Laughter is good for the soul.
Jon had a wonderful Thanksgiving. His day started with Karen reading a letter to him that had arrived the day before from Jack. It was the first letter he had received from him, and it was beautiful and loving. Smiles from ear to ear.
Jon prayed and was hopeful that his other two boys would surprise him and show up, and even though their mom didn’t make arrangements for a visit, or at best, have the kids call, he still was very happy with the visit he had from his sister Lori, and her kids. Trevor, Jesse, Emily and even Casey showed up. There was so much laughter in the room, that it was a sight for sore eyes. He was so happy, joyful, and grateful. We had not heard Jon laugh in almost seven months. It was heartwarming to see. There were jokes played on one another, jokes being told, and you could hear the laughter from all the way down the hall.
Jon also enjoyed a really nice Thanksgiving meal, complete with all the trimmings and desserts. A lovely feast was held for the patients and their families. He was more than appreciative.
After everyone left, he and Karen enjoyed a couple of holiday movies together. It was very special. Karen said it’s a Thanksgiving she will never forget.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Thessalonians 5:18
At the request of Jon and his mother, Karen….
We truly regret to inform everyone who is following Jon’s recovery that posting comments will no longer be permitted. “Satan” posted something extremely offensive to Jon and I, Jon’s mother today. We have read what was written and are deeply hurt by it. The blog will now be in a read only format. If you are a close friend of Jon’s or mine, you can contact us directly. And for the anonymous coward who wrote the filth you wrote, make sure Jill gives you the honest facts before you write such disgusting and vicious words.
I’m Grateful and Thankful for….According to Jon Kudla
I asked Jon earlier this morning if he would like me to post the top 10 things he is most grateful and thankful for this year. He thought it was a great idea and immediately started to dictate the following.
Please keep in mind these are in no particular order.
I am thankful for:
1. The staff that are here and continue to take really good care of me and to all the doctors who have contributed to my recovery.
2. For my mom who has been a great and consistent caretaker. I love you, mom. Thank you for taking care of me.
3. The guys and Jackie that are taking care of my GPS Enterprise business while I’m recovering.
4. For my boys. I’m thankful for the times Joe and Josh come to visit me and that Jack is in a safe place and that he’s getting better and getting cared for.
5. Thankful for Ines who visits me and who has stuck by my side even through this big mess. You’ve been able to love me and forgive me even when I’m cranky and not too kind. Thank you for your grace. I love you.
6. I’m thankful for my brother, sister and their respective families family who come to visit me. My brother brings me things like fish oil and gummy vitamins. Thank you to Aunt Pam, though even when you’re not feeling good, you’ve come to visit and sing for me.
7. For the Men’s Bible study group, The Herd. Though I’m not an official member of the group, they’ve accepted me as one of their own and have given me a place where I can turn for my Bible study.
8. Thankful that I’m on the mends and that there’s a day coming soon that I’ll be able to resume my life outside of this rehab facility.
9. I’m thankful for my life and that God has given me a second chance. I’m thankful that He’s given me another opportunity to use my life to better serve Him.
10. I can eat solid good again.
As we were finishing the list he said, “one more” to which I replied, “okay we can make it your top 11 and he says to me, jokingly (I think) “I’m thankful that Jill has not come to visit me since June so I haven’t had to deal with her harassing me.” Oh, Jon!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Happy Thanksgiving from Jon and Karen Kudla
Onward and Upward!
It’s Thursday afternoon on this summer like day. While Jon receives his daily dose of OT I thought I would update the blog.
Jon continues to show good signs of improvement. He’s doing his part to move as much as he can and we constantly reinforce how great he’s doing and how proud we are of him. Words of affirmation go along way with Jon. There’s a song called, “I Like To Move It” (from the movie Madagascar) and it goes something like, “I like to move it move it, I like to move it move it” well, that’s what Jon says as he moves his body from side it side. It’s actually pretty funny to hear him sing the lyrics. And speaking of funny, I’m listening to him talk to his OT. Lots of “owie’s” going on right now. He’s been dying to get up and just stretch. All the little things that we take for granted he’s really anxious to do.
The boys, Joe and Josh continue to visit Jon on Sunday’s. It’s his favorite day of the week because he knows he gets to see his boys.
A couple of Jon’s friends visit him throughout the weekday and The Herd, the Men’s Bible Group from Saddleback come every other Saturday. That’s another day that Jon looks forward to. We are so grateful to all the men who visit and a special shout out to Charles Woodard. We love you!! You’ve been such a good friend to Jon and a blessing in his life. We are so happy that you are able to bond with him on so many levels. He really looks forward to your visits.
His appetite comes in spurts. Some days he eats all of his meals, other days just a portion of the meal, but we make sure we give him plenty of Boost to ensure he gets enough protein. His favorite is chocolate. He gets regular haircuts and his scar has pretty much faded away.
He received a great letter the other day from a client up North, Oliver. Jon was really happy when I read Oliver’s letter and immediately had me write him back. Thanks, Oliver!!!
Heartfelt thanks to all who continue to pray and lift Jon in prayer. We continue to believe that overtime, Jon will make a full recovery but it will be a long and slow process.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hello, my name is Oliver and I am a customer of Jon’s through Enterprise GPS. I just read about what happen to him. I am a Christian and preacher, and Jon and I have had several good talks about our faith. I am heartbroken for Jon, he is a great man. Please let him know that I am praying earnestly for him!
I just heard what happened to Jon. I used to work with him at West Harbor and I’m so very sorry he’s had to go through all of this. I’m glad he’s doing better and all my best wishes for you all. I will follow his recovery.
I’m happy to report that Jon is doing well. He continues to show signs of improvement. We are seeing God’s work first hand with the progress he’s been making. Each day Jon is moving his body more and more. He can actually now take his arm and gently move it over to his side, something he couldn’t do a month ago. He can also stretch out his legs, gently of course, but he can do it!! We are so proud of him and so grateful for everyone’s love, prayers and constant support.
He’s also eating really well which is great because we are trying to build strength and have him gain weight, a lot of it. We get a little envious that he can actually have a big bowl of ice cream with two big slices of cake. It does make us so happy to see him eat. It really is the little things in life, right?
We truly feel that the Holy Spirit is really moving in Jon’s life and those around him. Proof of this is that for the second Sunday in a row, Jon’s younger boys, Joe and Josh have visited him. I cannot express the joy he felt when he saw his boys come through the door after not seeing them for over six months. The first visit was an emotional one as we all stood by ad watched Jon reunite with his two boys. It was truly a lovely, beautiful, and touching moment. He was elated and overjoyed!!! He loves all his boys so very much. It was a highly anticipated visit. He commented that Joe-Joe is really tall and handsome (he is!) and that Joshy (as he calls him) is the sweetest boy ever. The visits lasted about an hour, and overall it went well. He said, and I quote, “seeing my boys was the best day EVER!” We don’t really know when the next visit will be, but I can tell you that every single day Jon wants to see his boys so he can feel part of their lives and to ensure he’s there for them during this diffcult time of their young lives. Thank you, Jesus for softening those hearts!!!
And now for some even bigger news! We felt that the Lord had been revealing to us that it was time that Jon learned the truth about how he was injured. We talked about it, prayed about it, and Jon’s mom made the decision to tell him. On Friday afternoon, we sat privately with Jon and had the talk. There was no anger and there was no resentment. In true Jon form, he was all about offering grace and forgiveness, and this is the reason why Jon is so deeply loved by so many. His compassionate is unmatched. He loves Jack more than words can say. He knows Jack is safe and getting help, and he is at peace with it. Anyone who knows Jon knows he has to process everything so he needs time to fully understand and comprehend it all, but he took the news as well as he could. He knows he can talk to us and release any fears or concerns that might be weighing heavy on his heart. In fact, this has been the most peaceful we’ve seen him in months. Please pray for continued peace.
The next day he dictated a letter to Jack. By far, the most beautiful letter a father could write to his son. Wow! is all I’m going to write. I know Jack will be pleased when he receives his fathers letter and Jon will eagerly be awaiting his reply. This has given Jon the extra motivation to fight hard so that he can be there for his sons.
Jon is one of the most compassionate men I’ve ever met in my entire life. The grace and forgiveness he demonstrates to everyone who enters his life should be a life lesson for us all. He’s a remarkable man that even through the toughest times of his life is always concerned about the other person. He is one special man that Jon Kudla!
The darn wound isn’t getting much better, but today we met with a plastic surgeon who has treated these types of wounds a million times and can almost guarantee that six weeks from the time of the procedure, Jon’s wound will be healed, that being said, he has a follow up visit in two weeks and then we are scheduling him for the surgery. He’s excited about the possibility of starting off the New Year strong and so he can push his way through PT and go home! Atta boy, Jon, that’s the spirit!
Thank you again for all your prayers and to those who continually pray and visit with him. If anyone would like to visit Jon let us know so we can make the arrangements. Because it’s always a day-by-day with Jon, it’s best to check with us first. For the most part, he has decent days but there are naturally some very tough days for him, whether it’s PT or lack of sleep. Thanks for your understanding and patience!!!
Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on Jon’s life. You have provided him with more than he could ever have imagined. You have surrounded him with people who always look out for him. You have given him family and friends who bless Jon every day with kind words and actions. They lift him up in ways that keep his eyes focused on you and make his spirit soar. For this Lord, we thank you!
A Prayer for a Soft Heart
No real changes to report. We have been praising God that there have been no further infections or fevers.
We are searching for a professional (Psychologist) who would be willing to come to Jon and speak to him about what is weighing on his heart. Jon is very depressed and wants to talk to someone (a doctor). The bulk of his depression comes from not seeing his two other boys, Joe and Josh. Conflicting stories, either the boys aren’t up to visiting their father, or Jill, the mother of the boys will not allow visits which is causing Jon a tremendous amount of stress because he doesn’t understand why his boys wouldn’t want to see him or worse, why Jill would purposely keep the boys away from him. He was so happy over the weekend, filled with excitement and anticipation knowing that finally the boys were coming. They were scheduled to visit him on Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Karen received a text from Jill letting her know that they were no longer coming. She had to let Jon know that the visit was now cancelled. He was simply crushed and heartbroken.
Pray that hearts be softened and healed so his boys will be reunited with their dad.
During today’s visit to Jon’s wound care doctor, Dr. Haas mentioned that in cases like Jon’s, involving advanced bed sores (stage 4) a surgery may be an option to cover the open wounds and aid in its healing. Surgical reconstruction of bedsores is often performed using Flap surgery (also called Flap Reconstruction). The surgical procedure involves harvesting healthy skin and muscle from nearby areas on the body to cover the open wounds caused by the bedsores. Despite the fact that flap reconstruction surgery provides an opportunity to help heal open wounds, there is always a high risk of complications related to infection and the bodies rejection of the ‘flap’ skin and muscle. They are going to put a request into the insurance to see if Jon is a viable candidate for the surgery.
Father, we want our hearts to remain soft and pliable so that we do not lose our spiritual sensitivity to hear and obey your voice. We think of those who once had softened hearts that became hardened over time. They no longer hear you or sense your presence in their life. Their spiritual vision has darkened. Help us, Lord, once again on this day to taste and see that you are good. We want to remain vigilant to your Word and heed your ways so there is no build up of sin in our lives that eventually hardens our heart toward you. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Pray for Family Peace and Unity
Jon is doing well. Not much to report other than the Wound Care Specialist seems to think that his wound is getting better. Jon is transported every week to visit with the specialist. He tells us that the wound won’t completely heal for a few more months, but at least there are signs of it getting better. Praise God.
For the past couple of weeks, Jon after almost five months, is eating real food! Whether it’s pizza or carrot cake, he’s enjoy his meals. He’s not able to feed himself, he has to be fed, but every week he is showing signs of moving his arms and fingers more. So please, please pray that his motor skills continue to improve so that in time, Jon is able to feed himself.
Jon has also had a few visitors, but the two people he wants to see most in this world are his two other sons, Joe and Josh. (Side note, Jon believes that Jack is somewhere getting help and would like to see him too). I have no words to express how much he misses, “the boys.” We believe it would lift his spirits so much if he could see them, but unfortunately they haven’t come to visit, but we are hopeful and we continue to pray that one day soon they will be allowed to visit their father.
Many of you have asked the question, “does Jon know what happened to him?” and the answer is no, he doesn’t. Per the expert opinion of Jon’s Neuropsychologist, he has stated that under no circumstances should Jon (for now) be told what happened to him. Jon would not be able to process the news and it could severely impact his recovery. We realize that at some point we will have to tell Jon, but the time is not now. Jon has created a story in his own mind of how he was injured. He tells everyone he was injured while training with his Search and Rescue team, to be exact, during a repelling drill. We know it’s very sad, but we are told that it’s all part of Jon’s brain injury and that his reality has been impaired and though at times his memory is sharper than a razor, he does have pockets of delusion and false realities.
The other question we often get asked is, “How is Jack?” Jack is fine. Jack remains in Juvenile Hall and is getting the help he needs. He’s attending school, is staying out of trouble and is doing as well as a young boy can under the circumstances he finds himself in. We all love Jack and only want the best for him. Jack is very (very!) remorseful and loves his father deeply.
Please pray for all of the boys, Jack, Joe, Josh and naturally, for Jon. Pray for Karen too. Karen is Jon’s mother who bears most of the weight of what is happening on her shoulders. No mother or Grandmother should ever have to go through what she continues to go through. This has been such a surreal tragedy and it has taken its toll on so many. We all want the same thing, to find peace and to find the ability to forgive and somehow move on from this ordeal. God’s unconditional love, peace, grace and mercy is upon all of you.
Bible versus on Forgiveness serve as a reminder that God is gracious and merciful. He pardons the sins of those who repent and come to him seeking a clean and sincere heart. With Jesus there is always an opportunity for a new beginning. We should reflect on the kindness of the Lord with these forgiveness Bible verses.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:12-15 (NIV)
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 (NIV)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.” Luke 17:3 (NIV)
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34 (NIV)