The Jolly Porter's Update

Our brother Topher recently visited Stephanie and Christian in Arizona. He wrote this short update and said I could post it on my blog.

Hi c,

I thought I would send a note about my experiences today. If you think it would be appropriate for the blog, go for it. If not, I understand. I tried not to make inappropriate jokes, but it's sort of my personality. You'll enjoy it anyway.

I got to Phoenix about 1:55. Mom, Dad, and Matt picked me up and we drove to the hospital which felt like it was about 2 minutes away. Stephanie was in her surgery at the time, so I went in to see Christian. His eyes were open and he seemed really awake. I told him that his kids were fine and told him about how Claire and Jane and Phoebe were playing "teenagers" at our house on Monday. And how they were pretending like they had cell phones and text messaging, etc. I think he liked hearing that. He kept raising his arms the whole time. I got a sense that he was really happy to hear about his kids. I'm hoping it was that, and not that I was driving him crazy. (Get....him.....OUT!!!!) Anyway, he seemed really alert and focused, but the nurse came and put him to sleep, which is probably better for him.

I like how the nurses talk to Stephanie and Christian. There is a tendency for us to talk to them like they are babies, but the nurses don't do that. They talk like they are regular adults who need a little help. I try to remember that when I talk to them. I try to make jokes and tell them things that would interest them.

We had dinner with Russ and Mary for Christian's sister Liz's birthday. Peter and his wife Darin were there as well. It was really nice - we went to that Orange Pizza joint everyone's been buzzing about. I thought it was good. Matt and I shared a plate of spicy wings!

Finally I got to see Stephanie around 8:00. It was a very sweet experience. I enjoyed talking to her, even though she is heavily sedated and cannot respond. I got to give her a blessing, which was also really great for me. I told her about her kids as well and played her some CD's I made for her with awesome tunes. I actually really loved being there with her. I appreciate everyone who prepared me for what I was going to see. It was a very positive experience for me. I only wish someone had prepared me for those nerdy oil murals at the burn center! With the rainbows and the waterfalls? I need two CC's of Lisa Valentine Clark and some oil paint STAT!

I am in Stephanie's kitchen now - this is my first time at her house and I really like it. It has lots of memories and it feels like her spirit here. I am more than happy to let Matt sleep in Stephanie and Christian's big, comfortable bed while I sleep in Ollie's dwarfish twin. Seriously, as long as Matt is comfortable I'm just fine. There is a big lightning storm tonight.

The doctor gave us some good news today - Stephanie's facial surgery went well. They worked on her hands and her face. They were able to preserve her ears and nose. There is some concern about skin and some other things, but he seemed very straight forward and encouraging. I think Mom and Dad were thrilled. My sense is that Stephanie has been given a choice: she could move on and do some great work on the other side, or she could stay here and make a new life from this accident. To me, it feels like she's made the choice. I know it's been devastating, but I feel like she's coming back.

I am very encouraged and proud of Stephanie.


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