Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Final Post

Well, here it is. This is going to be my first and last entry on this blog. Actually, I am writing this probably around 30 thousand feet in the air! Matt is passed out beside me (I am sure that won't surprise any of you who know him!). We were bumped up to first class so that it would be more convenient for me (oh the hardships of being in a wheelchair! Ha!). Steve and Lori's church flew me and Matt down to surprise the two of them for Christmas and it couldn't have worked out better! The two of them were definitely surprised! (Watch the video) We had an amazing time. We left Mom and Dad home alone for Christmas, but they claim that they behaved themselves the whole time. Somehow I find that hard to believe...

One of the best parts of Detroit was the total lack of snow! It rained once or twice while we were there but I didn't mind because I will take anything over snow! I might just have to take another vacation to get a break from this weather before winter is over...

I really wanted to take Kilian (Steve and Lori's dog) home with me but I wasn't up to attempting to fit a dog that weighs more than I do in my bag! I was starting to get used to having a dog who can just lay his head on my lap though! Maybe that will be something for me to take a look at when I get back...

Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who wrote comments and well wishes on this here. I still can't believe how many people showed their support through this blog. I can still remember having my Mom sitting beside my bed reading everything people wrote, while I laid there in traction. That seems like it was ages ago! Luckily life is now basically back to normal. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support you gave throughout my recovery. I wish you all the best in 2007!

-Mike

P.S. A special thanks to my brothers who came up with this blog (I would have never thought of that!) and for all of the entries them and my Mom threw on there!

P.P.S (From Mom)
Yes, that was Mike's final post to the blog but I thought I might add a
postscript to update you on what was happening in the Barker household.
January, we moved into our house in Sherwood Park amidst the flurry of construction and ongoing unpacking. In spite of the fact that Mike had only a shower and toilet in his bathroom at first, he patiently waited for us to continue tiling, painting, and, thanks to Grandpa Dickau, install a custom-made cabinet. We needed a vanity that was high and wide enough for Mike to get his chair under, yet still have drawers on either side for storage. Thankfully Grandpa and Grandma came to our rescue because we had very specific needs! Not only did Grandpa build the bathroom vanity, he also built Mike a night stand, complete with drawers made to measure for his supplies, a slide out board to extend the surface area when needed and even a shelf which sits above the night stand but will swing out over his bed. Grandpa builds the furniture and Grandma stains and paints. Needless to say their "workshop" was busy!
The elevator has worked wonderfully although we still have some cosmetic things to finish i.e. trim and thresholds. Mike enters through the garage and can either come up a few feet to the main floor or go down to the basement to his bedroom, bathroom and rumpus room. The whole basement is laminate flooring which makes wheeling easy. I'd like to say that Mike's room is kept clean but he promises to do it….tomorrow!
Mike got his van, a Buick Terazza, a few weeks ago and takes full advantage of his independence. He drives up the ramp out the side door, "ties" in his wheelchair, transfers to a 6-way power chair which swings around and then forward to the steering wheel. He is making up for months of not going shopping by going to West Edmonton Mall numerous times on his own. Nice to see he hasn't lost his shopping skills! He still drives to the Steadward Centre at the University three times a week to work out and use the FES rowing machine. There is talk of a summer job and Mike plans to go back to university in the fall.
Neil and I went to Detroit in February. Neil was able to stay for one week but Steve and Lori managed to put up with me for three weeks. Von (the most beautiful, contented grandchild in the world…unbiased opinion) and I had lots of time to bond! Mike stayed home alone and managed just fine.
Life has returned to 'normal' and we are enjoying being settled. Steve, Lori and Von came for a short visit and, due to the fact that Matt moved home, we were all under one roof again. Could it get any better?

Mike and I were talking this morning. One of the guys staying at the Glenrose while Mike was here became a paraplegic while doing a "jump" on his quad. I commented on the fact that this fellow had such a positive attitude saying he'd had his accident while doing something that he loved. Mike replied, "Me, too! I had my accident doing something I love and am good at….sleeping!" Yep, some things never change!!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

mike,

I have been anticipating the story of the barker christmas surprise trip for awhile now. (it is quite amazing how a whole church could keep a good secret like that from one of the pastors!)

thanks for the last post on here.

it has been incredible reading messages and other people's posts.
It has also been great to hear about progress.

hope the house is coming along.

peace
thomas

Anonymous said...

It was so good to read about the lovely surprise trip. It has been a priviledge being a part of your lives for the last 6 months. You have always been special people but in the last 6 months more so. Could you maybe put an entry on the blog every month or so that those of us that live a long way away can continue to pray for you as you complete your readjustments. You are an amazing family. lots of love. Dale & Debbie Kryvoblocki

Tracey Krusz said...

Happy New Year Barker Family!! I guess with the coming of the new year this is the right time to stop the blog. Mike, your first and final post was great---you're a real class act. I'm sure you're anxious to get on with normal life and not have all your business thrown out there into cyberspace, but we are all really grateful that you allowed us to come alongside you on this journey. Brenda, your posts were wonderful--I feel like I got to know you, which was a pleasure. I will continue to remember you all in prayer, as I'm sure so many others will. I am so glad I got to know your family. Matt and Steve--thank-you for creating the blog, which was so helpful to our prayers. Steve, thank-you for ministering so faithfully to my kids and the other youth at Grace. Neil--keep working on those renovations!(bet you'll be glad when those are done!) Most of all, have an amazing year "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus." HAPPY PRESSING ON!!! Love in Christ, Tracey

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Your smile radiates in your pic with brothers.The inspiration your story has brought to others should make you and your family proud.Your continued positive attitude, determination, and courage made this feat miraculous.

Setbacks and emotional rollercoasters are a guarantee,but you have shown that believing in God and your supports that nothing will stop you from being all that you will become.You are amazing.

I wish you and your family blessings of peace and the continued love you have for each other.Take care,Elizabeth Young

Julie-Anne said...

Hey Mike
Happy New Year!! It is awesome to read something directly from you. I am glad to hear that things are going well for you and life is fairly normal now. It sounds like you had fun in Detroit. Glad you got to spend time with your brothers. Have a great 2007!
~Julie-Anne in Ontario~
P.S. That is quite the picture of 3 good-looking brothers :P

Anonymous said...

Mike and family,
You are such a close knit bunch, it has been amazing to see God work in your lives through hardships and seeing the blesings as well. You have touched my heart and many others I am sure! Thanks for letting us into your lives, and it is great to have the final episode written by Mike himself! Seeing your smile light up the screen and watching that video just encourages us all that Gods love is alive and His people are still showing the world his light! What a fantastic surprise, hope you all had a great Christmas, and I wish you the best in 2007!
Thanks again for opening you hearts to us, we will continue to pray for you all!!
God Bless,
Cousin Susan H

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

This Barker blog has really been a blessing for a lot of people, including me. Being able to see and read about this experience in your life has been great. I've prayed for you every day since the accident, and I still will. Thanks for sharing with us, Mike, Steve, Matt, Mr. and Mrs. Barker. In response to the first comment posted, only like three or four people knew the 'Barker brothers' were flying in. The Best is Yet to Come in 07. I guess I'll sign off (and check in once in a while) with a quote-- "Whatever year this is, let's make 2007 a year we live life intentionally. You and I get one chance to do this, one lifetime to let God shine big through our time on earth. The way you live your life is your song back to God, your chance to let Him shine through you. If you were the sky, this would be your sunset. If you were a musician, this would be your song. Sing it loud."

Britney Helsing
Chesterfield, MI

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike!

Man it is good to hear from you! (not that we don't like your mom... but ya know!!) I'm really happy for you that you got to go away for Christmas, but mostly jealous...

It's good to hear from Matt now and then about how you are doing, but I look forward to seeing you at school again and being able to talk to you! (sorry Matt!)

Well..like I have said before... good luck with all the changes, but mostly... just have fun!! Hope to see you soon!

Ashlee

jim said...

It's been a privilege to share the journey your family and you have been on, Mike. Very neat that Steve's church brought you and Matt out to visit over Christmas. May God continue to bless you and heal you over the coming months and years. Often as I've prayed for you and your family over the last eight months, Psalm 20 has been a part of those prayers. I leave it with you; this version is from Eugene Peterson's translation, The Message:

God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.

When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners.

May all your wishes come true!

That clinches it—help's coming,
an answer's on the way,
everything's going to work out.

See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we're making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame — and we'll be on our feet, standing tall.

Make the king a winner, God; the day we call, give us your answer.


Keep on keepin' on, Mike! God bless!

Julie-Anne said...

Great Video!!!

Hope that things go well for the whole Barker family over the coming year. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us. Thanks for being willing to be so open with people don't necessarily even know. May God Bless and keep you and guide you through all that comes your way.

Julie-Anne

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.