"Your feet didn't come in."
"I'm taking off my leg."
"Don't knock over my leg."
"It's a stump sock, not a hat."
"Where are my legs?"
On Wednesday, Derek was casted for his prosthetics. The feet were ordered, as well, and we were told he could stand on the tilt table with his right prosthetic on Friday at 1300 (1 p.m.). No go. The feet haven't arrived. Our target is now Tuesday at 1000. The left leg is going to take a little longer to make, because it is a bucket for the hip disartic. Hopefully that one will be finished by next week, as well.
Wednesday, Krystina and I were advised that Derek's squad leader had submitted our names for a ceremony honoring outstanding caregivers. We were told it is at the White House. Someone else said it wasn't. I guess we will see when we get there on Monday. I have to say, I am a bit excited. It's quite an honor.
At first, we were told Derek could wear a nice polo shirt. The dress is business casual. Last night, at 1715 (5:15 p.m.), we were called and told Derek needed his ASU - the new dress uniform. Are you kidding me? So this morning we made our way over to Building 62 at 0800. After waiting an hour for the late ones, we took off to Fort Belvoir to get fitted for the uniform.
Because a couple of us had early afternoon appointments, they had two buses to take us back. We made it back by 1300, but since the feet hadn't arrived, Derek just went upstairs to lie down. He is still working on that stamina, and I am concerned for Monday. He wasn't disappointed that he could not stand today. He said a few more days do not matter, and he really wanted the uniform! A non-profit paid for it, so it didn't even cost the guys anything! It will be in Bldg 62 for us to pick up tomorrow, and Derek's squad leader is coming up on Sunday to make sure the ribbons and awards are placed correctly.
A very annoying part is the beret. They did not have ready to wear berets, so we have to shave it and then shape it. Ugh. It will be an annoying Sunday!
But I am a bit excited for Monday, for many reasons. I am excited for Derek. I am excited that we are being recognized for the hell we've been through over the past six months. I am excited to be with the other families in such an atmosphere (however, if that one guy keeps saying "we missed ice hockey" like he did all morning, I will smack him! Once or twice was okay, but he said it at least a dozen times!).
Krystina is borrowing a dress from one of the nurses. It is a beautiful black dress, and I have an extra blazer down here that she can wear over it. It looks so good on her. I have my black suit with me from the meeting in DC with Jessica in October. We are ready to go!
Walking out of the hospital tonight a thought struck me. I talked to another parent on the way out whose son is still at the beginning stages. He is still looking at what he lost and what he can no longer do. Derek went through that, and sometimes he still feels a little down, but his attitude now is that this has opened so many new opportunties for him that he would otherwise not have.
The other guy will get there. Whether we like it or not, the future is coming for us. Some of us are dragged kicking and screaming into the future, and some of us run full force into the arms of the future with wild abandon. Whichever way is best for you, don't fight it. Things change, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad, but we control how we deal with them. I am tired. I am drained. I am ready for this journey to end. But I am still embracing the good and choosing to let the bad escape from my brain. It doesn't do me any good to dwell on the negative.
Look at all the experiences we have had that we never would have had. We met the President. Whether you are a fan or not, it's still the President and saying we met him is, well, cool. We met Leroy Petry, a Medal of Honor winner. We met senators and congressmen. Rodney Frelinghuysen, our congressman from NJ, visited three times! We have met Sgt Slaughter, Wee Man, Montel, Kansas, and other celebrities. We have met Generals and the brass from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, as well. We have also met some of the nicest and greatest people who just happen to be on staff at WRNMMC.
Continue your journey into the future. And remember, if you don't feel it, fake it until the confidence takes root. You can hide a lot of pain and insecurity behind a bright smile. So, smile and greet your challenges head on!
Climb to glory!
And remember, Friday is Red Day until they all come home!