Day 4 – Caleb Goes To Children’s Church

Caleb's Dad ~ 14th November 2010

“One of the things that you need to understand is that when you go to rehab, there will be good days and not so good days.  Some days you will take two steps forward, and some days you will take two steps back.”  That was some of the final advice that we got when we left T.C. Thompson.  I was thinking about that today because for the first 3 days Caleb has been soaring like an eagle with his recovery.  Today has been a more challenging day.

This morning we woke up to the knock of one of the weekend speech therapists.  She said that she lost one of her appointments and that she had some free time and wanted to know if we wanted her to use the extra time to work with Caleb. We said, “Absolutely!”  So we got him up, got him dressed, got him in his chair, and off he went, going to town with his sips of apple juice.  He hadn’t even been awake but about 5 minutes and he was just a slurping away. His therapist commented about how good he was doing with his swallowing.  We moved on to a harder consistency…this time apple sauce. Again, Caleb did great. She mentioned that in her estimation Caleb is doing so well, it won’t be long before they will most likely be letting is give him a couple of containers of yogurt or applesauce before long!

After this we went down to the gym for physical therapy.  Today was a bit of a challenge for Caleb as the therapist really pushed him to strengthen his upper body.  After giving him some play time and time to focus on using his arms and hands to play with toys, she laid out a special foam mat that was aimed at getting him to lay his upper body out over the mat, while his chest and lower body was laying on the mat. He was essentially having to brace his upper body with his hands and arms in a push up like position.  He was also having to hold his head up too.  This was sooooo hard for Caleb, and he cried from the discomfort of it.  I have to say, that was hard to watch.  In those moments when your child is crying you want so much to just pick them up and kiss the tears away, but we couldn’t.  This was his journey and we were there as his loving coaches.  So we praised him along and encouraged every ounce of energy he was spending.  He was such a trooper.  He would every now and then collapse his arms and lay his little head on the mat, rest a second or two, then push up and hold up again.  He did great, and we are so proud of him!

After this came an experience that was truly heartwarming.  We had heard that on Sundays the hospital has Children’s Church. So we got Caleb in his chair and went ondown to worship.  What I saw really touched Tiffany and I’s heart.  As we lifted our son out of his chair and went to our seat, all around us were children, all recovering  from various injuries and diseases, and all of them were praising Christ. It was so beautiful.  As we sang Jesus Loves Me and This Little Light Of Mine, I couldn’t help but think that this was so much of what Jesus intended when he said he was going to build his church. All around us, just like those who surrounded Christ, were the lame, the blind, the deaf, the suffering, and in the case of the little boy down the hall that someone had lovingly decided to take to Children’s Church—the rejected. But even he, as with all of us, were all singing songs of praise to our God—without regard to cultural background, without regard to religious upbringing, ethnicity, economic status, etc.  We were all there for one purpose and united with one goal—to love on God and let him love on us. It was simply beautiful. And Caleb loved it! I couldn’t get the scripture out of my mind where Christ said, “Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them, for it is such as these that make up the kingdom of heaven.”  Wow.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it is the little things that really matter the most.  I got another glimpse of God’s glory and another experience of his grace this morning when I went to get Caleb out of bed for his speech therapy.  And this is probably the “big” thing for today.  When I put my hands under his arms to pull him up, he braced his feet, and pushed really hard and actually supported his weight as I pulled him up.  He stood on own with me holding him under his arms for a few seconds!  And I have noticed today that this was not just a onetime occurrence.  EVERY SINGLE TIME I have lifted him up, he has braced his legs and feet and supported his weight for a few seconds.  I truly believe that Caleb wants to walk and that every time he gets up, his natural instinct is to support himself.  It is so amazing to see him start to be able to do this and to want to be able to do this.

I did mention earlier that today has been a challenging day.  We noticed after his morning therapy that Caleb was very emotional.  He didn’t want to do any more therapy and he seemed to not want to move his arms and legs very much.  He also acted as though his sight was worse and he has not focused on much of anything all day.  We did lay the mat down on the floor and try to do some play time with him and a little physical therapy.  He did pretty well with the physical therapy, but again, you could tell he was not interested in it at all.  The hunch that Tiffany and I had was that he was tired, and later a nurse confirmed our thoughts as she said that often the kids are so tired from all the therapy that Sundays are often sleepy days for them.

There was another encouraging thing that happened earlier.  One of the things that the occupational therapists have been doing  is placing toys in front of Caleb with the hope that he will move his hand toward them—to reach out with his hands to play with them. He really hasn’t done much reaching, but tonight again, we had a first.  After Tiffany had given Caleb his evening bath, we noticed that when the water was sprayed on his leg, he reached out with his dominant hand (his right hand) and tried to wiggle his fingers under the spray of the water.  I decided to make this into a therapy and so I moved the water up and down his body at different intervals, allowing him to reposition his hand up and down, to play with the water.  When I moved the water up his body he moved his hand up to find it. When I moved the water down, he did the same.  When I position the nozzle on the other side of his body and sprayed the water just below his hand,  he was able to wiggle his fingers but not move his arm.  I position my hand under his elbow to move it toward the water and once his fingered felt the water trickling between his fingers he immediately started to wiggle them.  He wanted to do the same thing with his left arm that he did with his right, it’s just that he is not quite there yet. It was great to see him reaching with at least his right arm though.  We will remember that therapy for the next time we give him a bath.

After Caleb took a nap, he spent the rest of the evening cuddling with mommy.  We did get him up in his chair toward the end of the night and let him has his favorite therapy, i.e. speech (also known as taste time!) He got a number of spoonfuls of apple juice and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.  After taste time, we brushed his teeth and laid him back down to have book time with mommy. Not long after he drifted off to sleep.

I have to realize as I feel someone discouraged tonight, mainly by Caleb’s lack of eye sight, that I have to make sure I don’t miss the forest for the trees.  Four weeks ago, I had the thought that I would most likely lose my son.  And now 4 weeks later, not only is he doing well, but in the last 4 days he went from laying in bed, barely moving, having smiled only a few times, to now wanting to walk, being awake and alert most of the day, being very motivated to eat and play, and smiling frequently.

Tonight I would ask that you continue to remember Caleb’s speaking ability and sight in your prayers.  Also please pray for him to have a good night’s rest.  I was up till about 4:00am last night and he had a hard time coughing and waking up all throughout the night, which I am sure also contributed to his mood today.  He is sleeping now and as we all get ready for bed, we look forward to another very full day of therapy tomorrow.  Blessings.

094Would you consider adding Caleb to your church and personal prayer lists? Also a fund has been set up to help offset Caleb's ongoing medical expenses and related costs. Thank you for your love and support! Donations via PayPal can be made by clicking here: 



  1. November 14th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I have been following Caleb , and I want to say a special prayer for him to be able to fully heal . I love that you took him to children’s church. God works in mysterious ways. Love from my home in Cookeville, Tn. to yours !!!!

  2. Harriet

    November 14th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Mom and dad bless your hearts. Will pray for ya’all for rest, sleep and Caleb. Will put Caleb in God’s will for you precious child. God bless.

  3. Donna Wood

    November 14th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve been waiting for the day’s events update. You know, Sunday is the day of rest. Ya’ll are doing such an amazing job loving on precious Caleb. I am praying for all of you tonight and hope you all get some good rest. Much love to you all!!!

  4. Diane Harris

    November 14th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Praying that you and Tiffany get some much needed and well deserved rest.

  5. Kelly

    November 14th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    As I sit here reading todays post, I find myself feeling ashamed. I didn’t go to church this morning because I “didn’t feel good because of getting teeth pulled yesterday”. I am so ashamed of myself after reading this. This post has opened my eyes as to how complacent we can become, and boy am I getting a lashing lesson right now. It is so sad that people, Talking to myself here, make up excuses not to go to the House of the Lord and worship him, and here are these precious babies, who are sick in body way more than I, going to church and praising the Lord. Oh God, forgive me, and teach me to be more like these sweet children….Thank you for posting this today, and as always, I am praying for your family, and now I have a whole new list of angels to pray for. Also the baby whose parents just left him, I don’t understand how anyone could just leave their child, especially when they need them the most, and live with their selves. This just broke my heart, I want children, and here someone has just abandoned their baby. I wish I could just take him, and wrap him in my arms and love him. He is also in my prayers. God Bless and will be praying super hard for these children and calebs speech and eyesight…
    Keep Beleiveng and be blessed

  6. Gayle Oliver

    November 14th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Sweet sleep to you all … Sending up prayers for strength for you … and special prayers for Caleb’s speech and sight ….. <3 … God Bless …

  7. Nicole (Murfreesboro, TN)

    November 14th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    We have been praying for Caleb and family since we fears about the accident right after it happened. We continue to pray for Caleb and family, and we have asked all our friends to pray, as well. I copy and paste all of your updates and send them to friends by e-mail. We will continue to pray for you all. Thanks for keeping us updated.
    The Russell Family (Kingwood Heights Church of Christ)

  8. Rose Carter

    November 14th, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Just to remind you that there are thousands of people praying for Caleb and your entire family that never touch a computer. They get their updates through the newscasts on TV and by word of mouth from people who do use computers. There is no measure and no end to the prayer support that you all have. God bless.

  9. Heather Centracchio

    November 15th, 2010 at 5:33 am

    It is so wonderful that you took him to church. That is the best therapy in the world! I am sorry you all had a rough day, I will pray for a better week for little Caleb. The picture of him and mommy is precious! Thank you for putting so much of yourself into these updates, I know that must take some time to do everyday. A song came to mind when you mentioned children’s church.. The blessings come down as the prayers go up.. Remember all of the prayers that are being said in your family’s name and also that god knows what Caleb needs more than anyone else.. even before we ask.

  10. Jackie

    November 15th, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Enjoyed your post today and praying for your sweet, sweet baby. It’s hard for us to realize that our time is not God’s time and even though this is so hard to go through…God will be glorified. It’s already being seen in some of the post. I can’t wait to watch and see what great and mighty things God does through your family. You preached a very clear sermon today and brought Jesus so real. God bless you all and don’t lose faith. God’s love and mercy is written all over this event and He has great things in store for Caleb and your family.

  11. Tammy Cagle

    November 15th, 2010 at 7:06 am

    hate he had a bad day today

  12. Amber Pickel

    November 15th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    This news is just amazing. I’ve been following your story ever since it happened. And I pray really hard every day for you and your little boy. I am so glad that he’s getting better more and more every day. I will continue to pray and think about Caleb daily. Maybe it wont be too long til he has a full recovery. It’s just awesome to see his smiling face in the pics that you post. He’s a very sweet little boy. :)

  13. Elaine

    November 15th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Our Caleb continues to pray for yours! Ours is 4, but also has an older and younger brother. You do not know us, but our family has been praying for yours and will continue. Thanks for putting so much time into the updates! It helps us know how to specifically pray for you.

  14. Michelle Bowen

    November 15th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you and your family for being transparent. It’s during these times that we can reach out and help because we understand your hearts. Caleb’s recovery is touching lives, and giving God the Glory. Bless you Caleb, mommy and daddy.

  15. Patsy Gupton

    November 15th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Bless all of you!! It is so good to see Caleb doing so well and going to Childrens Church, this is so wonderful, but I hate he had a bad day. Hope he continues to do well and you all can get some sleep. We all will keep praying for you and Caleb in getting his sight and speech back.
    Love you all!!!

  16. Audra

    November 15th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Every day is a good day, no matter how hard. It is so inspiring to read of your pure love and dedication to your son’s recovery. He is doing wonderfully, and I know that God will bless him with a full recovery. I have a son close to Caleb’s age, and reading your updates really move me, and I am so grateful to get to hear your thoughts. Caleb is so lucky to have you as parents. I will pray for all of you every single day. God Bless You.

  17. Mary Strain

    November 15th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Tiffany, I just wanted to tell you that even though I can’t be there right now, you all are on my mind 24/7. Many of my friends are following you guys and praying!! This is one of the reasons I’m so thankful for technology and facebook!! Praying for a full recovery, and thanks so much for the updates!!! The pictures of you all are so sweet! Love you all! Your cousin, Mary

  18. Tammi Wyatt-King from Nolensville

    November 15th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I am late catching up today! Blessing for a great week!
    May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

  19. Ron and Gail Rogers

    November 15th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Tim, Tiffany, and Caleb
    Ron and I look forward each day to Caleb’s progress. Thank you for taking the time to tell everyone how you all are doing. We continue to pray for Caleb and long for his complete recovery. We have a merciful and loving God and we praise Him for Caleb’s journey. You all are in our prayers.
    Ron and Gail Rogers

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