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Friday Night Lights

Crazy zany nearly all girl sleep over with pizza and late night movies:  $50

Having a quiet evening in a drafty private hospital room with your wife:  Priceless.

I said it a while back:  The kids are the key.  Tonight, my son proved me right.

In all of this, we’ve talked about the flickers of light/recognition/clarity/possibility/hope we see.  Tonight we saw a pretty big ray.

Friday night, thanks to a pair of incredible moms, the girls had a sleep over pajama party.  They had fun.  They got to stay up late and watch cool movies.  They giggled themselves into a tizzy.  They milked an imaginary cow on the kitchen floor.  At one point, Peyton had a pretty big emotional outburst of frustration.  Basically she let off some steam and a tree in my yard now has less bark.  It’s good for her to get that out.  She needed it and Sandi recognized that and helped her vent.  I’ll get her some one-on-one daddy time today.

So, while all of that was going on, I took Nathaniel up to the hospital.

Last night, I showed him the pillow incident, just trying to ease him in.  He liked it.  We talked about it some.

We drove up to the hospital Friday afternoon.  I kept asking him in different ways if he had any questions, or wanted to talk about anything.  We talked about how engines work.  We talked about what he wanted to be when he grows up.  This week it’s a surgeon.  We talked about what superchargers do to engines.  We talked about school.  He got to gas up the car.  We stopped and ate at Applebees.  Dinner conversation was light as well.  I warned him a couple of times that mom may not react to you.  I explained that the important thing is that she hears you.  So, when you go in there, just tell her you love her and are praying for her and can’t wait til she comes home.  Or words to that effect.  He’s a great kid, he really is.  He takes it all in.

The drive from the restaurant was pretty funny.  We sang parts of the “star trekkin” song and talked about the intricacies of our favorite video games.

When we pulled into the parking lot, he looked a little pale.  I told him to relax and to breathe, and reminded him again that if she didn’t respond to him, it was ok.

I was SO nervous about this.  I worried that she wouldn’t respond to him, and it would crush him.  The one thing he’s been thinking about for the past 25 days is his mom.  What if she just laid there?  What if she opened her eyes, but didn’t acknowledge him?  How the heck would that affect him?  I re-iterated it again when we got off the elevator.  I made sure he knew his presence was the most important.

Anissa was asleep when we came in.  We sat her up and started talking to her some.  She very slowly opened her eyes and looked at Dawn, then me, and then Nathaniel spoke.

He just said, “Hi mom.  I love you”.

I told him he should try louder.

He repeated it louder this time.

She turned to him, reached over, grabbed him, pulled him close, and kept kissing his head and cheek.  She stroked the back of his head.  She held him tight for a good 5 minutes with her left arm.  The whole time, she was looking at me and tearing up.  So were Dawn and I.  There was no randomness about that act.  It was an act of a mom who hasn’t seen her son in nearly a month, other than pictures.

We asked her if she minded sharing the bed with Nathaniel.  She did her best to scoot over and give him room.

All in all, we had maybe 20 or so minutes with her, before she passed out again, but what a 20 minutes.

When it was over, I walked Nathaniel down to the car so he and Dawn could go back to the pajama party.  He kept asking when he could come again.  He wants to help.

As soon as we get her someplace safer than where she’s at, the kids will be visiting regularly.  We just don’t know when we’re moving, or to where.

So, after all the excitement, I went back up to the room and spent a quiet night with the wife.  We didn’t do much, but that’s pretty much how we like it.

193 Comments on “Friday Night Lights”

  1. #1 Stacey
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 4:56 am

    That is such a wonderful sign and wow how great for Nathaniel to get the response he did. I continue to pray for you all!

  2. #2 Mary Baker
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Hey Peter,

    I haven’t made a comment lately, but I want you to know that I am checking on Anissa everyday and praying for her full recovery.


  3. #3 AmyLK
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Such wonderful news. I sit here crying and praying for you and your family.

  4. #4 Sarah
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I haven’t posted yet, but I have been praying for you guys multiple times a day. I’m keeping you all very close to my heart. I believe strongly in the power of prayer, positive thought and miracles. I expect nothing less for Annisa and your family.

  5. #5 Judy
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    What a great way to start my day with tears of joy for you and your family….keep up the good work!!

  6. #6 kristin
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Wow. Just wow. I just got a shiver. Hope Anissa continues to progress so well.

    Did you find the tape recorder?

  7. #7 Molly
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    What am amazing, moving step. How wonderful that he was able to play such a strong, powerful role. You should all be proud. We’re all pulling for you!

  8. #8 Ivy Helton
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    This makes me so happy! I am crying like a baby! I am already a little emotional because Brian comes home from his deployment from Iraq today. Before we left I had to see how my friend is doing fighting her own war. I do believe she will be victorious!! Love to you all Peter. Anissa, keep up the good work girl!!

  9. #9 nad
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    What a beautiful and emotional moment you described, it brought tears to my eyes. Sending you love from Toronto, Canada

  10. #10 Allison
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    bawling my eyes and holding my son tight. xoxo

  11. #11 Mariah
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Happy crying and still praying! You and your family are amazing peter

  12. #12 Angela at mommy bytes
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    So awesome! What an incredible reunion. Praying for continued progress, you are doing an outstanding job, Peter.

  13. #13 Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    That is such wonderful news! I’m so happy for all of you, but especially Nathaniel.

  14. #14 Laurie
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Smiling through my tears and praying for you every day, Peter. Stay stong! Keep fighting, Anissa!

  15. #15 Annie
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I broke out in tears; wow, that was powerful. Thinking of all of you…

  16. #16 Glenda
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    This is wonderful news! A love of a son for his mother… a love of a mother for her son! Mother/Son bond is oh so Beautiful! Praying for Anissa! Keep fighting!!! Stay Strong!!!

  17. #17 Jenny, Bloggess
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 2:49 pm


    Hell to the yes.

  18. #18 Leah
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    A mother’s love is such a powerful thing. That made me cry- my prayers are with your family.

  19. #19 Lorrian
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I’m in tears here…the word picture you painted is so powerful and beautiful.

    Prayers continue for you all.

  20. #20 followthatdog
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Amazing, just amazing. I’m in tears after reading that. She is strong and you, her family mean everything to her. My thoughts are with you all.

  21. #21 Ann
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I think you need to change the whole family’s name to FreakinMayhew. You all are totally awesome. Can’t express how happy I am for you right now and how often you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Ann @ All Children’s

  22. #22 Carly
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    You can really tell how much both of you love your children. This post made me cry. My thoughts go out to you, your kids, and especially Anissa.

  23. #23 AmyInOhio
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Oh my, my heart just swelled so big I thought it would burst. Such great news – can’t wait til the girlies can get a little mama’love too.

  24. #24 Elaine
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Awesome! I’m praying that it just keeps getting better…

  25. #25 Jen Hodder
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I am so sorry for all your family has been through. I am praying for you all and was so happy to hear that things are heading in the right direction.

    I kind of have an idea of what you are going through as my then 2 year old daughter was hit by a car on June 17th of this year. She has a severe brain injury and spent nearly 3 months in the hospital. She is slowly, slowly starting to begin her recovery.

    I will continue to keep you in my thoughts!

    Take care,


  26. #26 ClassyMommy
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Amazing. Peter – Anissa, you, and your family are in my thoughts every single day. And without fail every post you write sharing Anissa’s journey and struggle leaves me in tears. But today, they are happy tears of a Mommy finally seeing her son and for the joyous 20 minutes with such good response. I’ll keep on praying for much more.

    Love, Colleen (aka ClassyMommy)

  27. #27 Karen MEG
    on Dec 14th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I’m crying along with the others…this was such a wonderful, touching post. I’m so happy that Anissa was able to respond so amazingly to your boy – although he is just simply amazing. Your boy sounds a lot like mine, with a very special bond with his Mom.
    Hugs and further good thoughts sent your way…

  28. #28 crunchy domestic goddess (amy)
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 12:16 am

    i can only imagine what that moment must have been like for all of you. simply amazing.
    continued positive thoughts for anissa, you and your beautiful children.

  29. #29 deb @ talk at the table
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 12:53 am

    What does someone say to that …..
    hoping it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  30. #30 Katie
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Wow! I was not familiar with your family or your story until I linked here from another blog.

    Your wife sounds like an amazing, fantastic, and fabulous woman! I really want to meet her! She has so many people pulling for her! So many people who love her! It’s awesome.

    I will pray for wisdom for her doctors, strength for you and healing for her.

    I think she is going to be ok.

  31. #31 Melanie B
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 2:15 am

    I’ve never experienced this before with anyone(suffering a stroke) but, I know what you say is a miracle! I know that not everyone comes out of a major stroke unscathed or even doing nearly as well as Anissa is.

    This experience is a wonderful testament of God’s grace on his people. Prayer is such an important and integral part of our lives. I will be saying another prayer tonight for her continued strength and your continued patience.


  32. #32 Carole
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Came across this blog while doing some research for work. I can’t tell you how your story has touched my heart. The image of a little boy seeing his mommy for the first time in a month is overwhelming. I will keep Anissa and your family in my prayers. A positive attitude and prayers can overcome so many obstacles. Stay strong and may Anissa keep improving each and every day.

  33. #33 Lindsay
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Miracles happen everyday!!!!! That is FANTASTIC!! Thinking of your family & praying everyday for all of you!

  34. #34 Noelle
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Truly the most touching moment I can imagine. Praying for baby steps forward every day.

  35. #35 Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    So very happy that she outdid herself. What a wonderful gift for Nathaniel.

    I am still praying! Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment!

  36. #36 Dawn (What's Around the Next Bend)
    on Dec 17th, 2009 at 12:06 am

    A momma’s love is a VERY strong thing.
    Praying for your family!

  37. #37 Auburn
    on Dec 17th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    There is nothing more fierce and powerful in this world than a mother’s love for her child. Of course you don’t need a reminder of that. Wow. Go Anissa!

  38. #38 Glennia
    on Dec 17th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Proof positive that love can heal anything.

    Tears in my eyes. Can’t wait for Anissa to be better so she can read all the beautiful things you have written.

  39. #39 Holly at Tropic of Mom
    on Dec 18th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    OK. That made me cry.

    So glad to hear Anissa is getting stronger.

  40. #40 Christine
    on Dec 19th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    **with tears in my eyes** I feel a great joy hearing her progress… I think of Anissa and your family often… praying for her recovery. God bless you all.

  41. #41 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    So amazing!!!!

  42. #42 Guacira
    on Dec 21st, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    This is so encouraging. That made my eyes swell up with tears. I continue to pray for you and your family.

  43. #43 Tina
    on Dec 28th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I know I am adding this late but I am SOOOO happy for you and you family and of course your son.

    Prayers that all your children get to see their mom and get a much needed hug (needed for mom too)

    🙂 🙂 🙂