Tomorrow marks five years since the car accident which left Anne with a traumatic brain injury. Five years with our new Anne. Five years without the old Anne.
We’ve lived through so much heartache and pain. We’ve all grieved – each at our own pace and in our way – and we’ve come through to the other side.
We are a family marked by disability. We park in handicapped parking spaces and work together to lift Anne’s wheel chair in and out of our van. Each child can assist Anne in walking to and from the kitchen table and help her get comfortable in bed. Her little sister helps Anne bathe and brush her teeth. And Anne’s older brother carries her up the stairs and comforts her when she’s angry or scared.
We live at a different pace. Anne’s therapy schedule only allows one extracurricular activity per child per semester. Sometimes I feel like the world races by us like a time-lapse video – while we’re stuck in our slo-mo world. Each frame of our lives is affected by Anne’s brain injury.
Recently I was telling a friend that there will always be a part of me that will remain sad. Sad for the life that Anne will never live – sad for the milestones that she will never reach – sad that I will never see the old gleam in her eyes – sad for what we’ve lost. But our sadness does not minimize the gratitude we have for Anne’s life and progress.
We are thankful for her quick wit and crooked smile. Thankful for her simple faith and deep love of people. Sometimes I hold her in my lap and am overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to be her mom. I feel so privileged – so honored to be Anne’s mom. She is a jewel and she’s mine!
So tomorrow we will celebrate Anne’s five-year milestone. We will thank God for her life. We will thank God for her progress. We will cherish her day and push our worries for the future aside. Anne is alive! And that is something worth celebrating :)
13 thoughts on “Tomorrow will be Five Years…”
You and your family are remarkable…you all bring so much Joy to my life! Anne is a gift to us all…so very thankful for her and her lovely spirit!!
Blessings, Sweet Friend and Thank You for Sharing! XO
Thanks for always encouraging me! Love you!
I don’t have words to sum up these five years…it has all been so remarkable…but I love you all and wrap you in a prayer hug…
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I remember that day well, and wrote about it here before. Our end of things: An emergency prayer meeting was called, and the room was FULL. Fuller than I’d ever seen it EVER.
Our leaders shared with us what had happened and asked us to pray. To ask fervently for life. I hesitated. I wondered how many people understood what we might be asking of you as a family, if God granted this prayer…………..
Yes, I knew He could change the outcome totally. And with a multitude of children and parents under my prayer umbrella, and volunteering at Shepherd and at a halfway house for folks with brain injuries, I totally knew what might happen.
But the plea was clear: Ask for life. We’ll take whatever form that’s gifted to us. We will love Anne no matter what. We need her here.
And so, with tears streaming down my face, I joined everyone as we asked for life and His kind of healing, whatever it looked like, whatever form it took.
I also found myself speaking directly to Anne during that prayer: We might be asking something VERY hard of you. Can you hear all of us? Can you SEE the love that’s here? Can you FEEL it reaching out to you….all our souls uplifting yours? If you choose to come back, that’s one thing we can say for positive: You will be loved. Life might be joyously the same, or it might be totally unfamiliar in a zillion ways and be VERY hard….I’m not sure, but .I think God’ll let you choose about coming back or staying with Him. All I know for sure is this incredible love that’s changing me even in this moment……. No matter what you come back to, you WILL also be coming back to this.
And so you have.
And you have a place on earth nobody else can possibly fill. He’s already used you and your life in ways you cannot possibly fathom…..and your family becoming people they’d never have become otherwise, so that they too are impacting and changing lives, and will continue to do so for their entire lifetimes………………and those ripples will keep going ever outward.
I’m so very glad you are here.
What a beautiful description of your love and commitment to pray for Anne. Thank you for your long suffering with us! We are so grateful for you, your life and your many words!
Sorry for the book, Lol…..and thank you for welcoming the heart-gift
You do not know this, but that special-call-prayer meeting was the last event Pandy went to with me. The following day she had surgery, and that night she totally unexpectedly died in my arms.
For Wednesday’s regular prayer-meeting the next night, I came solo, to join our body to pray again for Anne and your entire family. Otherwise, I’d not have come—so already, in the midst of your nightmare, you all were changing lives.
(That was one of the hardest things I’ve done, to come alone to where she and I had just been. Earlier that day, in the middle of loving you all, Sharon brought flowers, loving me, and Anwhitney met me at the door with a hug and a prayer…..and then we all Thanked God that Anne was still alive….and we dared to ask for more—and He has given us all that, and beyond).
All the Jacksons are amazing! Congrats to Anne and all of you for the progress you’ve made.
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Dear Annie Bee,
Life has so much more meaning for everyone that knows you because of your strength and joy through these five years. I am so thankful that I know you and your wonderful family and that God kept his promise to never forsake you and never leave you. You are so special to me.
We miss you soooo much Debbie!!! I hope you are well! Love, love, love to you :)
Great to hear from you. Hope Anne is doing well, I read every post to keep up. Let me know some Saturday you will be home, would love to come by to visit.
I remember the day. I remember covering class ( actually recess) for her teacher so she could process. I remember crying and praying hard. In the days following more prayer meetings with ACCA staff and families. More tears.
I remember doubting. Doubting what God would and could do…
I’m so very thankful for my Sunday-reminders of what He can and has done! Tears as I witnessed Anne walk back to her seat after a children’s message, hearing her comment in WandW. Always taking hard things and making glory, making us more like Him.
Anne,, do you know your story brings God glory? I hope you celebrate well tomorrow! Love to all the Jackson family
You all have come along ways in the past 5 years, especially Anne, And God has always been by your side through it all. Anne has a great faithful family by her side, too. Keep plugging Anne your making great progress over these past 5 years.
God Bless & Love to the whole family.
Carol Inlow, Albany, GA.
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Continuing to think of you and your family. Hope you have an amazing Summer