard, I'm sorry. This is me hugging you.


  1. I'm so happy you had a wonderful Christmas! I look forward to the new year, and all the fantastic things that await you. I really like how you are organizing your recovery and giving yourself goals, you are so dedicated! I miss you, so this is me hugging you!
    Love, Sarah B.

  2. Hugs are pretty powerful too. So here are some right back at you. Hug, hug, hug.

    I loved your reminiscing. It sent good feelings.

    Happy New Year!


  3. Hugs right back to you Jess. Wishing you the best for 2011.
    Rene`, Candyce and myself are headed to the island to spend some time with your favorite people. Can't wait to see Isla, Court and Kaal. I want to feel some of that magic.
    Love and hugs,

  4. I would have expected nothing less than a powerful message from a amazing young lady. Glad you had a great Christmas on the island. Well you know I am along for your journey where ever it goes. You are always in our prayers. You provide a perspective to life that not many can or will. Keep smiling! Oh austere...a way to get from one flor to the other u know(or to change levels like going from the patio into you mom and dads house. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
    Love Rich and Andre`


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