Waking up very early this morning I stared out the window watching how beautiful the sun slowly brought light on to the Colorado mountains. The glimpse of beautiful snow top mountains and pillow soft clouds gave me a feeling of peace and happiness. Just then I remembered seeing the sign "God's Country" which really put everything into perspective. Though every year we have celebrated the Holidays with Family and Friends this year is starting off very different. Different in that as parents we truly understand and appreciate the meaning of being Thankful.
As I walked around the house waiting anxiously and knowing everyone was still sound asleep, I came to see that I could not take my eyes of my kids cuddled up next to their mommy. DJ had his Super DJ Blanket and his sisters Tiana & Kiara on each side of him. At that moment I was thankful knowing that our children were always going to be there for each other. I started to remember when I was younger and my 5 brothers would stay up all night watching movies and wake up to the smell of Turkey, Ham and Fresh Pumpkin Pie as our mom cooked a Feast for all of us! Those were some of the Greatest memories I want my children to have someday when they look back on there childhood. I then looked over to Kristen and found myself thanking God for bringing her into my life. This beautiful woman, wife, mother and best friend has helped me be a better man and I hope she knows how much I truly love her.
DJ is doing better everyday. At his last therapy his therapist said this was the best session he has had yet. His right side is really coming along. We have been working with him on stairs and he is walking up without assistance now. His speech is improving and is starting to put words together. How hard it must be for him knowing what he wants to say, but can't quite put all the words together yet. We keep hugging him and let him know that he is getting stronger and stronger every day. We have a lot of videos that are to help him regain his speech and practice with him every day. It's wonderful to hear him getting his words back. The other day the girls and him were coming down the stairs and he clearly said "Wait for me". We know it's going to take time and with a lot of love and support he will get every thing back. He has come along way in 11 weeks and the Doctors at his last visit were very excited and hopeful about his progress.
Kristen has recently been in contact with the parents of Jessie Hall who is a beautiful little girl that had a hemispherectomy and touched the heart of many as she continues on her journey. Her parents Cris and Kristi started The Hemispherectomy Foundation to help other kids and family's all around the world. Jessie's Grandparents who live in Wyoming, only a few hours from us, have dedicated acres of their land with Christmas trees that they are lighting for all the children that have had hemispherectomy's. Jessie and her parent's will be visiting during holidays and we are hoping to drive to Wyoming to meet this wonderful family that has done so much for so many.
Our family has a lot to be thankful for this year and are blessed to have all the Love & Support from Great Family & Friends. We will never be able to express just how much you helped us through our tough times and are Grateful for everything. You will always be in our prayers.
We have many chapters of life that we go through, some good, some bad. Some families stay very close and some seem to slowly drift apart. It doesn't mean we stopped loving each other, it just means we are all growing and adapting to our lives that may take us down different roads. In the end the most important thing to remember is that we are all still family and that is something very special. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! Have a safe and wonderful day with your families.
-From the Rivera Family.
"Once you choose hope any thing is possible" -Christoper Reeve