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I started shaving my head several years ago when my wife said the infamous phrase, “honey, your hair has started migrating…”  I haven’t shaved my head since this all started.  I haven’t really looked in the mirror since this all started either.

I did today.

Apparently I have some gray hair now.  Go figure.

So, last night, some friends, new and old, stopped in.  It was extremely good to see all of them.  We talked about the situation here.  We talked about what was going on in their lives, and at work.  Was a nice bit of escapism.  It meant the world to me.

Anissa was a bit more active.  She’s responding to things a bit more.  She even turned her head, slightly, to acknowledge other voices in the room.  There have been more signs of encouragement.  Things like hold up one finger, and she does.  It comes and goes, not consistent enough, yet.

Peyton’s still having issues, but today got to do a few cool things with grandma.  She’s definitely in need of some one-on-one daddy time though.  I think I’ll make it a point to start doing a meal out with each one of them every couple of days.  Nothing major, but, just something so they each get their one-on-one.

That was Tuesday night.
Tonight was something a little more.

More than slight movement.

More than slight eye re-focusing.

More than kicking her foot.

Understand that I try to look at her activities and actions as objectively as I can, but sometimes it’s difficult when you want something so much.

A little bit ago, I headed down to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee.  The junk they have up here just doesn’t cut it.  When I came back in the room, her eyes were open and she was staring up at the pictures I have of the kids.  This is common.  When her eyes are open, that’s when we get the best response, but doesn’t always mean she’s seeing us.  Hard to explain really.

Anyway, I came back in the room, and said my common line of, “hey hey hey…look who’s awake”.

Her eyes looked at me, I think.  It was one of those, “did you just see that” moments.

I leaned in and put my head on the armrest and smiled at her.  Her eyes smiled back at me a little, again, I *think*.

I said very softly, “can you hear me?” as I reached for her hand.

A nod.

“Can you understand me?”

She grabbed my hand, shook it, and opened her eyes wide in what I interpretted as, “Yes I can hear you ask me something else”.

I got about 5 minutes of what I would consider the best communication since all this started.  I showed her pics of the kids.  I told her they were safe.  I told her I loved her and that we were getting through this together.  She was nodding at the appropriate times, squeezing my hand, and following me some with her eyes.

The thing about faith is it’s not about what you want.  It’s a confidence that God won’t give you any challenge you can’t handle….you just don’t know what that limit is.  ‘Nissa and I talked about this when Peyton was first diagnosed.  For the first time, there was a very real possibility of a poor outcome for one of our kids.

There is, however, a certain calm that overtakes you when you take your hands off the wheel of life and let God do the driving.

Six days ago, I prayed for lots of things.  It was one of those moments of weakness, when the weight of the world was feeling rather crushing.  What I got was this thought:  “Touch her where she’s hurt every day for the next 7 days.  Things will work out.”  Every day, I’ve been coming in and touching the back of her head, her right arm, and her right leg.  Every day, I’ve been doing a mental count down, sometimes out loud, drawing weird looks from Natalie, sometimes in my own head.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, is day 7.

If tomorrow comes and goes and she still hasn’t woken up enough to be considered out of the coma, I’m ok with that, because of the path she’s on.  It’s just another day in this whole ordeal.

Understand though, my wife hates being late.

198 Comments on “Faith”

  1. #1 Ali @PickleSugarPlum
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I hope you had an amazing day today, and that positive progress continues…I could feel your excitement and love in your words, and am thankful for Anissa to have you there by her side…Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. #2 Jennifer (Conversion Diary)
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:37 am

    You both are a tremendous inspiration. Many, many prayers coming your way.

  3. #3 AdriansCrazyLife
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:39 am

    I am so pleased that you are seeing such positive signs from Anissa. That has to be encouraging. I hope the trend continues for you. Even though I didn’t know Anissa before all this happened, I’ve been reading some of her blog posts and tweets and she seems like such an awesome person. I hope she will be able to recover. I can tell how much your family loves her and needs her. I have her on the prayer list at my church and I hope that helps.

  4. #4 Guacira
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 4:01 am


    I know miracles are possible. Hang in there. I’ve said a prayer to you, the kids and Anissa a few minutes ago.
    You’re not alone.

  5. #5 pixielation
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    It’s a slow process, but it’s going in the right direction.

  6. #6 Robin ~ PENSIEVE
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 10:51 am


    This I know: YOU are sharing Christ with those who might not know Him; your journey through this is a gritty, difficult, real…but mostly BEAUTIFUL communication of the glory of God.

    It’s not easy; it doesn’t make sense; it’s not what you’d want or ask for….but your everyday testimony is blessing to me, and I’m sure, countless others.

    Thank you (& still praying, the selfish way and the not).

  7. #7 Angie
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    your so strong and don’t even realize-Annisa WILL be fine you and your gets will see-God works his miracles for the best of the best Tear jerking note, how very touching prayers all around

  8. #8 VDog
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mayhew Family.

    I know Anissa is SO strong and she WILL recover. The rest of us just need to be as strong as her in the meantime.

  9. #9 christieo
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I have been here a lot but I haven’t commented yet. I know I don’t know all of you (although we have — or had, rather — living in the Tampa area in common) but I just want you to know I pray for you all every day and think of you all often. I wonder often how your family is doing and pray for your strength. You write so beautifully and I can see from your faith that God is indeed guiding you and you are following His lead. When I was in college forever ago, we went through something similar with my mom who who was later diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid. However, she survived it all, with no side effects from her clotting. The months we went through were all a blur and they still are, but we are greatful every day we have with her. God led us through it all and He will lead you too. My blessings to you!

  10. #10 Julie
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    When I went through this with my sister, one thing I did to communicate with her was spell things out. I could tell one day she was trying to make me understand something but I had no idea what. So I started with the alphabet, and I said “A, B, C…”and as I got to C she nodded her head. OK so the next letter should be a vowel….A, E, I, O….yes, O! I said “OK, C…O…Linda are you cold??” and she furiously nodded (as furiously as she could at least). I got blankets piled on her and she was able to rest. Obviously you can’t spell tons of words but a few specific ones help her communicate with you, when she can’t speak to do it.

    Also, tell Anissa what is happening. She has a lot of questions that she can’t ask you, and she can’t fight if she doesn’t know what she’s trying to fight back from. Give her as much information as she can handle, so she’s not wondering and worrying.

    If you ever need to talk, please email me. I know exactly what you are going through and how hard it is. But believe me, every little movement, every little thing that you see IS progress even if it seems small….

  11. #11 Mr Lady
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Hall. A. Lu. Jah.

  12. #12 petalsyoga
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    You are all in our thoughts and prayers. I pray this moment is a beautiful moment and is followed by a lifetime of moments filled with healing and peace.

  13. #13 Jenny, Bloggess
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Tough as nails…both of you.

  14. #14 Leslie
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Thinking of Anissa and your family.

  15. #15 Mrs. Schmitty
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    That is such encouraging news. Thoughts and prayers are coming your way. Stay strong.

  16. #16 carissa
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    “The thing about faith is it’s not about what you want.”

    Wow. I’m in tears… I want it for her so much as well… Love and hugs and hearts and cheers and prayers and Turkey.. all thinking about you and yours.

  17. #17 Jeanette
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Such great news that she’s responding!

  18. #18 Amy in OHio
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I thanked God in advance yesterday – cause I know in his time she will be back making me laugh.

  19. #19 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I just felt shivers all over as I read those last sentences.

    We’re keeping the faith alongside you.

    What an amazing encouragement.

    Thank you for sharing!

  20. #20 Lisa
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Peter, I just read the last 3 entries and I’m happy that she is improving…slowly but improving. That’s all you can ask for. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the kids until the end.

    One thing I will say is I’m envy of the fact that you still have your sense of humor. Something that will help you get through this all.

  21. #21 Kristi
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Still praying, Peter, for all of you. Thinking of you often and wishing you well. Hoping and praying that you have the help you need as you bear this great burden.

  22. #22 Christina
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Please keep updating, because I will keep reading.

  23. #23 jennifer
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    My prayers are with your family. And maybe hundreds of others have said that to you already – I want you to know – I am a part of the throngs praying for your beautiful wife. Your faith, your love, your obvious trust and hope in our God…is an amazing thing to read about. I feel honored reading your words. And have shared the story with my husband. I am expecting a miracle from our Lord Jesus. And I will continue to up hold you all in my talks with God.

  24. #24 Boston Mamas
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Sending so much love and hope, every day.

  25. #25 The Maven
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    This is SUCH a positive post. I think that wife of yours is quite the fighter. Amazing woman that she is 🙂

    Hope you had a good Thankgiving, or as good as it can be under the circumstances. Thinking about you guys from way up in Canada. Be well.


  26. #26 Missy
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    What an amazing update. You are a wonderful writer and I’m so grateful you’ve been sharing these updates with us all. God bless you and Anissa.

  27. #27 emily
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Beautiful post! So encouraging.

    Someone recently told me to stop putting God in a box. He said to pray for the unforseen joy.

    I am praying for the unforseen joy for you and Anissa and Peyton.

  28. #28 Amanda
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 1:37 am

    I checked the website because I haven’t ben able to lately, and I’ve missed you all. I had no idea what I would read.

    Anissa, I know you will be better soon. I wish we were close enough to help … but know we are praying.

  29. #29 Rhonda (mimi)
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I am praying along with you for a Miracle. Nothing is impossible with God. Faith can move mountains. My good friend was in a coma for 2 weeks and all of a sudden, she woke up and was healed. She is now sharing her testimony of how Great and powerful God is. I pray the same for you and your family. God Bless!

  30. #30 MDTaz
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I did not know Annissa and yet I have been stunned by the ripple effect of this incident, and impressed by how many of the people I read, also read and know her. So I have sent my private healing intentions to her and to your whole family from afar.

    I have waited and watched for someone to out of a coma before, it is an activity that requires poise and patience. I remember well, during that time, the kindness of strangers; so many tales of people we didn’t know – and who didn’t really know us – praying for our family. Now it seems to be my turn to be on of those unknown people, offering up my prayers and healing intentions for you. And now I understand why they did it. It is a privilege.

    Please keep the faith and take things one day at a time.

  31. #31 Luanne
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    When her eyes are open and she can hear you, pray with her. She needs her faith nurtured too 🙂 You are a good husband.

  32. #32 Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Looking forward to hearing more updates. Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated when I know there are so many things on your plate right now.

    Many prayers to you all and I know that Anissa will wake up-we just have to have the patience for her to make her grand entrance.

    much love!

  33. #33 LisaLisa/Caringmom
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    OMG! The power of prayer and faith. I’m so pleased to her this update and i pray that God will continue to shine his healing upon her. We serve an Awesome and Loving God!

    I’m so glad that he is allowing you to hold up through all this as well. May he strengthen you and the kids always.

    Sending up many prayers!

  34. #34 MaNiC MoMMy
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    your faith amazes me. I love to know that Anissa is listening to you.

  35. #35 MayoPie
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I just can’t imagine how hard this must be on everyone, but I’m so happy to hear that progress is being made and you can see her, if only just a little. If you’ve ever questioned your own strength, you need not. Best of luck and your family is in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  36. #36 Christine
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thinking about you and Anissa and hoping for miracles. Every day.

  37. #37 niri
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Things are tough here on our end but you and Anissa give me perspective. Thank you for taking time to share with us Peter. DOn’t think that we are wavering in our faith. As you can clearly see by the huge number of comments, we have total faith and you should too.

  38. #38 Suebob
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Those are such encouraging signs. Good good good!

  39. #39 Karen
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Any new developments?

  40. #40 Pat Mayhew
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Hey Pete,
    Here is an inspiring true story of a similiar case. Hope this is helpful.There is an email address and phone number at the end of the article. You might benefit from a conversation with another husband who has been where you are. I am buying this book and sending it to you. Praying for Anissa, you and the children continually. KEEP FIGHTING for her Peter!
    Timothy L. Culver’s New Book, ‘Sara’s Story,’ Describes His Wife’s Recovery and Battles with Health Insurance Companies
    DALLAS, Sept. 18, 2009 — In May, 2004, Tim received the news that his 42-year-old wife Sara had suffered an acute stroke. With three children still at home and the oldest child heading off to Iraq to serve in his first tour of duty, Tim’s family and church rallied to support the family.

    After 10 days in ICU, Tim was told his wife would never walk, talk, or interact with people again. This was devastating news, but Tim did not give up hope.

    After 3 months in-patient at Baylor Rehabilitation, the recommendation was that his wife needed to be moved to a nursing home because she would need 24×7 care the rest of her life. Tim refused because he was still seeing improvements.

    Relying on his faith and continued support from his church and family, he fought the insurance companies to get Sara into the Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS). CNS treats Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). A stroke is a form of a TBI. Despite getting his wife into CNS, insurance carriers across state lines attempted to move Sara out of CNS.

    Tim chronicles his wife’s amazing recovery and his battles to insure that his wife continued at CNS. After 3 months at CNS in-patient, Sara went home and walked up the stairs without help. After another year in out-patient rehabilitation, Sara recovered to the point where she now drives, takes care of her children, and has returned to work at Eastfield Junior College in Mesquite, TX.

    “Too many people are written off and end up in nursing homes requiring expensive assisted living at the taxpayer’s expense,” Tim explained. “750,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year with a permanent impairment. Sara is an example of where investment in rehabilitation prevented excessive long-term costs to the taxpayers for assisted living.” Further, he indicated “I am a fiscal conservative, but I believe in health care reform and that the right dialogue can result in savings to society.”

    Sara’s Story is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other fine bookstores (ISBN 13: 9781934749608, CrossHouse Publishing).



    About the Author

    Timothy L. Culver is a native of Mesquite, TX. He is an honor graduate of Baylor University. He has also earned an MS in Engineering and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is employed as an executive director at AT&T’s software company, Sterling Commerce. Tim attends Baylor University part-time where he is pursuing his Ph.D. Tim and his wife Sara reside in Sunnyvale, TX, with three of their four children. The oldest child just returned from proudly serving the U.S. Army in Iraq. Tim is an active member of First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale, TX. Contact info: timothyculver@gmail.com or 972.413.0600

  41. #41 anony
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I came upon your site from another one that mentioned what your family is currently going through. Whether or not it means anything, I am thinking about Anissa and coming to this site every day to check on her progress. And it has been progress. I hope it continues on until Anissa makes a full recovery.

    The night after I first read about Anissa, I had a dream that I kept looking in the mirror, and the face looking back at me was Anissa’s every time. I have a few ideas about what that might mean, but the main thing is that after reading only a few blog entries, I felt such strong feelings about her that she made it into my subconscious.

  42. #42 punkinmama
    on Nov 28th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I got goosebumps reading your post. Hoping you felt God’s closeness even stronger than normal yesterday.

  43. #43 sandi
    on Nov 29th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    This post gave me the chills. I so hope things continue on this path. *baby steps*

  44. #44 Laurie
    on Nov 29th, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Continuing to pray for you, your family, and Anissa. Waiting for word that the miracle has happened. *hugs from Texas*

  45. #45 subha
    on Nov 30th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    you dont know me, but I have heard about Anissa from some of the blogs I follow and i am so glad to hear that she is making some progress. i know it is slow, but I it is still progress. lots of well wishes from philly.

  46. #46 christine hamele
    on Nov 30th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I’m so glad to hear these wonderful updates. We’re praying for you all here in KC. I wanted to let you know that as you consider option for her next steps, you can DOWNLOAD a copy of the rehab center/nursing home’s last state survey and review their care, scores, etc. If you need help, email me and I’d be delighted to assist you. chamele@parriscomm.com

  47. #47 kari
    on Dec 2nd, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I just stumbled across this blog via 5 minutes for special needs. Just wanted you to know I am adding Annissa to my prayers.

  48. #48 Millie
    on Dec 17th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    “There is, however, a certain calm that overtakes you when you take your hands off the wheel of life and let God do the driving.” What better explanation of Faith….there is none. Please know you and your family are in my prayers. “Miracles do happen when God’s people come together in prayer…” Billy Graham God bless.