Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This story is not, and has never been, about Walmart. It is not about a huge corporation, or a local establishment. It is about advocating for an exceptional man, one who deserves all this world has to offer him, and more. Matt is a miracle, his story is one that should be shared, and his life incredibly unique. To say that the accident that left him permanently mentally and physically disabled was and continues to be devastating is an understatement. It was life changing in every sense of the word. The ambition and motivation of Matt has always been inspiring and has become even more obvious in the last 8 years. He truly is one of a kind.
Statistically, the majority of people in a similar situation would not be working, whether by their own choice or limited opportunity. I believe one would be very hard pressed to find someone who would rather keep his job than his disability income, despite the fact that the disability income is a very large percentage of his earnings. Matt is a hard worker who no doubt wishes he was capable of his previous skill level, but tries to make the best of an incredibly tough situation. He has chosen to have a good attitude, to treat people with kindness and respect, and to work to the very best of his abilities. He is the most humble man I've ever met. He takes criticism in stride and is always looking to better himself.
The most important thing to know about Matt is that he is a family man with deep rooted faith. He loves me, his wife, and our children more than anything in the world. He shows this day in and day out through his actions and in his kind words. I have gotten word from many, many customers that mention seeing me to him and get, "Oh, you are so lucky. She is so wonderful..." I say this to show how loving he is. I have plenty of weaknesses, but he notices all of the good things and forgets the bad. He is this way with every person he loves, speaks with, and even those he sees in passing.
Our situation is very unique. Less than 5% of people in our circumstance are still married 5 years after a debilitating injury such as this. We are still happily married and working through the good and the bad. This has definitely not been an easy road. There are many obstacles, stresses, and frustrations. There is grief and longing for what was lost. There are also happy moments, things to celebrate both big and small, and hope for the future. We have two beautiful children, a roof over our heads, supportive friends and family, and try to keep a perspective to appreciate what is truly most important.
This is wordy, but I want those who know of this situation to know who Matt is. He needs to be recognized for the absolutely amazing individual that he is. I frequently get emotional discussing him or defending him because he is such a special person. I truly believe he is a gift to all the lives he touches in any way.
Losing his job was a blow to all of us. Matt is completely accepting of his part in all of this, what he could have done differently, and what needs to change as we go forward. We were fortunate for this situation to have been evaluated and handed to the general manager for his decision. He gladly welcomed Matt back to his position, starting immediately. Mistakes were made, communication was lost, and management was bad. The process was frustrating and I felt disappointed and out of the loop. Rumors spread and the emotions of many got involved. It was crazy. Things are still being ironed out so I cannot say much, but this was not at all handled how it should have been.
I must say that the general manager and several other managers came through for us. We felt heard and understood and new steps are being taken to make sure that this doesn't become a problem. We are working together to figure out a way for Matt to be as successful as possible.
Again, words cannot express the gratitude we have for all of you who have been supporting and encouraging us. It has buoyed us up in a hard time. Something tells me that Matt's story, our family's story, will continue to be spread and will continue to help and encourage other people. Tragedy often brings countless blessings, and I know in our lives this has proved to be true over and over.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Somday I will get back to blogging. I will eventually get the computer fixed and backdate a few posts and go through the bazillion pictures I have from the last few months.
Today, I will share my sweet little man. These pictures didn't turn out as I hoped they would (that's what I get for ignoring camera setting), but this kid's incredible cuteness makes up for my error. This boy has me wrapped around his little finger. He is the most amazing gift.
Today is Kaden's 6th birthday. What a big boy. I am so proud of who he is. He is kind and thoughtful and loving. He is still the happiest kid I've ever known. He is hilarious and energetic. He is amazing.
Yesterday as I dropped him off at school he said, "don't be too sad about my last day of being 5, Mom. I love you most!!!" He dashed out the door and ran into school like he does every morning. Tear! As I went through these pictures I managed to get overwhelmingly sad. I just can't believe how fast time flies. My boy is growing up too quickly. I love him more than I could ever possibly say.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
My sister's first baby, sweet little miss Oaklee Mae Davis, arrived on October 30, 2012 at 6:35 am--- 20 inches, 7lb 5.2oz of perfection. I'm in love with her already.
I told Michaela that maybe I shouldn't come up and meet this beautiful little girl. I would just end up wanting another baby. "No," she said. "You are going to want MY baby!" She is probably right, and I would hate to have to steal my own sister's baby...
I really can't wait to meet her, snuggle her, and take a bajillion pictures.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Kaden woke up yesterday morning in our bed. He had gotten up in the night with leg cramps, something he seems to get pretty frequently. I helped him get ready for school and he seemed so tired and mellow--very unlike him. I asked him if he was okay.
Yeah. I think I am okay, but a little bit sick. I should probably skip school today.
Are you sure buddy? I will let you stay home if you don't feel well, but I don't want you to be sad later because you miss your friends and teacher. So, are you sure you don't want to go to school?
Well I DO want to go to school, very bad, but my body is telling me 'no, stay home.'
Yeah, it's saying to me 'I just need to heal.' Mom, it just wants to rest and heal, so I need to let it.
Okay, well then it's probably a good idea to stay home and rest today.
I smiled about that little comment all day. He ended up with a fever and just wasn't himself. We played and built the coolest things with k'nex. I loved the extra time with my boy and really kept thinking to myself, I love this. He is so much fun. Thankfully, he bounced out of bed this morning ready to take the world on by storm, just like he always does.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
A tragedy has taken place in the Wood household. Our computer has crashed. We are not sure if it will make a full, or even partial, recovery. I am without my photos and it's torture! In the meantime, my mom found this and I can't get enough. This little guy is adorable! I wish Beckham would sing on National tv. Seriously people, you've got to hear that boy sing Adele. Someday I hope to be sneaky enough to get a video of it. The kid is just too smart and observant and the minute I try to capture his precious singing he gets all smug and refuses to appease me.
Friday, September 28, 2012
I'm pretty sure Beckham has been ready to potty train for nearly a year. He totally knows when he needs to go, he goes off to hide, asks to be changed, etc. I have been putting it off because, despite wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, I knew how he would react to the potty. He didn't like it one bit. He slowly warmed up to it the first day and even had a few successes. As we persisted though, he resisted. He had an accident and cried and cried. This is the kid who has a meltdown if one drop of milk spills from his spoon while eating cereal....just imagine how he acted when his legs and pants were wet! If I asked him if he needed to go, or even said anything relating to underwear, the potty, etc., he got a smug look and turned the other way like I hadn't said anything. Or, he would change the subject and talk to me about Mightming Matween.
Instead of pushing him and traumatizing him, we are going to give it a little break and try again in a month or two. This little man is a stubborn one! We did have a fun day together, even though our (MY) actual goal didn't get accomplished.
How does Becks feel about potty training???.....
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Yesterday morning was awful. I took Beckham to his first day of "school". He is just going one morning a week to Skills for Living and Learning. The lady in charge is a client of mine and we've been discussing this school and their different approach for months now. I have talked to her about Beckham and this seemed like a great option for him. His physical therapist also thought it would be greatly beneficial to him. The coordinator, Susan, specializes in working with kids with Sensory Integration Disorder. I hate labels, and try really hard not to put my kids into a box. It has become fairly clear though, over the last few years, that Beckham shows signs of having a bit of a sensory issue. He is getting better in a lot of ways, but things like hating sand, being afraid of his potty, insisting on his jacket being on/off, hating crowds, and having to predict and control his environment are all common traits of a sensory processing issue. I think for him this will be something that he can outgrow. Some poor kids have it so intensely that they can hardly function and it's so sad. I am grateful that for Beckham, it is mostly just frustrating for both of us trying to figure out what he wants and what works best for him. I am learning though, and am usually able to predict what he will want and how he will react to any given situation. I have not learned, however, how to help him control his out-of-control emotions and screaming when things are going wrong for him. One step at a time, right?
Yesterday we walked into the school and he seemed so excited. He ran around to check things out. We got into his classroom and there was only one other child in there. A cute rolly-polly little boy. We built a tower and played while I caught his new teacher up to speed on his little personality. Music was playing and we sang songs. He seemed so happy. Then a bus came in bringing four other little boys and a girl. All of the boys had been in this program before and seemed well-adapted. When the structure of the day began, Beckham started to have a hard time. He didn't understand why the teacher wouldn't let him play with the blocks. Finally, he sat with the other kids and listened to the activities for the day. He was involved, so I went with Susan to get a copy of my insurance card. I was gone all of about 20 seconds when I heard my little boy running through the halls screaming, "Mama! Where are you? Where is my mommy?!?!" I ran out to get him. I told him where I had been, and felt so bad that he had gotten so scared. We went back into the classroom where the kids were starting their little yoga routine.
He felt uncomfortable and beelined it to the door. The teacher ran over to get him and he screamed at her and started hitting her. I felt so bad for them both. I took Becks over to a little couch where I snuggled him and we watched the kids do their yoga. It takes Beckham a long time to feel comfortable with a new situation, a new place, and new people. I had thrown him into all of the above. I could feel my eyes burning and willed myself not to cry. I kissed his head as he cuddled with me and couldn't help the tears from falling. What am I doing to this poor child? Is he ready for this? Will this even help him? Are things always going to be hard for him? Will he make friends? I just want to take him home and protect him forever.... I tried to hide my tears from the teacher, but she totally saw.
After yoga the kids got to go to the "Gorilla Room". It's an indoor jungle gym with all kinds of things to help stimulate the kid's senses. There are noise makers, slides, swings, a ball pit, ladders, tunnels, tents, etc. It's so much fun. Beckham was really excited to be in there. I got a moment to chat with his teacher again. I got all teary telling her about how I felt embarrassed about how he acted, but I also felt so sad for him feeling scared and uncomfortable. She was very sweet and reassuring. While we were talking he thought I had left and again ran out the door screaming. She went to get him this time. I talked to him about how I had to go for an hour to work but that I would be right back to get him. I told him his teachers were his friends, and that they would take good care of him. I waited until he was busy and left. I cried the whole way to work and questioned what the heck I was doing. I am such a baby.
After my appointment I went back to get Beckham. I walked in half expecting to hear screaming. There was my little boy, talking to his teachers and seeming like he wasn't any worse for the wear. He saw me and ran to me throwing his arms up. He had a smile on his face. My heart felt more at ease. I picked him up and he became goo like he always does when I hold him--I've started calling him my 30lb newborn. I hugged him and kissed him. His teachers said that he did great. When he noticed I was gone they reminded him I told him I was leaving and would be back soon. He just said, "Okay, Mama be right back, in one hour." We walked hand in hand to the car. As we were driving home he said, "Hey Mama, I had fun at stoool. They toot dood tare of Bettham." I smiled at him and felt better.
I just need to remind myself that things with him take time. I have to remember that these hard and uncomfortable experiences are helping us both to grow. He is smart and understands things that I explain to him. When I talk to him and let him know what is going on, he can figure it out and become more comfortable. It will take time, for both of us, but I think in the end we will get tougher and a little more brave.