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Firing Booster Rocket #2

If I had ANY marketing sense whatsoever, I’d quit blogging and turn this into a book.  I’ve got the perfect cliffhanger every stinking week it seems.

I really don’t want to, but that’s life with us Mayhew’s these days.

If you saw my bank balance, you’d know I don’t do it for the money, or web hits, or anything like that.  I’m writing about this because it’s my form of therapy.  I learned that benefit from a very special teacher I had in high school.  Thanks Glenda!

Some people scream.  Some yell.  Some hit things.

I write.

When I don’t, I get emotional.  When I dump everything out on the keyboard, it helps me.

Saturday was Rachael’s big day.

I asked a local friend, Ali, to pop in on Anissa in the morning and find out how she was acting after the move Friday.  Ali didn’t get the message until late, so I didn’t get word on how she was until after Rachael and I were in the car headed up there.

I thought about it this morning and prayed on it last night.  Truth be told, it didn’t really matter to me how Ali said she was doing, I had an overwhelming desire to take Rachael up regardless.

As I was driving up, we stopped at a couple of stores to grab things to make the room more “Christmasy”.  We got an LED candle and some simple lights.  When we’d stop, there were emails from Ali.  One said that she was very aware.  A few minutes later, one said she’s making sounds!  SOUNDS!

Understand folks, other than a big “Lion King yawn” and several “ahems” I haven’t heard much come from my wife.

I was extremely nervous for Rachael.  She hasn’t seen her mom since day 2 or 3 and then mom had tubes in her mouth and nose.  Pretty terrifying stuff for an 8 year old.  But on this drive up there, where I’m sweating bullets, Rachael was laughing and joking and goofing off.  I kept trying to re-focus her and would say things like, “if mommy doesn’t respond, it’s ok.  She can hear everything that’s said in the room” and “The important thing is that you make sure she hears you and gets a kiss”.

Rachael would look seriously at me for half a second and then say, “how much longer…are we there yet?”

We pulled in to the parking lot almost exactly 31 days since this all began.

Rachael and I signed in and walked down to her room.

Ali was in there and said she’s very aware today.

Rachael walked around the bed and said, “hi mommy”.

Anissa grabbed her and hugged her and kissed her and kept rubbing her back.

There were tears from both of us.

Ali hugged us and left the room.

Then Anissa made some sounds.

Rachael looked at me, a little confused, and I asked Anissa to say that again.

“I love you”.

More hugs.

“I’m getting better”.

More tears.

“We’ve got this”.

Yeah I lost it.

She doesn’t have full control of her tongue just yet, so conversation is garbled at times.  She does appear to fully be in there though.  Up until she spoke, I didn’t have any confirmation other than squeezes and blinks and facial expressions.

About that time, the nurse came in.  Since we’d gotten in so late, they didn’t know what Anissa could and couldn’t do.  I haven’t had THAT meeting with the staff yet.  I told the nurse to pass the word.  Don’t put a single limitation on her.  Don’t ask if she can do something, expect her to be able to do it.  This woman can and will move mountains.  She asked about the kids.  I told her about each one of them, Peyton last.  I told her about Peyton’s fight.  She said she was going to cry.  I told her not to.  Sad as it is to say, we’re built for this.  We can do this.

The nurse told me that Anissa kept putting her right leg off the bed throughout the night.

I asked if she was sure it was the right one.

That would be the one that she hasn’t been able to move in 31 days.  We’ve felt “twinges” only until today.

When I went back in to the room, Anissa shoo’d Rachael away and told me not to bring the kids up.  “It’s too hard on them”.  I looked her square in the eye and told her that I understood exactly what she was saying and that Peyton would be the next to come up.

We wound up “discussing it” for about 30 minutes.

That’s putting it nicely.

We were arguing.

I did finally get a chance to tell her about how many people are pulling for her so I was certain she understood it.  I told her about the friends, new and old, near and far that are lifting her up in prayer.  I told her about Ralph Macchio.  She chuckled and said, “welcome to my world”.

A little after I left, another friend from Tampa, Whitney, came through to drop off some Christmas gifts for the kids.  I had warned her that Anissa wasn’t in the best of moods and relayed the conversation we had.  Whitney went in there, wearing her “Team Anissa” t-shirt.  Anissa wanted to know what that was about.  Whitney also reminded her that Peyton was going to be coming up and that she had better be ready for that.

I’m still amazed that I’m talking in actual verbal “conversations”.

So, this is where you guys come in.  My goal now is to provide her with constant, overwhelming, motivation and reminders of love.  She’s been staring at mine and the kids pictures for a while now.  I plan on taking in this video as well.  What we’re fighting against now folks is depression.  If anyone has any bright ideas, I’m all ears.  I’ll be taking up dvd’s of some of her favorite feel good shows.

Encouragement is the word of the month.

Understand, she’s still incredibly weak.  She hasn’t stood up in a month.  Hasn’t taken anything orally in a month.  Can’t fully hold her head up yet.  We’re not sure about her short term memory.  This will take gobs of time.

Consider this Day 0.

But, like my wife said, “We’ve got this.”

322 Comments on “Firing Booster Rocket #2”

  1. #1 Debra B
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Wonderful news!

  2. #2 deb @ talk at the table
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Adding my profound joy….

  3. #3 Val Broyles
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Started tearing up reading this – I am so glad to hear this news! Go Anissa. You’ve totally got this!

  4. #4 Elaine
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I know it probably feels like your still trudging up the first big hill on this roller coaster but I think you’ll be at the crest sooner than you think. Keep fighting Anissa! : )

  5. #5 ExtraordinaryMommy
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Simply wonderful, fantastic news. Still here, cheering you all on – every step of the way. Tell Anissa we adore her.

  6. #6 Miss Ash
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 5:44 pm


    We’re all writers around here… So is Anissa! Maybe something that would push her along the path of joy and recovery is for her to know just how many people are wishing her well here on her blog– and even… maybe you could read some of the wonderful things that everyone is saying?

    Continuing to pray and send blessings!

  7. #7 Caroline
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 5:51 pm


    Anissa we love you and you are in our prayers daily.

  8. #8 Stacey
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting to hear for some time! She can and IS going to move mountains!

  9. #9 Beth in SF
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I cry every time I read one of your posts. I am so in awe of Anissa’s strength and courage, and I hope I could muster half of what she has if something were to happen to me. I don’t know you guys at all, but I think of your family daily. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  10. #10 Kris
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve been watching and waiting for good news from afar. I’m so thrilled that Anissa is fighting like this. Even arguing with you is a GREAT sign.

  11. #11 Kellee
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Everytime I show up in here she has me in tears. Go Anissa!!! She’s right… you’ve totally got this.

  12. #12 Blanca Stella Mejia
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Amazing. She’s so strong! You’ll see, she’ll be talking up a storm before you know it. Forget about when or the time.

    Just be in awe in the power of all the love that you can give her and all that is sent your way. That is what heals. I am sure of it.

    I imagine that your heart has felt like it has been ripped open in this process and it has been excrutiatingly painful…but it is for a reason. Remember that and you won’t go into depression.

  13. #13 Colleen
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t comment often but I read everything. I have been sending loads of love and support.

    Tell Anissa that if she wants to learn to break boards like a real karate kid, I will teach her someday.

  14. #14 Sunday
    on Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I had never heard of Anissa before last month. Now I check your site every day for updates. It never fails to move me to tears when I read about Anissa! I have been keeping you all in my prayers and I’ll continue to do so. Specifically I pray that you will know the best things to say to her and what to do for her and your family. Obviously you are doing the right things so far! Blessings upon you this Christmas and I hope Anissa continues to make leaps and bounds of improvements!!

  15. #15 Kavita
    on Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:23 am


    I have an *idea* or two. Can we send you pictures of ourselves encouraging her along? Like I could hold up a sign of some sort that has an encouraging picture and you can show her a new picture every day from all of us? or for some of us that can do video, we can send you an encouraging video that we put together for her? that might be a bit more interactive. what do you think? in terms of other ideas…think about what her strengths are. i don’t know anissa but think about what kind of media/input she loves. then cater it to how we can use it to be encouraging and help ward off signs of depression.

    i hope these ideas might help. i am encouraged to hear of your fight. 🙂


  16. #16 bonzai
    on Dec 22nd, 2009 at 1:23 am

    I heartily recommend trying to get full-spectrum lighting in Anissa’s room. I suffer from depression and SADD, and nothing seems more cheerless than fluorescent light.

    Laughter being some of the best medicine, go for DVDs that really make her laugh – be it “Office Space” or “Animal House” or smarter comedies like “The Princess Bride” that she could watch with the kids, but make you listen and think.

    When she’s too tired to focus on a screen, try books on CD that are funny or really riveting to keep her mind working.

    Do she like animals? See if there are volunteers to bring therapy pets to visit – nothing like a living, breathing warm fuzzy.

    Bring some forcing bulbs like amaryllis or hyacinths that she can watch grow, and bloom, just as she will again. They can grow together.

  17. #17 Zakary
    on Dec 22nd, 2009 at 4:54 am

    What fantastic news.

    Go Anissa!

  18. #18 Heather in Minnesota
    on Dec 23rd, 2009 at 12:47 am

    WOW! Now that’s a dose of Christmas cheer. AWESOME news! 🙂


  19. #19 Monica
    on Dec 23rd, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    A Christmas blessing. Thank you for letting us know the latest news. Anissa will stay in my prayers.


  20. #20 Most Tweeted Articles by Blogging Experts
    on Dec 26th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    […] night after she went into full cardiac arrest and could not be revived, mu… 5 Likes Firing Booster Rocket #2 | Hope4Peyton If I had ANY marketing sense whatsoever, I’d quit blogging and turn this into a book.  I’ve got […]

  21. #21 Janine
    on Dec 27th, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I stumbled across your blog shortly after Anissa’s stroke and as a speech-language pathologist, my prognosis for significant language improvement based upon the description of the place and extent of the infarct was very poor. I am extremely happy to have been proven so wrong! Your wife must really be the mountain mover you claim her to be, as such dramatic displays of receptive and expressive language following such neurological trauma are rare. Continue pushing her rehab team to push her forward! What a miracle!

  22. #22 mayhewp
    on Dec 27th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve made the trip in as quick as 6 🙂