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Saturday Update: 09/01/07

Well, we have all returned…the cat is keeping watch on his favorite perch looking out the front window, the dogs are snoozing beside each other on the futon, and Matt is relaxing in his recliner watching college football…all is right with the world. Well, at least in our little Karwoski world anyway! I returned home from my Texas trip Thursday evening…after a minor two hour delay, I finally pulled into the garage around 8:30. It was so good to be home, and yet so strange to come home to an empty house. Can’t say I’m a big fan of that. I was happy to go and pick up the animals Friday and bring them back home…the house just isn’t the same without pets. I know they’re a lot of work, and I do my share of complaining about them…but they just complete our little family. They were all SO excited to get back home, run around the yard, and snuggle up with me all night long. Friday night was a MUCH better night for me!!!

Matt’s fishing trip was successful in many ways;
They had excellent fishing…each of them catching numerous keepers, and they had 2 fish fry evenings! Matt caught the biggest northern (AND the only walleye), Jay caught the most northern, and Denny and George tied for the biggest perch. All in all, they caught a lot of fish…it is a Karwoski first to have 2 fish fries in one week and STILL have fish to take home!

Matt managed all the traveling obstacles…even though there were many challenges, and he is physically pooped from the effort exerted this week overcoming them…he did it. He used a public restroom by himself for the first time, he managed to go out on the boat daily (sometimes more than once a day), he maneuvered as best he could around the cabin, and he reeled in most of his fish by himself.

But more than anything, I feel so proud of him for putting himself out there and being willing to try. He hates to make a fuss, he hates to have to have help…and yet he allowed those three guys to be there for him…to help him, and to just be a group of guys on a fishing trip. I know that he had his moments of sadness, reflecting on how different this trip was from the last…and that the rush of memories from that last trip, mere days before his hemorrhage, can easily be overwhelmingly raw and bittersweet. I still have the picture of us and our fish hanging on my desk at work…it is such a good picture of us…and it can often bring tears to my eyes, these two years later. But even still, he tried to accept his limitations and adapt as best as he could. I know it wasn’t easy. I know it wasn’t always fun. But in the end he says it was worth it…and that is what makes me smile…and makes me love him all the more.

Matt has come a long way this past year…not just physically, but emotionally as well. He is trying to come to terms with the way life is now, enjoying things the best he can, even if it is not the same. It is an extremely difficult thing to do. It is easy for people to try and give you pep talks and be encouraging about the future…to tell you to put your nose to the grindstone and work, work, work…but it is much harder to actually swallow your grief and disappointment and move forward. I truly believe it is only through our faith and commitment to each other that we are able to move forward together, leaving our old life behind and working to make the most of this new and unexpected one. We are grateful for any progress that is made, and we are grateful for the many blessings we have been showered with…and we work very hard not to linger too long on thoughts of what could have been, and how things used to be. It is a daily struggle and some days are easier than others…but I am sure we will both struggle for some time to come. Our lives are monumentally altered, forever changed, and each new situation we are faced with challenges us in many ways. Right now, I am so proud of Matt for taking a risk and opening himself up to this fishing trip experience – and I am so glad to have him back home again!

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