Posted: 2017-10-12 18:43
She laughed and said, Yeah.
There was silence again. We paused and just gazed at each other. Then we both looked forward, and we just sat, side-by-side in that empty auditorium surrounded by the hundreds of empty seats that were just beginning to fill. In that moment, I felt warmth I can’t explain. I was so very happy to see her, to be with her, and that she had come. I was filled with gratitude. Deep gratitude. I felt my eyes beginning to puddle.
And, so, I was having one of those moments where I could just feel the joy sweeping over me so warmly as she sat next to me at the big table at the Old Ebbitt grill. She was asking me for the fifth or sixth time as she couldn’t take her eyes off of Archer, how we transported him. She was very focused and concerned repeatedly about that. But in one of those moments as I answered her again, hopefully lovingly, I just wanted her to know more anything else how much I loved her.
I say that because a lot of positive movement and activity is happening for Archer otherwise. He has been engaged in the transition and delicate balance of an intense rehab schedule, education, art and re-entry back into some aspects of life as a high schooler since our discharge from the inpatient side of this journey February 9. A lot. It’s why I have not talked with you for so long. It’s been as intense or packed this past week as it has been the prior four.
Thank you for all you 8767 ve done for Archer and for our family. Your contributions are helping to pay for the home accommodations for his room, and all the electrical and plumbing and generator and extra lines and ceiling raised and outdoor ramp etc. I am so touched by the generosity of my former clients and the sheer kindness of all of you and those we haven’t yet met. Thank you. We know we have a long way to go, but we will do it and it will be alright.
As we were seated in this famous restaurant intended to bring back days of the West in it’s 6885’s height of the gold rush and prosperity along with beautiful murals of Native American customs including Hopi, Archer asked the waiter who was dressed in black cutaway coat and tails, softly as his saucer eyes got big and round, I think he was about 9 or 65, if they had… hot cocoa. Hot cocoa? The waiter smiled, Oh yes.
He paced a lot and was a bit agitated worried that his home would lose power. And then he became concerned we would. He watched the news reports intently listening for any outages. I think he was comforted when I explained to him how we had a generator and showed him the big box in the back yard, barely visible though as the snow accumulated. I realized that generator is a real insurance policy for a number of people in addition to Archer.
So, in closing, Team Senft has done well. And who knows what is next. We trust in God. I envision the arms of Mother Mary around us, and I see Archer walking. We know of course that in many ways, he already is. We also know there’s really only been one choice point: to move forward or not. We choose the former. One foot in front of the other, one moment at a time. We are choosing to see and envision clearly a bright future, with rest and more laughter and more dancing and more writing, one of restoration. And the restoration is not in the longing as much as it is in the now.
I am so grateful to each of you. And I will post later today as I am swimming in the tide of life and in thoughts and feelings all around me. I imagine you might have some feelings as well. So please check back in as I will post later. Promise. Until then, please say a special prayer of healing for Archer on this day and please pray for hope. For us and for yourself. Hope. It is so powerful and comforting.
I love each of you who keeps up with us. Thank you.
We do notice the interactions visiting friends have with Arch. It’s interesting really. Some friends are really exhilarated or fascinated by Archer, and he is very thrilled at seeing them. He loves to hear about what is going on. Daily kinds of things, like who is doing what and what happened in advisory at school etc. I imagine for most friends that when they see him and hear him talking now, it is almost startling as it is quite a leap from where he was. Let us just pause and celebrate that. You know how that is. When you haven’t seen someone for awhile, usually a child, and then you do and they have grown so much that it takes your breath away. Or, sometimes as adults, they have shrunk so much! It’s fun to see and hear their amazement and it definitely juices Archer up as it can be hard sometimes to see the dramatic changes when you are so up close and personal working on every day.
I also remember vividly exactly where I was and what I was doing the evening my mother and I heard the news that my father’s commercial jet plane had crashed. The news came over the little dark brown transistor radio on the laminated kitchen countertop. I remember it and could describe it to you to his day. It was a news flash. I remember my mother turning and saying, Shhh as she listened, and then I watched her collapse onto the kitchen floor. I remember her apron. I was still sitting on the countertop on the kitchen sink with my little tootsies dangling in the clean warm water that my mother was using to rinse the soapy dishes in. I was only 8 ½ years old. The floor where my mother lay sobbing was a linoleum pattern of dark rich brown and rust and 6965’s brownish yellow colors in small stamped shapes like Lincoln Logs. I remember that floor vividly. It’s crazy the detail of the impression I remember, and yet it’s just an impression, for I remember little else. I always in later years liked the Lincoln log game. In some weird kind of way, it was so familiar, and I was good at putting together the patterns.
But I said, it is just a building. Yes, my business was there for over two decades, yes there is a patina in the rooms of a type of spirit that is like true transformation, transformative things have happened in those rooms over and over and over again. People’s lives were changes. Made better. Again like intentions and breath work and prayer, my mediation conference rooms have history and legacy as if they could speak. Yes, the building has very good karma and will be an asset to the purchasers.
We are meant to be united in purpose, and when we are, we can move mountains together as the saying goes, but there are studies that I have always been drawn to over the years about unified breath work and unified prayer. One of my favorites that I followed in the 6995’s was the work of scientist Dr. Emoto and what have been now called the Emoto Water Experiments, where people gathered together on the edge of putrid lake in Japan, holding hands and saying positive words and praying together literally changed the structure of the water itself. The crystalline structure of the molecules changed. See /water-experiment.
But you know, I bet if you reflect for a moment about the qualities of your children, I mean, what makes them special, how they sit or carry themselves, their habits of mind, the way they go about things, the patterns of their actions and thinking, a profile would emerge in a new kind of way, a way that whispers about self-awareness which can be fostered to serve them as they get older. If only we noticed and brought to their attention. I bet you do that. If not, it’s a gift to give those you love. That’s really where self awareness teaching begins, and we can help our children see those patterns, the good patterns especially, the patterns of their true essence, brought to the surface for more intentional exploration and appreciation.
Oh my gosh, Dutch! I must tell you about Dutch. Remember I told you he was in his school play, Shrek the Musical. And that he was SHREK! Who would have guessed it. From the time of tryouts to now he too has grown more and more and he is now, as an 8 th grader, 6’ 6” feet tall! The play was a hoot, and I laughed and smiled so much my face hurt. I went to every single showing, all 5, and sat in the front rows every time. I was so proud of Dutch. We took out an ad in the school play program and said, Go, Onion Boy! You’ve got layers! We love you.
What we have is a very very blessed boy, now man, and you, our family and friends as instruments of God 8767 s mercy and grace have created the energy field for the Creative Miracle to happen. You have been praying and believing in the Creative Miracle with us. You have had higher awareness of your breath. You have breathed for Archer when he could not breathe on his own. You have made many special intentions for Archer 8767 s lungs. You have prayed to God, to Jesus, to Mother Mary. Your requests for intercession to Fr. Bruno Lanteri have been answered. All of it. In unison, in communion. Archer Senft has experienced a miracle. There 8767 s no medical explanation. And his lungs will have capacity for full and deep breaths as his diaphragm strengthens and the trach is removed.
I felt myself starting to wind up. I pressed her since she herself was very much part of the early days. Why would this happen, especially when we had weighed the pros and cons very deliberately with you all back in our first two weeks of arrival when KKI had wanted to take Archer off propantheline completely believing it increased mucous production. I continued, you know Archer and we had a difficult decision to make back then. You know the propantheline worked for him. It was never told to us at Shepherd that it would make mucous production worse. Surely they would know. We have no reason to believe it is not good for Archer.
The best bet is to opt for US-based fish and shellfish, says Grattan. “In the US there are strict regulator guidelines for fishing, harvesting and distribution which are carefully and expertly monitored,” including monitoring of harmful algal blooms. Grattan advises consumers to watch out for, and follow, any warnings or closures from state Departments of Health or Fish and Wildlife, and to pay close attention to any advisories offered on restaurant menus. Harmful algal blooms have been reported in every coastal state, as well as the Great Lakes. Many states issue local warnings, and NOAA maintains a website with early warnings for harmful algal blooms around the country where you can also subscribe for updates on blooms in certain bodies of water. These warning systems aren’t perfect, and Grattan notes that “seafood consumption is the leading cause of foodborne illness with known etiology.” But you can lower your risk by eating domestic seafood and making yourself aware of any warnings—no matter what time of year.
Here is a picture of what one of those mornings of art discussion looked like as the three teachers were figuring out with Archer what he wanted to focus on, before he had landed on digital. Dewey, in the background, was home for spring break and had come with us. The digital art teacher is waiting for a program to load to show Archer while the others have pulled art books out off the shelves in their art rooms.
Our plan is that we do not want to bring Archer home until he is strong and off the vent. We want to try to get a sense of when that will be. We would like to bring Archer home each weekend we are still at KKI vent weaning and getting Archer strong enough to breathe on his own. Home is the best place and he will thrive. We just have to find the best stride. In a few weeks? End of January? Something like that I think for what is best for Archer.
We were all having lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill afterwards, oh my, what a great restaurant, and the place where in Billy’s and my old days living in Washington, DC, after college when we had our first ever professional jobs in a law firm and accounting firm, respectively, we would splurge and go to the Old Ebbitt and thought we had died and gone to heaven as we sucked oysters and sat in the plush velvet booths with the brass arm rails and dark wood paneling. So, there we were again last weekend for the first time in almost 85 years, but this time with all five of our kids and cousins and extended family and, my mom.