Traditionally, Spring brings warmth and flowers and hope and new life. The images of little lambs and warm sun and tulips bursting out from beneath the earth. Longer days and pleasant temperatures create a sense of contentment and hope for most everyone. The promise of summer vacations and bar-b-ques and trips to the lake or beach fill people’s minds and hold their focus. All of these things come to create a feeling of endless opportunities and new beginnings at this time of the year. This year’s wild weather, especially on the East Coast, has meant that Spring arrived a bit faster than normal, yet seemed quite slow to commit.
The warm, sunny days in February and March, for example, were followed by the coldest cold spells of wind and sleet and gloomy skies. This fickle weather and change of seasons, has honestly felt a bit like our journey with Regina. There were early inklings of better, warmer days to come, but at no point in February were we fully ready to embrace the possibility of a new beginning, of a less harsh season. At no point were we willing to pack away the down blankets and winter coats for fears that we would need them again. We had been through so much and our optimism, while always present, was cautious.
It gives me indescribable pleasure to write this update and final blog post. Our new beginnings have begun. Caution be damned. We are just plain optimistic.
Regina is back to her life in Colorado and her health is thriving. She will have a long road to get to 100 percent; however, there is no longer any doubt that she can and will get there. She is walking and climbing and balancing with ease. She has regained the strength and function in her arms and hands. Her hospital bills are being paid one by one and her restricted activities are being lifted. She has a support network in Colorado that are taking care of her when help is needed. Her sensation is returning all over her body and her endurance is building with each activity and hour that passes. Her immobilization collar is off and her scar is getting fainter each day. Her spirit remains high, her strength – both physical and mental – remains unmatched.
The Hartman-Tolve house feels a bit empty without G here to get in our fights and add laughter to our laughs and devour episodes of Friday Night Lights and Thai food with us. Lula still goes into the room where she stayed and is heartily disappointed to not find her ‘Auntie G’ there. But we are all adjusting happily and slowly back into normal routines. Gina’s New York friends miss her already and my parents are sad to not have her closer, but again, we are all happy to have her move on, as it is a sign of her strength and possibility.
We cannot thank each of you enough for the kindness, concerns, love, prayers, donations, gifts, visits, calls, friendship, offers, referrals, and hugs. They brought us through the darkest days so that we could get to the most appreciated new beginning of our adult lives.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. We could not have done it without all of you. We will never forget these last few months and will hold in our hearts forever the kindness we have received from each of you.
Obrigada + Love Always,
Ali on behalf of Regina, Anne, Bill, Andrew and our countless family members and friends