Out of the Woods

"She's out of the woods."
said Stephanie's doctor as we crowded in her room, Christian, Chup and I. "I can definitely say it now." And Christian, who bounces around stretching everything from his cheeks to his fingers, almost did a cartwheel.

Not that he ever doubted.

But I did. To see my sister breathing on her own as she sleeps in her air-lifted hospital bed reminds me of two months ago when we were all in the woods. With her. And we had to allow for either sides of fate to occur. Would time find her deeper in the woods or walking in sunshine?

Today we got our answer.

Today we are all out with her.

We flew out to Arizona for the children to see their daddy. Ollie was infatuated with his father's back brace, Jane applauded Christian's grafted skin and Claire warmed up to the familiar sound of her daddy's voice. It was a sweet reunion. Everything felt surprisingly normal.

Jaimee Rose's Az Republic article today outed Lucy and Ric's pregnancy. She is due in the late spring.

Claire and Jane came out on the stage last Saturday with Mindy and made the history of this story sweeter. They are brave little girls who loved the concert, and are still waiting for the ten bucks I promised them if they would smile on stage.

Christian's angel mother Mary babysat The Chief so that Chup and I could take Mr. Nielson out to see his wife. Word has it our baby didn't cry once. Ok once, when Christian's father Russ was holding him, but then was fine. Ok, another time when Ollie tried to hug his armpits, but then was fine. Is it normal to never want to miss one waking moment of my son's life?

My mother and Page come out tomorrow to stay with Stephanie while she continues to come out of her chemical coma.

I am out of a job. Now that Steph is officially in the safe harbor of healing, and starting to wake up, I won't be the source of constant medical updating. She will need her privacy more than ever, as will Christian. This is good. It means that our collective prayers were heard.

(Now, I am going to get back to being the blogger I was before. This is my little space for my words, which will include writing about my life. And my sister will always be my life, so there will be updates as they happen. But I hereby relinquish any guilt associated with walking the fine line of public and private details. Besides, somewhere around here is c jane, and I need to bring her back.)

Last of all, out of the bandages we were able to see more of Stephanie's healing body. It is a new appearance from her head to her ankles (the toes are perfect!) but it is the look of someone who climbed out of the woods with everything she had. And, she is still so lovely.

Welcome to the sunshine my sister.

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