Friday, November 26, 2010

2 Years Later.......a letter from Jonathan

Ok, where to start?

Well, it's been 2 years since death knocked on my door & I answered and said "What's poppin, killa?", and slapped him in the mouth haha. I'm just playin I know that it was all God, cause He knew that since I sunburn easy I wouldn't have done well in Hell and they don't make SPF strong enough for that, haha.

Ok, seriously, I know that not everyone reading this may believe in Hell, but if you don't believe in gravity, so what, you're wrong, and if you jump off a mountain you'll find out very fast how very wrong you are. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Being that science said I wasn't supposed to be born, and about 2 years ago science said I wouldn't live and if I somehow did that I would be a vegetable and now I can walk and talk, I'll stick with my belief in a loving, merciful God.

Ok, quick summary of the last two years:
People who know me know that I was a very crazy angry white boy who was very quick to get violent and physical when i felt I needed to. Then I came home 110 lbs, haha. I couldn't get very physical even if I wanted to, so I switched it to verbal abuse. If I would ever hear some one speak to my family the way I did when I got home, that person would possibly be dead or wish they were. So, I also have realizes my true friends, fake friends and those just using me for what I could do or get for them, and hos important family and God is. I've had to change my cell # to get away from dumb guys and brawds. So, I will not post it on here, but if you not dumb email me at and I will email it to you. I've talked to many of you, but not all. So email me if you want.

So, I have seen many physical doctors & brain doctors and have been told I have some limitations and am not ready to go back to work, yet. I told them I've always been this crazy so not sure if it will get better haha. But, I do know and have see my short term memory problems from time to time. So, not I know y'all have prayed for me a lot but please keep it up. I can still use it. And be ready for one thing - I pray every night that God would bless those who have blessed be with their love, concern, support and prayers. So, be ready for your blessing. I know God will hook it up.

Thanks again y'all - love y'all!

2 Years later......

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday, September 29th

After almost 3 months I figured an update was in order. There hasn't been a ton of activity or happenings for me to tell you about. Still, there have been some things going on that I can fill you in on.

The last post on here was about Jonathan being cleared to drive. Well, about a month ago he got a letter in the mail stating that he had to re-take another driving test and be evaluated once again. What we are assuming is that the woman that administered the test the first time, and did not pass him, reported him in some way. Jonathan was pretty nervous. After already having been driving for months now that privilege could have possibly been taken away again. Well, praise the Lord - he passed. I say that out of pure joy, because being around him had he not passed - dear Jesus help me. Thankfully, he did and we didn't have to worry about all of that. :)

Also, in the way of Jonathan's life updates, he just completed another workout course at our church. Every Tuesday & Saturday evening, for 6 weeks, he provided an hour workout class. It is definitely his forte. It's something that he definitely thrives at, and loves. The ladies that were involved just loved it, and can't wait til he offers it again.

Perhaps the most exciting thing that has happened since the last post - our sister had her baby. It is the first grandchild, first niece and their first child. So, to say that her arrival was a big event would be a huge understatement. All of us, except for our oldest brother who couldn't get off of work, made the trip home to be there. Oh, what a sweet bundle of heaven she is!! Rachel & Bryon are just the cutest parents, and little Mercy is the most beautiful baby ever. Of course, we are partial to think this, but really, she is! Jonathan has already named himself "Uncle SJ" - Santa Jonathan. He is looking forward to spoiling her. Mom and I haven't waited long to get that process started. :)

It's been since June that I updated the blog here, and those couple of months have been relatively good ones. Unbelievable that in just 2 short months we will be celebrating the 2 year anniversary of Jonathan's accident and life spared. Thank you to all of you - for your prayers, your support and your love. It's been quite a process/journey. We're ever so grateful for those that have been there with us the entire time. Many great things still yet to come. We'll make sure to share them all with you, so you can continue to see the prayers you prayed almost 2 years ago still coming to pass!

a few pics:

Jon's new ride - NOLA inspired Land Rover

Uncle "SJ" & his little neice

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010

Quite a bit has taken place since the last post. Though, the most sinificant is that JONATHAN HAS BEEN CLEARED TO DRIVE!! About a week ago, maybe 2 now, Jonathan got the official release to begin driving again. You can't even imagine the elation that came with that news. Freedom, on any level, is so vital. He's gotten to go to wal-mart on his own, drive to hang out with his brother, etc. and he's loving every minute of it. Dad recently completed all the finishing touches on his "NOLA" Land Rover. Nearly everything on the truck is custom and he's so thrilled. He's talking alot about going back to school a year from now. He's even been talking recently about even trying to train for basketball again. There's definitely a sense of urgency to fulfill dreams and live his life to the fullest. Of course, when life is nearly taken away from you - your appreciation for it should most definitely grow. For him it aboslutely has.

He's really doing well. He's still living at mom and dad's house. He wants to be much more comfortable driving before he starts to go back to work. With school now as an option he's trying to figure out things right now. So, his future is wide open with many options and dreams to fulfill. Please, continue praying as He seeks the Lord for what HIS plans are for Jonathan. We know they are much bigger than even what we could dream up. He's such a good, faithful and merciful God. Each day I stand in awe of Him. Each day, even the hard ones, He shows that He's got Jonathan and this family in the palm of His hands. It's crazy to think that we're already over the year and a half marker since the journey began. Thank you to all that have been there every step of the way. So many of you weren't able to be there physically, but supported us the entire time in your prayers. They are ever so appreciated. We are ever so grateful!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

OK, so it's been a while since I last posted. I've heard a few requests come in through e-mail. So, this is for all of those at PMSI - here's your shout out! :) And if there's anyone else that's still keeping up with this....journey, then thank you for your continued prayers.

The first thing I must say here for the world to see - GEAUX SAINTS!!! You can't even imagine how exciting this was, and still is, for all of us New Orleans natives. It definitely made for a great start to the year!

We're now in April of 2010 - over a year since Jonathan has been at home and out of the hospital, almost a year exactly since we had his "2ND Chance" celebration. Oh, how many things are different and oh, how many things are the same. That is one thing that I love about my brother - He is consistently him.

On the last post, in January, I asked that everyone pray for Jonathan as he was going to take his driving test and wanted desperately to pass. Unfortunately, he did not pass that test. Though, we have since found out that specific test wasn't completely necessary. I assure you, this whole process has been quite confusing and supremely frustrating for all parties involved. Since that test, Jonathan received a letter in the mail from the Florida DMV stating that in order to get cleared to drive he would need a release from His eye Dr. and general practitioner ensuring that he was physically able to do so. He did receive both, and now he waits to see if he will have to take the normal DMV driving test for the state of Florida. The one he took in January was not through the DMV, but for victims of accidents such as his. So, to say the least - this has been a very big source of frustration on every one's part, but none more than Jonathan. He is desperate to drive - to get back to "life" as he says. He wants to work, and have his "freedom" back. To get in the car and go to walmart when HE wants and not have to wait on someone to take him. Those little things that we all take for granted are so precious to him now.

He and dad have been working on his truck. If you don't know, though I don't know how you wouldn't since he's been shouting it from the rooftops, he has a Land Rover that dad is repairing and restoring. This is what they do. Dad used to be in the automotive body repair business before He became a pastor, and even still sometime after. So, he's been working on the Land Rover with Jonathan's urging, and it is almost complete. It will be a complete New Orleans Saints mobile. They're doing a custom paint job of black and Gold and he has every Saint specific decoration for his car imaginable - including the fuzzy dice! :)

Other than that, as many of you know Jonathan went into the hospital at 205 lbs and came out at around 110lbs. So, he has been working out as much as his body allows and is determined to gain back all that weight. So, as part of his "get-in-shape" initiative he has also been holding a workout class at our church on Tuesday and Saturday nights. A few of the ladies at the church are taking advantage of this free personal trainer hour and he thoroughly enjoys being able to help.

So, overall, this year so far has been much better than the last, and we are believing that trend will only continue. Many, many thanks to everyone who has kept Jonathan in your prayers throughout this year and a half. It's been a rough road most of the time, but one of victory and triumph in the midst of it all.

Here's a few pictures from this year so far:
Jonathan at our cousing Amy's wedding

Jonathan and Rachel (our older sister) and baby on the way

Jonathan at home - in the French Quarter

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

It's been so long since I updated, but this is still going to be quick. Jonathan's driving test is tomorrow. Please be in prayer for him to pass. His heart is set on it. So, please lift him up tomorrow. The test is extensive - an hour and a half long. He'll need patience, which is lacking in most of us Newman's. :) I'll keep you all posted on the results.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

It's been over a month since the last post, and word on the street is that people are requesting an update. So, Hello to everyone at PMSI! :)

As always, this has been an interesting and eventful month in the Newman house. The last update was in reference to Jonathan's surgery. As most, if not all, of you know - everything went great. They may have to go in again to put in a different kind of tube, but still, there were no major complications, infections or anything along those lines.

At the end of November, in celebration of 1 year since Jonathan's accident, the whole family met in Georgia for a week in the mountains. If you know our family on any level, you know that such a peaceful place didn't stay as such for long. :) We're a loud and crazy bunch, and we had a great time. Sure, there were events that we could have done without, but overall it was a great trip. As there are no TV's there, SCRABBLE was an every night competition. It's safe to say that we may have one of THE MOST competitive bunch around. Scrabble was definitely played on a level that most board games never achieve. :)

We're still amazed that it's been a year since the accident. Oh, what a year it has been. One of great trial, but one of great triumph! In looking back, we couldn't help but want to bless those that are in similar situations as we were this time last year. So, Jonathan got to cooking and mom got to shopping. Last night, with goodie bags, plush toy craw fish, almond balls, jambalaya and beer battered craw fish in tow me, mom, dad and Jonathan made our way up to the ICU floor at Tampa General. We visited the waiting room that was our "home" for over a month last year, and talked with those whose loved ones were presently there. Some cried as they told us their story, some expressed their faith that God would do the same for their situation as He did for ours, but all were amazed and hopeful in looking at Jonathan who was possibly worse off then their loved one, but now walking and talking and of course cracking jokes! :) Many said it was a blessing to them to have us come, but I promise you - the pleasure was all ours. To be on the other end, with the ability to proclaim God's goodness and come with a literal living testimony...simply priceless!!

After we talked to all the families in the waiting room, we went to visit the nurses and patients back in the ICU. We saw some of the faces that took care of Jonathan last year, and all were amazed! They rarely get to see what their work has done. When people leave the ICU they're not yet in the "finishing" stages of their recovery, and they rarely get to see that. So, last night was a treat for them. Of course, we came bearing treats of all kind - Jambalaya, cat fish and our infamous almond balls. Jonathan also ordered plush craw fish from mardi gras outlet in LA to give to the patients in ICU and the nurses and staff. We stayed back there for a while visiting with everyone since it was a "slow night" back there. We went over to "Jonathan's room" number 5122 where He was last year for over a month. I got a little teary eyed standing outside of the room with him, watching him talk and laugh and joke with the nurses and staff. Oh, how far we have come!!

This year has been...hard, remarkable, rewarding, blessed, stressful, crazy, joyful, and inspirational all at once. We've cried more then ever, and laughed more than before. We've rejoiced for all that God's done, while crying out for Him to continue the work that is still necessary. He has been SO faithful. That is the one word that has new meaning or true meaning - FAITHFUL - that's what He is. Even in the most devastating of times, when it seems our world is crashing down - He's faithful! He's proven Himself over and over and over again.

As we told the many families last night - we would not be here but for the prayers of so many around this nation and world. Your prayers, and the prayers of countless others were heard, and were answered. We can't thank you enough. There are no words to express our gratitude, so THANK YOU will have to suffice, and we ask that they continue! :)

Here are a few pictures from our Georgia Trip:

And last night - Jonathan now standing on the OUTSIDE of room 5122:

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

So, today was Jonathan's surgery. All went well. It was definitely longer than I anticipated it would be - 8 hours! I didn't realize just how much was necessary. Though they were simply repairing the tear duct in his right eye - it was anything but simple. In order to do so they had to re-arrange his right eye socket which makes it all more detailed. While it was a long surgery he came out of it just as he went into it - goofy and making jokes. I happen to be wearing a plaid shirt today. When I saw him in recovery, just after surgery, he asked me, with a smirk on his face, why I was wearing a table cloth as a dress. :) So, you can see - he's good! :)

I must say that it was a bit of an odd feeling pulling back up to the hospital. Though my mom and dad have accompanied Jonathan to appointments here, I haven't been back since Jonathan was released. Now, I'm here once again staying the night and updating everyone on his progress. It's weird, but it's a good place from where we were back then. Almost a year ago I was asking everyone to pray for his life. Now, I'm telling you how wonderfully he's doing, and just how far he's come. God is simply amazing. I realize it every day when I watch him. I sit here, in this waiting room, positively in awe!

Thank you to all that are still reading, to all that are still praying and to all that have been doing so from the very first day. It's because of the power of your prayers that we are here today. God has been so faithful. Thank you for being the same in your prayers!


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