Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grand is continuing to do well with Physical therapy, they were supposed to cast him last week for stubbies but Kirk his Prosthetic maker:) is a busy Monday it is for sure!! Then stubbies a week later....and then WALKING:)))) CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? I actually can after all the miracles I have seen..but at the same time, it is incredible!!
I was wrong about his eye surgery, we go in for the consult this month but I am not sure when they will actually do it. I am hoping they do it after they put his "plastic prosthesis" skull back in! That surgery will be in August!!
FYI, in case you didn't know, WE:) will be home in Arkansas for 30 days in July. His Doc has already approved it and all we have to do now is put the paperwork thru with his company and we will be good to go:))) I think it will be good therapy for him to be in his own home, with friends and family around us...we cannot wait!!!
Then after 30 days home, we will move to San Antonio and live in our new friends, the Parkers, home for as long as therapy and recovery last! (We will live 5 min. from Sea World) just in case we need to bribe anyone to come visit us:))))

This past week has been a blessing with two visits from two of Grands friends/brothers from the 82nd who are still in Afghanistan and home for R&R. It was really nice that they both traveled here to see Grand....We also are getting to meet a lot of his Commanders from Fort Bragg and 82nd Airborne retirees who make it a point to come see Grand while they are here! He lights up when he see's people from the 82nd!!
Grand was also asked by his Platoon SSG here to speak at an Army convention on May 18! This is a biggie, so I will let you know how it all turns out!

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our friends who came out and supported us last weekend at Memorial Drive CofC to honor Legrand. The money that was raised is great, BUT, the people who came out in his honor was the BEST!!! We wish we could have been there to hug everyone and say THANK YOU for all your love and support...please know that we will never forget ALL the love that everyone has shown us.......I don't have enough "Thank You" cards to mail out yet....but when I get a chance I will!!!

I am glad I do not have much to report, except life is good right now, and it will be better when the boys get here the first of June:)) Please continue to pray for Grand....especially for God to keep shining that light in him for everyone to see. We keep hearing, "well, eventually he is going to get depressed.." As long as he has Abba, Grand will be fine....but the love and prayers that surround him are such a wonderful addition to the Faith that he has!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I have to say after being here almost 3 months, this all feels like second nature to me! Nothing feels normal though because our boys are not here, but they will be soon:) It was nice getting to go home and spend quality time with was hard to leave, but I know by the time they get here, Grand will be so much better and hopefully time will fly by and we can get back home to be near our family and friends!!!
I will admit, San Antonio is growing on me....people here are REALLY friendly and they take good care of us. We have been blessed to meet so many kind people, and people who really care about their Military community!!

Grand was asked to speak to a group of people at the CFI today, it was a large crowd and I was nervous for him..I didn't get to be in there:( but I am sure he did great!! The lady asked him to speak because she said he is, "Inspiring:)" He is very inspiring to me too!!!

The prosthetics guy measured Grand already and will cast him next week for his prosthesis....he will start out on stubbies which are little legs so he will learn to balance, and then they will grow the more he gets his balance. Then he will get his "Legs"......

We also met with his TBI Doctor yesterday who said Grand at this point with his injuries would still be in the hospital....he is still yet VERY amazed!! All of Grands testing turned out well...and the only thing he really needs to work on is his short term memory, and response time....I don't want to say he is "slow" he is just not to quick at answers as usual...He will get there!!

They are still keeping him busy with appointments and Occupational Therapy, his therapist Jim, has him sitting on a half round balance ball ..and doing art on his easel:)) I have to say it was pretty neat seeing the group of people he just spoke to in the forum come around for a tour in the CFI, and seeing Grand balancing on this ball while doing a pretty good art piece:))

As always, we are still so grateful for the outpouring of love we receive...we still get cards, and really blesses us, and we thank you most for the prayers....look how Abba has brought us through this, and every step of the way he has placed people and things before us we could have never imagined..maybe that was a lack of faith on our part, but going through this has really taught me that, "All things are possible...for those that LOVE the LORD!!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Forgotten

I have been meaning to write about "The forgotten" for some time forgotten, I mean the men and woman who did not die in battle, but the one's who were injured. Do you know before this happened...I will admit to not knowing much about the Warriors who were injured...On the news they give you the scroll at the bottom of the screen that tells you how many lost their lives....but not the injured! I saw a Dateline once about Walter Reed and the families there in the Fisher House...but it never affected me!

When I got here and saw the blew my mind!!! On top of that, we are not the only Military hospital there is...there are several more...but in my mind, I could never imagine it. What small minded world I was living in....on top of that, thinking that Grand would be fine, and with God in is heart and on his mind daily...nothing bad would happen to him..!!

We are blessed to be in a community that cares for their wounded Soldiers....I barely have to cook a meal because there are thousands of volunteers who take care of us...they have outings, spa days, massages, cooking lessons, movie nights, game nights...etc...Also being here at the Fisher get to make friends, and people who become like family.

On Saturdays, the Northside CofC comes here and cooks a HUGE breakfast...and we have a volunteer named Rita who is 90 and here every Saturday as a house Mom..she has taken Grand in and just loves him!!! She sits outside on the patio and drinks coffee with us, and tells us about all the Soldiers who come through. When the Warriors family leaves and they are left alone, they are moved to the Warrior more family type atmosphere...they go in their rooms, take their pills, and do not socialize...she said a lot of them have taken their own lives over there.

That broke me apart when she told me that.....I don't like ANYONE being lonely..and they have so much to offer here for them to do, and a lot of them take advantage of that, but a lot of them do not know how to deal!!! I see them everyday...we even have some in this house who do not want to come out of their rooms because they cannot deal with the way their life has changed!

So I ask you friends....I ask that you to lift the forgotten one's up in prayer...for them to have peace in their lives...and that they will see God...I see him everyday, and we know him...but a lot of them don't...I don't know what they are feeling, I cannot even comprehend what Grand is feeling, but they need prayers too!! I wish I would have been more aware of this before...but I am grateful that God is now placing a mission in my heart...and I am ready for it!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What week is this??:)

I wanted to keep up with dates, but it is hard keeping up with what time and week day it is:) Plus having a sinus infection doesn't is bad down here in Texas!! The blessing is, we are surrounded by Doctors who don't just care for Grand, but they care for me that is nice!!

Today VP Biden was here to meet the Warriors and unfortunately we had appointments so we missed him. That may not be a big deal to some of you, but to us it would have been really neat. Biden came to the CFI to meet all the wounded Warriors and spent almost two hours there...Grand would have actually been able to speak to him for a while had he been up there, but we had to go to a procedure for his legs!
The VP came up to the hospital after that but then we were headed back to the CFI for more therapy...after I dropped Grand off, I headed back to the hospital and got to stand 5 ft. from him and he spoke to all of us for a second....and of course my camera was in Grands back pack at the CFI!!!! Oh well....they say people come here all the time to visit the Soldiers:)) EVEN DENZEL:))) Trust me....we won't miss that visit:)))

Every other week the Warrior family Support Center sponsors massages for the Warriors, and family members...SO last night, Grand and I went and got a massage!!! I must say...that was REALLY relaxing!!! We are getting out more when people come visit, like his Cousin Petra who came this past weekend and we all went out for dinner, and then our friends Mar and Lee are coming this weekend, and his Sister is coming the weekend after that.....Rest is so important...but so is getting Grand out more!! I think that is such a part of the healing process, it makes him feel some normalcy.
Today his Doctor/Therapist, told Grand he needs to write a book....he also told him that He see's him inspiring people one day....little does he know!!! He already inspires me daily...!!!

Grand had a procedure done on his left leg today....he had known about it for two days and I think it stressed him out a little....anticipating pain, especially when they tell you it is a painful procedure does not help. In fact I know it did bother him knowing because his blood pressure was really HIGH!!! They had to inject "BOTOX" of all things into his leg to help relax the muscles where bones are growing within. This is opposed to having surgery...which we don't want, but it will help the legs get ready for prosthetics!! He got through it fine and hopefully this will work!!

Day by day he is still improving, and the only hard part of this whole process is being away from the boys...but I get to go home for a few days while his Mom comes to stay with Grand. He is working his way to Independence but is not ready to be alone yet...he will get there in no time. They actually encourage him to do almost everything on his own now, but the wife and nurturer in me cannot let go yet:))

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week 1 of recovery

Well what can I say.....
This has obviously been a very crazy week because I have not had a moment to write, talk, NOTHING:) They do not play around here....the moment you step out of the hospital you better be ready to recover!! :))
Grand is doing amazing....sleep is a bit of an issue, even with taking ambien, but this is all new so it takes time. He is loving being at the Fisher house and not being awaken every four hours for vitals and meds:) and he loves being more independent. We have started making friends around here, and I love to see the shock on their faces when I tell them this happened in Feb, and here he is!!!! We give that glory to God!!!

I struggle sometimes with the constant, "This is a long road, oh he is going to go through a depression, you may struggle in your marriage, etc.etc.etc." Do you people not know the GOD we know, love, and serve???? Because we do not know what tomorrow will bring, we do not know Gods plan for recovery, but I can tell you this.......IF Legrand gets depressed....God will get him thru it, if we do struggle, GOD WILL get us thru it, and if it is a long road...GOD will CARRY us on it!!! My new friend Alice told me to tell them, "SATAN IS A LIAR!!!!" I say, "AMEN" to that!!
Grand still amazes me with his attitude and appreciation to ABBA everyday....if that time comes, which I see Satan testing the waters...we will be armed and ready, because Grand (we) didn't go thru this to give up now, he lived for a reason and he knows that, he lived to help bring as many as possible to Christ.......Looking back, I see how God in so many ways prepared us for this battle, and thank you Father, thank you so much for that!! I cannot help but to be so overwhelmed on this Easter day of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and we go on in life like this one day is special...NO, EVERYDAY we should celebrate the fact that he lived, died, arose and is coming back for us...EVERYDAY!!! I want to live everyday in Praise and Thanksgiving for what he has done....and what he has done in me!!!
I know I have not lived my whole life as an example of who God is, but I can't help but feel so responsible now to make sure that Jesus be seen in my life!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am having keeping up on how many days we have been here, much less what day and date it is!!! Grand is sleeping and I am enjoying hearing him snore:)
This week has been wonderful, yet crazy....I would say the boys had a great week, and I have to say I am so thankful the Lindsley's were here to help out!! Courtesy of Steve Fogle, and the Lindsley's, they got to go to the Zoo, River Walk, Sea World, and Two Spurs games...vs. Lakers on Wed. and Cavs on Fri....we went as a family Friday night, and I have to say that was exciting!!! Minus the fact that my camera died and I didn't get but a couple of pics on my cell phone that didn't turn out that great:( BUT, that memory is sketched in my brain...wish I could share that with you....Grand was exhausted, but REALLY enjoyed his time!! We stayed in a private room to watch the game while the boys were almost court side in private seating....Grand can't be around a lot of noise so that worked out perfect...but you can't beat the experience of just being there!!

The first night home took adjusting to, he didn't sleep at all, and then we had to get up Friday and GO, GO, GO....I thought it was a bit much for his first day out, but we will get the hang of is going to go full speed starting Monday. Thankfully we are right next door to his rehab center...CFI....Center For the Intrepid...His occupational therapist Jim will work with him everyday on daily living- driving, how to get around, adjust to life without legs..etc. and his PT will get him in shape and ready for prosthetics...CFI takes the guys on outings like fishing, movies, skiing..YES skiing:) and surfing...and a lot more. This place is should google it and see what is all about!! Grand is ready to get the healing process started!!

Day by day this man continues to amaze me.....I know on caring bridge it was shared about his testimony the other day...but all I can say is that I wish I had the faith this man has!!! When he asked me to sing, "It is Well" and he sang with me...jaws shut, tears filling up his eyes, and singing with all his heart, that was a moment with him I will never forget! After we were finished singing, that is when he said, " At first, I thought, we should just go blow the people who did this to me up, but then I felt that was wrong...because God could have done that to us...but he sent Jesus, he came and did everything he could for us, and we tortured and killed him, we stuck a sword in his side, and a crown of thorns on his head, and he suffocated and died for us....if I had to do this all over again, I would, if it meant I could save one person...if I could help one person come to know God!".......
Thank you Father, for this precious man!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 46

The last blog was a see if it would work!!!
I want to write and tell you about the past week and a half....I have to say my birthday was wonderful last Tuesday, and I was OVERWHELMED with gifts, cards, and sweet messages!! Memorial Drive, you OVER did it..(Marcy:) A group of sweet girls (I don't even know, but one of them) showed up and gave me a birthday party...!!! Then the Kendall's came to celebrate that evening, and brought us ZIO'S..yum!! Thank you everyone for making my birthday so wonderful..the best gift was Grand being alive and better!!!

Thursday was Grands surgery....that was rough!! It was a set back for sure, and the days and nights were long, with no sleep, food, discomfort, and pain! A side of us came out that we had not yet was a side that I know neither one of us wanted to feel, but I knew at some point, Satan would really try to bring us down....I realized, the lack of both of us not having sleep, the maximum anesthesia for Grand, no food, and pain can cause some food alone for Grand can do that:) sleep for ME, will definitely do that! I am sure you could hear the desperation in my voice when I asked for prayers!!!

The boys arrived Friday around 2, and it was a WONDERFUL reunion for us...Grand was in no shape to be excited...he was the whole week leading up to their visit, but the surgery kind of put that on hold!! Last night was the first night he started coming around, and by this morning when I walked in, he was back to his old self!!! I couldn't do anything but Thank GOD throughout the day for being able to see him, drinking his "food", cracking jokes, seeing him thank GOD over and over for blessing him, and loving on those boys!!!
Noah and Nathan were VERY excited to see him happy!!

We have been overwhelmed and blessed with many visitors the past couple of weeks!!! This past weekend our friends, Deb, Jonah, Eli, Laura, Russell, The Lindsley's, and Jacy J, visited...The Lindsley's, Jacy and Raymond's are actually here this week, and it has been great!!
Hopefully we will be out by Thursday:))) and we would love more visitors! Although life has been really busy each is always nice to see "friendly" faces!!

Your prayers help get us through day by day....through the good and the bad....God is ALWAYS good, and I am so thankful you all get to share in this journey with us!! I couldn't do this daily without God, and I couldn't do this daily without my family and brothers and sisters in Christ!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!


Okay, I have blogged twice and both times it I gave up for a I have had some REALLY busy days, especially with the boys is easier for me to update my facebook when I am waiting on Grand while he is having test done, of busy doing PT....So much to little time!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 36

Okay...I am WAY behind on updating, but there has been no time at all!! Grand is doing so much better that they wanted to release him TODAY!!! My reaction was not good when I heard the news because we had just gotten back from a little road trip in his power chair over to where we both would be living for a while. We are now staying at the Fisher is almost in the same parking lot as the the time we got here in the power chair, he had to rest because he was so exhausted and is almost in the 80's everyday...we had to take a shuttle back to the hospital because he couldn't make it...One of the reasons he does not have a lot of energy is because he is not eating a lot...he is not eating a lot because his jaw is still not straight, and he has broken teeth, and a missing tooth....which makes it really hard to eat. He gets smoothies, shakes, etc. a lot, but even that has to be forced......BUT, this past weekend was filled with MANY:) special visitors....The Clark's...who brought in one night, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and tons of sweets...the Davies, who brought poppy seed chicken, and sides...and the Leaches who brought, tortellini, chicken and rice, and brownies...and the Grissoms who brought Starbucks.....
Let me tell you...that boy ATE!!! Maybe it is the hospital food that's making him not want to eat :))
The Clark's who drove down from the Dallas area, and Chris who is home from Afghanistan ( for R&R) spent the weekend as a family here....Clark 1, as Grand calls him, helped save Grands life...I am BEYOND grateful for him. He came and shared what happened that day with Grand and I am so thankful he could!!
Joyce, Grands former boss from ODC drove 13 hours on Sat. to spend a total of 3-4 hours with him, then turned around and drove back home on Sunday...Grand felt honored that she would do that!!
We had an eventful weekend, which made it go by really we started today, the Doctors kept saying..he is ready to go "anytime"......then they took Grand for an ENT, and it showed that his jaw really is not lining up and they need to put a plate in. They also may wire his mouth shut again. So the Doctors said he could stay until Friday, the day after the surgery, and since they will not discharge anyone on Friday, we have to wait til Monday....sometimes things don't go as "WE" plan, but I am thankful he will have this time to recuperate some more!!!
I have to tell you..with all that has happened, NEVER once, have I heard Grand complain....NEVER once has he been angry, and NEVER once have I heard him do anything but thank GOD he is alive...everyday I hear him say it. As strong as everyone is saying I am....that man inspires me and it honors me to be strong for him...but HE is the one who is strong!! Abba has great plans for his child....I am blessed to see Gods great work EVERYDAY!!
My Mother in-law is leaving tomorrow, so it will just be me and Grand...he loves having his Mama here and she has been so helpful, but as he is getting ready to leave the hospital, they will only allow one family member to stay. This is where reality hits and the adventure begins!! Can I just tell you...I CAN'T BELIEVE HE HAS ONLY BEEN HERE 36 DAYS, AND HE IS GETTING OUT!!!!! I can believe it, because I witnessed the healing everyday....but sometimes I think how sad it is for it to take a tragedy to see that God does miracles EVERYDAY, not just in cases like this, but in everyday life...we just don't open our eyes to see clearly!! This has really opened my eyes, not just to Gods great love for us, but the fact that he has a plan for us...not always OUR plan..but a plan...his ways are not our ways...right?!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 31

Today was a good day...mellow towards the end, but the beginning of the day is always crazy!! I get to the hospital now around 7:45 am so I can order Grands breakfast...he is feeding himself, and opening up his drinks...each day his strength grows more and more, but his right side is really weak from the impact he had. He is right handed so he is using his left side more, but he will regain his strength back on that side. Speech comes in, , four different docs come in, PT comes in....Grand does not have a moments peace for the beginning of the day...but he handles it really well!! When PT came today, they put him in his chair and let him roll around...then they asked him if he was finished after SEVERAL laps around the halls, and he wanted to keep going until it wore him out!
His Occupational Therapist said that a lot of guys in this situation get really angry, and I can see how easily they would because you can't just get up and go and live your normal life right away.... but he loved Grands attitude and said that he can't wait to work with him, and asked if he could put Grand on his prayer chain at his Church!!! LOVE IT!!!

His Doctors even think that Grand will be a great Mentor to others like himself....and I have to agree!! He is a living example of letting Gods light shine in him!!

Now I am packing up my hotel room to get ready for my move to the Fisher is like the Ronald McDonald house....we can stay there for a longer period of will be an adjustment and a blessing to be living close to others who are going through the same things we are!! I am thinking by the time the boys get here next Friday, Grand will be out of the in awe over that!!
I am not great at asking for prayers, especially when I know most of you are praying already.....but please pray that this transition goes well...this is a big move coming up, and I know that God has already provided me with so much strength.....but I need that strength to continue on! I know life is going to change drastically again...and I want to be strong when having the privilege of taking care of my husband, and the wisdom to always do what is best for him!! Also please pray that I get some rest...I am so restless at night when I am not up there with him, and that will change soon, but until then...I need sleep, just ask the nurses:)
Thank you all so much, again...the cards, messages and special treats keep flooding in, and we are so blessed that you love us to think of us STILL!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 29 and 30

Well as most of you read on Caring Bridge...they finally moved Grand out of the ICU!!! It was kind of like moving your child from Preschool to the 5th grade automatically, because the next step after this floor, is to move him over to live with me where I am staying.
That sounds SO unbelievable!!!! They told us yesterday it would be 2-3 weeks and he is out, then today, they told us it would be sometime next week!!!
Now this doesn't mean they are done with us, it just means, I will be his caregiver and we will stay together right across the street from the hospital and make a daily visit there for care. This hospital also has one of the top Intrepid centers in the world for prosthetics, therapy, and more!!!
I am not going to lie when I tell you....I thought we were going to be here for A LONG time!!! Never in my wildest dreams would I believe if they told me when he got here that we would be out of inpatient care within two months! I don't even think the nurses and Doctors could have told you that!! Two Docs left his room yesterday walking down the hall and I could hear them saying, "AMAZING".....
We found out yesterday, Grand has permanent hearing loss in his left ear....he also has some vision problems, but I am sure they can fix that....
Today he got in his manual wheelchair and rode himself on down to the front of the hospital.....he is progressing so well! We also put some real clothes on him and went to visit his nurses in the ICU and they came in to check on him as well, we miss the ICU Nurses really bad, but we are so happy he is making progress!
All in all, I am thankful and constantly in awe of what GOD, Grand, the Medical team, and what your prayers have accomplished in such a short amount of time....before you know it, we will be home, and Grand will be walking again!!! I cannot wait for that day!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 27-28

Well, we didn't go down hill, we moved a little up, and stayed the same these past two days!! We had an amazing nurse named Heidi...she was encouraging, prayed for Grand, and even read him scripture today....he loved that:)
He has been really tired because his blood count is low, but he is eating more!! We kind of have to force him to eat most times, but that is just because he is so tired!! One thing he is doing a lot more of is TALKING:))
They are ready to move Grand to a step down unit, which is so bittersweet...I have bonded with most of the nurses, and one nurse told me today, we are like family to them, because no one ever gets to stay in ICU that long!! I am really going to miss them, but rejoice in the fact we are progressing. Again I will tell you that so many people call it a miracle that he is recovering so fast, I cannot even believe how fast he has recovered myself!!
So I ask...please do not quit praying for him...right now there are still head trauma issues (memory), Phantom pain, the loss of his friends....he even asked if the Afghanies he knew there were okay....and the sadness I believe he is experiencing....I do have to say though...that this list is small compared to what it was in the beginning, and I am SO, SO grateful for that!!

One last thing....this is hard on a lot of people, and my life gets so wrapped up in day to day caring for Grand, but I am noticing every day that it gets harder and harder for Noah and Nathan!! If you know them, they may not show it to well, but I hear it in their sweet voices each day.......I am so blessed and thankful for my Mom who left EVERYTHING in one day and came to stay with those boys so they could have the comfort of their own home...what would I do without her...Those boys are in good hands, but they are really hurting, and I am missing them more and more each day!! Please continue to pray for them, and that they can hold on for just a few more months until we can be together again!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 26

Was it really just last night I was asking you to pray for specific things, and then today there they were answered??:))) IT WAS!!!:))
I walked in this morning and Grand was resting peacefully....eyes opened as he greeted me, "Hi Sweetness";)......that is what he calls me all the time, I could tell we were off to a good start!!
He was having some phantom pain and asked me to rub his feet for him:( I told him there were no feet there and he kind of looked at me like...oh yeah...and then we moved on!
One of his female commanding officers came in to check on him which she does often, and she was just beaming at how well he was...she said, "Praise Jesus.." and then he said, "Yes, I thank God I am alive...and then he went into this AMAZING testimony that brought all of us in there pure joy to hear of his love for the one that saved him...I wish I could remember every word, I wish I recorded it for you all to hear...I have never heard of such testimony in my life!!!!!

That was just the wonderful beginning of the day.....
Physical therapy called the day before and ordered a manual wheel chair for Grand..when the company brought it in today, I looked at it and said, "NO WAY...he is not ready for this, and it has no headrest for his head which he needs for his head injury....the guy who built it agreed, and so did his of the other nurses said to just keep it and see if it would work the meantime PT was called and they came up....
Well guess what.....not only did they put Grand in the chair, he held his head up the whole time...(which he does need a helmet since part of his skull is missing) AND....he drove himself up and down the halls on his own....his PT was holding his IV pole and could hardly keep up with him!!!
I admitted I doubted and gave his PT an apology, and thanks!!!
That not only left me in tears, but it left me in total AWE of what God is doing...I was already in awe, but I don't think a lot of people would have believed it if they didn't see it themselves!!! I did take a picture, but I will wait until he can really approve it to show!!!

He also ate today...he filled his quota!

THE VERY BEST PART OF THE DAY, if that wasn't enough......
We talked for a long time:))) real conversation.....we even laughed some, and he smiled a lot throughout the day!!!! I really got to talk with my best friend, and I shared with him all the amazing support he has out there, and he just cannot believe if the cards alone didn' t prove it:)) it was was all so good!!! The only real sad part of the day was him telling me that one of the nurses told him that the other two he was with did not make it...he asked me who was with him, and I told him. He looked at me and said, "I talked to (I won't say his name to protect his privacy) about God all the time!! It was sad for Grand to realize more loss on his part, but remembering and stating the fact that God was in this guys heart before he passed, I believe gave Grand some peace!!!!
I said it would get better or be the got better...and I am not saying tomorrow will be the same as today....but we had today, and that was good enough for me:))))

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 25

Today was not as eventful as yesterday, but day by day there is progress.
I am sad to report that for now his brain injury is causing him to forget things, and today "again," he discovered he didn't have any legs.
He does remember our names, the boys, family, and many other things...but missing his legs was a whole new thing today and it was not easy for him. His frontal lobe was severely damaged but it is amazing to me how well he was doing considering that fact!!
Physical therapy is going great, he is lifting up with his arms, and pushing hard as ever to do what is asked of him. He has obviously lost a lot of weight so we are encouraging him to eat more because if he doesn't they will put the feeding or a G tube in....and right now he is NOT eating a lot!
Tomorrow is a whole new day and it may be better or the same...but I have faith we won't take a step back....Please, please continue to pray, and specifically for the eating part, and that his brain injury will heal and he will be able to cope with what is, and continue being the person he was so wonderfully made to be!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 24

WHOOOOHOO to day 24....
When I arrived early this morning, I walked in the room and Grand was sitting up (with assistance from the bed of course:) and had his eyes wide open, and NO FEEDING TUBE!!! Anne, my favorite night nurse told me that he had pulled it out at around 3 that morning, and that was that...she fed him applesauce, and he gulped down a cup of water or 2...he was talking clearly, and giving orders:)) He has been asking for soda everyday for the past week so finally Holly went and got him one of her Dr. Peppers out and he drank half of that...and then took a few bites of pureed turkey:( mashed potatoes, and pureed green beans:(.....he is off to a good start regarding food....the trachea came out too!!!!!
As the day went by, Grand told me and Major Sturm (his day nurse, and friend:) that he was having Phantom leg syndrome....we looked at each other like, "how does he know he has this".....Grand was really listening in his sleep!!! We have to ask him everyday where he is, who we are, etc. because of the brain injury...but we asked him again today if he remembered what happened, and he said, "I got shot or something.." We told him some of what happened and then he asked who was with him...we told him we would talk about that later and he was okay with that! I told him God loves him and saved him for a reason and he said, "I know!!"
He really came alive today and everyone that came in to see him from Doctors, nurses, therapist...EVERYONE was amazed by what they saw....
That Phantom pain really is bothering him right now so please keep that in your prayers....your prayers are carrying us right to the Throne Room, and I thank you with all my heart that you love him that much to pray day and night.....God is good...ALL the time!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 23...

It has been one month to the day this all happened!! One month...I keep saying in my head because it seems so unreal to me! I feel like this month has flown by at the same time gone so slow...slow because I feel like I haven't seen my boys in forever, but fast because Grand is healing day by day in ways I would say are miraculous!
This experience has left me speechless in so many ways, the outpouring of love, and faith, the renewed, restored relationships, people REALLY talking to our moves me everyday, but yet there is this heartbreak and sadness I feel when I hear my husband say that he just wants to get up and walk by is not my legs that are missing, but I feel in some way they are. When he hurts, I hurt, when he cries, I cry, I am feeling his pain for him but it won't ever be the same as what he is feeling.
I know when they slow up on his drugs, it will be different...I cannot stand to be there when Physical therapy comes in to work with him because I know he is still in a lot of pain...he still has the feeding tube, picc lines, monitors, trachea and more hooked up..but when PT comes in, they work him, and he does it, and DOES NOT COMPLAIN, and DOES NOT GIVE UP...I love and admire his strength...some would just give up, but I think Grand knows he has a reason to live....I look up to him and love him more (which I didn't think was possible) than I EVER have before, and I know that one day that man will walk, run, box, do everything he loves to do!!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 20

Today was day 20 at the hospital, but day 25 since it happened, it feels like a lifetime ago!! I have become very at home in the ICU and will be happy but sad to leave. I have my favorite nurses, and they all laugh at me because I "Request"....they say they don't do request, but we always seem to end up with the best nurses!! They take really good care of the Soldiers here at BAMC, and especially good care of Grand!
We went outside again was actually hot enough to where we both were sweating! Grand got to talk to his Dad and sister, grabbed the phone out of his Moms hand and put it to his ear...and then he told the boys hello, and that he loved them. He was telling us what was hurting and was just one of those little steps ahead we are thankful for!! His stats and white blood cell count still up, but we are praying that tomorrow will shed some light for us on what is wrong...also surgery to remove the antibiotic beads in his legs!!

I have to say,.....I ache to worship with others, and sing...which I do a lot by myself or for Grand....every time I open the bible to scripture, it somehow ALWAYS relates to this situation, God is speaking to me daily and I have never felt so close to him!! I love Jeremiah 29:11..."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 19

I got to the hospital right when they were getting ready to take Grand outside this morning......when we got out there, I told the nurses I wanted "alone" time with him, they smiled and gladly walked away:)..sometimes they just sit all up in our faces and talk loud, it kind of ruins the moment. Today was beautiful here in San least 73 degrees...when we go outside, Grand has to wear my big girly glasses so the sun won't bother him, I need to get him a hat!!
Later in the day, two very unexpected visitors came to see us...the Grissoms. While right now is not a good time to have visits because of his white blood cell count, and high stats, these two people really blessed us with their presence!! The Grissoms son was serving with Grand..actually is still serving in Afghanistan...he was in the vehicle in front of Grands when the IED went off...he is fine...but his parent's shared with us what happened that day. I will share at another time...I am trying to take it all in right now.
It was really nice to hear of the love those guys have for Grand, and that this family would take the time to drive from Austin to love on us, and let us have insight to that day!! The events of that day have not left my mind...images even surface of that day, and I have not yet looked at the news clips to see the damage....but I am blessed to get to look at the miracle that was left behind!!! He is fighting hard to be here..and my prayer everyday is for God to hold Grand tight, comfort him and surround him with his Holy presence, to heal him completely, and to use him in all the ways I know he has planned....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 18

Today was long but somewhat eventful! The Lt. General of Ft. Bragg came, gave Grand a medal coin of Excellence...Grand was asleep because of all the pain meds...I didn't take picture, it all happened so fast!
I finally broke down in front of him tonight. It has been a LONG day, and I was just sitting there staring at him, creepily, as nurse Anne puts it, and I lost it. I think mainly because he can't really talk to me, and I MISS TALKING TO MY BEST FRIEND!!!!

When Grand was in Afghanistan, I talked to him almost everyday. He couldn't email me or anything just call from those satellite phones. He called me every chance he had and we would talk until we couldn't talk anymore. Now I just stare at him, and when he is not all medicated, he does try to get some words out.
When I was crying, I was trying to be careful so he couldn't hear me, but he woke up anyway, looked at me and said, "It will be alright"......really, I lost it like that, he is laying there suffering and he tells me it will be alright....then I lost it even more...he had some tears too. I think it was a much needed moment!! Right before all of this I had prayed for many things, one being that Grand would be able to talk to me, I am thankful GOD heard my cry and let my best friend speak to me, even if it was four single words!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 16..17

Yesterday was one year to the day that Grand re-enlisted back into the Army....I got to see him a total of 32 days in this past year....I am thankful everyday he is still alive!!!

Today I have to admit I am not waking up in my usual, "Let's hurry up and get to the hospital" mood...I laid in bed this morning on my back trying to take in all the pain that Grand is going through right now. Starting from his head, the huge scar that lays where part is skull is removed, to the scars on his right side of his face, to his jaw, and mouth that has the incisions from jaw surgery, the thick feeding tube in his nose, and the whole in his neck where the trache is. His abdomen that has a very long incision that is not completely closed yet..the fracture to his spine right in the middle, the fracture to his hip..the IVs in both hands, and all the other places they have stuck him...the blood blisters at the tips of his fingers.....right down to his legs....if you can only imagine that.
Not that anyone would want to really feel that pain, but I wish I could, just so I could just take it, or share in it with him.

Yesterday Dr. A, Grands Orthopedic Surgeon came in and brought him a beautiful quilt his Mother in-law and friends made for Grand. It was red, white, and blue patches, with scriptures written all over them....scriptures I have found a lot of comfort in during this time....they also embroidered his name, date, and a cross on it....what a blessing to us....he is taking GREAT care of Grand.
Dr. A, was the one who informed us of his high white blood cell count....he said, everyone should be worried...and he was meaning the team of Doctor's that are working on Grand...he wants everyone to take this seriously....
So please continue to pray for wisdom and guidance so we can get to the bottom of what is causing the infections....I think of all the outward things I mentioned above that cause him pain, but I am sure there is so much more pain on the inside!! Not to mention the emotional pain he is feeling.
My friends back home prayed that God would give each of them a pain that Grand was feeling for that day, and let him have rest....a few of them felt his pain that day!! I have to remember that God is holding Grand safe in his arms right now....and he is providing him comfort!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 15

Grand went in to surgery and came out just fine....they got what was causing his infection, but he has got to go back in on Monday for another procedure. I came back to my room because our nurse, Anne said that it is creepy when we sit there and stare at him while he is sleeping:)) She is one of my favorites!! I am going to go back around 8 to help the nurses gives me something to do, and I enjoy the friendships I am making!!

One thing about BAMC (the hospital) is, we are not the only one's here in this is all around us everyday. I don't see as many amputee's, but there are a lot...most of them go to Walter Reed. Most of the Men and Woman injured here are burn victims...some burned with amputee' just don't know how many Soldiers are injured until you see it yourself. They don't make it a headline news usually unless someone dies. In our case Legrand survived, and his buddies didn't make it..... When I think about the night they were flying him from Germany, and they didn't tell me what was going on or where he was..I was upset because they didn't go to Walter Reed, or Bethesda which was his destination. I fully see now why the weather was so bad there that we could be here!!! God ALWAYS knows what is best for us...I see that everyday!!

I struggle thinking about the two with Grand who didn't make it must have felt to get that knock on the door late that night....I got a phone I will never forget. I have to tell you, for a few days leading up to this, I had been REALLY emotional...crying everyday...that morning I called my friend Tisha and I couldn't even breathe I was crying so hard...I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I knew something was wrong because I hadn't heard from Grand in days, and I had just had a dream about him the night before....
That evening I was sitting there reading when I got the call....the man on the other end asked if I was Mrs. Strickland..."Yes"...Is this Legrand Strickland's wife, "Yes".....and then I knew....the questions kept coming, and I kept asking, "What is it...what is wrong..."...but more questions to make sure they had the right person.
I will never forget that night....but I am thankful it was a call and not a knock...I can't imagine what those families went through that night, but I have a small glimpse of what it must have felt like. My heart still breaks for them, and I soon will have to tell much for him to take in, but he will find peace!!!
This is a journey.....sometimes journey's are good for us....sometimes they are not, but whatever this is, so far we have been blessed!

Love you all!

Monday, February 22, 2010 all I have to say for today!! This day started out with taking care of business, and not getting to the hospital until 10am. I am still used to staying the night and leaving around that time to come "take a nap" which I never did, but now I am sleeping, and sleep actually feels kind of good! We (my Mother In-Law) arrived to find we had a new nurse (Mike) and a student doing clinicals (we will call her A) first I wasn't happy because all of our usual nurses were there but we had a new one I would have to drill over and give them the run down of what and what not to do....At this point I have been told by every nurse Grand has had that I am going to end up being a nurse, we will see:) Mike had goals, and I loved his goals for the day.....GET GRAND OUTSIDE!! I instantly liked Mike, but A seemed very careful around me, I found her character to be kind and gentle, but she stared at me A LOT throughout the day, I was to busy with Grand to even mind. Mike's goals were not met, unfortunately, Grand had to have a CT done and it showed he had fluid in both legs and on his brain. Then he had a MRI to get a better look at everything...still waiting results on that.
Later in the day when their 12 hour shift was over, I was talking to A, and asking her about herself, I told her I really liked her because she was gentle with Grand...she told me the reason why........A's husband is on the 4th floor, burn unit, double amputee, and had been there 6 months, he is in the Military and was injured in Afghanistan....and they are stationed in NC. My jaw dropped open, and I felt like ABBA sent me something special...someone to walk with me in person through this journey!!!! I asked her if she is a believer, and she didn't seem sure about it.....I have to say, I am excited to show her the Father I know, she needs faith, hope, and healing!! I ask that you pray for A, and her family too!! They have a 5 year old daughter and they are now living here!!

I have come to see GOD in EVERY step of this journey so far....In the Doctors who prayed over Grand until he arrived here, from the continuous love and support of family, friends, and the Doctors and Nurses who hug me daily and root, and pray for my husband....EVERYDAY God appears to me, even when I have my bad days....and today seemed bad until I met A, and was reminded yet again that God is ALWAYS with us.....

Please pray for Grand tomorrow.....I couldn't bring myself to tell him he was having surgery ....The Dr's. and nurses wore him out today, but we had some special moments...they put a plug in his trachea, so he could talk some, and he said some words, and he even made a funny face when I asked him if he knew who I was:)) of course I was messing with him, and it was nice to see him look at me like he thought I was ridiculous!! He lifted his arm shaking and all to make sure he put his hand on the back of my head and held it there for as long as he could.....I am kind of sad we have to go back into surgery right when he was coming around, but I know he needs it.....I sound kind of silly asking you to keep praying, when I know you already are, but you can pray specifics...that would be nice!!! Pray that they infection, and fluid will be taken care of with this surgery...his blood pressure and heart rate will go down, and that he will not be in a lot of pain!!

Thanks for letting me share, and hopefully I will have way more to share tomorrow....
Love you all!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


WWW- stands for, Wounded Warrior's Wife....that is basically what I am here!! Grand is a wounded warrior and I am his wife!! Or we go by, OEF...and all of these other names!! I needed to blog, I am trying to journal, but don't have time or energy to write. I am in my hotel room that is located across from the hospital on post. I stayed in Grands room all night and then came back, showered, ate breakfast (yes I am eating now) and am now doing laundry! I can't sleep yet until the clothes are done, and even when they are, I don't know if sleep will come to me! I would like to say I would rather be at the hospital, but Grands nurse says he needs to rest!!! I agree, so I will leave him alone for a few hours, and then I will head back up so he can go back outside and enjoy the weather for a very short but wonderful 30 min.

I have so much to say, and so much to share....some of it will have to wait, but I need to thank so many people for EVERYTHING!!
Most importantly- Thank you all for your prayers!!! I know that our Father hears everyone of them. There are people who said they do not pray, but they are now....if you only knew how much that means to me, but think about how much that means to GOD....that is called FAITH, and I LOVE IT!!!
Thank you all who sent cards....there is a long windowsill in Grands room, and it is holding 50 of the cards we received "can't fit anymore" but we have received at least 200 cards..the nurses said that they have never had a patient with this much love!
Thank you for the gifts, goodies, packages.....that is so kind to think of us in so many different ways, from magazines, survival kits, neck pillows, people bringing us dinner at the hospital!!
Thank you Grace Harbor......for taking care of my family while I am gone....I cannot tell you how much that relieves so much stress, you all didn't sign up for a week, you signed ON for as long as your needed and that means so much to us!!
Thank you Memorial Drive....your videos grabbed my heart seeing your beautiful faces...I almost asked if people could send pictures so I can show Grand, but to hear your voices was so special...he really reacted to the video, what a great idea....and thank you also for calling during worship and singing to do not even know how much that meant to me!!!
Thank you ZARROW family...thank you for all your doing, and have you all!!
Thank you Outdoor Cap.... Your generosity and love towards Grand and our family speaks volumes of the kind of company you are and the people you have working there...we love you!!

Okay this could take a year, so I will continue on the next blog.....there are many more people to my parent's and friends...but to be continued.......

I will close with saying....Never ONCE have I blamed God for this, and I know Grand won't either...This may shock you to hear, but I do not hate the people who did this to him....I feel pity, pity that they do not who our GOD is, and the love they would have if they didn't worship there own God, or let Satan take over their lives!! I feel JOY that God spared Grands life for a reason, and JOY that Satan didn't and WON'T defeat Grand!!! Grand is going to go through a process of loss, the loss of friends, and the loss of his legs, if you don't know him, this is going to bring him down for a minute, but he will make the best of it!! Grand loves working out, he worked out everyday, even over there...he wore his tennis shoes out on the rough terrain...I was just about to mail him a new pair....that loss is devastating, but life will go on, and he will live life in him!!!

Love you all.....