It’s A Wonderful Life – Day 207

The year 2010 was a tumultuous time for the Mimstribe. It has left a permanent mark on all of our lives in many different ways. The movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed has been a family favorite for years.  The movie has many of the elements of real life, including comedy, drama, dedication, love, and value of life.  As life often imitates art, the Mimstribe have experienced all the elements of “It’s A Wonderful Life” during this year, including some of the elements that were shot as part of the original film but were ultimately cut out and left on the editing room floor.  Those parts included a scene where the entire town prayed for George Bailey and another where George was on his knees praying the Lord’s Prayer.

The year began with us adjusting to our move to Cedar City, Utah.   Katie was living in the Los Angeles area working for Nickelodeon on the TV shows iCarly and Victorious.  Carly was living in Gainesville, Florida and going to school studying math with her eye on the engineering field and working full-time as an Aveda stylist.  Tripp was attending college at Southern Utah University and Noah and Abi were home with us in Cedar City undergoing the transition of having to move as teenagers.

Our summer was busy with visits from friends and family. Jan and Chloe Lyon came to visit in Cedar City, we returned with them to Las Vegas and were able to spend time with Jan and Kelly Lyon while they were on a business trip from Ft. Lauderdale.  Jim and Gina Nelson came from Tampa and brought their two youngest children, Daniel and Rebekah.  They are Abi and Noah’s closest friends and off course the entire Nelson family is tightly integrated with both the Mims and Lyon families.  We had a great time for two weeks touring National Parks, quadding (4 wheeling) and just hanging.  It was just after they left that Carly came to visit on vacation before the next school semester was supposed to start.  We were having the best family time visiting Zion National Park, hiking Silver Reef and spending time together.  On a day that now seems almost surreal, Carly had a tragic accident falling off a quad (4 wheeler) on a straight gravel road, wearing a helmet.

That is where our amazing adventure begins “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  The love and caring that our friends and family showed over the next few months were unbelievable. Calls to family and friends in Tennessee and Florida quickly got a large number of people praying for Carly.  Then the use of Facebook expanded that group of people praying to a much greater number than we could ever have imagined.  And then friends who had access to websites with thousands and even millions of praying people posted the situation and need. All of those prayers were answered.  Carly has recovered beyond what the doctors originally expected and progressed by leaps and bounds in the beginning.  With that said though, she still has a long road ahead, and the progress is slow.  We have chosen to keep the blog updates focused on the positive.

I think we all keep our internal list.  You know, that list of friends that will show up at your funeral, the list of people that will always be there for you regardless, another list of those who you truly love and enjoy but you know they will run the other way in a hard situation. It is very rare to have a “George Bailey” experience where you get to see people rush to your aid, to truly pray for you, reach out in every way possible and support you in a time of need. We all have those internal lists but rarely get to see it come to life.  That is exactly what has happened to the Mimstribe in the last 6 months.  Since August 10th we have seen such an outpouring of compassion, love, caring, support and true friendship take place.  Yes, from that internal list we all keep, it came alive.  I cannot begin to describe all of the emotion that takes place when something like this happens.  It becomes overwhelming to see people reach out in the way we have experienced.  And not only have those that we knew would be there reached out but others who we didn’t even know before the accident, who have now become close friends touched us deeply.

As you review all of this, you begin to think of the many ways that you have touched others and also examine the ways you have let people down.  For one thing, I have been very tardy in updating this blog, which has left many wondering what is up.  There have been a number of events the past couple months that, while not blog worthy, have sidetracked me on getting the updates out.  I will certainly try to do better, and please accept my apologies.  I will also be going back and doing the previous post for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which were wonderful, wonderful times for us.

Carly’s speech therapy has increased to now include an additional Group Speech Therapy session each week.  Sarah is her new therapist this semester.  Once again there is no doubt that God went before us in selecting an ideal person to work with Carly.  Sarah has truly been a blessing and has been very enjoyable for Carly to connect with.  Carly is now speaking 3-5 word responses.  You still have to work to get her to speak and she does not initiate speech very often on her own.    Her speech has revealed a problem with her short-term memory, from the last few hours, back to just before the accident.  In that time frame, Carly has almost no memory recall.  She does much better with longer-term items but has retrieval and some out of order issues.  We do see improvement in using both photos and repetition on memory for that time period.  Carly still struggles with using her left arm and hand, plus there are other motor skill speed issues.  The Equestrian Therapy continues to be the one thing that Carly connects with and looks forward to with the most excitement for that day to come each week.  It has helped her in so many ways!  Thanks to her instructor, Jess!  The main areas are balanced, left-hand use and even speech have improved from this therapy.

Katie’s femur/hip surgery has healed nicely.  She has been cleared to put full weight on that leg and is now in physical therapy.  Basically, she can do anything with the exception of jogging and heavy lifting at this point.  She is now struggling with severe migraine headaches and trying to get to the bottom of those.  Katie continues to look for employment in the film / TV production industry in LA.

We have now moved to Jeremy Ranch, which is between Salt Lake City and Park City.  It has been wonderful to have a place again and get Abi’s cat back home with us.  We will post more details soon with some photos.  Needless to say, it is beautiful living in the mountains and snow.  The location is ideal since we are closer to both the University and much closer to the National Ability Center.  At the same time, we do miss the Blalocks.  This wonderful family who allowed us to live with them the past 5 months is truly amazing.

Please continue to pray for Carly’s progress, Katie’s recovery and success in finding a job.  Pray for Carl’s Job Search and ways to support the family.

It’s A Small World, After All – Day 214

I am always amazed at how you can meet new people, peel the layers back and find people you have in common that make this large world very small.  Sarah has been Carly’s speech therapist this semester.  We actually met her in December as she began to follow Carly’s sessions in preparation for this year.  Sarah has been wonderful and Carly has made progress with her hard work and help.

Sarah is from Bosie ID and grew up with a very close friend who dances for the Momix Dance Company in NYC.  Momix recently performed in Salt Lake City.  Sarah thought it would be a good outing for her to take Carly to coffee with her friend Tsarra from Momix.  It was a great opportunity to engage Carly talking about her dance experience and her time living in NY.  Once they started visiting it only took a few minutes to discover that three of Carly’s close dance friends, who originally came from her Performing Arts High School in FL, were close friends of Tsarra.  Carly’s friends Zui and Jose both danced with Tsarra at the Boston Conservatory.  Then in NY, Tsarra had danced with Sabrina who was with Carly both in high school and then at Alvin Ailey.  If you take the time to interact with people, it truly is a small world.  Tsarra like her close friend Sarah is a wonderful young lady.  The time she took out of her busy schedule and limited time in Salt Lake to hang with Carly was a huge blessing.  She then blessed us with tickets to the Momix performance.  It was a wonderful evening.  Watching Carly absorb the dance was amazing.  If you ever get a chance to see Momix perform it is a wonderful evening of dance, illusion, and imagery.

Carly continues to have small improvements in speech.  Through the therapy, she is receiving both in the clinic and in outside activities like the one with Sarah and Tsarra or baking with Hadley you can see small improvements.  While Carly is still only speaking a few words at a time, she is starting to respond a bit faster.  Short-term memory is still a very large issue but as you can tell her long-term memory is much better.  She also has had the opportunity to talk to a few friends on the phone.  This has been great in giving her another outlet forcing her to talk more.  If you would like to call her, send me an e-mail and I will reply with her phone number

Go back one layer deeper and you will find Mary Foye (Photo, R-L Hadley, Mary, and Carly).  Mary is the Clinic Supervisor and teaches Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Utah.  Mary is the one who immediately took interest in Carly’s case as she read the medical history,  she then greatly accelerated the U’s process and instead of waiting months, got Carly in therapy within 3 days.  It was Mary who handpicked Hadley last semester to take on Carly when she already had met all of her graduation requirements.  And it is Mary who picked Sarah to work with Carly this semester.  Those two choices have made a big difference in Carly’s outcome.  Mary is present at each of Carly’s therapy sessions sitting behind the one-way glass observing, taking detailed notes and working with Sarah between sessions.  She has helped is in so many ways in getting involved with additional therapy, encouraging conversation and has helped is in getting an appointment next week with a Neurologist at the U which we are very excited about.  Mary is the lady behind the scenes and another example of how God sends people to answer your prayers.

It is ironic that Mary is now struggling with issues similar to Carly’s within her own family.  Her brother Paul and his wife were on a trip to CA recently when Paul fell, hitting his head.  He has been in the hospital and inpatient rehab for several weeks and suffers from head trauma, speech problems and diminished use of his right side.  Please add Paul and his family to your prayer list.  Paul is expecting an early release from the hospital and looking forward to returning home to Wisconsin.  Pray that he God brings the right help for his continued recovery at home.

We thank God daily for all of the family, friends and new people he is using to bless and assist the Mimstribe.  Pray for Carly’s upcoming Dr appointment, for Katie’s continued recovery and finding a Job and for the many other details in our lives. Pray for Mary’s brother Paul, his safe return home and finding the right assistance for his recovery.