Friday, May 23, 2008

Owen Danyo: growing in wisdom, age and grace

Quite frankly, I haven't been able to blog since my friend Curt Wayne died. Part of it was a reluctance to descend or ascend into anything mundane after the blunt experience of accompanying somebody I loved on his last earthly journey. Part of it was the knowledge that his wife Teri, whom I also love dearly, experiences his loss with such wrenching pain that I don't want to add to her burden as yet another person who is "moving on" with life. I know grief. It is like the gnashing, voracious creatures in The Langoliers. Grief casts you out of time while leaving you in space that looks real but is only dust and ashes, the leavings of a previous existence. I wonder if King had grief in mind when he wrote that haunting tale? At least the folks on his Flight 27 had each other. Grief is lonely these days. The Victorians kept in black for a year. We expect people to get on with it after the funeral meats are consumed.

Teri asked me last night for some happy news. I told her my daughter Emily, her former babysitter, is pregnant. That's happy. Emily eloped with fiance Scott in February, on the very day her dad and I were scouring Newark looking for a house to turn into the new Stabosz home. So now they are expecting a son or daughter -- our seventh grandchild!

But this morning my daughter Reetie sent me to her son Owen's Care Page update, and here I found a picture I can post for the first time after showing you all my good buddy Curt.

Here's my grandson Owen. He just had his second birthday. You remember Owen? Given up for dead by the medical folks. Badly brain-injured out of the womb, expected to die shortly afterwards, best case projection being severe cerebral palsy and death in weeks, months or even a year or two as his growing body grew too complex for his limited cortex functioning.

Here is Reetie's update on Owen:

29 May 22, 2008 at 11:57 PM EDT
There's a lot of good news to share with you all. Owen turned two years old in March and he is growing wonderfully. There are neither cognitive nor physical delays; in fact, he is quite perceptive, agile and communicative. He can actually throw a Frisbee! The neurologist requested to see a video of this; search on YouTube under pawpawfamily.

During the past month, he has made strong gains with his speech. He is working on articulation of vowel sounds. His therapist is very pleased with his progress. They have a lovely bond, and she is very experienced and great to work with.

Wade continues to be a very strong anchor for Owen. The first thing in the morning, Wade goes upstairs to greet Owen. Often they go through Owen's bucket of speech pictures, followed by looking out the window for Daddy's truck. They eat breakfast, and then settle into play in the living room while I clean the kitchen. This morning, it was the train set that occupied the time. After that, Wade and I worked on a volcano project (he's making up a board game called 'Dinosaurs In Trouble'), while Owen played with water toys in the bathroom sink.

Ruth is a beaming presence in Owen's life. Their bond is so sweet. There's a nice mixture of nurturing along with the annoying baby brother factor.

We are continually basking in the joy of Owen's remarkable recovery. He continues to be his own best teacher and therapist via his own will and enthusiasm.

Oh, and while I am myself basking in bragging grandmom mode, I should point you all to Owen's sister Ruth and her hula-hoop routine. God bless YouTube!