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Tender Mercies

Tender mercy: Today, I showed Max the chain he was wearing when he was burned a month ago. Max said that his counselor had given it to him at camp. His counselor had asked him to remember the phrase “in totum” which is Latin for “be whole”. Then it hit me that the first mantra we used in the hospital when Max woke up and was having dreams of his body parts all over was simply: “I am whole’. We repeated it and taught Max to say it with us through a few dark days. Today putting the pieces together helped us see more of God’s hand in this experience. Max spoke of how that phrase resonated and brought him peace amidst the confusion, darkness, and pain.

Miracles and tender mercies surround us.
“I … will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all .. because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”
Max even went to sacrament meeting today! Beautiful Sunday together with our sweet family  🙂

TenderMercies_Bednar_5x7

Blessed

The miracles today:
-Max walking up our front stairs and driveway. He is getting stronger. 
-When anyone else would just feel tired & justified, Max so wants to start school at the end of the month. He wants to do rigorous physical therapy and challenge himself daily to get there.
-I am grateful to be alive, here together at home, our little ones having joined us again after playing with cousins for the week. I remembered being in the hospital and praying to be home. I will remember the miracles and blessings no matter what.
-I am grateful to be done with wound care for another day. I am grateful he’s another day closer to healing.
-My body is tired of waking up in the night and remembering the essentials for healing in the day, but my heart is full of hope for my brilliant boy.
-Max wrote for the first time today. He picked up a pen and this is what came out- unassisted. “I am blessed. I am empowered.
I am strong. I am healing.
I am inspiring. I am inspired.”

I am
Love this thinking! Grateful for mental healing.

Pray for continued healing of the open wounds and the perfect healing for Max. Pray for rest that we may all be renewed and get the pain managed in a healthy way. Pray that his grafted skin can operate as much like his normal skin as possible. Pray that Max will be ready to go to school when the time comes! Pray for strength for others that are in pain.

New Normal

Even though today felt a bit normal, it was sprinkled with miracles. I’m leaning into this new normal:)

  • Awesome haircut by Alona here at home (to clean up that hospital cut)
  • Physical therapy at the burn unit- it’s a miracle to get out of there without full on sobbing several times:)
  • One of our main concerns has been hand and arm range of motion – in the past 3 days Max has gone from 110 degrees to 150 on his trickiest skin graft. Miracle!
  • Wound care at home (found 5 more staples and praying that’s the last of them)
  • And we even dropped in on a going away party for our dear friends the Huddlestons. (Max wanted to go, did great with questions & hugs, and did well recovering from all the excitement.)

Friends

Every day feels like a metamorphosis, using the best of natural medicine as his skin evolves over time. During wound care, Max asked, “Do I scare people?” He wants people to be close to him. I told him, “People want to hug you, but they need you to take the lead. They may be worried that they could hurt you.”

friends

Today, Max’s friends (Angela, David, Sierra, & Hyrum) came to visit him. Max was super excited before they came. He gave each of them a big hug when they came in. They all talked and laughed together for an hour. Max even bragged about the diamond texture of his new grafted skin.

Right after they left, he hugged Nat and started to sob. I thought he was embarrassed, that he was finally grieving for himself. Then he spoke about how sad he was about Katie’s death. “How can people be gone so fast? I didn’t even get to know her.”

Tonight, he prayed, “Thank you for the things we have learned, the things we have gained, and the things we have lost. Thank you so much for time we get to spend with loved ones. Please bless the Hancocks. Thank you for death and suffering.”

Divine Design

Burrito

This morning we drove to the hospital for our our first outpatient therapy and wound care. We got there at 8 am, and left at 1 pm (5 long hours of wound care, physical therapy, & cast making and sawing). While we were there, they took out the feeding tube, so now Max is totally wireless!

Up until now, the doctors have wanted to see Max’s skin grafts & burns every day to track their progress and healing. After looking at them today, they told us they only need to see them once a week!

On the drive home, Max was quiet for a long time. Then he said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about the accident. If I could go back in time and change it, I wouldn’t. I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.”

Maybe being whole isn’t about living the life you expected. Maybe it’s about loving what is.

“Let the kaleidoscope of life’s circumstances be shaken, again and again, and the “true believer of Christ” will still see “with the eye of faith” divine design and purpose in his life.” – Neal A. Maxwell (Full Speech)

Facing Fears

Here’s a shot of yesterday’s homecoming:

Homecoming

All of our other children went to play at their cousin’s, so Nat and I got to spend the whole day with Max! It was such a joy! The peace in our home is so rejuvenating. Max’s voice has been a whisper. We talked for over an hour after dinner, and Max got his voice back! He shocked himself when he heard his normal voice again.

Max definitely has his appetite back, too! He had some of his favorites today: omelets, deviled eggs, and Café Rio burritos!

At dinner, he shared his perspective on the accident, and we got to share ours. We took a walk outside, and he said, “I want to go look at the place where it happened in the garage. I need to face my fears.” And he did it.

Home

Miracle of miracles: HE’S HOME!!!!
We brought in a bed so we can care for him. We are in our own beds in our own home rejoicing that our sweet family can be together again! Miracle of miracles. So grateful for this new stage of healing. 

Praying that the healing will continue.

impossible

Everlasting Kindness

Natalie and I were asked to speak on Strengthening Testimony in sacrament meeting today. It was a sacred gift to be able to share the miracles with our ward family.
Natalie’s Talk: Audio | Text
Andy’s Talk: Audio | Text
In between our talks, a young man sang a moving rendition of My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee

Then we rushed to the hospital to do wound care. We celebrated these miracles:

  • Max ate 1200 calories yesterday!
  • Max had his best physical therapy session yet – thank you Mark!
  • Max has hit every benchmark and is healing so well!
  • Nat and I are now certified to do his wound care, and (drum roll please)
  • MAX COMES HOME TOMORROW!!!! He starts a new phase of his healing.We are all super excited to be together again!! So so so grateful!!!

Love

Nat and I want to thank the army of angels (seen and unseen) who have supported our family:

Susan, Kathy, Mason, Lorene, Markus, Anna, Daniel, Mindy, Katelyn, Laura, Andrea, Bryan, Kathleen, Angela, Quinn, Randy, Cara, Danny, Nicole, John, Narelle, Matt, Seantay, Brianna, Ashlee, Justin, Eric, Julie, Nick, Tiffany, Kelly, Brittain, David, Tammy, Carol Ann, Christy, Mark, Roy, Marjorie, James, Chelsea…

Nurses:

  • John-Nathan
  • Mary
  • Colby
  • Laura & Laura
  • Lisa
  • Julie
  • Martina
  • Amy
  • Alex
  • Jennifer
  • Jason
  • Mary
  • Barbara
  • Halle
  • Jenn
  • Jill
  • Liz
  • April
  • Brad

Doctors:

  • Dr. Lewis
  • Dr. Cochran
  • Dr. Morris

Other Angels on Staff:

  • Kristen
  • Walter
  • Daphne
  • Bret
  • Ray

All who brought meals, sat with Max, watched our kids, prayed for us, fasted, shared our posts, visited, sent cards…

Max has inspired us beyond words. He gets to prove his strength through daily physical therapy over the next 6 months. Thank you in advance for your prayers for him to have the will power and patience to endure.

Hug

Miracles today:
– Receiving this “hug” from our boy! Feels so good to be learning and doing life with our boy!
Hug
-I asked Max what he was thinking at one point today. I was thinking his response might be a little discouraged or disappointed or depressed. Instead he replied, “I’m so grateful for this moment with you.” I will spare you from describing the moment, but it was less than comfortable or desirable and for his mind and focus to be on gratitude is an amazing miracle to me.
-Amidst the frustration of just wanting to go home & meeting all the benchmarks and still remaining there, I am so grateful for Andy and all of our children and the family connection that we share that makes any moment apart one of longing and moments spent together so sweet!
-Grateful for sweet friends who bring hope, smiles, and distractions:)
-Grateful for the gifts of the earth (whether diffusing, doing foot soaks, or just rubbing on Max’s feet) these essential oils support Max’s mind & body so beautifully.
-Grateful to make it through our 1st dressing change all by ourselves.

Thank you for your prayers for Max’s growing appetite & a sweet return home.
– Nat

Joy

Hallelujah for the miracles of today:
– Max started out the day walking laps to avoid his blood thinner shot
– Max’s last oxygen issues were miraculously resolved after a good nose blow
– Every major body function working well!
– Decrease on all meds & Max is handling very well
– Eating & swallowing well with soft foods
– Time together with Max outside
outside
– Feeling joy for the first time in weeks. I’ve felt grateful numerous times, but just today I felt joy again as Andy walked me out to the car and we reflected on the sweet relief that Max’s progress brings and just looking forward to being together as a family again just fills my heart to overflowing!
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
-Joseph Campbell
We are all surviving & the joy is burning out the pain!
Praying for: an appetite & calorie intake, strength to walk tall and straight & do physical therapy, help for Mom & Dad to do wound care on our own, and our family together with Max home soon!
– Nat