I visited my brother today and he looked good. He still has the breathing tube, but he is mostly breathing on his own with just a little help from the ventilator. They are hopeful it will be removed tonight. Matthew often raised his hands (enclosed in huge boxing glove-like mittens) to try to scratch his nose. I offered him support by scratching his nose for him where the tape is holding the feeding tube. He nodded that this felt good and very quickly relaxed every time I helped him with that task. He smiled often today and also fell asleep easily as he is still fairly sedated.
We are all so happy, but at the same time, we are trying to prepare ourselves for the next steps on this journey. We talked today about what each of our roles might be in Matthew's life. It is difficult to imagine all the ways life has already changed and the many ways it will continue to change. I realize how attached I have become to the physical things in my life, the routines, the monotony. I find comfort in these things. We all do. And then something like this happens and life stops, it changes, it moves differently, so unexpectedly. And I realize how much meaning resides in every single moment that I have experienced, all leading up to this, preparing me in some way, lending me wisdom and patience and compassion, the ability to be flexible and strong. I feel I will now do something with this experience. I will find meaning and move forward, differently than ever before. Without saying a word, my brother has taught me more in a week than I have learned in all twenty-eight years of my life. And he doesn't even know it yet.