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Monday Update: 01/02/06

Happy New Year Everyone!!! We’re just hanging out in the family room watching FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL so I thought I’d write a little update. We are both mourning the losses of both IA and ISU (although I think the Clones played much better than the Hawks…but that’s just me). We are both all decked out in our IA gear today, but alas, it wasn’t enough for the Hawks to pull out a victory. Matt is wearing his new IA t-shirt, sweatpants, and socks! (If he had IA underwear, I’m sure he would have donned them as well!)

We had a great New Year’s. We spent most of the day downstairs watching…you guessed it…FOOTBALL! We also rented a few flicks which we watched as well, munching on popcorn and other goodies. It was a quiet day/evening and we were both pretty darn content to be lazily enjoying time together in our home. What once seemed like an ordinary occurrence now seems so much more special to us. On New Year’s day, we had a very, VERY special delivery. I hadn’t written anything about this on the blog as of yet, since Matt likes me to read him my updates…but we have some very special friends who ‘stole’ Matt’s Trans Am and gave it a major facelift. Matt has wanted to repaint his TA for some time now. The paint was getting brittle and it was starting to get some superficial rust in some places. Our good friend Jay bought his own body shop this summer and together he and Matt planned to tear into the car this fall. Well, with Matt being out of commission, Jay expressed his desire to take the car and paint it FOR him as a surprise. Jay, and our good friend Larry, came and took the car down to Jay’s shop after Thanksgiving….and they (along with several other friends) spent the passed several weeks working their tails off day and night to strip the paint, fix any bug-a-boos in the body, repaint it, and put it all back together. This was a HUGE secret for me to keep and I worried Matt would want to see the car when he came home. Sure enough, he asked me Christmas weekend if we could go out and see the car in the garage. I told him that Jay took the TA to his shop to store for the winter so I could park both our daily drivers in the garage. He seemed to buy it, although he was pretty appalled that I allowed JAY to drive his car!!! HA! Well, little did he know the work that was happening to his baby. Yesterday Jay, Larry, their wives, and Matt’s family came over to witness the delivery. Matt was so confused!! He was wondering why everyone was just ‘happening’ to stop by to visit that day! When Jay pulled in with the car, we all went out to look at ‘the new car that Jay had bought’. Matt didn’t want to go outside…he didn’t care about Jay’s new car. I told him to trust me, that he would want to see this car. At first he didn’t recognize it as his own car, but once I pointed out the personalized license plate (1 BD TA), he started to realize what was happening. Then the shock, amazement, and gratitude spread across his face in waves of smiles and tears.
Matt’s ultimate dream would be to paint the car blue and redo the interior to white…but I had always thought it would be better to keep it white on the exterior, with the blue interior...less money, effort, etc. Well, Jay and I decided to go with white…knowing that it could be a long time before Matt would be able to work on changing out the interior. Jay picked a gorgeous white…it is SO bright! He also got Matt a different hood for the car so he could keep the old one and hang it up in the garage. The old hood has the Trans Am ‘Screaming Chicken’ hand painted on it and he thought it would be a shame to paint over that, so it will become décor for Matt’s garage! Matt was so very touched by the incredible display of love and friendship shown to him by these guys, he was just speechless. I teasingly asked him if he still wanted to paint it blue, and of course he said no…it’s just perfect. (He also said that now Jay and Larry can drive it any time they want!) HA! He is still in shock that they did it…and that we were all able to keep it a secret! They still have a few touchups to do, but Jay wanted to give it to Matt so badly that he brought it over anyway…knowing they can fix them later. I’m not sure that Jay and Larry, and all those other guys will ever know just how much Matt was touched by their surprise. He is still in shock about it. He was so choked up…and is now realizing more what was made clear to me early on in this experience with countless acts of love and kindness…we are incredibly blessed with the most amazing friends. In good times and bad, we can count on them. I truly believe people come into your life for a reason…and I could never have known clear back when I was 11 and first befriended Jay at church camp, that one day he and Matt would become friends as well, and that their friendship would grow from there. While Larry only came into our lives a few years ago at one of Matt’s jobs…theirs was an easy connection as well and their friendship has continued long after Matt quit working there.

Their act of friendship will be remembered for the rest of our lives, especially each time we venture out into the garage and take the baby for a spin. (I think we’ll be hanging out at Porky’s drive in a LOT this summer!) I also have no doubt that the car being repainted is just another thing to get Matt even more motivated to get better so he can truly enjoy it. (I watched him doing stretches with his right hand last night…and he said he wants to get his hand working better so he can work on the car this spring.) I just pray that his progress continues and he can do all those things he longs to do this spring/summer.

He has been doing really well here at home though, and he is improving on the stairs all the time. We went down and up them 4 days in a row and each time I had to do less and less to help him. I know the practice is helping to make him more and more confident and we are both getting better at knowing what to do. I am very pleased with how he is doing, of course Matt will not be satisfied until he can do all he could do before. I just keep reminding him that this is going to take lots of time and to be patient. Did you ever see the movie Galaxy Quest?? Here is my motto for Matt from that movie – ‘Never Give Up, Never Surrender!’

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