The motto of the 10th Mountain is "Climb to Glory." We have adopted that as one of Team Derek's catch phrases. I have signed off with "Climb to glory" many nights. It has new meaning for us now.
I have been waiting for the words, "He is out of the woods" to come out of Dr. Purdue's mouth for over 100 days. Dr. B said them to me in an email yesterday in a beautifully scripted fashion that is so his style, and I love and admire Dr. B. But I still wanted to hear it from Dr. Purdue.
Today, he told me that the last three months were the hardest on me, but now that Derek is finally out of the woods, the next three months will be the hardest on him.
Those blasted woods are a memory. Soon they will be a distant memory. They are in the rearview mirror as we make the journey up the mountain of rehabilitation as Derek rebuilds what he once was.
Derek has a long, hard climb through rehabilitation, but he is a fighter. He will Climb to Glory. To the top. All the way.
We were told later in the day that in the beginning, when Derek was the sickest patient in the hospital, he was the last patient this doctor thought about before he went to sleep, and the first patient he thought about in the morning. He didn't know if he would make it. Look at him now. He beat the odds.
An army brother, Matt Brewster visited and told him that the explosion was so loud it was heard from a long distance away. I heard only part of the conversation about what happened that day. I am not there yet. I have the narrative. I have snippets of other information. I have handled all of the medical decisions, the sepsis, the many times he was on the verge of sepsis, the respiratory distress, etc. I don't know if I can handle all of the details of that day - July 23, 2011.
This morning, SSgt Kenneth Keith and his gorgeous wife Meggan came and spent the morning. Ken hadn't even gotten home. He came from the airport from Afghanistan to see Derek because he missed him so much. The wheelchair races had us rolling in the aisles.
Meggan brought us lots of homemade food, soup, soda, water, etc. Krystina and I do not get out to the food store that often. The one store on base is a little expensive so this gift is so very much appreciated. The home cooked meals will allow Krystina and I to avoid spending a lot of money on hospital fare. It's a blessing.
Tonight I had a rare opportunity to attend the Hudson Institute's 2011 Herman Kahn Award Dinner. I was on the fence about attending up until ten minutes before I left. I really was not sure about going. Boy, am I glad I did.
I had the distinct pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Shelby Coffey from the Newseum. He kept me entertained and educated me about various aspects of the media.
I also had the rare honor of sitting a few seats away from and at the same table as the award presenter, Senator John McCain. He is very pleasant and seemed genuinely interested in Derek's story. He listened intently to the answers to his questions and took my information. I sincerely hope he follows through and contacts me and comes to visit. These stories need to be told.
It was a wonderful evening. These opporunities would never have come my way but for Derek's accident. I am okay with that. I would gladly rewind and go back to my boring little life, raising my kids, working my job, and not trying to get this story told while meeting VIPs. It's okay.
But since this is the hand that I have been dealt, I will play it with a flourish and a real Jersey attitude. I may tick off some people along the way, but well behaved women never made history or changed the world.
Now it's time to get some sleep. I think Dr. Dimples gave me his cold. I will have to smack him for that tomorrow.
God bless, and remember - climb to glory!!!