Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 1094 - May 28, 2011

As you all know, Kevin's ALIVE DAY is Tuesday - the day that he was left alive. The day that he was catastrophically changed for the rest of his life.

It's already been a rough weekend and I imagine the next few days will be even harder. I even had a long talk with Andrew's Aunt Jodi last night and we both cried for quite a while and we discussed the changes in our lives.

I am planning to take the next few days off from the blog and well...basically I think I am just going to cry and cry and then cry some more - maybe finally dealing with the traumatic incident that altered our lives forever.

Before I go though, I want to wish that both James and Andrew continue to Rest In Peace and I hope that Daniel continues his recovery process as well. My heart bleeds for your families. Truly.

I also want to post a tribute that I put together for Kevin, as well as his fellow comrades. This is a blunt, all out showing of what we have faced in the last few years and I want to advise that parents watch the video first before allowing children to.

I also want to thank all those who have served and are still serving their country. Hats off to you all.

I will be back Tuesday night.


Jodi said...

Wow. Thank you Les. Kevin and Dan and James and Andrew are ALL HERO'S!!!! No one will ever fully understand what those men and their (our) families have been through or are STILL going through. I cried with you last night for so many reasons. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. And thank you for allowing me to do the same. And more than anything, thank you for being you! An amazingly strong and inspirational woman and mother. Kevin has gone through hell and back, and he made it back because of you and Breezy. And Kevin, wow, he has come so far in his recovery. I know he is not the same Kevin as when he left for Afghanistan, but his recovery is amazing. I know he still has a long road ahead too. It was SUCH a joy to talk to him last night. I cannot wait for the day I get to hug you both in person!!
I know things are tough Les and seem hopeless, but please, stay strong and keep taking one step forward. Don't look back, look ahead. Thank God every time Kevin can hug you and give you a kiss. Thank God every time he smiles that beautiful smile at you. :-) I wish I could give Andrew just one more hug, just one more kiss, and see his amazing smile just one more time. But he is our Angel now. And he watches over us.
I am here Les, anytime you need me. Please know that. I love you guys!!!!

God Bless all our Veterans, Troops and Fallen Heros!!! God Bless their families too!!!!!!!! Thank you for all your sacrafices!!

Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Dee said...

I've been following your blog almost from the beginning, but seeing the pictures you put together really shows how far Kevin has come in the last 3 years. I continue to pray for all of you!

Jan said...

What a labor of love. Thank you Leslie.

Alison said...

What a lovely tribute video and it is amazing to see the progress over the last few years. I started following this blog on 'Day 42' and it has become a daily part of my life. Every night I read about Kevin's latest victories as well as everything that as a mother and caretaker you have to deal with, and it certainly puts things in a different perspective.

This weekend is about honoring our heroes and remembering those who have given so much for our country.

Thank you, Kevin. Thank you James, Andrew, and Daniel. Thank you to all those who have served.

And Leslie, thank you for sharing such an amazing story over the last few years. I cannot wait to see how far Kevin will continue to progress in his recovery!

I would love to see that last shot in the video -- the family photo -- posted here on the blog as just a still. (Unless is already has been and I've missed it somehow! In that case, nevermind.) It's such a wonderful photo.

Thinking of you this weekend. *HUGS*


Long-time RN said...

Thank you, Leslie for sharing this video with us. Kevin's recovery path has been beyond amazing. Thanks to all who serve and to the families who stand in steadfast support. Our thoughts and prayers to the families that have lost loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I too have been checking in on you daily since almost the beginning. I'm so grateful to you for sharing this story of your family. I think of Kevin daily, my 8 year old asks about him often and calls him "hero Kevin" which is so, so correct. Because of Kevin, my son has a name and a face to help him understand that freedom isn't free. Thank you to Kevin for that...and to Andrew, Dan and James...and to all of our troops, and their families. There are no words to fully express the gratitude.

Leslie, the video is amazing...heartbreaking and inspiring. I will share it with my 8 year old, because it is real, and it is important to "see" what sacrifice is...and what resilience and courage are.

Thank you.
Lisa in Cali

aggie said...

Powerful! Thanks for sharing this.
Thank you Kevin and all who have served in the armed forces - thank you for serving your country so that we can know freedom...

Hang in there Leslie and Kevin - love you guys!

karen said...

I was thinking about you, and how you've had to wear that smile, that I know you can do it face, for this entire time. While when you are faced with it, you just do it, it comes at a cost. Trust me, I know.

I hope you can cry and cry and cry and have the feelings you haven't had the time or the luxury of having until now. In my experience, taking the time to feel the stuff is the ultimate way to begin to feel better.

I ache for each and every soldier, and each and every soldier's family as they work through the pain and sorrows of war.

Karen in Vancouver

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kevin for your sacrifice and to each and every service member who gave so we can enjoy our freedoms.

I have been with you from the beginning - following your blog since day 1. I have prayed, cried, laughed with you. I have attended the puple heart ceremony. there is not a day that goes by that I don't bow my head for you and remember you in my prayers.

I know this is a bittersweet weekend and I'm sure the question in your mind is , "Why us?" You are a remarkable woman Leslie with a remarkable son, daughter, grandson. Life isn't how YOU would have envisioned it but what if? You have taught so many people so many things - the power of love, strength, tolerance, patience, much more.

I hope your weekend is filled with tears of joy and not tears of sadness...not tears of sadness for what has happened, but tears of joy for where Kevin is right now.

My thoughts and prayers also to Andrew's (and all the young men and women who did not return) family.....there are really no words I can write to make it better. Thank you seems so little.

God Bless our Veterans, our troops, and the fallen heros!

Thoughts and prayers Leslie,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the video. Although it is hard to watch, it really shows so many steps of Kevin recovering. Just seeing the pictures and remembering all the surgeries really makes you realize what all of you have overcome. It's still very hard to believe that he is where he is today. Looking back you would never know he would be like he is today, talking, laughing, and living the way he is. It just keeps getting better for him. And now he has a new little nephew in his life! :) He's truly a miracle and we are so grateful for Kevin and everyone else who serves our country. We appreciate all of you! The service members and all of their families who also go through every bit of the way with them.
Happy Memorial Day!
Take care,
Kathy in IA

TTG Photos and Design said...

Like so many others here, I have been with you since day one and still my heart broke all over again watching your video! I am so proud of Kevin and of you! You Leslie are an amazing mother!!! My THANKS goes not just to our troops, but to mothers like you all across the US, families like yours that made the impossible possible. Without you, Kevin would never be where he is today and that makes you a HERO in my eyes!!!
I passed you video on to my military family and hope they will pass it on and on and on!!!
Tina Dwyer, El Paso, Texas

Chris, PA said...

Kevin would not be where he is today if it weren't for you. God bless you both and may he continue to improve daily. He is a true miracle. Special thanks to all veterans past and present, troops and fallen heros. Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated.



Linda said...

Leslie and Kevin! Kevin sure has come SO far in this journey! You Leslie, show what the meaning of a loving mother is! I think EVERYONE should watch this is so moving and a wonderful tribute not only to Kevin, but all soldiers and their families! God Bless you and your family!

Valerie said...

I experienced both tears and smiles as I watched this moving tribute to Kevin. Tears because I am so sad that he has had to endure this pain and suffering, and smiles because he continues to amaze me. I am so darn proud of him for having the will to fight to live.

I am also extremely proud of you, Leslie, for being there through all his struggles and successes. He has been able to do this with the strength he receives from you.

On this Memorial Day, we remember all who have served, and continue to serve our country. My prayers continue to be with Kevin each day, and the other families who struggle with pain and loss due to war.

bearlythr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearlythr said...

I just dont have the words.
God bless all who have served and their families who support and love them.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you on this special weekend and sending prayers for Kevin and all of you...
Thank you, Kevin for serving our country!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog after Janet asked for prayers for you on Matt's CareNet page. I've been following you and Kevin ever since. You both are heros in my eyes. I know you would trade anything for your old life as an ordinary mom for this new life of extraordinary courage.
I am sure there are many more than you know that are thinking of you and lifting your struggles up in prayer. I hope it is some small comfort to know that you inspire so many. Love to you both, and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Kevin (and family) You are amazing, with strength I admire. You are a true hero, as your fellow comrades. We are the land of the free, BECAUSE of the brave. You've made such progress when others would have given up. Keep up the excellent work. I've been following, praying for your family daily and looking forward to see what God's doing next in your life. Thank you! Joslyn from PA

Anonymous said...

Leslie, you and Kevin are amazing. I have been following Kevin's story on your blog since almost the beginning. Your family is such an inspiration but I wish that no one had to experience what Kevin and your family has been through. Thank you to Kevin, Dan, James and Andrew. Their courage and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Julie H.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, this is such a wonderful tribute. Thanks for posting it.....
Memorial Day means so much more to me than it used to. Thanks to all our military. We remember your service and sacrifice. To the families that have had to suffer so much, We love you all....


Angie said...

Thank you so much Leslie, this was a wonderful tribute to how far you've come! So proud of you and Kevin.

hac091402 said...

Well obviously that video made me cry. Leslie...Kevin has come such a long way since in the beginning. You should be so proud. Take the day to just deserve it!!! Thank you for sharing Kevin's progress with the world...he truly is inspiring. God bless everyone that has served or currently serving. Hugs!!

hac091402 said...

That video made me cry. Kevin has come such a long should be proud. Take the day to just reflect and deserve it. I thank everyone who served and or currently serving. Kevin and all the service people inspire me for what they do. Hugs!

Leslie said...

Thank You for posting your video, Kevin has made amazing strides and a lot of his progress is because you are such an amazing Mom!! {{{Hugs}}} to all of you. Most people will never know the sacrifices that military families make.
(The other) Leslie

Jessica said...

I'm so glad you put several photos of Kevin before his injuries. It really drives home for me how much he has been through since I have only seen a few "before" photos. His smile certainly hasn't changed nor his mischievous spirit, that much is evident! He and you and Breezy, and your family have been such a blessing in my life. I'm honored that you share your lives with us and honored to read about such a remarkable warrior.
I've been thinking about you and praying for you all weekend. Did you catch the Memorial Day concert on Sunday night on PBS? I thought the actor portrayals were wonderful and certainly brought the focus where it needs to be.
God bless you, Kevin! Thank you so much for your sacrifice. The families of your fellow soldiers (Dan, James, and Andrew) are in my thoughts and prayers as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kevin and all who serve. Prayers continue for your family and all military families.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for your service

Pattie Matheson said...

I'm sure you've been told how therapeutic tears are, so I hope you "cry a river" and feel spent and a little bit lighter in your soul when you're done :)

The photos in your tribute remind us of posts & pics from before and illustrate many of the things you mentioned along the way. Seeing the wreckage of Kevin's truck, I cannot believe anyone survived at all.

I know I've said this before but I truly believe Kevin's recovery is due to the core of iron he inherited from you and it's clear Breezy has it too. The two of you have pushed, pulled, and embraced Kevin from day one. When I discovered your blog it took me two full days to catch up and the emotional impact was tremendous. Now I read it every morning, before mail, before Facebook, and before the news.

And now, time has brought Kevin to the point where he feels safe without you at his side. Now, it's your turn. Use whatever is out there for you. Call upon your friends to help YOU. There's a legion of them you know - friends you've never met.

Please know that I realize and appreciate how lucky I was as a military brat, wife, and mother. I try to "give back" thru The Patriot Guard Riders and Soldiers Angels, but it never seems enough and it does nothing for the families who suffer thru deployment after deployment, tho we all hope the PGR help the families thru the final ceremonies for their loved ones. I wish all of America realized what goes on inside military families.

Oops! I'm about to go off the rails here :)

I spent yesterday with my Dad, a WWII, Korea, and Vietnam vet. And in my quiet time I remembered Kevin, James, Andrew, Daniel and their families.

Grateful thanks and blessings to all.


tom said...

The event that happened to Kevin has altered your life but not ruined it. That speaks volumes about you and your family.

Real heros don't do what they did for honor, glory, or even thanks. Something had to be done and they were there and responded.

I think its a Ranger line " the only easy day was yesterday" Heres hoping you have lots of yesterdays.

Linda said...

Thinking about you the past couple days and Praying you are ok Leslie!

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog from Day 1 - what an amazing video which tries to help us understand your family's struggles. GOD BLESS YOU ! THANK YOU, KEVIN - wish I could help & make things as before--- T.