Saturday, August 27, 2011


Over four years ago, Derek started dating a girl, Krystina Dressler, who was two years younger than he was.  He was 17 at the time, and she was only 15.  At first, I thought she was a little young for him.  I looked at her a little cautiously, and wondered if she was good enough for my boy.

Over the years, she not only proved that she was good enough for him, but she exceeded my expections exponentially.  She puts up with all of his nonsence and loves him anyway.  Derek is sweet, lovable, sensitive, passionate kid, but he is a pain in ass.  He can drive you crazy, as Krystina knows best.  All I have to say is that two IEDs does not surprise us in the least.

Derek is not only loved immensely by his own family, but my Krystina's family as well.  He was welcomed into her family as one of their own.  It is wonderful that these two kids have brought two familites together with such unity and love.  Many inlaws do not share that bond.

When this accident happened, Krystina was, of course, heartbroken.  But then she said, "sometimes we do not choose our path in life, pur path chooses us."  She turned 20 years old on August 18th and she wise beyond her years.  There are so many who have walked away from people they have claimed to love because it got too much for them, that evidence is all over Walter Reed Bethesda as well as in the rest of the world, but this girl is strong as rock.

Krystina sits by Derek's bed for hours simply watching TV.

She left school temporarily and quit her job so that she could stay by Derek's side and help him get well.  She is not yet on orders, and I am his POA, so I cannot leave her here alone, no matter how responsible she has proven herself to be.

Krystina does whatever needs to be done to help Derek.  Whether that be to help suction or anything else, she is not squeemish at all.  She is even talking about switching her course of study to nursing.
What is really upsetting to me is that as much as this girl has stood by Derek's side and has been a source of strength for him as well as for me not only over the last five weeks but the last four years, a group of people who do not know her, and do not even really know Derek, tried to convince her to leave.  Although it is several weeks later, it still upsets me because she is still upset about it and this girl does not deserve that. 

Although it was couched in terms of wanting to do what was best for her and saying that maybe she shouldn't be burdened with someone who would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life (which he will not be and I will thank you to get out and never come back if you are going to have a defeatist attitude), that is her decision and her decision alone, and it was not the time.  Emotions were raw, Derek had not even woken up, and how would it be for him to wake up and the one person he really wanted to see to not be there?  What would that have done for his will to live?  Since he has woken up, he has really only wanted two people on a continuous basis, Krystina and me.  He has asked for others sporatically, but on a daily basis, he asked for the two of us. 

These people wanted her to leave, or wanted her to "do what was right for her and leave," and once again, it would have been left to me to tell him that someone he loves has walked out on him.  He has had people leave him all his life.  He doesn't need the one that he loves most leaving him at a time like this.

The other night I fell in love with her all over again.  Derek was so sick.  He vomited over and over.  I stood beside the bed with a cloth, wiping his face while the nurse applied cold compresses to his head, but Krystina held the pan under his chin and suctioned his mouth.  Sometimes, it was only Krystina when there was nothing for the nurse and I to do.  This went on for an hour.

Many of her facebook posts are dedicated to how much she loves him, how proud she is of each litte accomplishment, and how good their lives are going to be once he gets better.

Last night Derek told her by pushing letters on a board that he would get better for her, then he stroked her face and told her he loved her.  This is true love.

He is so lucky to have been blessed with his angel, Krystina Dressler.  We all are blessed to have her in our lives.

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