Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tonys Helping Hand Benefit Night

So here are finally some pictures from Saturday night. Tonys Helping Hand Benefit was so much fun and filled with family, but also so much emotion as you can see from this picture. I can't tell you enough how much everyones love and support meant to us as the night was a bit overwhelming for the two of us. Not only was everyone in Durango that we could possibly know, but so many friends and family flew in from Chicago to NY. We cannot thank you all enough for the love and support that we felt that night and continue to feel.
ps- Tricky Kitty debut was fantastic as well!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My heart is a-thumping...

Well, the day is quickly drawing near and my heart thuds in my chest just thinking about it. The Benefit. The Tony Miely Helping Hand Benefit this Saturday at Ska Brewing here in Durango from 5-10 with Tricky Kitty (my all girls band) having its world premiere. Many of you have send along encouragement and positive thoughts with things like "You are going to do great!" or "You guys are gonna ROCK IT!" All of these things are probably true but that does not take away the giant black hole of fear I have in my stomach from the thought of singing in front of a crowd of people. And oh yeah, I have never been able to sing and can barely, barely hold a tune and have never thought I would ever be doing something like this.
I had my first live interview on the radio yesterday morning for 30 minutes (KDUR) talking about Tonys accident, the benefit, and Tricky Kitty. My heart was thumping then (lord help me if I swear on the radio is all I could think....)as she began the interview I calmed down and my nerves settled. As she asked me about the accident and what actually happened, my eyes filled with tears and I furiously bit my lip trying to hold back tears. The tears come less and less frequently these days for both of us which is such a nice change compared to a month ago.
Well, as we get ready for so many wonderful friends and family to come into town, we will also be thinking of those that are just with us in to yet another band practice and breathing deep all the while.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

XC skiing for the first time with prosthetic and Cisco

After the excitement of Christmas morning was over and Mom and Dad were packing their car to continue their journey to Jenny, Michael and Kahnes, Tony and I decided to pack up our car and head out to try some XC skiing. We were both a little nervous for the outing, not just because of the new prosthetic that Tony brought home, but also because of the new family addition, Cisco. Across the street from the turn into our neighborhood hosts a fantastic loop to xc ski and in the past have spent many a Sunday morning skiing then heading to the Durango Diner for a green chili breakfast. This was much like those other days, other than the fact that Tony no longer has a hand to hold onto a ski pole. Dad and Tony spent an hour or so fixing a ski pole so his new prosthetic would be able to grip it, but as we headed out onto the trails, he soon realized that this was another new frustrating learning curve. Much of xc poling comes from your wrist, and you need some movement through there. Tony struggled with it a bit and we both had a few tears, but in the end, as always, he kept his chin high and spent the time thinking of how he can adjust his situation to make it work better.
Each time we try something, frustration and anger mount for both of us, but we try to breath deep and realize that life is different and we have to roll with it. We are both excited as we bought Dads Prius from him so we are excited for Tony to have a car to drive now other than his truck. We are slowly selling our vehicles for cars he can drive which will be nice when that is over for sure. It is all those kinds of things we have to think about that most folks wouldn't even think about and I certainly didn't before that is for sure! We are wishing everyone happy holidays and a safe New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

New addition to our family.

So after my minor breakdown on Sunday, and a few tears that night, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and decided it was certainly time to move through some of this grief and enjoy the life that Tony and I have created for ourselves. On Wednesday, Tony texted me a picture of this little Staffordshire Terrier from the pound that needed a home and told me he put a hold on him for Roxy (our other little Staffie) and I to meet. I was very reluctant not just because I missed The Boodog, but it also meant letting go of the past and letting us both move forward into a new phase of our life together. This would be our first dog we got together which was also very exciting. Sometimes you want to wear your grief and sorrow around you like a blanket as it is familiar and comforting. Not always the comfort you need, but familiar nonetheless.
When we got to the pound, I was still reluctant to embrace this new guy, but as most of you know, any kind of animal steals my heart and I can't wait to get my hands on them for some cuddling. He is a smart little guy who is small, sweet and likes to play and run which is a change for us from our geriatric pitbulls we have had for years. As we loaded him into my Honda, he sniffed, circled a few times and laid down. I took this as a good sign and when we got home, we played some ball (which again is shocking to see one of our dogs move at such a quick pace!) and he settled in for the night on a bed beside Tony and promptly fell asleep.
As with anything, moving through this veil of grief and trauma has been hard, but at the same time, moving forward seems to dust of some cobwebs in both of our hearts and reminds us that life indeed does move forward and change and we can either sit back while life passes us by, or embrace these changes and and not just smiles plastered on our face, but have smiles that actually come from the inside and be filled with joy as well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowy Day in Durango

As the weeks creep by, you start to feel the world around you moving forward. People going back to everyday life, and until they see Tony, its almost like it people forget that he is missing a hand and is still dealing with tragedy. This is to be expected and we both were ready for it, but it doesn't change the feelings you have when that does happen as it really brings it home that the world moves on and you have to move on with it. This is much easier said than done as both Tony and I have realized. There are so many feeling inside that surface at different times and you try to keep them in check throughout the day, and then when you collapse on your couch or in bed, they well up to the surface and just the slightest thing can remind you of your new life that has been chosen for you. So many times I look across the room and see Tony working on his physical therapy (which is working his wrist to try to regain a few degrees of movement) and my eyes fill with tears. They are not always sad tears, but many times tears of joy that he is sitting beside me in our beautiful home with a fire roaring and the twinkling lights of our Chrismas tree. These are the tears that I like, that I enjoy. It is the times when I look over and see pain and frustration on his face and he turns to me and just says, "This sucks. I wish I didn't lose my hand." These are the times that I cannot seem to keep it together and memories of that night flood my mind and swirl around my head for days. These are the times when it is hard to keep a smile on my face or feel grateful for anything.
The changes we face together each day are something that few people will ever know or even understand in their life which so many times makes it hard to relate to other folks around us. Or I guess, this is how I feel and I certainly shouldn't begin to guess what Tony is feeling which has to be magnified 1000 times over.
We are both certainly grateful to those around us who are supportive, understanding and realize that this isn't over for either one of us and won't be for quite some time and are sticking around. Life has changed for us and it doesn't always feel great, but we are facing it as best we can. With our heads held high and our spirits lifted, we face each day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

getting fitted for prosthetic

Luke just emailed me this picture from his phone and it is Tony trying on his prototype prosthetic. Cheers to holding a paddle and seeing a smile on his face!!!! I love it!!
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

First day alone...

It is a blustery Sunday morning and when I look out the window, I can see the snow has started covering the mountains. Tony has packed up the car and is picking up Luke Hansen to head to Denver today to pick up his first prototype prosthesis. This has been a long, hard week and I didn't think about how it would feel for Tony to leave and the fears it would bring up as well as some logistics about things. I now realize this is how Tony's folks and my mom must feel everytime we leave. I try to be rational and know that you can't live your life in fear of what may happen, but the thought of it looms heavy on your heart. The last time we were apart, Tony was in ICU and I was in a hotel across the street with my heart pounding with constant worry and fear. Being separtated for the first time, all these fears are welling up inside me, but I am also very excited for Tony to have some time with his friend and to feel that kind of freedom that a prosthetic will bring him.
The logistics of the trip and the driving situation was something neither one of us thought of until just a few days ago. Our truck that we used to only use for camping and hauling is now the only car Tony can drive, and I have to say it is big. Huge actually and when he thought about actually trying to drive it with one hand in Denver, he automatically told me he was taking my car. I then reminded him that it was stick shift and that he couldn't drive that either. It wasn't a tragedy and we are lucky to even have two cars and quickly asked Luke if he minded driving the Honda for Tony. These things don't seem like a big deal, but it is a reminder of what Tony lost forever and that he does have to make changes in his life on so many different levels. Luke is driving it for him, but I know that Tony doesn't like to be able not to drive his own car and not have to feel like feeling like he can't do something, but unfortunetly, that is his reality with some things. Learning how to deal with these kind of everyday changes makes you realize how lucky we in fact do have it....we don't have to sell our cars for a wheelchair adapted van or sell our house for the same reason. We also have good friends that are willing to help in this kind of situation and rally out the drive for Tony.
Life has changed in so many different ways these past few weeks and adapting to it can sometimes be hard, but you just have to keep your chin up and move forward and just make the changes that need to happen one at a time....