Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Grandbaby!

Today was a great day for the Maughan family! The arrival of Jackson Jeffrey Maughan came early this afternoon at around 1:06 pm. (I got the EXACT time later... )

Jackson Jeffrey Maughan
8 lbs 2 oz
20 1/2 inches

Proud parents:
Jeffrey Scott & Kallie Marie Wilkins Maughan

Here are some fun photos of the little guy!

The handsome chap!

With the proud Mom and Dad!

Happy Grandparents....

Proud Aunt Angie and Papa Jeff!

Look how alert he is! He is such a cutie...

Grandma is loving her new grandbaby!

Another few precious moments with Daddy Jeff.

It is so fun to see your children grow up and become parents themselves. It is a great time for the entire family. We feel very blessed that all went well with the birth and that little Jackson is here to bless our lives.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some Miracles Take Time....

I am going to start blogging again! It has been a while since I posted and mostly it is because life has been super busy lately. Since Thanksgiving, we have done the following --

-LaNae got released from her Young Women's calling in her church. (miss the YW!!)
-Dan / LaNae helped Heather get into her own home
-Heather's house needed a LOT of work, so we have been in remodel mode with her and with Jeff / Kallie and their home. Lot's of painting and handyman work going on. It seemed to take every weekend and free moment, but things are looking up for both homes! :-)
-Christmas was wonderful!
-LaNae is super busy at work with a project that needs to go live in the next two weeks.

I am thinking the tone of this blog will change a bit - from Help Dan Heal to Life With Dan... we are doing great, and I want others to know that life with a disabled guy can be good. We are still working to help Dan have a better life, but that is not an event, it is a process. Like the title of the blog says.. some miracles take time.

Over the last few months, we have had several experiences that have reinforced this concept. On Christmas Eve (or thereabout) Dan and I met Angie at a car shop as she was having problems with her brakes. While waiting for the repairs to be completed, we shared the waiting room with a person that knew Dan from working with him over 10 years ago. We didn't make the connection right away, because she kept thinking - that looks like Dan, but it can't be - because he would be much older than this guy! (Dan is amazing in that he doesn't show his true age...) Also, Dan was pretty much wheelchair bound when she knew him and he had walked into the car shop, so this was another thing that made her think it wasn't the same guy. In a nutshell, she was amazed at the progress Dan had made over the last 10 years!!

Then we ran into some other friends that we knew from the WordPerfect Magazine days at the movie theater. The reaction was similar as Dan got out of his wheelchair and walked for them... they were amazed at the progress that he has made over the years.

Another highlight was when Dan was asked to give an opening prayer in our church congregation. As all who know Dan can attest that his speech has been hard to understand, when he gave the prayer, every word was understandable! We know that he has some extra Help that day...! I have had many people come up to me and say how much his speech has improved. I think it still fluctuates a bit, but I do think there are times when I have noticed this as well.

The point is... don't give up if things don't seem to be progressing!! The miracles we see can be realized over a period of time, and we know that we have been blessed, and CONTINUE to be blessed as time passes by. The Lord helps us carry our burdens through the dark times, and He also blesses us with continued progress, even if it is a little at a time. We are told that there is no progress after the first couple of years post-injury. I believe that is mostly because people give up hope and stop trying...

I am not saying it is not hard to keep believing in progress when it is so slow in coming... I am saying that giving up doesn't help anyone. Being bitter about what has happened to you in life only makes you a miserable person. I have found that as I give my pain to the Lord that He blesses me and helps me cope with the day to day challenges, and indeed find joy and peace in the journey. The journey may be a continual climb up a steep mountain slope, but there are stop points along the way where the scenery is breath taking and well worth the effort to get there.

Dan has made some progress over the last year - all the efforts that we have done to help him progress have not been in vain. ...and I believe there is more progress to come. We just need to keep moving forward and putting our trust in the Lord that the best things possible (and the best things for our good /growth) will happen to us. We don't know what the end story looks like, but God does. We trust that He knows best for us, and we are happy to travel the journey together.

There is still hope on the horizon for continued medical breakthroughs that will help Dan and others who suffer from brain / spinal cord injuries.

-- a side note --- (several years ago, our daughter, Heather was injured at a youth activity where she broke her jaw and mashed up her foot. The reaction that I had when the person came to inform us of Heather's injuries can only be understood by someone who has been closely associated to a loved one that has had a traumatic brain injury. They came to my door, and said "Heather has been involved in an accident, and you better come quick." They told me a little specifics of the accident and that Heather was on her way to the hospital. I asked "was she conscious?" They said, "Yes" - and after that I was fine. I knew that if there was no head injury that it was easy! Broken bones take about 6-8 weeks, but it is not life changing, so nothing to worry about! Just a really interesting way to assess an accident / injury situation...)

I read just the other day about research that is going on at the University of Utah and also a recent news article about stem cell research on KSL(local channel). There is still much to hope for... time will show us that in God's great plan, He is still watching over those who suffer, and will provide a means for their recovery soon. We must still have faith to believe and to hope that inspired researchers will find the way soon. Our test is to continue on with happiness for the things we are blessed with now, but look forward with bright optimism for what the future may hold in store for us. We are not alone in our journey, and that is the greatest insight of all...

May God bless you and yours in your daily struggles in life.
All the best from Dan and LaNae