I flew into Boston on a midnight flight. Home at almost 2 am.

I sat in the quiet with him and sipped a bourbon.

I feel like I've been gone all summer, I said.

You have, he answered.

The next morning the youngest two each awoke surprised to see me here. It was the best day all summer. Both of them squealed and hugged me as tightly as they could, at my hip and under my feet the whole next day. It was beautiful.

These last four weeks were long. More than long, really. Things are heading in a good direction, my mom is healing and recovering slowly. The effects from the brain injury are small…. she has regained balance and mobility, is talking, reading & writing. There are things to work on…. but we do expect her to make a full recovery in the next year. The doctors tell us spontaneous recovery from brain injury occurs in the first 3-6 months (think of this as regenerative or healing recovery) and the remainder of the year is recovery through therapies (speech, physical, occupational). As a daughter, I can tell you the most important part is that she is herself. I cried when I saw a picture of her holding my new nephew, born just 2 days after I left, looking into his face with the same look I've seen when my own each arrived. We are so lucky.

It feels good to be home with my family, but things are not the same…. I don't suppose they ever can be. I think it's impossible to sit so closely to death, day after day…. sleepless, praying, wondering, hoping, without it all leaving some indelible mark on your spirit. And while the mark may not be bad, it is still heavy….. at least for now.

I feel grateful for where we are today, but rattled for the journey that got us here. I need some time to walk softly in-between then and now. It may be quiet here, I'm not sure really…… but in time things will feel normal again, I'm sure.

Thank you all for the comments, emails, and facebook messages during these last few weeks. The thoughts, love & prayers helped us all more than I can say. I have always hoped that sending light and love to people in need lifted their spirits in the hardest of times, now I know it can.

With Love,



31 thoughts on “home……..

  1. Your heartfelt post is a real gift ~ I am so happy you are home, so happy you were able to be with your mom, so happy you found these words. You are a real blessing ~ With love + prayers xoxo


  2. Welcome home. Your mom still has a long road ahead of her, but happy to her about the progress she has made. Will continue to keep her in my thoughts. Soak up the goodness of being home.


  3. Welcome home. What a gift you are to your family. No truer words could be spoken. I heard those words so often last year when I nursed my dying mom during the months it took the cancer to take her from us. We celebrated a whole lot of life as often as we could on the “good” days and helped her through the toughies.
    I look back on these days as the greatest gift of my life. It was an honor, a privilege and my greatest joy to help my mom through this. Those days are what get me through the tough moments of missing her.
    I share this, not for you to feel my pain, but so that you know that these days will forever change you, but they will not always be heavy. Knowing that you are a person who can step up is no small thing. I have many friends who I thought were much like me and have sincel learned they they would ask for the help of a nursing home through such events (which is often inevitable). I offer no judgment about what any person can endure. My brothers vacated my mom’s life during her illness. She grieved their loss … your mom will have the knowledge that you were there by her side. You stepped up. You returned the favor of her raising you. You are a gift. Remember that. I guaranty that it is no small favor to your folks. YOU are a great person.
    Welcome home.


  4. This wild path is ever sprinkled with light and dark, joy and sorrow. Be strong, find your strength…but strong is not a constant, neither is it the only way to deal with the heaviness of it all. You learn more deeply who you are in weakness, in the broken times, in the way you behave when you’re not strong, for its what it means to be human. Stop, sit, sip and write out all those inspiring things spinning in your thoughts and it will give you a list of things to be thankful for…to focus on. Take time, take it slowly. Take time to refocus on the beauty you see and feel. There is beauty outside, inside, above and below. Let the beauty shine bright enough for you to see, to focus on it.
    She who weathers the seasons of life does not merely survive, but grows fuller, wiser, and bolder with every new moon. There is no summing up of life; it’s too expansive and heavy for one’s shoulders. Just start where you are. You are here. You are alive. No one can possibly know what tomorrow brings, but you can dig deep into your now, and use the strong to take it all in and heal.
    Sending healing thoughts to you, your dear ones, your mother. ❤


  5. Stephinie,
    I am lost for words. I am so glad that you are home, safe and sound. Be easy on yourself and put your feet up! and yes, give yourself time. You need it after all of this, I can’t even imagine. hugs and kisses.
    Much love,


  6. So good to know you are back at home and things are fallings as much as they can back to normal. Here’s to the continued health and recovery of your mom. 🙂


  7. So very, very glad for all the good, for all the healing. Prayers for the continued healing of your Mom and also you and your family. I am deeply grateful for your good news!


  8. Welcome home. I am happy to hear that your mom’s recovery is progressing so well and so sorry that she and your family have had such a difficult summer to endure. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.


  9. I’m so glad to hear you are home and your Mom is doing better. I’ve been thinking about you off and on since I heard the news. Hoping she just keeps improving and improving. Sending well wishes to all of you!


  10. welcome home Stephinie~ I know it has been an intense and heavy summer, but I’m so glad the end to this story is a happy one. I cried reading this because it brings back the whole overwhelming load of feelings and fear that I am realizing I’m still holding just below the surface after having gone through a long term hospital vigil with my own mother earlier this year, as you know. just the other day I started writing a post about how it has changed me and how life has shifted for me, but I couldn’t get very far with it without feeling like I was suffocating. still. in fact just reading this post here and writing this comment brings back so much and I’m not quite sure how to sit with it. and it’s been almost 4 months since she was finally out if the ICU, and almost two months since she got home. it most definitely leaves a very very large and very palpable mark on your heart and on your world. I’m holding my mom close and am beyond grateful she is still with us. I’m so glad you can continue to do the same.
    much, much love from NC


  11. This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing these words…… you share so many of the thoughts I have had in these last few weeks. At the hardest of times though, I never thought of myself as anything other than a daughter who loved her mother. She would have done the same for me. I am so grateful to still have her……


  12. It has been a long hard summer for sure…. but it’s getting better. One little step at a time. Never in my life has Buddha been more helpful. I keep reminding myself to take one moment at a time, as it comes. One step, one breath. One step, one breath. Thank you for all the kind words and thoughts these last few weeks…. they mean so much! xo~


  13. Thank you so much. It’s been long and slow, but we’re getting there. She is home now too! It’s hard to be far away from her but I am glad to be home with my family….. and thankful for Skype and lots of phone calls 🙂


  14. Thank you so much Marcela! And thank you for the amazing package of goodies. It was such a gift the first few days I was home to be opening up all those treats 🙂
    much love to you…..


  15. I thought of you as I wrote this. In fact I thought of you a lot these last few weeks…. I am so amazed at all you shared during your moms hospital stay. I don’t think I could have done it. I kept a journal the entire time…. but I’m still not even ready to read back through it. It’s just too close still, I need some time and space in-between first…. as you know. Little steps. Deep breaths. And so much gratitude.
    much love right back to you~


  16. my mom recently read the journal I kept when I was at the hospital with her- there were many weeks she has no recollection of, and reading it was intense. being with her as she read it was most definitely intense, surreal even. crazy times. SO glad that you are back in the world of canning and beekeeping and being able to watch the beginnings of fall with a lighter heart and fewer worries.


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