Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Cannot

I think this weekend, I finally learned something that I didn't wish to admit to before. I learn never to plan something so early and create no backup plans for yourself. I learn that without a backup plan, even the best generals in the world may fail. And at the same time, I am wondering when I can get myself to admit to reality to get myself doing what I need to be doing.

When I was in junior high, believe it or not, I was already planning my future. I had several plans and oddly enough, they all surround the same general area and interest:

1. Enlist in the Army and follow Dad's footsteps
2. Attend one of the military academies and commission
3. Play college football and then pro ball
4. Attend college, join ROTC and commission

And with those in mind, I was already setting my own path to my future.

I was running and lifting weights more often than my team mates were, I was rarely at parties and having fun, you would see me out running almost every day and many times, twice or three times a day, rain or shine. I wanted to be on my best shape for football season. I wanted to make sure that soon scouts will start looking at me. I also wanted to be in the best shape of my life for basic. No matter how far away it might be.

I was talking to recruiters like they were my best friends. Even with the moving around the world, I've always manage to track down a recruiter somewhere in the world and befriend him. To let him know I'm interested in enlisting but don't try to fool me, since I have the best source in the world: my Dad.

My Dream

I was studying and reading ASVAB materials, reading unclassified information, web pages on my free time. Just so I can get a head start on this "enlistment" and this military life NOT being the dependent.

I was reading and studying every single plays handed to me by my coach and watching plays from college teams. I wanted to be ahead of everyone. I wanted to know it before everyone. Not for the use of boasting about it, but know it in my heart what each play means to the team and to the person himself. And ultimately, see myself running the play, every single time.

My World

I logged onto all five service academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy) website and entered my information onto their server. I talked to people who attended the academies, who is going to the academies and even talked to every liaison officer (LNO) I knew just so I can get the heads up. Even when people tell me "you got time, don't worry about it, just do well in school and keep in shape" I pushed them for more information, I ask them every question I can think of, and more. Just anything I can do to get more information to push my toes closer to the gate of these schools.

And strangely I would see myself doing all of that. Even when I know I'm going to have to choose one out of four, I saw myself doing all the things I dream of. I never thought of a back up plan, I never put into mind what I would want to do outside the football and military field.

Never and boy was I wrong for not expanding my dreams and thoughts.

Now, though I know the things I wish before will never happen, I still see myself doing the same thing. I still see the four options I stated before. And strangely for the moments I am thinking about the options, it's like I never got hurt, ever.

But with the highs of life, I guess there's got to be a down. I guess for the three years after my injury, I am still living a dream. I am still seeing what my brain wants me to see. I've blocked off the reality and never wish to admit to it. (And truly, don't know when I will truly face reality)

After I got hurt almost three years ago, I knew things changed. As I have said before, simple things in life needed to be altered and switched around. That I didn't mind, that was what all that time spend at the rehab hospital were for. There were just things I can not get myself to do.

One of many is to contact the people and schools I've talked to before an tell them I can no longer make them part of my dream. To write them official letters and email stating the incident and explain just how sorry I am for no longer being able to be part of their team. That I don't know when I can get myself to do.

And of course with school starting, my emails have been going off like crazy. Just the recent week I have gotten many mails, emails, phone calls and even instant messages regarding information and reminders:

1. With the amount of recruiters I know, they have been wondering what my plans are after high school. Yes it's true we still talk like we're friends but the subject still constantly come up. And like the fool I am, I still avoid answering the questions or even talk about the subject.

2. Emails from the service academies telling me it's still not late to apply and to talk to my LNO about the application process. If I act fast, I may still be able to get into the academies. But it's too late for me, already too late, I am 3 years late yet no one knows it.

3. Emails, phone calls, and even letters from college scouts asking for my football records and tapes if possible. Asking to speak to me in person and speak to my parents about the possibility to play for their school. Even asking me for my football schedule so they can come and watch me play, watch me in action. How do I get myself to tell them what do I get myself to tell them I can't play no more.

4. Emails and Instant messages from friends who are currently in ROTC and those who don't know what happened. As they tell me about the drills, what happened during the LABs and how excited they are for me to become "one of them". I often sit there with no answer. do I get myself to tell them when this incident hurts me more than it'll hurt them.

If you've been following my blog, you know I've said "I am my worse enemy" many times before and right now, I will say it again.

I am my worse enemy.

I know I should let everyone know of the incident, let everyone know what happened. But me, I cannot get myself to send out those letters and emails. I cannot get myself to tell my friends over IMs that I can no longer enlist, I can no longer join ROTC or even play football for my favorite college. (Ironically I always tell people not to say "can't" or "can not" and here I am doing it myself)

My Mom have offered to help me write the letters. Even send them off for me but as stubborn as I am, I told her I would do it myself. That was 3 years ago. I am still sitting here trying to get myself to start a letter.

I never thought writing To Whom It May Concern: would be so difficult.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Deal with it...

I think many of us have things that we don't wish to talk about, even to our parents or closest friends. Even within this blog, I have things that I keep in private for my eyes only so I won't feel the need to hear criticism and more. There are things I don't wish to talk about and even my dog will probably never know.

I must say, though, I have been through a lot of things people might not know. And let's leave it at that.

Yesterday, after I posted "I should have…" blog, a good friend of mine (let's keep her name K for now.) asked me if I ever associate myself with PTSD.

I've read plenty of articles and talked to people to know that I just might have the possibility of having PTSD. But really, I don't wish to know the truth. I know plenty of people (Dad included) who have gone through plenty. People who truly knows what is going on and truly need help.

K told me...yes it's true but that's them and this...this is about you.

And though bits of me know what's going on, over all, I don't wish to know about anything. Yes I get nightmares, yes I see things, I hear things but I won't ever tell the story to everyone. If someone finds out, so be it. But this...this is something I can't explain. It happens and I tend to deal with it best way I know how. By not dealing with it at all. (As bad as that "works", I guess)

Maybe because that way I feel as if there really is something wrong with me. Maybe it's my hiding place to think of myself as a sane person, as a normal 18 year old kid dreaming big and more.

I told K I'd think about this PTSD issue more and that writing is my way out right now. But truth is...writing only takes me thus far. Writing is good and it shall forever be good but shit still happens.

And when it does, like I have said before. I deal with it best I know how. By not doing anything at all.

I have many problems, I have many enemies.
And biggest one, is probably me.

Because tomorrow

We may not be born within the same family. We may not be born within the same year, or even the same decade. But we are all family and even with the distance between all of us, we all feel the same at times.

And with every military family, we all know that feeling. The feeling of missing someone, missing the little things they say, the things they do and more. The feeling like filling up a glass of water. Eventually, the water will over float and eventually what you manage to hold onto daily turns into tears, wishes, and screams.

I think this is one of those days. Every family out there is feeling the deployment blues. Every family is feeling the downs of deployment. Every little things you do seems impossible and waking up feels like torture.

When my Mom woke up late this morning, I knew it was one of those days for her. At the same time, I had a feeling everyone I know is going through the same thing. The day when Mom doesn't feel like anything. When she knows there are things to take care of at the office but will drive there just to get away, just to cry and hope tomorrow will be better.

Strangely when your civilian friends are wishing the best, they tend to make a fool out of themselves. The supposedly "care" turns into "pity", the "best wishes" turns into "stupidity" It is as if they just not care at all and it'll be better for all of us.

Mom left this morning with a sad look in her face and I know when she gets home, she'll head right into her room. As much as I wish I can make her and all my other friends feel better, I can't. Because everyone knows the best way to cure this is to bring their love ones home.

But that's not possible right now.

So we venture on, we keep on like we do every day. We do our best to give hugs and wishes to each other. We support each other when we all have our bad days. Because tomorrow just might be a better day. If not tomorrow maybe later, maybe next week. Whatever and whenever it's going to happen, things will be better.

Dad and other people deployed, know we're thinking of you and we miss you more than you might know. But not to worry about us, we're fine at home, watch your backs and keep your head down. We can't wait till you guys come home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I should have...

I should have gone back to school.

As I said before, we had a tennis tournament today and Saturday. I must is one of those days that starts out fine. That you see a happy presence in your future. And when you thought it's going to be good, it falls right in your face.

I went to the other school today early, as with any new places I like to get there early to find the accessible place. And when I arrived to this school, I was reminded once again that not all places are accessible and not all places are me friendly.

So I sat in my car and waited for the coach to show up and he finally helped me navigate my way to the tennis courts. Even the courts got cracks in them and boy...that just ruins my happy day. Long story short, I lost the match. (not going to blame it on the court, my skills really isn't that great)

The place was not build for me, I was stuck sitting on the court and nowhere else to go. I was once again a prisoner in this world. I asked Coach if I could leave and I guess he saw what my eyes were saying and said yes. So I went home. At least at home I can go anywhere I please. At least at home I can drive or even go out anywhere on post. At least I'm "free" when I leave the place. (But I'll need to go back on Saturday again for another match. I am extremely close on losing on purpose just so I don't have to stay there longer)

I should have gone back to school.

There's a reason why school is so amazing and at the same time, keep you sane. Too much free time makes you think, too much free time makes you do things you know not to do. Too much of anything is never a good thing.

I sat in my room, doing wheelies and thought about the places like the school I went to this morning. There are so many places out there that still are not accessible and even with the law, many people don't think about things. One step and it's easily for most people while for me and many other, we may not make it through the step. We may fall and land on our face. Or worse.

People just don't think about things that don't pertain to their situation I guess.

On the other hand, I got watching Pentagon Channel's Recon Video on military brats and throughout the clip, they talked about many things that a brat goes through when we got one or more parents deployed. When I saw the little kid, I saw myself. I saw myself wondering when Dad's going to be back and if it's going to be ok. I remember my nightmares from when I was little and nightmares I still get now.

And then I realized....that's still me. I'm still wondering the same thing, I'm still experiencing the same thing. My nightmares still haunts me daily, my dream still flash before my eyes. But I guess that's just the human experience.

That's a reason why I don't sleep as often as I need to. Or people often ask me why I'm not asleep. No sleep means there's no nightmares. Sleeping when the sun is out means there's less chance of having nightmares. Tire myself to a point of no return means less chance of nightmares crawling into my brain when I'm passed out.

Reason why I smile, why I fear

It might be a bad thing for my body but it's a chance I'm willing to take. Anything for less nightmares, anything.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Reflection on First Week of School

Well the last few days have been somewhat exciting. (In both a good and bad way)

Two days ago, early morning Tuesday, I was talking my Doberman, Dosh, out for her morning walk and bathroom break. Guess it was because of the early morning hours and the sun wasn't out but a driver never saw us while he was taking a turn.

Well I'm sure you guys can guess what happened. I'm fine, after a check up at the hospital, just sore and taking med meds, no biggie. (Biggest thing for me was probably missing school. Boy am I a bad kid or what missing school after only 4 days haha :P)

Aww look at her

Dosh on the other hand though, she wasn't so lucky. Her leg broke her leg in four places :( (But I am extremely thankful she's alive!) We brought her to the vet and she had surgery on Wednesday. She came through the surgery fine. (Thank you to the awesome docs over at the vet clinic!)

Mom picked her up and brought Dosh home earlier today. Wish you could see her face, that "YAY YOU'RE HOME AND I WANT TO KISS YOU BUT I CAN'T GET UP" face was just priceless. And I of course was glad to see her! Thanks to everyone who have been asking about Dosh and how she's doing. We're both tough so hey we'll pull through this fine! Plus, they say that chicks dig scars...I'm sure dogs dig scars too! Just look at this nice scar Dosh got! Bad ass! :D

Bad Ass Scar!

School's been going alright. Still getting used to the new school and everyone there. Guess it can't be THAT bad considering it is my last year here. But of course cherishing every bit of it as I go. (You know you're a true handicap when the first thing you see on a map are the accessible spots :P Yay for speeding down the ramp yelling "OUT OF THE WAY FRESHIE" lol :P ) My schedule is still a mess but hey less of a mess than before so I'm happy. Hopefully this schedule will set me straight for at least the rest of the semester so I can actually focus on more important stuff. (Like grades and college applications? Oh boy...applications... :( )

My schedule (as of Aug 27th):

1st Semester:
Honors German IV
Study Hall
AP Literature
AP Calculus
American Government

2nd Semester:
Honors German IV
Study Hall
AP Lit
AP Calc

So guess I can't complain about the schedule? Haha. Tennis is going quite well, didn't win my match today but hey it's a good thing. Now I know what I need to work on plus next two days will be full of tennis so no worries! :D (Our school was invited to another high school for a tennis tournament Friday and Saturday. Can't wait!- Can't wait for the missing school "legally" thing either, ha!)

On a side note, saw the NJROTC guys having their uniform inspection on Wednesday, sure reminds me of my old JROTC days. Which I might add, one kid's uniform was completely out of regulation, I had the biggest urge to roll up and yell at him but I didn't. I probably should have lol :P

Good Old JROTC
Good Old JROTC

Shout out to Michael, another JROTC nerd. Trust me man, if I see that kid's uniform like that again, I'd be sure to chew him out, ha! :D

Monday, August 24, 2009

First "Official" Week of School

Today in school, they had all the seniors meet up for a presentation. The presentation was what you'd expect, telling all of us the year ahead, what to look for, and of course "be smart and make good decisions" They are really cracking down on the seniors who choose to challenge the rules and "have fun". So hopefully this year I won't make silly decisions and compromise my diploma :P

Thank you to all those who continues to ask about Sean and how he's doing. He is doing well and while the treatment is still going on, he's still got his smiles, laughs and random quotes from "Cars" and other Disney movie. Scans were done after the surgery and looks like he's in the clear! Just hope with this treatment, he will be in remission soon.

Quote from doctor's notes:



On the business of school, everything is going well. I'm still trying to get used to a new school setting and hoping that my schedule is finally fixed. Never had this much trouble before but hey, guess there's a first for everything! As the first "official" week of school, I guess everything is going well. (Or well as it's expected?) Just the same with a new school I guess, people staring at me while going to class (their first time seeing a wheelchair or something? Was it my hair? Hmm...), people staring at me while in class and so on. Nothing I'm not used to for years now, just happens I guess.

What you looking at?!?

I've also come to believe that I may be the only Army brat in the entire school. In AP Literature class, we talked about how the books relates to our personal life. As I was relating it to my life, I can tell that my classmates are thinking "holy cow...what a life..." or something like that. Even at my first tennis match, as parents were pouring in to see their kids play, bits of me turned into that little boy wishing for my Dad to show up and watch me play. It was my first match, my first take at tennis. Then I realized, I've been through this. This wouldn't be the first match of any sport that he missed. So, oh well. (I kind of laughed to myself when I also realize that Dad was watching me play football the day I got hurt. Karma? Haha.)

Now tennis, I must say when I wheeled on that court, people on the other team looked at me like "what's that spectator doing on the court?" and when I got into my tennis chair, they all looked at me like I was nuts while probably thinking how weird the chair looks. Even as I was warming up, eyes were practically glued to me. I bet none of them realize that we cripples can play sports. And I bet none of them realize they just might get to play a cripple and get beat by one too.

Coach pulled me aside and asked if I was ok. "Ya I'm good" was my answer and I wasn't lying either. I guess in a way, I'm used to the people and what I called "curiosity of the eyes". You should see the guy's face when I rolled up to the court. There was a lot of confusing eyes going on and with questions and what not (good thing Coach and I read up on our USTA wheelchair tennis rules) but I'm glad coach handled it so well and the other coach was so chill about it. Guess people just need to get used to the idea that standing tennis and wheelchair tennis belong in the same Federation and rules are all the same. (Look at the USTA/ITF wheelchair rules reference for more details)

Now the game itself went pretty well. I lost the first set to my opponent. Guest I just needed a "warm up game" if you will because over all, I won the match. (I'll get the scoring one of these days. Right now I just play and listen to my fellow teammates/coach, ha!) First game, I won, so hey I guess I'm not THAT bad. (Or maybe the dude was REALLY bad. lol. Note: my goal for today's match wasn't to win, but to hit my opponent with the ball. I know it was one in a long shot, but it would have been funny. Too bad it never happened, haha :P) We'll see if I settle on playing singles or doubles for the rest of the year. There sure are loads of room for improvements though! (You should hear my coach yelling at me telling me to push my chair faster, it was hilarious.)

At home, things are basically the same with Dad gone. Mom's still planning the nursery while I help out around as much as I can. (Trying not to burn down the kitchen!) Mom managed to asked some co-workers to come over to the house this weekend so we can get started on the painting process. So hopefully by next week the paint job would be done! (Next we'll start buying more stuff/putting things on the wish list to make it look like an actual nursery! And yes, Mom's still serious about the wheelchair accessible crib.)

Mom's Dream Nursery

Well I better get started on all this homework. Thanks again everyone for checking in on Sean and the good luck wishes on my tennis match :D

On a side note: I got yet another postcard today. From my "best friend", the Army! Boy they really wants me to join, haha! Guess I'll be calling up a recruiter soon! Haha :P

Another note: I found out today that my school's football team is looking for more players. Now I'm wondering...WHERE DO I SIGN UP COACH? Ha

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Independently Dependent

Though this was at first a funny event and all my friends and I shared a good laugh over it on Skype. The entire situation made me thought about my life, my current and future life.

When I got hurt, a lot of people said I would never be independent again. PT (Physical Therapist) and OT (Occupational Therapist) can only teach you and show you so much. PT and OT can show you the ropes and with practice you can even "master" little things that will make your life a whole lot easier. But there is always a line, an extremely thin line that separates being independent and relying on others to help.

Yesterday afternoon, after being sick of sitting in my wheelchair, I decided to take a break and just lay down on the ground. Like I have said before, if you haven't lay on the ground for so long, the floor in your bedroom can make you feel like you're laying on clouds. So I transferred out of my chair and lay there on the ground for a couple minutes. Well guess I must have passed out because when I open my eyes again, it was hours later.

If you didn't know before, an uncle of mine (one that my parents didn't bother telling me about) showed up early Saturday morning and left a note for Mom. Yesterday night we were supposed to go out and have dinner with him. That was the plan anyways and well, I overslept. I guess Mom just got tired of waiting and telling me to wake up, so she left, without me.

By the time I got up and was about to get in my chair. I realized that my chair wasn't at the place where I left it. In fact, it wasn't even in my room at all. Still half asleep I texted Mom and asked her. She told me she "hid it" and I "will get it back" when she comes home. Crap. That means I am stuck in my bedroom with no way of getting off of the ground. Trust me, if you think getting from the floor to bed is that easy, it ain't. (Probably because I have never transfer from the ground to my bed before and trust me, there's a huge height difference) So after several attempts at actually getting in bed. I said forget it. I was getting exhausted just trying to climb back in bed. So laying and sitting on the ground, I watched and shifted my weight every so often so I wouldn't end up with nasty pressure sores.

I was feeling lonely, yes my dog was here but sitting on the floor and not being able to get in bed or do anything was starting to get to me. I felt like a prisoner in my own room. I felt like as if I was going to die there, the feeling of wanting to do something but can't because of a physical limitation it can really get to you and fast.

I told my friends, they laughed and when I added "I rather be grounded than this again." and one friend replied, "You are grounded...literally." The group of us had a good laugh about it. Ya I laughed with them but there was more hiding behind the laugh. Now, roughly 12 hours later Mom's still not back (and I would careless why) I was getting frustrated, maybe Mom was doing this to mess with me. Maybe she just want me to be truly piss off and think about the meaning of something. Anything!

But now, writing this blog, I'm not pissed anymore. I'm more glad than pissed for some reason. I thought about a lot sitting here on the ground. I thought about the true definition of "independent". I've always been an independent person, I wanted to try to learn to ride the bike myself. I wanted to hit the t-ball myself. Everything was "LET ME TRY FIRST" and never "can you show me?" After I got hurt, that fear of not being independent swallowed me whole. It wasn't until mid way through rehab I realized "hey it ain't that bad, I can still be independent, do things myself." and boy I was really happy about it. I can still remember pushing myself in the house that day I came home. I still remember trying to transfer into bed on my own without supervision. I just wanted to be independent because that is who I am and that's who I want to be.

And now I realize, though as much as I want to live independently on my own. After getting hurt "independent" just isn't possible anymore. The true independent was gone the day I broke my neck. I will never be able to live independently, but rather, live independently dependent. There will be times just like this that I will HAVE to ask for help. There will be curbs that I can't just "hop" on over. There will be times I will need help. And if you really know me...I HATE asking for help.

And with that, I hope that one day in the future I can find my other half. The person who not only will love me for who I am, for my stubbornness and the one who will challenge me more than I wish for. And when it comes the time, help me be independently dependent. Help me feel like as if I never got hurt and make me feel alive.

I sure hope that will happen for me.

There was also a few extra things I realized:

1. How grateful I am to be living in a country where wheelchairs are available for those in need. I cannot imagine living in a country when after such injury like SCI, you're pretty much done with life.
2. How grateful I am to have my parents who constantly challenge me to do more even though they know I already am pushing myself to the limit.
3. How the best friends in the world aren't often the ones to give you a hug and tell you it's going to be ok. The best friends are usually the ones that can laugh AT you and WITH you at the same time.
4. I am a quadriplegic, I am a survivor of Spinal Cord Injury, and I am a survivor of my worse enemy: myself. And though at times I lose the battle with this enemy, there's always ways to beat myself at my own game.
5. No matter how pissed I am at Mom hiding my chair, I'm glad she did it. Without her doing this, I probably wouldn't have thought about all this.

So Mom, thank you, really. And I'm not pissed anymore, just give me my chair back.

Well ok maybe just a bit edgy.
I love you Mom.

Dad if you can somehow read this, you should know that Mom said "If your Dad was home, he'd take your chair apart and hide them all throughout the house! So you should be grateful I'm so nice to you." It made us chuckle because we both know that's what you'd do.
Come home soon Dad.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is wrong with me...

As I said before...5 hours of sleep is usually good for me and that was the last time I slept. I haven't had a decent shut eye for a couple days now and yet I am still functioning like a normal human being.

Today was the first day of school and though there were some major setbacks of being the new student it was alright. My schedule was also messed up and will...just hope I can get it fixed before next week. After practice, I came home and finished my homework and study for my test tomorrow (yes that's what happens when you decide to take AP classes).

And now at 0330, I am not tired but sore from I don't know what and in major pain. Not a physical pain but an emotional one. Maybe it's the "date" coming closer and closer. Maybe it was the start of my senior year. Maybe it's everything but tonight, I'm in a bad mood. I'm sad that I can't get up off this couch to get a drink and back writing within seconds. I'm sad that I can't jump into my bed and truly sleep. Everything just seem so wrong...and I don't know how to fix it.

And the one man I can talk to about this is somewhere in the world, doing what he does best. I feel like a little boy again, wondering where Dad went and when he'll be back. I feel like a little kid again, sitting here crying silently so my Mom wouldn't hear me. I feel like a baby again, wishing someone to hold me forever and with a kiss, make the "bobo" go away.

I don't know why I am crying, but these tears flow like the Mississippi River and there ain't nothing that can stop it.

God what is wrong with me...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feel Like Writing...

After waking up at 0500 with 5-6 hours of sleep…I realized this is the longest I’ve slept in a long time. (I know what you’re thinking "What? 5-6 hours, only?!?" but really it’s good hours for me considering the number of hours I've slept total just this week.) I'm not exactly sure why I slept that long (maybe it was cuz of practice or maybe it was from recent lack of sleep.) but I felt like I slept for days when I woke up. I even went out and ran a couple miles, it was a great morning indeed.

Tennis practice was canceled due to bad weather and now I feel like writing so be warned, this may be a long post.

First order of business: Can't tell you guys how much both my family and I appreciate everyone who have been asking about Sean, checking up on him, and even send him get well cards to cheer him up (Thanks Brooke! :D) As you guys may or may not know, Sean’s surgery was on the 5th, after leaving ICU and back to his regular rooms on the 9th, he once again start on his 6 weeks chemotherapy treatments on the 10th (and yes, radiation will come later). With the start of tennis practice yesterday and school starting in less than two days, I feel as if I'm letting Sean down. The "I'll be back, be good" I said to him a couple weeks ago is still on my mind. This is a time when I wish I live closer to the hospital just so I can visit him. Since the hospital is two hours drive away (one-way) from post, visiting him on weekdays just seem impossible. Hopefully I can work out some schedule for weekend visits and truly hope he doesn't "hate" me for not showing up if I can't. So once again thank you guys for the prayers, the good thoughts, and good mojo for Sean, my family and I truly appreciate it!

With the PCS, summer homework, and Sean…I never really had the time to think how many days of summer I got left, true I keep a countdown clock (yes I know I'm a nerd) I never really paid attention. Two nights ago, for some reason, I decided to expand my college search. I was looking at both different majors for the colleges already on my list and even other colleges I can add to the list. That's when I realized…school is starting soon and that means, I'm a senior. Strangely just four years ago I was wondering when I’m going to graduate and get out of this "hell hole" and now with only a year left, I am wishing for time to slow down.

Unlike my civilian friends, I didn't attend one single high school and though making friends over and over again can be quite difficult, I found "fun" in this "challenge" and while looking at colleges, I'm thinking about my friends I made back in Freshman, Sophomore, and even Junior year. I'm wondering if they're doing the same and if they all miss the same thing I am missing; if they all wish for the same thing, for time to slow down so we all can cherish this one last time. Because really, before we know it, they'll be calling our names on graduation day and I bet we all would wish for time to turn back.

Strange how my brain works…

Back to the college list, I've extended my college list by one, adding University of Kentucky to the original list (University of Memphis, Ohio State, University of Florida, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and University of Colorado at Denver) and yes, Memphis, Ohio State, and Florida are still my top three. I've also extended the possible majors for the "just in case" of life. On top of Criminal Justice (which is what I want to major in) I’ve added these to the list: Systems Analysis Engineering (only available at Memphis), Language and Linguistics, Electrical Engineering, Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Services (only available at Memphis), Economics, and History. Guess you can never prep too hard for the "maybes" in life. Hopefully I'll actually stick with Criminal Justice till my senior year of college, but hey who knows right?

School starts in less than two days and yes I finished my summer work and reading extra books but really can't help but scream "SCHOOL’S STARTING" inside my head, call me a nerd but I truly, truly enjoy school. Maybe it's because of the people I get to meet, the classes I'm about to take, or just sort of a "distraction" from all the things going on in life. But really, I enjoy school, a lot. People have always thought I'm weird when I tell them I like school, but if you roll a mile in my wheels (made me laugh that I typed that without thinking) you'd know school can be a good "distraction" when your parent(s) is deployed. Both distraction and stress I guess…guess you can’t "win" at this game.

But at the same time, starting school brings back painful memories that I live with on a daily basis. The start of school reminds me of how excited I was starting football how I would find all the tapes possible and watch them for hours just so I can learn something from the players. Starting school means fall is arriving and that means football season is starting. And that brings me back to the day I got hurt. Don’t think I don't love football, I do, but that doesn't mean I don't wonder what life would be like if I never rushed the yards that evening. September 25th will be the third anniversary of my injury. They say the first three years is the hardest…and boy I truly hope they're right. I’m proud of my wheels, I'm glad I got a second chance yet…the day, the incident still brings me nightmares. Nightmares like you wouldn't believe.

Anyways, I’m done writing for now, lost my train of thought thinking about THE date.
Shall write more later on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Am Twitter Old!

Right quick blog before I go off to the store and pick up my tennis chair and go off to start my first day at tennis practice! :D

Back when I first started Twitter, if you tell me I'd make it past 4,000 Tweets and 100 followers, I'd probably call you crazy. Truly though, I didn't like Twitter before I got started on it and was only going to give it a "two weeks trial" then delete the account. And you can see, I "brought" into the Twitter idea! :D

So today, after a couple months on Twitter, I am officially "Twitter" Old! Got myself over 4,000 tweets and 100 true followers! No spammers on my account! I think I'm doing pretty well! In just these short months I've made some amazing friends and gathered many amazing facts/news just through Twitter. So really, this account is a keeper!

Awesome Stats!

Thanks for everyone who followed me and became my extended military family. You guys rule and my account wouldn't have make it this far without you guys. You guys rule! :D

Right now off to pick up my tennis chair and off to practice!
Have a good day everyone and thanks again! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Behr Saves Lives

So after many days of sitting around in the house wondering what color the nursery needs to be, Mom decided to finally go out and buy the materials we're going to need to start fixing up the nursery. Since Dad's gone, I tagged along to help as much as I can and I think one being her taxi. Now I like driving so I don't mind. It was actually quite fun.

Saturday morning, Mom and I talked paint swatches over brunch. As she sat there and talked about different shades of blue, green, pink, yellow, red I'm not going to lie, I dosed off into a strange day dreaming. I began to wonder why there are so many shades of the same color and why can't people just decide on a simple color and not colors like "Oh Brother Blue".

So, after brunch, we head out to Home Depot and when she saw the paint swatches, she couldn't help herself but asking if we can go to Lowes. We got to Lowes and she still couldn't decide on the paint. So her idea was go off to Baby R Us and Toys R Us to look at baby stuff then come back and buy paint. I agreed so we went to both stores. Hours later, we ended up at Wal-Mart. She saw the paint swatches and stood for hours thinking which one would be best.

Needless to say, we came home Saturday night empty handed. Well, not quite, we did get more paint swatches. So I guess that's a good thing?

Paint Swatches!

Saturday night while Mom was asleep, I was looking around for paint ideas and found a website that make me laugh. On many users can post paints and the looks of both exterior and interior paints. So when I saw these colors for a house, I laughed and decided to show Mom. Keep in mind that as far as I know, these are true paint and you can read about the article here.

Good stuff!

Is this awesome or what?

So Sunday morning before Mass, I showed those two pictures to Mom and told her we should paint the nursery exactly like that and she said. "You crazy?" :D

Then we both laughed, lol :P

After Sunday Mass, we went to lunch and then back to Home Depot then to Lowes and back to Home Depot again. That's when Mom saw this flyer. After she saw it, she smiled, I smiled and I knew YES WE'RE BUYING PAINT. FINALLY!!!

So, after a long weekend of not settling on paint, Mom finally decided on the color of nursery. If you look at the PDF file, Mom decided to go with "New Day Dew" and "Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue" for the nursery. Now that the paint situation is settled, we're going to start painting the nursery (whether or not we need help from my parents co-workers and friends is still up in the air) and so on.

After all this...let's just say that Behr saves lives!
Thank you Behr! :D

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Knuckles Tip #6- Hotel Life

Tip #6
For Adults/older teens: Hotel life
For kids/younger teens: "CAN WE CALL ROOM SERVICE PLEASEEE"

Life in a Hotel

A lot of the times, when you get on post, they don't have a house for you yet so most likely, you'll be either living in hotel or inn or some place not home. There really isn't much to tell you, of course you haven't live in a hotel before.

Living in a hotel is a lot like living in a house, just your entire family is in a single room. Think of it as...a "vacation" sort of. Your hotel room will be cleaned and maintained by someone else, you don't have to cook. (unless your parents do cook then that's different) I know what you're thinking "AWESOME!" :D And yes it can be awesome but there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. There are people living on the other side of the wall. So even if you yell "quietly" they most likely can hear you.
2. There are things in the room that might cost your parents more money to stay in so keep a look out for tabs and read what they say!
3. The shows on the TV may be limited and some channels you have to pay for it. I wouldn't want to see my parents surprised look when they discover you ordered 10 movies from pay-per-view.
4. Even if someone else cleans the room for you, your parents are still the boss and still want you to clean your "room" or spot if you will, in the hotel room.
5. DON'T break anything! Cuz yes you'll have to pay for it.

So that's pretty much it, sounds simple right? Well it can be! :P

To the parents:

If your kids are younger, living in a hotel can be an adventure and it is! Let us explore a bit but still stay within the "rules" of the house. Hotel life can be fun so let's make it fun!

If your kids are young teen/teen: No comments. If you're anything like my parents, living in a same room with your teen can be hell. Kidding! Same rules applies basically just try to let us have our own "space" if you will? That's be just awesome :D

Until next time, hug your parents and tell them you love them and have fun staying in the hotel! Go play with the elevators, they can be fun.


Accessible showers

If you're a disabled traveler like me, I'm pretty sure you already know what needs to be done to ensure that you have a wheelchair accessible room. Here's the thing, be VERY SPECIFIC. Some hotels might tell you they have wheelchair accessible rooms but it might not suit your needs. Generally I'd ask if they have wheelchair accessible rooms and showers so I wouldn't have to transfer in and out of the tub. Just remember to be SPECIFIC you can never be too careful. Plus, it'd make life a lot more easier when you actually get your hotel room.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brat Blues

I think I'm taking Dad going away a bit harder than others this time...or maybe like other times, the first few days/weeks are always the hardest.

As I get on Skype to talk to my friends, I hear them talk about their parents, how much they hate their Dad for not letting them go to the party, how much they hate their Dad for bitching at them, how much they hate it when...and it went on and on...

I didn't say a word. I sat there and listened to every. single. one of their "complaints" and said nothing. As I'm planning my weekend (Mom and I are going to go to Home Depot to buy some paint and painting essentials so we can maybe start painting the nursery and knowing my Mom, we'll probably end up at some baby store collecting items for her wish-list) and listened to my friends "complain" about their Dad doing so and so, I wonder how the hell I am keeping the urge to NOT burst right in their face.

And somehow, I remember what my Dad said to me before "Many times, son, people say things without thinking. A lot of us are that way so, just got to pardon their speech, and move on with our lives. Sometimes, best words are not spoken."

Right Dad, can't forget that. But I couldn't help myself but comment on what they're saying, "It's the little things in life you wish you can do/say at an impossible time. Makes me wonder why not do/say it while you still can." And really, I think they just brushed it off or didn't get it.

If Dad was here, I would do twice as much.
If Dad was here, I would help out as many times as I can.
If Dad was here...

But can't stay in the "ifs" better start now. Though I do wish Dad was here, it'd make a lot of things easier, specially make Mom feel loads better, happier too.

I think this is part of the brat blues...
And boy does the blues hurt.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Laugh at Cancer

Just another reason why I love my Mom. I don't know where she found these or how she came up with these but I got this in my email and thought I'd share it with you guys (My favorites are in bold):

"Hey Matt, honey, read this, it might cheer you up. Sure made me feel bits better. I love you and I'll see you at home.

You know you are a cancer parent when:

1) Kids with hair look kind of strange to you
2) You enjoy the drive at 3:00am to emergency because there aren't any other cars on the freeway
3) You can name all the equipment used on ER
4) You can dx the patients on ER before the Docs do
5) You hear a truck backing up and you think the IV is beeping

6) You are so proud when your baby finally gets hair!
7) You can maneuver a double pole with six boxes and a kid riding, on a tour of the hospital, and
8) make it back to the room before the low-battery alarm sounds and the kid has to pee

9) Your child's first word is a medical term
10) Your child's bedroom looks like a Toys R Us® store

11) You ask your CPA if bribe toys are tax deductible
12) You correct the doctors spelling on the chemo meds
13) You can read the doctors prescription word for word, and are asked to decipher it by the pharmacist
14) You get excited when there is a 15% off sale at the pharmacy
15) You have more meds in your cupboard than food

16) You can read your son's chart better than his nurse
17) None of the security guards on the pediatric floor ask for your ID anymore, and you're on
18) first-name basis with the operating room staff
19) Your child can easily pronounce "Neuroblastoma," "chemotherapy" and "coagulate," but has trouble pronouncing the state you live in
20) Your child uses Legos® to build "MRI" machines

21) A younger sibling identifies a nipple as "my port site"
22) Six months after treatment ends and the hair starts to grow back someone stops you in the grocery store and says, "I just love her haircut. Where did you get it done?"
23) When you send copies of this list to all your cancer-parent friends
24) You can reset the IV machines overnight, in your sleep, every 30 minutes without waking up once and still call it a good nights sleep!!!
25) Your kid wears out a pair of Nikes® pushing an IV pole around the hospital during BMT recovery

26) When you are thankful for steroids because there will not be turkey leftovers after the Thanksgiving meal
27) Your child is drinking a slurpee and looks at you with a big smile and says “ mmmhhmmm , mommy this taste like morphine!”
28) One of your kids looks at teddy bears on display and says” Mom, his pupils are dilated!”

29) One of your healthy kids says: “ Its not fair! I wanna be a cancer kid too!”

30) You really think this list is funny, when most normal people either don't get it or start to cry!

I love you sweetheart.

Maybe this makes me look like a bad person but really, I had a good laugh about it. Afterall, I laugh about my SCI why can't I laugh at Sean's cancer, right? :D

Wherever, Whenever, Whatever....

I remember when I got to elementary school, while some people wanted to be fire fighters, some people want to be police officers, I wanted to be just like my Dad. I didn't even know what he does just that he's in the Army and a soldier. And for that simple reason, I wanted to be just like him and because it seems so "cool".

Same thing when I got to junior high school, ya I love football and wish to play professionally but still, I wanted to do what my Dad does. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and I wanted to just be like him. It wouldn't be the first time I talked about enlisting and like a wise Dad and parent, he would tell me to get through high school, get a good education then "we'll talk".

Up to the day I got hurt, I wanted to be just like my dad. I wanted to go to BCT, to walk the path he walked before, to carry the rifle he did before (though I'm sure it's nearly impossible but hey one can wish) and even get yelled at by the same he did before. (another near impossible task but hey it'd be cool) And when I got hurt...I think those dreams haven't gone away, they just sit behind my brain like it's an impossible wish. And even then, I want to do what my Dad does. I want to be just like him.

Lately I've seen staying up rather late just so I could finish my summer homework for school. With less than a week of school left, it's really rush time. I'm used to my Dad getting up early for PT and sometimes, he even asks me if I want to tag along. But when I heard his footsteps way early this morning, I knew something was up but just chose not to say anything.

We had coffee together and sat around the dinner table to talk about things that's been going on. He talked about the real world, about people's view on this so called "disability" of mine and about doing what you love and enjoy doing. When he told me he's got a job to do, I know not to question and yet as I sat there and listened to him, I can't help but wonder where he's going this time and just when he'll be back.

Then he told me this time is different, I not only have to look after myself, my Mom, and even my sister inside of Mom right now. He told me this may be one of the biggest task I will ever have to handle and with school year about to start, it just adds to the stress. And like the Dad I know he added "knowing you, I know you can do it. You ARE my son."

Couldn't help but smile, geeze...Dads.

After Dad left, I decided to make breakfast for Mom just so we can have breakfast together. There was a deadly silent in the house. Maybe too silent because as I was about to knock on my parents' door, I could hear my Mom crying, sobbing, and asking why. At that moment, I wish I was a genie so I can grant my Mom many wishes and I bet one would be for Dad to be home.

Like I said, I've always wanted to be like Dad and do what he does. And if given the chance, I'd do it in a heartbeat. There is one thing I highly dislike about Dad's job, though. Simple words like "I got to go" or "I got a mission" and all we can do is hope that he'll be home soon. It truly is a double edged sword. In ways it's a good thing that we don't know where Dad will be going but at the same time, it worries Mom and me not knowing where he's going.

Wherever he's going, I just hope he stays safe.
Whenever he's coming back, I just hope it's before Mom's due date.
Whatever he may be doing, I hope he knows that Mom, the baby, and I are all thinking of him and missing him every minute he's gone.

I got it Dad, don't worry, I got it.
I love you Dad, come home soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Polite. Not Apologetic.

Sometimes, I wonder why I wasn't born years earlier, sometimes, I wonder why people around my age don't act the same way I do. I wonder if it's them or is it be that is causing the issues around the place and the people I hang around with.

I talked to this person just minutes ago and days ago, we were friends and somehow, I realize that soon she will become my worse enemy and soon, she can be a real asshole to me for what I've said. I might sound harsh here, and I didn't want to but this isn't the first time it happened. In fact, this is the third incident and truly, I am sick of it.

[01:12] TC: Wheels.
[01:12] Matt: yes ma'am
[01:13] TC: Come go to sleep with me. Lol.
[01:13] Matt: sure
[01:17] TC: Matt you're awesome
[01:17] Matt: thank you
[01:19] TC: Come lay with me
[01:19] Matt: doing math, sorry
[01:21] TC: Aww
[01:22] TC: You plus me minus some clothes divide the legs and pray to god we don't multiply
[01:23] TC: Lol.
[01:23] Matt: tc...are you drukn
[01:23] Matt: drunk
[01:24] TC: No just thought it was funny.
[01:24] Matt: i didn't found it funny
[01:24] TC: I'm sorry love
[01:26] TC: Are you ok?
[01:26] Matt: fine
[01:29] TC: I'm close to drunk, vulnerable.
[01:30] Matt: ain't nothing i can help with
[01:32] TC: Come here. Lol.
[01:32] Matt: negative
[01:34] TC: Damn
[01:34] Matt: and you tc, need to back off
[01:36] TC: I'm sorry i didn't know i couldn't joke sexually with you.
[01:37] TC: But whatever.
[01:37] Matt: not when i'm 1. trying to focus on math and 2. already said no. this isn't the first im i got from you
[01:37] TC: Whatever bye.

A short 20 minute and my mind is confused as ever. So I IMed the one adult I know that's online (since my parents are both asleep right now) and asked her. She told me, "You didn't do anything wrong. Especially if that wasn't the first time this has happened with that person. You were a bit harsh, but it seems like that what they needed in order to get the idea." I didn't want to be harsh but it's the 3rd time and I was beginning to be sick of telling her nicely. "And it seemed like it wasn't a hey I really like you kind of thing, it was more of a hey I think I can use you to fill a void kind of thing...You're perfectly in the right."

Yet somehow I have a feeling it's going to come back and bite me where the sun don't shine. Somehow, this person is going to find a way to judge me, to say shit about me, and more. My mentor said, "It may. She'll probably remember it and be mad. And she may be bitchy about it and try to get you back or embarrass you. Girls that age can be real assholes... I should know I was one. But the important thing is that you had already said it nicely several times, she didn't get it, and you stood your ground. I don't wanna sound all mom-like, but I'm proud of you. Most young men would follow their penis right out the door."

I don't do shit like that because that ain't what my parents taught me and that ain't me. And things changed after my injury, somehow, I feel as if breaking my neck made me grow up faster than anyone else I know. A lot of things changed and me, I've changed, a lot.

Soon my friend/mentor and I got into a short discussion about how to be polite and not apologetic. I think that is one of the many things in life that can stand on a so fine and thin line. I'm not going to lie, I don't know the difference and don't even know how to handle polite and not apologetic. Maybe soon I will. Maybe soon I'll be like my mentor and know the difference.

And yet...can't help but think to myself if this is what I've become. At least...if this is what others see me now. They see the chair and somehow, think of me as "easy" and "push over" as someone to make jokes with and the rest is history.

Sure don't make me feel like a person at all.
In fact...I feel like dirt as my heart aches with pain.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Goodbye ICU!

This will be a quickie since I'm supposed to be working on my summer homework. Last couple days I've been hanging out with Sean for couple hours at once while my parents take their breaks. He's doing quite well and no sign of PFS! Seems like he's slowly going back to his normal laughing and joking self but still plenty of naps in between the hours. Guess there is one more good thing about this surgery, he is actually sleeping! (Which made my Mom VERY happy, because she's been able to get some sleep also last couple nights. And happy Mom = happy everyone :D)

Tomorrow we will be spending the morning getting Sean out of ICU and back into regular rooms then after lunch it's off to driving back to post so my parents can get settled before work on Monday. (Of course we'll most likely be unpacking more of our stuff before I drive back to the hospital and stay with Sean.)

Still got school things to take care of so there will be plenty of driving the next couple days. Thank goodness for AAFES gas stations huh?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A What? A Chair. A Tennis Chair!

Back in the first few weeks of July, I had the great chance to try out wheelchair tennis. I was edgey about it at first but good thing I tried! (If you missed that post, read about it here)

With the summer coming to an end and school starting soon, I'm always looking for ways to get myself not only more focused on school but also more evolved with extra-curricular activities. If you know me, you'll know I'm big on sports and love playing sports even before my accident. So best way, duh, play sports!

So after thinking about it for awhile I've decided that I am going to try out for the school tennis team this year :D And tennis wouldn't be complete without a tennis chair. As mentioned in my old post, I emailed Mr. David Wagner and even got an answer on tips and which chair would be best. After some research I set tire out on a journey to convince my parents to help me pay for the new chair ("set foot out on" and "set tire out on"...get it? get it? lol :P)

After a long discussion, we came to an agreement that if I pay for 75% of the cost AND sell my old chair, they will help me pay 25% of the chair. And seeing how nice my parents are, they even help paid the extra 50 cents!

Quickie Matchpoint, new tennis chair!

So amongst all this chaos going on with Sean, the craziness of trying to finish up summer work, there is still happiness and excitement. Can't wait till this baby is delivered so I can start working on my tennis skills :)

Next on the list, sell my old chair!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beginning of A Long Journey

I think every military spouse, brat, family members, or even friends know what it's like to wait. We're "used" to waiting for letters to come in the mail, we're "used" to waiting for that email, that phone call or even a peek at the webcam just to see our love ones. I think waiting...well it's just part of our normal day lives. Well, waiting more than the average citizen anyways.

And somehow after years of waiting and hoping, you thought you'd be used to it. You thought you're used to waiting months just to hear that person's voice, just to see that person again, but it never gets easier. Never.

And while waiting in the military world, I have found that out in the civilian world, my patience can out last any of my civilian friends. I've also found that while waiting for someone, I hardly check the time. Maybe all this waiting in the military world got something to do with it, maybe not.

I'm going off on a tangent, anyways...

Sean had his surgery today, what doctors thought would take four hours, took nine. Every second of that extra five hours, I thought about what is going on in there, I thought and wonder IF there's anything going on. And every second waiting, I wish the doctors, the nurses would stop by and tell us the play-by-play. If only, if only right?

While waiting for Sean's surgery to be over, my parents send me to the Teen Lounge. They asked me (more like told me?) to try and focus on my school work. I have less than 20 days before school starts and though with everything that's going on, they hope I will focus on the my summer homework I've been putting off. At this point, I can tell you I haven't got anything done. My parents are looking for results, not hear about the excuses, but really I had no heart in doing anything. And truly, I refuse to work on anything that I'm not going to put my entire heart and mind into.

So I sat at the Teen Lounge and stared right into the big screen TV they got. Even then, time doesn't seem to have sped up. And for once in a long time, I've found myself constantly checking the clock on the wall, the time on my computer and even the time on my watch. Strangely...time floats by so slow when you do that and every second of it feels like an eternity.

Not even this HUGE TV could cheer me up/make the time zoom by faster.

Nine hours later, the doc finally walked out and told us the operation was done. There was a sigh of relieve from my parents and me. The doc said, "The operation went well. Took us longer than expected and there was more tumor mass than we initially expected but we were manage to remove most of the mass." I remember thinking WHAT THE FUCK DOES MOST MEAN.

Turns out, just because you remove the tumors doesn't mean it's completely gone. Sean will still have to go through radiation and maybe even chemotherapy to prevent it from growing and spreading. In ways...we're back in square one. But hey, somewhat of a good news, I'll take that. (Strangely in my mind I wonder if this is what my parents went through after my accident, after my operation)

The doc even had the "courtesy" of reminding us about Posterior Fossa Syndrome. Basically, it means that there's a chance that Sean might wake up a different person (make sense...since you're messing with the brain...) Supposedly, one out of five kids will suffer from PFS after surgery. If Sean have PFS (I'm hoping not) he might wake up and be fine right away but within 24-48 hours he might stop talking, walking, or even lose the use of arms as well. That sounds bad, real bad so we're hoping and praying that Sean won't show signs of PFS (Funny thing is, I can see Sean smiling and laughing thinking it's "cool" to not be able to walk, to be just like his cousin.)

So after a long day, we're relieved and yet, in ways, we're all still very nervous. Who wouldn't be? It is cancer. All we can do now is keep praying and hoping that Sean will continue fighting off this nasty enemy.

Our plans (for now):

Dad's going to spend the night in ICU with Sean while Mom and I are going to head back to the hotel. Dad hopes that I will finish my summer work soon but he's not going to "disallow" me seeing Sean just cause the work isn't done. (Sounds like a huge GUILT TRIP to me!)

Tomorrow morning Mom and I are going to spend some hours with Sean and we'll adjust the hours till Sunday when we'll drive back to post so my parents can be settled for work on Monday. As for me, since there are school events I must deal with, I'll be driving back and forth between the hospital and home until school starts.

Going to be pretty interesting/eventful for the next couple days. Hopefully everything will turn out just fine.

Big shout out all my friends all over the world who've been asking about Sean, praying for us, and sending good vibes our way. You guys rule, wouldn't know what to do without you guys.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Run to Anywhere

This is going to be a quick one because I'm supposed to be unpacking my stuff from these boxes but I need to write. Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech changed the world. And I can say, truly for all the people with disability we all have a dream. But this dream, isn't one. It's a wish. Difference between dream and a wish? Most of the time, wishes don't come true.

I wish that one day, people notice me NOT for my wheelchair.
I wish that one day, people would be THANKFUL for EVERYTHING.
I wish that one day, people would think before they speak.
I wish that one day, there would be no need of speaking of "accessibility" because EVERYWHERE is accessible.

Now, a lot of people write for a purpose, whether they like it or not. It might be an essay for school and they drag on to finish it. It might be a letter for a love one thousands of miles away. But we all write for a purpose. Me....I write to cry. I've come to the realization that my words replace the tears. Funny in ways that society believe "men shouldn't cry" and truly, I am no fan of crying. It shows weakness and more.

So words replace my tears. And that, just may be why I write.

As I am was unpacking, I found my old football stuff. Some trophies, my helmet, and the pigskin from that night's game. I had the sudden urge to run out of the house and truly run. Run like I used to on the football field and run like Forest Gump. Just. Run. And it won't matter where.

Then it hit me.
I can't.


You know what would be nice? A run.
A nice run to the PX.
A nice run to the Commissary.
A run to anywhere.


Had a busy day today. Drove back to post earlier this morning so I can "supervise" the movers that are moving our stuff back in the house. Wasn't nothing fun but needed to be done. It went well...only one box dropped and hopefully nothing too damaged. After the movers left and my Mom got home from work. I drove her out to the hotel they've been staying at and helped her move my parents' stuff back in the house. Dinner we went out to this nice Italian place, it was pretty good. My parents and I talked about what's going to happen within the next few days.

My parents are both going to take Wednesday and the rest of the week off so we can all drive up to the hospital and be with Sean before, after, and during the surgery. We'll be rotating the watch hours so Mom (who's now 27 weeks pregnant) can get the rest she needs, Dad can get some sleep that he deserves, and of course, I can get away from it all to finish up the summer work I have been put off for awhile.

After dinner, we went back to the house and managed to unpack a few boxes. Dad got the TV hooked up (no cable/internet yet) so while my parents are finishing up a movie. I thought I'd update on what's going on.

Funny today have been so eventful and busy, there was one person that I could not get my mind off of. Sean. Before I left the hospital, I told him why I needed to leave and that I would be back before his surgery. The look on his face was about to tear my heart apart. And throughout the day I'd be wondering what he was doing, how he was doing, and whether or not he's feeling well. (Or even if he's giving the nurses a hard time)

And right now, at 0040, my mind automatically went into a countdown mode. 32 more hours then Sean needs to be prepped for surgery. In my mind I can hear this and it's making me nervous. It's making me wonder about what's going to happen, what might happen. And all of it it's running through my head like a movie...

I think I'm more nervous than Sean is.
And in ways, that scares me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Everyday Warriors

I love it when Sean is feeling somewhat good enough to laugh and smile at shows such as "Veggie Tales" and even watch his cousin goof off by pretending to fall over in my chair doing a wheelie. (Don't worry, I won't actually fall. I like scars but rather not get any more on my head :P)

I love it when he asks questions that have nothing to do with what we are doing or watching. The unexpected "I CHALLENGE YOU" and "Do you like Goldfish?" statements and questions make me smile. And truly get to see the true side to this 5 year old even when he might not be feeling well.

I love it when he unexpectedly gets up and dance to the country music I'm playing and ask me if I want to join him.

I love it when out of nowhere, he ask me if I want to do homework with him. If it's ok for him to learn math and spelling. And if he can watch "the funny cartoon" that taught him so much. (School House Rock)

I don't think there is anything that he does that I don't love. Sean had a rough night last night crying from the pain and asking for his parents. Took me awhile to get him to settle down and sleep but finally got him to go to bed around 0500. Maybe it was just me, but I think he whispered "I love you and God and everyone" before he fell asleep. Priceless moment.

Before long, Sean jumped up in his bed and asked to watch "Veggie Tales". He even told me if I don't watch "Veggie Tales" with him and listen to God then I'm a bad boy. :P

I often wonder how can something but so hunting brought such joy in the same time. And looking at Sean and the kids on this floor who are all bravely fighting cancer, I know it's possible because of the kids innocence, they're will to fight on, and of course, be a kid all at the same time. I think that's what makes them warriors. Everyday warriors.

As I am writing this, Sean is marching in place and saying "YES SIR" Can't help but smile at how focus he looks right now. And how much he looks like his Dad and a true Devil Pup.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Keeping a Promise

After the event last night. I figured that my parents drove back to post and managed to either reach my aunt and uncle or email them the news. Because this morning, I woke to an email from my Aunt saying she have internet over in Iraq and that she hopes I can update her every single day on how Sean is doing. (And of course will try to reach my uncle at the same time, who have limited internet and calls in Afghanistan.) She thanked me for writing my blog so she can see how I feel. She thanked me for taking care of Sean while she can and ended the email with an inside joke.

I wrote back and said I would do my best. And hope that both her and my uncle would try not to worry. But think about matter where you are in the world, no matter if you're deployed or not, you will still miss your little boy and worry if he's feeling okay, if he's eating, and more.

So in trying to keep up with this "promise" I made to my aunt. I will try to update this blog every day. (I am currently trying to make a new section for Sean so people can go there to read the posts. But looks like Wordpress doesn't allow different posts at each section. So it will be harder for people to keep track of the date and so forth. For now, I will just continue to write under this blog and hope I can come up with something soon.)

Last night was fairly decent, my parents, Sean, and I saw X-Men Evolution with Sean (his top choice!) and before long, he was worn out. I had the chance to go out for a run earlier this morning and grab a bite to eat before Sean woke up. It might be the feeling and worry of surgery but Sean have been pretty clingy all day. Majority of the day was laying next to me and watch me work on my laptop. He didn't feel like doing math like he usually do and he didn't feel like playing Wii. (Of which I wonder if there was something I am doing wrong?)

Looking at him I could tell he missed his parents. After gathering up papers and pencils, I managed to get Sean to draw out cards and helped him write a few words that are going to be send to his parents. We even got on the computer and custom made a couple cards that is already send to both my Uncle and Aunt.

Even with the excitement of writing to his parents, I could tell he was not feeling good. And before I sealed the drawings in an envelope, Sean asked me.

"Cousin Matty, if I die who will take care of Mommy and Daddy?"

Breaks my heart to think that a 5 year old, whose life is only supposed to start is already asking about death. I did my best and reassured him not to worry about that right now because right now, making cards for his Mom and Dad was more important.

By the way he whispered "Ok" I could tell he didn't believe me. I could tell he wanted to ask more questions but instead, picked up the paper and wrote "I love you" for his Mom.

Sean's a fighter, a joker, and a brave kid. And truly, every minute, every second of my day have been hoping and praying that he will continue to fight. And in the future, share his experience with others, make jokes and laugh about something that once threaten his life. If anyone can laugh at cancer, I believe Sean can.

And before I end this note, something quite small yet funny from our own little hero.

Sean: "What's that?"
Me: "I'm writing see? About you, see your name there?"
Sean: "Me? REALLY? I'M A STAR!"

lol funny kid :P