Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thoughts from Jodie

Thursday September 14, 2013

Email from Jodie (Mom)

How do I begin when so much time has passed and I have so very much to say.  I have such deep thoughts and feelings that it overwhelms me to think of the energy I will have to expend on putting them down in writing.  I might not be a very consistent Blogger, but I never miss a week of writing an E-mail to my son, Braydon who is serving a mission in Mozambique.  So in an attempt to get caught up with the blog (it’s been almost a month since my last post)--- I am going to copy and paste some excerpt’s from my letters to him:
From a letter written on Oct. 27th 2013
It has been a week of anticipating coming home.  Last minute teaching of me and dad--just to make sure we know exactly how to care for Kollin on our own.  A meeting with hospital School People-- giving us advice on how, and when to get Kollin back into school.  Another meeting with Wheel chair people, who measured Kollin, and then talked to dad and I about all of the options-- bells and whistles-- available.  Right now his Wheel chair is being custom built with everything we decided on.  Until then he is using a loaner chair that kind of sucks, but it works.  Kollin is so funny-- he wouldn't decide on the color of his chair without discussing it with Ethan.  I told Ethan this, and he replied, "Well duh!"  Like of course KPG knows to consult with me about what would be the coolest.  I think they decided on a black and white chair with red spokes in the wheels.   You know that with dad involved in the choosing, that it is going to be one spiffy chair on wheels.  Dad is already ordering extra wheels that are like beefy tires for camping and hiking, and wheeling around on grass etc.  Only the Best for our baby boy.  This week, our last week in the hospital, they wanted Kollin to do 95% of wheeling himself around.  That means that they didn't want dad or I to just push him everywhere.  He has got to get used to getting himself  around and building up the muscles to do that.  So one day after being at the U, I told him that it was going to be up to him, to get back to Primary Children's-- and it usually takes about 10 minutes with me pushing him the whole way.  He did ok at first because the hallway we first walk down to get back is down hill-- then it's a short push to the elevator.  Once down on the first floor, the work begins.  There is a big long walk across the sky bridge that connects the two hospitals.  Here I walked ahead of him because I was planning on sitting on some of the chairs at the end of the sky bridge and watching him--- Oh one of the other things KPG needed to work on is staying in control, and not running into people. haha  So I get to the end of the sky bridge and I turned around to see how far back he was.  I was expecting to see him about 1/2 way across, but NO--- that sucker had talked this really pretty Black lady into pushing him!!!!!!!!  He is such a little charmer.  As I was scolding him, she was all petting his hair and telling him that he reminded her of her 15 yr old son.  Man he sure knows how to work the ladies.  Hahaha

This week my heart has been overflowing with Gratefulness!!!!!  One night while driving home alone from the hospital, I began praying as soon as I pulled out of the parking garage at the hospital, and I didn't stop until I was pulling into my garage at home.  My prayer was full of Thanksgiving to my Heavenly Father-- the whole entire prayer!!!  Not once did I ask for anything, just thanked Him over and over for all of the blessings that He has given to me during the past 8 weeks. There have been that MANY blessings.  Most of the blessings involve the people who have reached out to our family in our time of need.  Some of those people we already knew, some we did not.  They include, Family, immediate and extended, Friends that we are close to and some that we haven’t heard from for years, Ward Members and Neighbors, Hospital and Staff—Doctors, Nurses, Aids, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Music Therapists, Social Workers, Child Life Specialists, Residents, Fellows, Medical Students, Radiologists, Rehab Specialists, Respiratory Therapists, the List goes on and on and on, but you get the point.

So as much as we were sooooooooo very excited to leave the hospital, it was actually a very bitter sweet feeling to say goodbye to so many people we have come to LOVE so much as they have helped us along this 8 week journey. Lots of the staff have become like our family.   Some of the nurses cried-- Lots came to say goodbye to Super Star Patient KPG.  I had given a package of fake mustaches to the therapists the day before and asked them to wear them on our last day when they all came to get Kollin for his last 3 hours of hospital therapy.  They were such good sports about it, and it was sooo funny.  Kollin could not figure it out.  Thursday night (last night) one of our favorite nurses, Monica collected $$$$ from a bunch of staff and she ordered Pizza Hut Pizza and we had a little party.  Two other kids were also set to go home the next day.   Kollin got lots of love notes between thursday and friday-- Dad and I got some nice notes as well from staff members wishing us luck at home.  I really think they were sad to see us go, but alas the time had come.

Friday morning (October 25th) Kollin finished therapy by 11:00am and we were free to pack it up, but earlier that morning, we were told that the music group, "Imagine Dragons" would be doing a private concert for patients and family members from 2:00-3:00, upstairs in the Playroom.  KPG had a decision to make.  Do we go home at 11 or wait and go to the once in a lifetime concert opportunity.  I really didn't try to sway his decision one way or the other, but he LOVES Imagine Dragons, and so we stayed--even called Ethan and told him we had a ticket for him if he could make it up, and he did.  It was soooooooooo worth it too.  We had a front row spot.  Steve Young and his wife made it all possible and they were there to introduce the band, which is made up of 4 guys-- 2 of which served missions and are active Latter day Saints.  I don't know if you've heard of this band, but they are currently #1 in the country and are just about to begin a world tour.  So it was pretty neat.  I actually cried tears of utter gratitude that these very famous guys would take the time to do such a nice thing for sick and injured kids. Kollin did take a look around the room and announced to me that he was probably the only Kid in the room that even knew who Imagine Dragons were. Haha  They sang about 5 songs, took some pics with a few kids-- Kollin being one of them-- and then rushed off to do a concert in Ogden later that night.  It was a PERFECT send off for KPG.  He left on cloud Nine, feeling all cool that he got to meet the band.  

 We went back to our hospital room to gather our belongings, and our very favorite Casey Corry, helped us get everything down to my car.  She is the therapy aid who has become like a daughter to me.  I love her and will miss her greatly.  She and Kollin have had a really special relationship.  She teases him, and he teases her and she makes everyday of therapy a fun experience for him.  I wish we could have brought her home with us.  She would even come in on her day off (Saturday) to make sure kollin was happy.  She hugged us and we stood there in the parking lot getting all teary eyed.  She also gave me the nicest note, telling me how much she has loved getting to know our family.  whew  emotional send off.  By the time we left and got on the free way we were stuck in the worst traffic.  People going home from work, friday night BYU game traffic, so it took us an hour and a half before we were pulling into the neighborhood.

WOW what a scene.  right off there was a giant poster saying Welcome Home Kollin-- made by the Yarro clan, complete with a drawing of you being chased by little africans, and guys in wheel chairs zooming around the letters-- blue balloons and Huge Blue bows were tied to trees  all along the street leading to our house.  Of Course I cried again and could barely see my way down our street and into the driveway where tons of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, friends and neighbors were holding signs and jumping up and down.  Oh and I forgot to mention that lots of the neighbors were honking their car horns too.  It was just the best welcome home I've ever seen.  I know that Kollin Loved every minute of it!!!!!!!  We felt so Loved and cared about.  WE ARE HOME, AND THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!!!!!!  

Later that night Kollin went to a party with Ethan over at Jason's for about an hour and a half, then on Saturday Dad took him to watch the freshman football game up at Timpview. I was a little bit nervous at first to have him out on the loose like that, but then I figured I should be glad that he WANTS to go out.  It could be worse if he was feeling sorry for himself sitting upstairs not wanting to leave his bed. Right??  

Today (Sunday October 27th)  we all got up and went to church.  Boy have I missed church!!!!!!!!  The talks were so spiritual, and the ward members were ecstatic to see us.  Here we are these people who everyone has been praying for--it was such a good feeling to receive so many greetings and hugs from members of our ward family that love us and care about us. Lots of primary age kids wanted to say hi to this Kollin Kid that their parents were having them pray for J  Brother Kay Anderson said the closing prayer and had me bawling as he expressed gratefulness at " having Kollin Galland back in our midst and doing so well."   I can't wait to bear my testimony next week and tell everyone what a difference they have made in our lives.

Now begins the next phase of Kollin’s recovery---- figuring out how to do things at home.  Dad and I had our routine down at the hospital.  Home will be a bit of an adjustment at first, I’m sure, but we are up for the challenge.  This Friday Kollin will have his “Evaluation” at Neuroworx, and he will begin out patient therapy the following week.  This week I hope to be able to find some time to help Mason and Aly with some last minute Wedding plans. It’s all EXCITING!!!!!  Things at home are very different than when you left on your mission.  Life is full of Changes and Challenges, Joys and Sorrows.  Lately I just seem to CRAVE “Normal Moments” if that makes any sense.  I found this little saying tucked away in my scriptures recently it says:  “What is life’s heaviest burden??? Asked the child.  “To have Nothing to Carry” answered the Old Man.”

So you see my son, even though sometimes it feels like our family has had more than our share of burdens to carry in this life.  It's kind of what life is all about, isn't it???  We are here to grow and to progress and to learn to TRUST GOD. How would we do that if life were just peachy all the time???  I took a morning this past week and went to the temple by myself.   I was able to spend about an hour sitting in the celestial room reading scriptures, and I was taken on a wonderful journey of discovery.  It all started with one verse in Alma 36:3 --Kollin's Seminary Teacher wrote this scripture on a poster that his whole class signed, and then Brother Laing brought it up to KPG. For some reason that day in the temple it popped into my head.  It's Alma speaking to his son Helaman: "And now, O my son Helaman, behold thou art in thy youth, and therfore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me: FOR I DO KNOW THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL PUT THEIR TRUST IN GOD SHALL BE SUPPORTED IN THEIR TRIALS AND THEIR TROUBLES AND THEIR AFFLICTIONS, AND SHALL BE LIFTED UP AT THE LAST DAY."   As I read the footnote scriptures and was lead down an hour long path-- here's what I learned.  Trust God-- Trust in HIS pursposes for you-- He will make ALL things work together for your good. Search diligently, Pray Always, and Be Believing-- Let your Heart be Comforted and Trust in your Covenants.  Walk Uprightly before God and He will Support you.  I bear my testimony to you my missionary son, that I know that the scriptures speak of TRUTH.... POWERFUL AND MIGHTY TRUTH.  God is always there for us and He is the one thing in our lives that we can TRUST with our whole souls.  I have felt his support Greatly in the past 7 1/2 weeks.  He has never left my side.  I know that he is there with you in Mozambique too.  I have watched you succeed as you put your trust in HIM.  Never forget how much your momma Loves you:)

Be a Good  Boy and have a fabulous week,

I’m not sure how Kosher it is to share my Bold Testimony on a Blog. I do not wish to offend anyone.  It’s EVERYTHING I AM and I am not ashamed of it.  Kollin’s accident would have been DEVASTATING for our family if we did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ imbedded in our souls.  Our understanding of God’s great plan of happiness is always in the fore-front of our minds as we face the challenges of the day, and somehow this Enables us to go forward with Faith.
Peace, Love and Happiness to You.


  1. I love you sister of mine. I pray to be more like you in every way.

  2. I found your blog through Nienie and have been and avid fan! Your spirit and optimism is refreshing and touching. I pray for your family, that you may find peace and normalcy in this upturned time in your lives. May God continue to bless you.

  3. I'm not really sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I've been a faithful follower for quite awhile. :) My 4 year old son is also a wheelchair user, he was born with spina bifida and has been using his "ride" since he was 2.5. As I was reading about Kollin customizing his new wheelchair I wanted to let you know of the freewheel. we are hoping to get our son, Grey, one before he starts school, and I thought that it would be something that your adventurous Kollin would get a lot of use out of! It kinda of lifts up the front castor wheels so that he will be able to wheel through grass, sand, woodchips, and other uneven surfaces. I feel like a commercial, I promise I am not a salesperson! Just another mom. :) Anyway, just wanted to let you know how amazing your family is!! So happy that you are home and that your "new normal" can finally begin!

  4. I think it's awesome for you to share part of your beautiful letter! Thank you for your testimony - by sharing it, you strengthened mine :-)

  5. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing. We continue to pray for your family.

  6. I truly wish I had a faith like yours. I have been amazed how it got Nienie through her terrible accident and then I got to read your son's story. There is something magical and utterly beautiful about what you believe in. I am very happy to catch a glimpse of it. Thank you!
    Lots of love

  7. Prayers lifted. Faith is everything. Thanks for sharing yours.

  8. What a beautiful family and what beautiful faith. So happy to read of Kollin's arrival at home. I hope you continue to share your experience as it really is so touching. Wishing your family, and especially Kollin, many good days ahead.

  9. could not sleep, stumbled across this, currently in tears. what a good example..... it's good to
    know that we have such good Christlike people in the world. your family is amazing. thank you for the good attitude and example. :)

  10. Hello Jodie. I just stumbled across this blog while doing an image search, of all things. I don't know you or your family or even live on your side of the country. I am a spiritual person, but not a religious one. I believe in a higher power that supports me but...I confess that belief is flimsy at times and I have to remind myself to surrender to it. Your story has been such an inspiration to me. I feel a great love for your family and admire your good humor, positive outlook and your unwavering faith. Life is not easy for most of us but seeing how your faith supports you makes me understand that it is the ability to shift perspective--from victimhood to gratitude--that saves us from despair. Believing that we are supported, knowing we are loved...that is what saves us. My thanks to you and your family for sharing this journey, with its pains and joys. Kollin is a very lucky boy to have you.