Sunday, July 8, 2012

baby maximus: experience and gratitude, a post from my parents

This was my family today.  The entire bunch of them. 
My dad asked if he could post to my blog:

I have borrowed this space from Christina, our youngest, to tell you a bit about our experiences these past two or so months and also to express our gratitude for all those who supported Maximus Taisei and his family.

One Saturday evening, April and Dave, our oldest daughter and her husband who live next door, comes over.  I say to them, “they’re coming next week.” Dave says, “no they’re not.” We say to them that Christina had called the day before that they were. So the whole event is explained. We had to have them repeat it several times. Not being able to see Max in person, we didn’t know what to think or imagine. “Will I be able to go on walks with Max as we did just a few months before in Kalaheo?” I thought.

Then we hear from Christina that they will be able to come back and Max be treated at University of Utah Burn Center. I am not a University of Utah fan (I went to Y) but I know he will be in good hands. On the day of their arrival, my wife and I drive to the airport in separate cars so Max, Christina, and Karl can go directly to the hospital. Instead of waiting for them in a parking area, my wife wanted to go in. I was so nervous I could not sit down. I didn’t want to become emotional in front of others. They finally come out. They look terrible. Max looks like he was hit by a freight train.   The plane departure from Hawaii was delayed and Max evidently did not sleep much at all. He had bandages on his face. He was very tired. It wasn’t him, it seemed. I had never experienced a trauma of this caliber myself, my siblings, my four children or our grand children. So it was hard to see him like this. Most of all, he did not act like his old Max.
Chris and Karl had a good system going. Karl stayed with him at the hospital at night because he can sleep anywhere. Chris would go during the day, Karl would home, take a bath, and work.

Max came home after 3 weeks at the U of U hospital. He was looking much better but still not the old him. I think it was due to his medication. Eventually he became old himself. He signs. He even created his own sign for “Granpa”. That’s me! The sign is half way between throwing a kiss and a snappy salute. Max has been very brave and stoic about his condition. One thing I do not like is his rehab of stretching. I do not mind him yelling or screaming when his hands and fingers are being stretched, I am sure the process is painful. But when he is trying to hold back, as we say in Japanese,  ”gaman”, it hurts us much more. I am sure the procedure is not easy on Chris or Karl either.

This happened after one of sessions that take place several time a day.

I am sure this will be a lifelong challenge for Max but at the same time, it will not control his life. Scars don’t look good at all right now, but they will get better we are certain. And after all, we named him MAXIMUS TAISEI.

My wife, Junko, and I would like to thank all those people who have supported them in many many ways. I am sure it wasn’t easy taking care of Max’s siblings for a whole week while Chris and Karl tended to  Max’s needs, or clean their house, take care of Karl’s trees, etc., etc., etc.
Many thanks to all!

Junko and Teruo Urabe


Malea said...

What a wonderful, sincere, courageous Granpa you are! I am so blessed to know Christina. She is such a great example to me. Thank you for being such supportive parents. I smiled and cried at the same time while reading this.

Amy said...

What a sweet post from someone who obviously loves baby Maximus very much!

Emily said...

love this. . .

Kat Clark said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I know that even before the accident your dad was very close to Maximus in a special way. Such a tender love. I'm so glad you have such an amazing family to love you and support you. Thanks for sharing.


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