1. Starting from the end of the week: Scott's trach was removed this morning! He no longer needs any assistance to breathe and can speak normally.
2. OK, going backwards: My sister and her husband were here over the weekend. Brianna was so helpful at the hospital, making sure that Scott was getting adequate care and prodding the process along. And Collin was an angel at home, playing with the boys and keeping them entertained. They taught Mom and I to play a game called "One Night", which is a spin-off from "Werewolf" that was actually pretty fun. Watching Brianna and Collin interact was bitter-sweet for me; they are so cute together. I am so glad that my sister is happily married.
3. The Scott-highlight from Sunday was that he got off the ventilator! At first, they gave him supplemental oxygen through a little mask over his trach but gradually that was weened away until he was able to breathe without any support.
4. Monday, Scott got out of bed for the first time in more than two weeks. The nurses helped him into a wheelchair and I got to take him outside into the sun. He also started talking; most of it was too quiet to hear and the rest was nonsense but those first attempts were wonderful to see.
5. I took two of the kids up to see Scott this week. First, on Tuesday, I took Leif. Leif was a little shy but Scott was very affectionate with him and Leif soon warmed up. I brought a big stack of Scott's favorite picture books to read and was very surprised when Scott read the titles to me. He also recited along at some parts: "tsk, tsk, tsk" in Caps for Sale and "dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum" in Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Seeing Leif happily sitting next to his dad on the hospital bed was good for my heart.
6. Scott also started physical therapy on Tuesday--which meant he got to walk! He was so grateful for that; he kept telling the physical therapists how awesome they were.
7. Wednesday, I took up Carl who has been asking since day two to see his Dad. It wasn't the best day for it--Scott was very lethargic--but Carl was great. He showed Scott his LEGO creations and played Super Tux for him. Afterward, someone from the Sycamore ward took Carl to play with their kids while I stayed with Scott. Apparently, Carl got to see a ton of cool LEGOs, go to a baseball game, and attend a scouting activity.
8. Scott did perk up for one thing on Wednesday: when Asa and Sara came to visit. Asa is like magic for Scott. When he came, Scott was having his mandatory out-of-bed time, sitting up in a wheelchair. Asa entered and Scott lit up, even more than the last time. He was really trying to communicate with Asa; I'm certain the mental exercise was good for him. Asa brought another one of the dogs (Tuvane this time) and let Scott pet him. Scott was happy to see Asa and the dog; I was happy to see Sara. I like her so much.
9. That night, Carl and I stayed in Sycamore at the bishop's house. That night, I had the best sleep I have had since ... well, probably since Soren was born. I think it's because the basement was cool and dark. I slept from 10:00 pm until 9:00 am on Thursday morning!
10. Thursday, Carl got to participate in Scott's physical therapy and he was very excited and impressed by everything that Scott did. Even though his abilities are so very minimal, Carl thought everything was amazing. I was so grateful for his optimism.
11. Which brings us back to Friday. Today, Scott seemed to be doing much better. A couple of masons went up to visit him this morning and installed him as the junior warden (an office he was elected to just before his fall). I was worried that Scott would still be lethargic and non-responsive so it was wonderful when Brother Knox called me, just glowing about the experience. He said that Scott was very alert and cheerful, that he seemed to know what they were doing, and that he tried to recite a bit of ritual when they handed him his jewel of office. I got to see for myself later that afternoon just how much better he was looking and interacting.
12. All the signs of progress from Scott have been nice but the best thing really hasn't changed: I just like to sit next to him on the bed, to touch him and let him touch me, to be grateful that he is still alive and that we can still love each other. I have felt that if we could still have that, we could face anything. Well, we do--and we can.
13. I took Brinton with me today. He played Minecraft, which Scott enjoyed watching. I enjoyed the car rides to and from the hospital with Brinton. Getting to talk with him is one of the joys of being a Berg child.
14. There are favorites that happened away from the hospital, too. Like: my dad came back and finished landscaping my front yard. It is clear of bushes now with beautiful new grass. Then, he and my mom repainted the porch railing. It looks amazing.
15. It was nice to watch Leif attach himself to my mom over the week. He really likes her now and is happy to go with her--even just to run errands. He is growing up so much. They all are.
16. One more thing: almost every day this week, Sven has randomly come up and given me a hug, then told me that he loves me. Those moments super-charge me. I am so grateful for the kids. Being with them, having their cheerful optimism rub off on me, is a huge blessing.