Monday, December 17, 2012

This may be a lengthier blog entry, but it will be the last one for quite awhile -  possibly until spring, 2013.  Life for us on the farm, follows the seasons.  Winter is often a season of quiet, and rest, as we withdraw, and "hibernate" a bit.  Our lives have been racing at hyper-speed since summer, and while we are grateful for the miraculous progress that Lydia is making, we are looking to regain our sense of family life.  We have been so blessed to share this journey with you, and to feel upheld by your prayers, and your practical care for us.  Thank you for your generous hearts, for your many encouragements of us and Lydia, and your faith in our amazing God.
Rest assured, if something very noteworthy should occur, we will certainly share it with you.  But as we walk this journey, our lives are becoming more predictable, and it feels some days, like we have found our new stride of "normal" - normal life with a child with special needs.  We are thankful to be at a stage where Lydia is progressing, and daily routines are possible.  We are also mindful many times, that our journey could have been different, and we could be mourning our first Christmas as the Herrle4.  Thanks be to God that Lydia is with us, recovering, and that we are all together, at home, to celebrate Christmas.  May you gather with your family and friends, and be filled with wonder, that God's love for us caused Him to enter our world as a baby.  Emanual.  God with us.  What a gift to celebrate!  And may your new year, 2013, like ours, be filled with hope. 

In some ways, every day has moments that are noteworthy, to be grasped, and treasured, but we will hold them in our hearts, rather than share them in the blog.  We had the pleasure of attending a Steve Bell concert this past weekend.  Steve spoke about his Mom's health challenges .His words "to not look longingly to the past to find the beauty that was, because you will miss the beauty of this present moment", seemed especially poignant for us.  Our new life is demanding, and challenging, and is stretching us to see different beauties than we would have expected, or experienced, had out path not been altered.  But there are such moments of beauty as we trust God, and seek His plans and His pace for our lives.  We are grateful to God for His divine work of re-forming Lydia, and each of us.   

We had a team meeting last week, with Lydia's therapists, teachers and case managers, to discuss Lydia's progress in the past two months that she has been home, and to chart a path for the next several months.  Her home therapy and school schedule is working well, and will continue unchanged for months to come.  Lydia has an excellent team to care for her and guide her through her therapy and recovery.  We thank God for these professionals in our lives.

Continuing, significant rest is  important for Lydia, as her brain recovers and rewires.  She often has three or four rests during the day.  Lydia works so hard, every day, to get better.  Mostly, she is determined and strong, but some days, she is weak, and discouraged.  Your ongoing prayers for her recovery, and her peace amidst her limitations, would be appreciated.  We regularly remember the words of Liz Murray at WE Day in November to not "let what you can't do interfere with what you can do".  We focus on what Lydia can do now.

Many of her "when I am fourteen" goals that she set for herself in October, she has realized.  She is able to brush her hair and put it up.  (She wants to learn how to braid again.)  She is able to walk through the house unassisted, with the exception of up or down stairs, dress herself, go to the bathroom, and brush her teeth.  She calls when she needs us.  Lydia is able to do all of these activities independently, but they fatigue her, so often we assist her with them to conserve her energy for more important learning or therapy. 
A most fitting end to our regular blogging journey would be to worship our loving, faithful and great God for the things that He has done.  He has provided for us and sustained us -  often through you.  (Do you know that we still regularly receive meals each week?  What a practical and wonderful help to us.).  He has met us and cared for us,  as we have sought Him and hidden ourselves in Him.  We have known the peace that passes all understanding.  He has loved us tenderly and given us grace for each moment.  We praise Him for His healing.   We worship Him in every season of our lives.  He is here.  He is with us  always. Never once have we ever walked alone.  To Him be the glory in Christ Jesus.


Monday, December 10, 2012

We have had a good week.  Lydia had several days where she was happy and rested.  (We appreciate your prayers for restful sleep during the night, and would ask that they continue.)
Lydia enjoyed a short visit with another grade 8 class at Baden Public School, and she has one more class to visit with next week, and then she will have seen her former classmates and peers at school.  Lydia's list of people she would like to see, and places to visit far exceeds her capacity!  Inch by inch, we progress along.

On Saturday, the Herrle family participated in the St. Agatha Christmas parade. Lydia's cousins carried a banner that read "Thank you for praying for Lydia".  An uncle drove the golf cart that Lydia and some cousins sat on for most of the lengthy parade that winds through St. Agatha, and Lydia walked the home stretch.  Aunts and siblings helped us to share cookies with those gathered along the parade route.  There were moments of tears and cheers, as folks cheered for Lydia.

As we enter the Christmas season, we will attend some Christmas concerts, and family dinners, but this season will be quieter, and low key this year.  Lydia will keep working on playing Joy to the World on the piano, and to exercise her singing voice with Away in A Manger, and Silent Night.  Jesus will continue to shine as the brightest light in our lives, and we will quietly celebrate His gift to us, in entering our dark world 2000 years ago.  We will remember and be grateful for His deep and abundant love for us.  We have hidden ourselves in Him often, and found serenity and security in the shelter of His wings.  The future is uncertain, but His love is steadfast.  We rest in Him.
May you do the same, this Christmas.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Music by Rowland H. Pritchard / Lyric by Charles Wesley
Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every loving heart

Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last night, Lydia and some friends, along with our family, entered a "Thank you for praying for Lydia" float in the New Hamburg Christmas parade.  It was fun, festive and frantic!  Lydia began writing her memoir about it today, so I don't want to give any details away.  It had comical and heart warming moments for us all. 
This Saturday, we plan to participate in the St. Agatha Christmas parade.  Events like these, take a lot out of Lydia, so she has to rest for most of the day.
We are settlilng into our new normal - routines of therapy, rest and school for Lydia; and as a family, learning how our together time needs to be shaped in order to accommodate Lydia's special needs. 
We are grateful for the incredible prayer support we have received.  We would appreciate your continued prayers, specifically for rest for Lydia.  Some days, she is tired, but can't find sleep or the quiet space of rest.  Her brain is over processing, and analyzing; buzzing with thoughts, but not rest.  Like any of us, when we are over tired, she then struggles to do her therapy, to concentrate when it is required, and to feel well.  We pray for rest and renewal.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lydia had her first classroom visit at Baden Public School on Thursday.  She was able to spend the last block of the day with her home room, 8B.  She was so excited to go!  She wore her cheerleading hair ribbon in her hair, and jumped for joy in the office upon arrival!  (Her jump is supported, and doesn't entail feet leaving the floor, just legs bending and straightening rapidly.)  She received her planner, and a class photo was taken.  Lydia loves school, and longs to return, but unfortunately, she is far from being able to return for regular classroom instruction. 
She was surprised and delighted to receive the Student of the Month award for her class.   The attribute of the month for November is Hope.   The students in her homeroom class voted her to be the classmate who best embodies the attribute of HOPE.  How beautiful is that?  Her award is proudly hung on our fridge.
In Lydia's music therapy this week, her teacher brought a recorder for her to try.  She figured the recorder was a good stepping stone to the flute, an instrument Lydia began to play in grade 7, and hopes to return to.  We would have never thought that Mary Had a Little Lamb on the recorder, could bring tears to our eyes, but it did, as she played it proudly for us on Saturday morning.  She called Grandparents on Saturday to play the tune for them too.  She has taken her recorder with her, or had it close at hand, to play for all therapists and teachers who come to see Lydia.

On Saturday, we were excited to have the writer personally deliver to our home, several copies of Most Magazine.  Remember the aestheticians and the photo shoot, earlier this month?  They were for this special feature in Most Magazine.  The photography, the story, and how beautifully they are shared, moved us greatly.  Thank you to the team, whose artistic talents collaborated wonderfully.  For those who do not receive Most Magazine, you can view it online at  Just click on the current issue tab on the far left.  Our story begins on page 24.

We battled with discouragement at times over this past week, as Lydia would ask, "Why is it so hard for me to eat?  ... to brush my teeth? ... to do my hair?"  She is aware of her limitations and frustrated by them.  We encourage Lydia (and ourselves too) by talking about things that she wasn't able to do before, but can now.  We try to get perspective by considering that she has only completed 25%  of her recovery. (This is based on  the 2 year projected recovery time frame for a brain injury patient.  The most significant gains are made within this time frame.  However recovery continues for years. )  
Perspective also returns when we give thanks to the One who gives us all, and when we turn our hearts to Him, trusting in His ways, His timing, and His provision for us all. 
Phil 1:6 ... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you, will be faithful to carry it on to completion until the day of our Lord.

The opening line of a song that often steadies me, is God I look to You, I won't be overwhelmed.  Give me vision to see things like You do.  Amen
God I Look to You by Brian Johnson, sung by Jenn Johnson, from the album "Be lifted High"

God I look to You
I won't be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You're where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

I will love You Lord my strength
I will love you Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days, I will love you God

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blogging less frequently

We have had a good weekend.  I am feeling better; not quite 100%, but much improved.  Lydia rested well, and is ready for another full week of therapy and school and rest.   She works so hard.  She has always been very disciplined, and we see that trait in her again, as she gives herself fully to her tasks each day.  She is now regularly tieing her shoes by herself!
Today, she went to the University of Waterloo School of Optometry for a complete eye exam.  She has suffered some impairments to her vision.  She will need reading glasses, and she requires some visual therapy to help with muscular control.  We are hopeful these difficulties can be overcome.

On Sunday, at our home church, Waterloo Mennonite Brethren, we shared our stories of how God has been caring for us, and the power of prayer.  James and I spoke during our worship services. Lydia shared via video.  The video, entitled Warrior Butterfly, beautifully captures Lydia, speaking about her journey with Jesus.  It is a short but powerful clip.

For a few weeks now, we have pondered for how long, and how regularly, we should continue to update you on Lydia's progress.  The blog has been an efficient way to share our journey with the many who pray for us, and who care about Lydia's recovery.  We are ever so grateful for your prayers and support.  It has been overwhelming.   
Often, the blog has been cathartic to write - a sort of "on line journal".  Just as often, it has felt divinely inspired.  We have heard countless stories of how God has used the blog to draw people to Himself, and to encourage them in their faith.  To Him be the glory in all things.  We have trusted Him for his guidance, and He has been so faithful.  We will continue to trust His leading with the blog.  We are certain that He will help us to know when it is time to stop.  For now, we plan to update you weekly. 
We are thankful, that 6 months after the accident, Lydia is doing as well as she is.  She still has a lot of recovering, relearning, and resting to do.  We wait, we hope, and we pray for her full recovery. 
We celebrate the gifts that God has graciously given to our family.  We have been forever changed by these intimate faith experiences. 
Romans 15:13  May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of theHoly Spirit.
Talk to you next Monday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lydia is still feeling the effects of Wednesday's excitement at WeDay.  She is tired and needing to rest more.  It seems to be that in the days following a big event, she is particularly tired.  While she is progressing in her capacity, it is still very small, compared to what it once was.
When we look at a calendar, we can't believe that tomorrow, November 17, marks the 6 month mark in this journey.  Where has the time gone?  Half a year!  We are grateful for the provision, love and support we have received, over the past half year, and we know that it will continue, in different ways.  God has met us powerfully, and we have known the peace that passes understanding.  Our hearts are forever changed, forever drawn deeper into the intimacies of walking by faith.  But, the journey is long, and the journey is hard.  Yes, there is peace, and there is joy, and beauty, and hope; but it is still a difficult path to walk.
I have continued to suffer from a sore throat and cold this past week.  I need to take a break from many things - blogging is one that I have chosen to rest from for a few days. So, may you have a good, and restful weekend too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lydia had a very full day today.  This morning, she went to Baden Public School to meet with her new principal, and vice principal.  She let out a whoop of delight, as we rounded the bend in Livingston Blvd, and she could see the school.  How she longs to return to school!  She received a welcome back card, signed by many grade eight students, which she enjoyed reading today.
Later today, she had an appointment with the Wheel chair seating clinic at KidsAbility to finalize the details for ordering her own wheel chair.  We are currently renting one, and while she is making great strides in walking, (pun intended!), she will need a chair of her own for distance mobility for some time yet.  She was measured up and sized for a chair that will be made specifically for her.
Lydia understands the need for the wheel chair, but, she struggles with it.  She does not want to appear different.  She sometimes asks that we not park in the reserved handicap parking spaces.   She does not want to be pitied.  She asked that we not take her chair to WeDay, yesterday, but realized the need for it, as the short walk to our car, with a sore knee, was painful.  Once in the car, she asked that her chair be taken along to WeDay.  One day a while ago, she uttered a heartbreaking statement:  "I guess I'll have to get new friends - ones with disabilities like me."
We deduce from these reactions, that Lydia views people with disabilities as segregated, different, not normal.  Does this perception stem from some of her experiences, or from her notions about individuals with disabilities from before?
Since Lydia's entrance into the world of the differently abled, our perception has changed too.  We have seen such a vibrant faith in Lydia, and a beautiful tenderness and sensitivity.  She walks more intimately with Jesus now than before.
James 2:5 speaks to us:  Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:  Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world, to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
So maybe our able bodied culture views those with disabilities as poor, in the eyes of the world.  But we have seen richness that is great.  We have a friend with CP, and he knows what it is like to live with disabilities, and yet, he has a heart and spirit that are incredibly connected to God.
Lord, may we know your love, and hold your view of all your children - abled and differently abled.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today, Lydia and I were able to attend the last hour of WEday at the Auditorium!  What an inspiring experience that was!  We heard Liz Murray share her incredible story.  She was homeless, and yet was able to graduate from Harvard.  Although orphaned, she was surrounded by a community who supported her, cared for her, and helped her.  It caused me to think about how we have been surrounded, supported, cared for, and helped.  Thank you.
She encouraged us to be grateful for what we have, because everything we have, we could easily not have.  Yes!  This statement rang so true.  Lord, thank you for our children, our health, our families, our friends, our homes, our schools, our community, this country we live in.   Thank you for all that you give to us to enjoy.  Every good and perfect gift comes from you.
She challenged us to not let what we can't do, interfere with what we can do!  This pierced my heart for Lydia.  I was thankful that this spirit of resilience is in Lydia; that she doesn't let a trembling right hand keep her from eating with it, or printing shaky letters and words.
In the WEday finale, Marc and Craig Kielburger, spoke about the Three Laws of Social Change.  As they talked about law #1, The Power of the Few, they mentioned Lydia.  They spoke about what an inspiration she is to so many people, and how she illustrates that one person can impact many.  Lydia smiled at this.  She wants to be the change in her community - pointing people to Jesus, and His love.
At the end, she was on her feet, trying to jump in time to the music and clap her hands over her head, along with the auditorium full of energized youth.  She didn't want the ear phones I had brought to help her cope with all of the noise.  She assured me, "It's ok, I've been to WEday before, I know how crazy it can get!"  Then she smiled and tried to jump again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 Tonight we were enjoying a delicious dinner made by a dear friend, whose husband is a prolific hunter.  It was a stew of meat, potatoes and vegetables.  As we were eating, I mused out loud as to what kind of meat was in the stew.  I suspected it was venison but couldn't be sure. Without missing a beat, Lydia piped up, "once it's in the pot, it's all beef."  This is quote from one of her favourite books, The Hunger Games, in which the heroine supplies all manner of game to the local soup maker who feeds the starving townsfolk. Lydia's quick response surprised us all.  Her eyes glittered with glee as we praised her quick mind.   We view it as another sign that her mind is healing and new pathways are being formed.  She continues to work hard to reach her goals.  Her day was filled with therapy and rest, lunch and rest, tutoring then rest.  Sleep well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We love it when Lydia is joyful, bright, and light hearted, and we were happy to see her return to this demeanor yesterday and today.  She recovered from her cold, and was feeling much better.  True to her sensitive nature, she apologized for insisting that she might not wake up.
On Sunday, she was able to visit with close friends over lunch, and when she came home, she reported to me, "I even ate with my right hand".  We regularly encourage her to eat with her right hand, or do any task she would have done previously, with her right hand.  This is hard work.  Her right hand shakes, and eating can become very messy and frustrating.  No teenager wants food to be flying across the table, especially if you are the guest!  Actually, some teens (I'm thinking of Sam in a couple of years!) might think it fun, but not Lydia!  She is very sensitive to appearing or acting different.  She chose to have lunch the "right way" or the therapeutic way, although that is the hard way.  We congratulated her on this decision and her success.  She knows that practice makes perfect.  Is it any wonder we are inspired by her drive to improve?
Today, Lydia was telling everyone she saw or talked to, so she would want us to tell you, that she can stand up on her own, and walk by herself.   She no longer needs to have arms on a chair to push herself up, or have someone help to lift her up.   She is steady and strong enough to do it on her own.  In our home, she is able to walk around unassisted.  We are usually within arm's reach of her, in case she loses her balance, but we are not right at her side, or supporting her all the time, like we used to be.  When she is tired, she needs help, and when she is exhausted, she is not too old to still enjoy piggy back rides up the stairs!

This evening, Ben was singing a song with lyrics "we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke".   Lydia heard this line, and asserted - "it wouldn't matter if you knew Jesus.  He'd be with you all the time."  Her faith is inspiring.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lydia awoke this morning, feeling somewhat better, stronger and most notably, hopeful again.  She apologized a few times to us for disagreeing with us yesterday, and asserting that she didn't believe that she was getting better.  (Remember yesterday she thought she might not recover from her cold!)
In general, Lydia is very sensitive to anything she has said or done, that may have hurt another person or been inaccurate.  She has a heightened sense of right and wrong, and wants to set all things right -especially when she perceives there have been hurts.  She repeatedly wants to apologize, sometimes for seemingly insignificant things.    She does apologize, but then she forgets that she has, and somedays, it is difficult helping her to remember that she has apologized, and to release the matter entirely.  She fixates on these things.
Fixation is common with a brain injury.  It happens.  For awhile, she was fixated on food, constantly hungry and wondering what there was to eat.  This food fixation may have coincided along with a growth spurt, because she did eat a lot, but it has disappeared.  She eats regular meals now, and is not complaining of hunger all the time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Green Ribbons

We have learned that for some, it is not the right time to take down their green ribbons.  That is fine with us!  We still have ours up at home, most notably on the tree in the yard where we took the photo of Lydia this fall.  We extend to each of you the full freedom to choose when you want to take your ribbons down.  There is still much prayer needed, so let us continue on together (with or without green ribbons) in Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Below are two different emails we received about this matter.  To both individuals, and the many who carry our family in prayer, we thank you for your petitions and prayers.

I have not taken down our green ribbons yet. I go to do it and then I can't. Today I was wondering with God, "where does this green ribbon belong?" No longer does the sight of it bring me to my knees with petitioning tears,  however the days of petitioning are not yet over....the days of asking for God to carry you and sustain you remain. And so they'll stay up a little longer....

I don't want to take my green ribbon down yet. I feel it is a symbol of hope and prayer. I don't want people to forget what happened and to continue to pray for Lydia and your family. It is like the poppy. Let us not forget, ... 

Everyone in our household is feeling under the weather, and at various stages of a cold.  For the boys, it is nearly over.  For the rest of us, it is just beginning with sniffles, aching bodies and scratchy, sore throats.  This is the first time that Lydia has been sick since her accident.  We all know how lousy it feels.  For Lydia, who can fixate on things, it feels insurmountable!  In her bed, body aching, she moaned: "I may not recover from this cold.  I don't know if I'll get up tomorrow!"  We laughed and encouraged her that after all that she has lived through, surely a cold is not going to keep her down!  We had to help her see that in a couple of days, she would be feeling better again.
(Perhaps this is some of the reason for her difficult last few days, and her higher emotional needs.)

In this blog, the last word goes to Lydia.  She requested several times today that I say, on her behalf:
"Thank you everyone for praying for me.  I really appreciate it.  (pause) And no offense intended, but green isn't my favourite colour any more!"  It's all about turquoise now. Such is life with a teenager !

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We have had an exciting day!  (Of course, with excitement, comes stress, something that is difficult for Lydia to process.)  A hair stylist and an esthetician from a local Salon came to our home today to do our hair and makeup, and a photographer arrived soon after, to take photos for an upcoming magazine  publication.   Exciting!   Unfortunately, these are all the details that I can share at this time.
Lydia has had a hard time handling emotions today.  She did very well during the time that stylists, editors, writers and photographers were here, thankfully.  In the morning, and afterwards, her mind kept racing, and sleep evaded her, even though she was exhausted.  (We think that she is still recovering from yesterday in Toronto.)  Tonight she required a lot of care to settle and fall asleep.  She wants me to be with her all the time, and I can't be.  I need to tend to the boys needs, have time with  James, and for myself too.  To say that this leg of the journey has hard moments for us all,  feels like an understatement tonight.  The weightiness of the last thirty hours have been keenly felt.
So I lean into Jesus.  In a day where I have struggle to give sacrificially, to love deeply, I cling to Jesus. I am holding on to Him.  He is already all I need.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today we returned to Sick Kids Hospital for another follow up appointment - this one for a blood clot that had been discovered in Lydia's right arm in late May. An ultrasound completed today showed that the clot is still there, albeit slightly smaller, but since it is in a superficial vein, and it has not caused any alarming symptoms, and it has not grown, there is no concern or need to return to the Thrombosis clinic.  We check off another medical issue from Lydia's list!
Prior to Lydia's afternoon appointments, as a family, we went up the CN tower. In May and June, when we stayed at Ronald McDonald House, we regularly enjoyed the beautiful view from our room, of the CN tower.  We had a clear view of the entire tower that was framed by trees, and many nights, we would watch the lights on the tower before going to bed.  During these times, we dreamed of being able to go up the tower as a family. We thought it would be years before we could experience this together, but, by the grace of God, we were wrong. We enjoyed our time there together today. The boys loved the glass floor, and the speed at which the elevators zipped up the tower. They were even ready to do the sky walk! Perhaps another day. It was a quiet day at the tower, so it was perfect for Lydia.
At Sick Kids, we connected with Ryan, Lydia's Physio Therapist.  When I introduced her to him (because she has no memory of anyone at SickKids), she said "Hello Ryan, it is nice to meet you."  He responded by saying, "Hello Lydia, it is nice to hear your voice!"  He had never heard her speak before!  He treated her for 5 weeks, taking her to the gym, casting her feet, and doing exercises with her, but during this comatose time, she was silent, unable to speak.
This brings perspective at the end of a long day; a day where, towards evening,  Lydia was having trouble coping.  The noise, the smells, the lights of the big city were overwhelming to her.  She wanted to never, ever, have to return to Toronto again! While nearing home she stuck her hands and nose out the the window and declared that she had finally found air fit to breathe! She was happy to return to the comfort of home.  Lydia has come so far.  She has recovered incredibly from the  comatose patient that lay in Sick Kids for eight weeks.  Yes, we see too, today, how far she still must come, but we look back with gratitude on her journey of recovery so far.
Philippians 1:6  ... that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 
We trust Him for the full measure of his divine work in our precious Lydie bug.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We have had a good day.  Lydia is learning how to rest well.  It is still sometimes a struggle to turn off her mind, but she is doing better at resting quietly at times throughout the day.  She is also learning how to use her new therapeutic device - an IPAD!  In therapy terms, it is called an ADL, an assistive learning device.  She is playing different games to work on her fine motor and cognition skills.  The boys want to improve their skills too!

Recently, when James was playing his guitar, we sang together a song that we sang several times to Lydia in ICU, but had not sung together since that time. It is a song that was sung at our wedding, and expresses marital commitment. When we sang it in ICU, we were expressing to Lydia our steadfast love for her through whatever lay ahead.
Our hearts were full, as we sang it to Lydia the other night - choking on words we had not been able to sing in ICU, and finding new meaning in the lyrics as we sang.

I Will Be Here - Stephen Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I...I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
'Cause I...I will be here

I will be here...
When you feel like bein' quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winnin' and losin' and tryin'
We'll be together
'Cause I will be here

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I...I'll be here

Just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for these years
I...I will be here

I will be here....
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you

And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you mean to me
I will be here

I will be true
To the promise I have made
To you and to the
One who gave you to me

I...I will be here

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for these years
'Cause I...
I will be here....
We'll be together

'Cause I will be here

Monday, November 5, 2012

We regularly hear from Lydia how thankful she is to be at home.  Generally, she is thankful for where we live, our home, our family; and then sometimes she gets specific: " I am so thankful for my bed!  I love my bedroom!"    Whenever she remembers her last weeks at Holland Bloorview, she cries.  We are begining to learn about some of her confusion and fear, when she was there, that she would never be able to come home, that she did not know where she was, or how to get home, even if she could.  This pulls at our hearts.  It is confusion and desperation we cannot begin to imagine.  We are thankful that we brought her home when we did, and thankful she can recover at home.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. 
Maya Angelou

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lydia is still recovering from her big day on Thursday.  She was tired again today.  She has also been suffering from a very sore foot this past week, and on Friday her PT did some acupuncture to relieve some of the pain.  The fascia on the bottom of her left foot is inflamed, and so (like her mom!) she has plantar's fasciitits which makes her hobble.  She is required to rest her foot, use her wheel chair more, and take it easy - no more walks down the lane!  Lydia, while bothered by the pain of it, also views it as a set back in her goal to play soccer this spring season!  (We encourage her in her goals, but this one seems incredible!  Who knows what she will learn to do in the next 6 months?  We keep hoping and believing.)
Lydia regularly aspires to return to the activities she enjoyed previously.  After reading articles about Katelyn Osmond and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in school this week, she is keen to return to figure skating too!  With her flexibility, she is already practicing holding her leg up for a spiral.

We will weekly be taking Sundays off from updates.  May your day, tomorrow, be restful and restorative.  We are grateful for an extra hour of sleep.

A new worship song for us is 10 000 Reasons by Matt Redman, and we have sung the chorus many times this week.   Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, ......

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes


You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Friday, November 2, 2012

Green Ribbons holding life

In yesterday's post, I forgot to tell you what Lydia thought of the ribbon waving: "It was very, very, very, very, very fun!"  And again this morning, she awoke saying how great it was!  Yes, she was still tuckered out today, so we tried to rest more.  She was always ready to talk about who she saw yesterday, or what she felt.  I was struck by her statement that she "wanted to hug all of the little children".  It reminded me of Jesus' words about letting the children come to Him, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to little ones .....

As lime green ribbons have been taken down around our community, often with gratitude and celebration, we have received two wonderful emails that we want to share.  It seems these lime green ribbons have been sheltering life in their own way.

"We just have to share something with you. Last week, when I was raking leaves, I noticed something hanging from our green ribbon. It was a chrysalis - an empty one! Which, of course, means that some caterpillar found shelter and safety in Lydia's ribbon and used it as a place to transform into a beautiful butterfly!"

"As I removed my green ribbon from my tree, there was a thick line of green moss underneath it.  A reminder from God, that although the ribbon is coming down, continue to pray."

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Thank you for the green ribbons that have encouraged us, and heralded many prayers for Lydia over the past five and a half months.  We believe that God will continue to heal Lydia and work in her.  We continue to pray for a full recovery.

November 1 has long marked a new season in our lives, because we annually close our Farm Market on October 31.  November brings less intense work responsibilities and commitments.  It brings more family time, and a more gentle pace.  It ushers in rest.  As the land rests, after yielding its crops, we rest after our hard labour.
Lydia's homecoming ushers in a new season in her recovery too.  She is at home full time, with her family.  Our divided life has come to an end.  No more daily trips back and forth to Toronto.  No more separation from the boys.  No more hospital food (this is a big thing that Lydia continues to be thankful for!), and no more institutional noise and routines to follow.  Lydia regularly says how thankful she is to be at home.
Yes, this November brings a new season to our lives, in many wonderful ways. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lydia's homecoming was a joyful celebration of her recovery to date!  Many came, despite the cold and the intermittent rain, with their tattered green ribbons to line our lane and cheer for Lydia as she walked home.  She walked the whole way - from our Farm Market to our house, a distance of about 250 m.  She didn't sit on the golf cart once!  She is one determined and inspiring girl!

For us, one of the most beautiful and grace filled moments was when Lydia saw her bus driver, whom she hadn't seen since May 17, and she responded by giving him a big hug.  He was the first person that Lydia hugged on her walk down the lane, and as we witnessed it, we were moved to tears.  Grace and mercy flowed.  How loving and tender is our God!

Lydia wore a new shirt today, that a friend had made for her.  It simply read:  I am a beautiful thing.  He is making me new.  Oh, how you are, and how He is!

There were many cameras snapping photos, and a film crew from CTV news too.
Tomorrow's Record will also carry a story.

To all who came, and to all who, from afar, waved ribbons in their hearts, thank you for blessing us with your prayers and support. We are surrounded by such love.  May the blessing extend to you as well.  To God be the glory, great things He has done!

The Herrle5 home together. 
With joyful hearts, with faith, hope and wonder, we continue our journey.
Psalm 27:13,14  I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord.  Be strong, and take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This evening, our family Hallowe'en tradition of visiting Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunts and Uncles in our costumes, was a little different than in years past, as Lydia was tired out after one stop, and needed to return home to bed.  The boys, however, were just getting started!  (They have had their costumes ready for days!)   We weren't sure if Lydia would be up to going out, or not, so we didn't plan a costume for her.  Fortunately, she was given a large lime green decorative butterfly, in July, which we hung in her bedroom at home, above her hospital bed.  We took it down this afternoon, and she wore it, and was a lively butterfly.  She visited with her cousin and aunt, and hugged and chatted away with them - almost forgetting to even take some candy!
When resting this afternoon, she said to me, "I think I will always have a butterfly's spirit."  How beautiful is that?  Yes, sweet daughter, may it always be so.  May you embrace change and transformation, and give it all it demands from you, your whole life long.

I attended the standing room only, Courage for Lydia concert held today at Conrad Grebel College.  I think everyone in attendance was moved by the beauty and sincerity of the music presented.  To the musicians and especially the composers, Joanne Bender and Carol Ann Weaver, our heartfelt thanks for this generous gift.

This afternoon, after school, a group of Lydia's close friends came to the farm to decorate the golf cart for tomorrow.  With great energy and creativity, they decorated and jazzed up the golf cart!   I will try to include some photos in  tomorrow's blog!

One more detail to communicate about tomorrow.   We have been asked a few times if we are collecting the ribbons, afterwards.  No, we are not.  We will have large recycling containers out by the flag poles, and we are happy to recycle them. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Details for Thursday

Today our MP, Harold Albrecht, spoke in parliament, thanking Canadians for their prayers for Lydia.  We appreciated his update to our nation.

Every day Lydia asks when is the green ribbon waving?  (or the wibbon rave, when it is mispronounced!)  She always exclaims "yeah!" after we tell her it is on Thursday at 5:00.  She is aware that she is not remembering, and apologizes before asking.  In general, we have seen slips in her short term memory in the last week.
We, too, are excited, to welcome you to our farm; to  stand with you and celebrate our hope, as these tattered, weathered ribbons are waved; to proclaim our faith in God through the prayers we have collectively uttered, and His gracious and breathtaking response to them; and to gather as a community who has so lovingly cared for us, and supported us in this long road that has lead to home.  Thank you.
Lydia wants to walk down the lane, as much as she can. The well decorated golf cart will follow behind, and give her breaks when she needs them. The boys are vying to be the drivers, but we will delegate this task to a family member with a license!
We will have some orange vested parking attendants to help answer any questions, or assist you with parking on Thursday.  Please park only in the parking lot, or on the south side of Erb's Road.  The fields are too wet to allow for parking in them.  Please consider car pooling, or making a drop off at our farm, and then parking at one of the many plazas in West Waterloo.  It is 1.5 km from Ira Needles Blvd. to our farm.  Police will be present to help keep traffic flowing smoothly, and to promote safety.
Visitors to our farm often exclaim how windy it is out here!  We are not sheltered, like in town, so dress warmly, as the wind really blows!
We thank you, in advance, for coming to celebrate this milestone in Lydia's recovery:  that she is at home with us, and that she has recovered so much already!  We invite your continued prayers for her therapy and recovery at home.

We have a great Lydia laugh to share with you!
Her speech language therapist, was working with her on defining words with multiple meanings.  They were talking about different meanings for the word duck.  Lydia talked about the ducks that swim on the pond, and the ducks that quack, and the ducks that waddle ... but she was stuck.  She couldn't think of any other meanings for duck.  Her therapist said, "Suppose I throw the ball, right at your head!  You'd ____________!"  Lydia eagerly replied, "I'd head it!"  So to her soccer team that is gathering on Thursday, don't toss a ball at Lydia, or she might head it into the crowd!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lydia has had a good attitude towards her therapy today, and has done well.  We rested well yesterday and this morning too.  She loves being at home, and who wouldn't, with a younger brother who sets the dinner table, with creative center pieces, like this one below?

We are thankful for:
all of our voices joined together in singing grace around the dinner table;
love expressed by a younger brother who has had a harder time connecting with his "new" sister;
a younger brother who cares for his older sister by blow drying her hair, or helping her walk, or eat;
Daddy playing his guitar, and singing worship songs with us;
a warm house to shelter us from the storm.
One friend requested I get the blog out early tonight, in case the power goes out!  So I worked on it after dinner, and when Lydia saw it, she wanted to add her own message.  She typed it herself:

hi everyone!   

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
In quietness and trust is your strength.    Isaiah 30:15

How often we have returned to these verses for perspective.  We find our strength in quietness and trust.   In rest, we find healing (salvation).  We are thinking the same truth applies to Lydia.  She has had two weeks of her home therapy schedule, and while it is full of good, helpful activities, it is full! We are looking to pare it down, to give her more rest time, and more down time.  Her mind is constantly processing.  We have no experience with brain injury recovery, so we listen to those who do, listen to God, and to our hearts.  And we take it one week at a time.
This morning, Lydia excitededly asked "when is the ribbon waving?"  We told her that it is this Thursday.  "Yeah!" she shouted, and clapped her hands.  We will rest more at the beginning of this week to prepare for the joy of Thursday November 1 at 5:00.
Tomorrow is Sunday.  We will make it our day of rest in small ways.  Notably , we will not update  tomorrow on our day with Lydia, but take a day of rest from blogging too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lydia has had a happy day today.  She challenged herself at the gym this morning, and cycled for 8 minutes and then swam 10 laps.  On Friday mornings, she has music therapy, and she loves to listen to classical music, learn about composers, and relearn how to play the piano.  She is very eager to pick up the flute again, but that may need to wait a little while.
This evening, we went to the arena for part of her brother's hockey game.  We were touched to see that the opposing team, Woolwich, taped their sticks lime green for the game.  Thank you Woolwich for your show of support.  (I grew up in Elmira, and my parents are still there.)
 Earlier this week, when Lydia was at KidsAbility, we went to her favourite store at Conestoga Mall afterwards.  Lydia had been asking to go for a couple of weeks, but we held off, thinking the experience would be too overwhelming.   Upon entering the store, the music was so loud, she was irritated.  We asked the manager if it could be turned down.  She obliged, minimally.  We wheeled Lydia around the store, and she saw some things she liked, and tried them on.  Low cut V necks, received a "that's too revealing" from Lydia.  Other shirts were equally less modest, and were put in the reject pile.  She did decide on a pair of winter weight leggings.  We made our purchase and left the mall directly.  Lydia rested in the car on the return home.
At lunch, I said to Lydia, "so you've been waiting for a while to get to your favourite store.  How was it?"  She replied, "It was ok.  It wasn't great.  Jesus is great."  Then she lifted her head and smiled to heaven and was silent for a few moments.  Once again, we were silent and felt the divine presence.
How much we can learn from Lydia.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Today was a harder day for Lydia.  She cried more, and had higher emotional needs than in previous days.  We haven't seen emotion like this since her last week at Holland Bloorview.  It impeded her therapy at a clinic in Waterloo this afternoon.  She couldn't focus.  She just wanted to be at home.  She was tired, and discouraged.  She said she didn't think she was getting better.  We cancelled her afternoon school session to let her rest and take a break.  It was a beautiful day - hopefully the sunshine was rejuvenating` to her mind and body.
I think one of the hardest parts of Lydia's recovery is that she looks so healthy and normal.  If you don't understand or know much about brain injuries, you would be tempted to think that her capacity and abilities are "normal"(not a word we like to use, but one that communicates the idea well).  This is not the case.  Lydia is unable to filter out extraneous noises.  She has super sensitive hearing, and she tries to process every sound that she hears.  To be in a busy place, with many conversations, sounds and distractions, is exhausting.  It is overstimulating, to someone with a brain injury.
On this day, my reading of Isaiah 40 has given perspective and reminded me of the faithful provision of our God.

Isaiah 40:28-31

New International Version (NIV)
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"We continue to be inspired by Lydia's determination and progress.  The song title (and song) 'Indescribable' keeps coming to mind when I see how God has worked through, and is continuing to work in Lydia's life."
These thoughts were shared in an email yesterday.  Ironically, this is the song our children can be heard singing together in the car. 
Indescribable.  Yes, what God is doing is indescribable.  Unbelievable is another word, and yet we believe.  We remember the time when Lydia had just began speaking in August, and just days after finding her voice, she helped her therapist, who was groping for a word to describe Lydia's progress.  Lydia supplied "It's unbelievable".   Regularly we are amazed at her progress, and awestruck and humbled at the same time, that we get to have front row seats to a miracle.  God is amazing.  He is working amazing things in our lives.
From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable
You placed the stars in the sky
And You know them by name
You are amazing, God

All powerful, untameable
Awestruck we fall to our knees
As we humbly proclaim
You are amazing, God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet, conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart
And You love me the same
You are amazing, God
You are amazing, God

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In our family, at dinner time, we check in with everyone to see who may have the "joke of the day" to share.  These jokes, are just funny things that we did, said, saw or heard that day, that made us laugh.  Well this morning, Lydia had the joke of the day today!
As she was enjoying her breakfast, she said "I could marry yogurt and granola.  I love them!"  Knowing that she had recently proclaimed that she could marry bananas, I asked her about this.  She said, "I am past bananas!"  Of course, by tonight she had moved on yet again and kissed the piece of pizza she was enjoying.
Today, I read again Isaiah 35, a chapter I had read on May 22, and was grateful for the fullness of God's transforming power that we see in Lydia.  Out of the wilderness, flowers are blooming.  He is bringing beauty and joy. Lydia is blossoming.  He is strengthening the feeble hands, and steadying the knees that give way.  Our lame girl is learning to leap like a deer, and her mute tongue now shouts (and sings) for joy!  Gladness and joy are overtaking us, and sorrow and sighing are fleeing away.
We are thankful.  Thank you, God, for coming to save.

Joy of the Redeemed

Isaiah 35 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ribbon Waving Invitation

We have received some more inquires abour the ribbon waving homecoming, specifically with regards to who is welcome to come.  You are invited to come!  Anyone who has tied a lime green ribbon, or prayed for Lydia or our family, or been moved by Lydia's story, or has had their faith impacted by what God is doing in our midst, is welcome to come. 
We are realizing, as we go out in our community, how many people know Lydia!  Thank you for the smiles, the encouragement and the cheers.  Although Lydia is sometimes searching her mind, to see if she should know the person who just said hi to her, and commended her for her courage, she is learning to receive this well.
We have had another good day of therapy and school at home.  To her morning swim, we have added 8 minutes on the exercise bike.   She is trying to regain lost muscles and grow stronger. It is working because she is becoming steadier on her feet!
Today, Lydia had another first: she was able to use the washroom independently. 
Tonight, she prayed for the kids at Bloorview, that they would know that Jesus is always with them.  We know from our time there, that some children are there without regular family or friends in attendance with them.  She then prayed for everyone to know that Jesus is always with us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Courage for Lydia Concert, Oct. 31, 12:30 noon, Grebel Chapel

We want to share with you information about an upcoming free, noon hour concert On Wednesday October 31 at 12:30 at Conrad Grebel College Chapel, University of Waterloo. The music for this event has been created to "bless" Lydia, and to grant her further courage in her journey.

The composer, Carol Ann Weavaer writes: The concert is meant to give strength, courage, joy, and respect for and to Lydia. For this concert I've composed "Three Seasons", a brand new set of instrumental (non-vocal) pieces for Lydia for flute, alto saxophone, cello and piano. Within this piece are these sections: 'Summer Silence,' 'Autumn Dawn,' and 'Winter Prayers and Blessing.' This music attempts to capture different aspects of what has happened and will yet occur for/with Lydia. 'Summer Silence' is a short, wordless expression of the silence occurring for Lydia, with the cello representing her continued heart beat. 'Autumn Dawn' begins like a dawn I witnessed at an Algonquin lake this August -- at first all is obscured by mist and then gradually, distant shores become visible, and then the entire world opens up, gradually. Though there are moments of fullness of life, there is also the reminder that this world is in the 'process' of unfolding for Lydia. 'Winter Prayers and Blessing' is for the upcoming season we will all live through. The piece opens with individual and collective prayers being offered up. Then, there is a kind of group prayer, as it were, where over one pattern, players give melodic prayers. At the end of this piece there is a piano/cello 'blessing' for Lydia. I thought I had finished this piece, but came home, sat down at the keyboard and my fingers started playing this 'blessing' which emerged. So, this became the final musical statement for Lydia, for her family and medical team, and for all those thousands of people who are thinking and praying for her.

Joanne Bender will be adding some piano solo pieces and a short piece for violin, cello, and piano. This 50 minute concert will be held in our beautiful Grebel chapel with its magnificent stained glass windows and quiet, calming atmosphere.

Directions for getting there: -- follow CGR on the map, which stands for Conrad Grebel Residence on WestmountRd.

Here for more details: Courage For Lydia Poster
With Lydia home all of the time now, we have been able to arrange her therapy schedule so that she does not have therapy on Sundays. We are thankful to be at this spot where Lydia can receive the help she needs Monday through Saturday, and have Sunday as a family day, and a break from hard work. We went to church for a short time this morning, saw cousins this morning, took in part in a hockey game this afternoon, and visited with friends this evening. We also attended the first 30 minutes of vibrant song and dance performed by the African Children's Choir, at the St. Agatha Catholic Church tonight. As we made our way to our seats, so kindly reserved for us, applause for Lydia began from community members. It was a memorable moment for Lydia and for us. It has been a full day, and even with rests throughout the day, Lydia was exhausted at bedtime. Lydia recently received the book Star Quality: 50 Waterloo Oxford Students who Soared. We began reading a profile today, and talking about the tremendous obstacles this student had to overcome. This student also required a feeding tube at one time, so Lydia made a connection with her. Tonight when we were snuggled into bed together, she whispered, "When I get to high school, I want to be one of those people who inspire others." God, bless our daughter's sweet, unassuming heart, that does not recognize that her determination, courage and faith already inspire us and many others.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

We have noticed Lydia using her left hand more often, to eat, to drink, to brush her hair. This is understandable, as her right hand shakes and hinders performance, but she needs to regain muscular control, as she is right handed. Yesterday her PT suggested that Lydia wear a mitten on her left hand at meal times, and wear a weighted sock tied around her wrist on her right hand. The small amount of weight ( a handful of pennies) provides some stability for her hand. We have done this, today, and sometimes it has frustrated Lydia, but she has kept at it, trying to tame her right hand to do what she wants it to do. Recovering and relearning is hard work. We have great respect for our little warrior butterfly! (a title given to Lydia in another blog) This morning, Lydia admired my cross necklace, and asked me when I got it. I told her I had got it when I was 18, when Jesus became central to my life. Then she asked, "Can I get a cross necklace too? Jesus is the most important to me right now." I smiled and agreed with her. Wow! How she is being made new! My gold cross necklace sat in my jewellery box, relegated to the under layer, in a time, years ago, maybe even a decade ago, when it was fashionable to wear a cross, and I rebelled against the fashion by putting mine away. I didn't want to wear it as a fashion symbol. I wear my cross to remind me that Jesus died on the cross for me. It is a symbol full of love and meaning. I disagreed with it becoming some trendy symbol, void of meaning. Too many claimed to believe in Jesus, but their words and actions contradicted this truth. So my cross necklace set in my jewellery box for a long time. I pulled it out of my jewellery box shortly after the accident, and began wearing it again. I found comfort in wearing it, in holding onto the wonderous love of Christ, and His all sufficient sacrifice for me. In those days, when every breath was a prayer to Jesus to save Lydia, and restore her to us, the cross again was my symbol of hope. I have worn it regularly since then. I cling to the One who died for me, and in his resurrection power, I live.

Friday, October 19, 2012

We have heard our Nov. 1 welcome home ribbon waving referred to as a party, a celebration and a parade! In spirit,it will be all of these things, but not in reality. It will be simple. We would love to have a grand party, serve hot chocolate and short bread (favourites for Lydia), and invite you all to visit with one another and with our family; but truth be told, this is not at all possible. Lydia fatigues very easily. We would not want to overwhelm her, or risk a set back. As it is, the experience of seeing so many friends and supporters waving their ribbons, will be abundantly stimulating! (We pray in a wonderfully memorable way, and not in one that is detrimental to her recovery.) The plan is simply to have friends line our lane with their green ribbons, and for Lydia to walk or ride in the golf cart, from our Market parking lot, to our home. She will not be able to stop and talk, or exchange hugs. She will be able to smile, and say thank you. Parking will be in our Farm Market parking lot, on the grass strip along the lane, if it is not too wet, and if need be, on the newly paved south shoulder of Erb's Road. Please do not park on the north side, and cross the street to our parking lot. Erb's Road is a busy road, with an 80km/hr speed limit. Let's keep everyone safe! The green ribbons began as a symbol of support to remind our community to pray for Lydia. So many of you have prayed for Lydia. Thank you. "Stay Strong Lydia!" these ribbons say! God has strengthened and healed Lydia, by His grace, and at His pace. We celebrate His work. These tattered ribbons renew our hope and faith, and have regularly reminded us that we do not stand alone. Thank you for standing with us.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lydia on TV!

The highlight of our day today, was welcoming Abigail Binmann from CTV to our home to interview Lydia on how it feels to be home. Lydia was happy to smile, play piano and talk about being home.
It is truly great to have Lydia home with us -  to tuck in each child at bed at night, and then sleep in our own bed.  The 6:00 and 11:00 news feature different segments.

Here is the video:

In other media, Scott Cressman, a New Hamburg Independent reporter, wrote a story about Lydia's return to home that was published on Wednesday.  It contains some great and at times candid quotes from Lydia!

Click here to go to the story:

Lydia began private pilates instruction this morning, to help her with her physical therapy.  She was happy to return to a studio and teacher she knows and enjoys.  At times, I fight back the tears, when I see how far she has to go, or how hard it is for her to make seemingly easy movements. Some of Lydia's therapy goals in pilates are to improve her breathing, (she has developed very shallow breath patterns as a result of having had a collapsed lung), and to strengthen her legs and positioning so she can move between sitting and standing, and can walk properly.  Lydia has a very ambitious goal of playing soccer in May 2013.  We encourage her in her goals, but see the reality of how far she will have to heal and progress before that can happen.  With faith, all things are possible.  We continue to pray for a full recovery.

Eph 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do, immeasurably more, than all we ask or imagine, according to His power, that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen!

His power is at work within us.  We give thanks.