Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

I took this photo of my husband Mike and our youngest son Dan at his grad school commencement ceremony in May 2012. I’m not sure that I was able to adequately capture the look of sheer joy, love and pride that passed between father and son in this photo. Of course you would expect to see a smiling proud father at his son’s graduation but for Mike, to even be there was nothing short of miraculous. Nine months earlier, at fifty years old Mike had two massive, bi-lateral strokes a week apart. The first stroke on the right side of his brain left him paralyzed on his left side with speech and swallowing difficulties. His prognosis was good and we expected a pretty near complete recovery with therapy. A week later another massive stroke on the left side of his brain changed that prognosis. He was moved to intensive care and put into a drug induced coma for a week. It was hell for all of us and there were times when we weren’t sure that he would pull through or how much he would be able to recover if he did. He was in the hospital for a month and then moved to a neurological rehabilitation center upstate. At first he couldn’t hear or speak or walk or eat solid food. He spent eight months at the facility working through intensive daily sessions of speech, occupational and physical therapy. He is now able to walk with a cane and thankfully although he has Aphasia and can’t hear what people are saying, he can speak quite well and he can read. We owe a lot to some great therapists and to so many others who gave emotional and monetary support through some very hard times for us. I owe so much to my family whose love and support gave me the strength I needed to get through it. Mike’s goal was always to come home able to walk and to attend his son’s graduation. I believe it was his own indomitable will and hard work that allowed him to walk out of rehab and two weeks later travel 1000 miles to stand with his son for this picture. I’m not sure that I captured it but the feeling of joy, love and pride was seen and felt and shared by all of us.


About joliepetitemaison

"In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away" Shing Xiong. My quest is my passion to find beauty in all things. To remember to try to live in the moment, to really “see” and hopefully to capture the beauty that surrounds us in everyday life. I aspire to transcend traditional ideas and to creatively through my photographs express my own unique point of view.
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2 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

  1. What joy!! May God continue to bless all of you and to heal Mike even more completely.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words. He has made tremendous strides in his recovery and we are indeed blessed to be able to celebrate the “new normal” life that we have now and we continue to hope for what the future will bring. Gayle

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