This fall has seen Lydia involved at Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School – the local high school in our area – the one she had always planned to attend when she was in elementary school. Lydia’s entry into our community high school was been very warm and welcoming! Lydia sees many friends, and she is getting to know many more, along with the staff, and faculty. She is happy to be a WO Crusader!
It is with such fondness that we remember Waterloo Oxford’s outdoor sign that read, right after her accident: Lydia Herrle, class of 2017. We believe!
The collective faith and encouragement of this community to Lydia, in her recovery, is beautiful.
She tries to be at school three days a week, for about 3 hours at a time, with her personal teacher. They do cognitive tasks in an effort to increase focus, memory and decision making abilities. These abilities have been greatly hindered in the past year and a half. They are also working on Coop together. Other days are quieter and have therapy sessions with her OT and SLP. Resting daily continues to be an important part of her recovery. She fatigues easily and does not have compensatory ability. When she is tired, her brain shuts down.
Leaving Rockway Mennonite Collegiate was not an easy decision, but one that became evident as Lydia continued to decline, and could no longer focus on academics or even attend classes. Even with supports and modifications, she struggled to keep up with her advancing peers. The amazing community at Rockway cared for her and encouraged her, and we are grateful to them for their role in her recovery. Whenever we hear or sing, Run to You by Pentatonix, we think of her grade 10 music class and their amazing performance of this song.
Set backs are hard. We were informed at the start of her recovery, that her progress would not always be upward and onward, but that it would include set backs, as different parts of the brain rewire. We were prepared for them in our minds, but so unprepared for the length and depth of the hardships they could bring. Lydia’s trajectory of healing and recovery has changed significantly in the past two years. Things she could do independently post accident, she can no longer do. Some days, she cannot memorize, or communicate succinctly, keep a train of thought, or handle commotion and stimuli. She is often anxious and unsettled. She suffers, and we are at a loss to relieve her pain. So often in the past couple of years, it has felt like the tires spin, but there is no traction.
Our journey has taken us to hard spots of loss and pain, and has kept us there longer than anticipated, and it has changed us. Our family is changed. Our marriage is changed. Our hearts are changed. Yet, we are not without hope. We are still tucked tightly beneath the wings of the Almighty God. He loves us and holds us in every step of this difficult journey of recovery. He has not promised us freedom from challenges, but rather, His presence with us at all times.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Lydia, and for us. Please pray for calm and peace for her mind; for endurance and strength; and for joy in the midst of sorrow. Thank you.