Saturday, December 26, 2009


Matthew spoke today! They took him off the ventilator, which means he has to be less sedated than before so that he can breathe properly on his own. The first thing he said to us when we walked in was, "You guys have to help me get out of here!" At that point, he had forgotten where he was. He then stated that the accident had happened at 10A.M. He was right about the time, but we then realized that he thought the accident happened this morning and that it took us "forever" to get there. He was shocked to learn again that he had been there for eight days and that Christmas had already passed. Initially, it was difficult to hear him speak. I was so looking forward to the sound of his voice, but when I heard it, it scared me. It sounded so low and weak. I knew also that he still was not aware of the extent of his injuries. Somehow, hearing him speak was both a blessing and a reminder of the long road ahead of us. It was hard for me to stay strong. I felt weak. I felt as weak as he sounded. I watched as he tried to move his body, tried to sit up, struggled to get comfortable. Everyday presents a challenge to adjust to the new set of circumstances, to figure out my own life in relation to his. Matthew also said, "I thought I'd never see you guys again." I can't imagine how his life must have flashed before his eyes. I can't imagine the moment of terror he experienced as he realized what was happening.

Luckily, Matthew's sense of humor seems to be intact, as he made all of us laugh with his ideas about escaping the hospital, going out to get a "snack," and taking us to his house for tea. Of course, these ideas were not all in that order and they were scattered with many other thoughts and changes in reality. We continued to re-orient him while we were there and had a good laugh tonight, sharing stories about all of the funny things he had said to us. Humor is the best medicine.

I feel completely exhausted tonight. We all do. I think knowing that Matthew is with us and progressing gives us all permission to relax just a little and lets us know just how much energy has gone into prayer, positive energy, grief and loss, fear and anger, communication with all of our supporters, and so many questions...existential questions...meaning of life questions...and answers, answers to our prayers.


  1. It's nice to know that he is able to communicate now that the tube is out of his mouth. I just wanted to wish you, your family, and matt a very merry christmas and a happy new year.

    I worked with Matt at Woodstocks in San Diego and it was always a pleasure knowing that he would be working the same shift. I just got to see Matt about two weeks ago when I went to visit and as always I had a splendid time hanging out. It had been about a year since the last time I saw him. I actually met you and your family when I came to pleasanton to pick up some of my things that Matt had brought up from San Diego for me.

    Matt has such a wonderful and unique spirit and I wish only the best for him and his family.

  2. Erin thank you so much for continuing to post each night. We all eagerly await your eloquent descriptions of Matthew’s recovery. Your family is so special. We hold you in our thoughts and prayers and think and talk about you guys throughout our day. Hope today brings more good news…
    Love, Lisa and family

  3. Thank you so much for posting these blogs.

  4. Erin, I spoke with your dad last night and told him what a wounderful thing it was to read your blog daily. You and Matt are very lucky to have each other and your words reflect that you're aware of that. As always our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time. Karen Balian - Baghdassarian

  5. Thank you so much Erin. I know you are already exhausted and to spend time on this blog adds to your burden but we appreciate it so much.
    Please give Matt all our love and big hugs to you, James, your mom and your dad. We wish we could be there to hold you up, as you are for Matt. We are so very glad he is with us.

  6. Thank you, Erin, for this insightful and informational blog. I know you're taking good care of Matthew, James, and your mom and dad...I hope you are also taking care of yourself.

    Much love,
    Suzie Schudson

  7. have you heard of share the care? i'll get a copy of it to aaron for you guys. it's a great way to organize all the people who say they want to help and actually take advantage of their generosity. when my mom was terminally ill, her friends used it to put together a group to help us out and it really took a great deal of the burden off of our family. my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and especially matt.

  8. Glad to hear Matt is doing better. We're all praying for him here in Oregon where I am visitng my mom right now as well as my chruch in San Diego. Matt and I work together for the past 3 years and I have enjoyed every moment working with him. There is nothing better then hearing a little good news after everything that has happened. If you guys need anything let me know. We'll keep praying for Matt. -Lisa

  9. Hi Erin. Thank you so much for the daily blog. I read it to my whole family every night. Your words are inspiring and remind me how precious life is and how lucky we all are to have our loved ones in our lives. You are a truly eloquent writer, and your expression of emotions is amazing! I continue to keep you all in my prayers. Wish I was there to give you a big hug.

    Love, Shannon

  10. Erin,

    Your postings are an encouragement. We hold Matthew and you in our thoughts and prayers, along with so many. We will come to see you after the new year. Matthew is blessed to have you all with him.


    Paul, Belinda, Daniel, Peter, David