Monday, February 27, 2012

if i could turn back time

... somedays I wish I could turn back time, back to the summer of 2008.
I would have had the boys come home the day they were initially expected to and not agree to another week.
But I can’t so I have learned to keep moving forward.
This past week with Sam had been the perfect storm... he was not sleeping well, he forgot to take his meds TWICE on two separate mornings, he was not eating, he was argumentative and over feisty. We all saw this and the penny dropped a little too late. 
We were trying to talk to him yesterday and he said he was leaving. He packed a bag and left. No meds, no phone, no wallet, no plans on where he was going. He just left. He hugged us and even tho we told him that we wanted him to stay, that if he felt he had to go to please let us know where he was at. He agreed...
.... and he left
.... on a stormy, snowy, windy day
we watched him walk down the driveway, turn south and then disappear. we called my mom to see what direction he was going but not to call to him. Then Dennis got in the car and followed him from a distance. 
Sam walked for quite a few miles and then for whatever his reasons were he turned around, Dennis stopped the car and Sam got in. Dennis told him he loved him and Sam said “I know” and that was it. 
Sam came home, went straight to his room and crawled into bed.
The last year or so we have been focusing more on the epilepsy stuff as it was more ‘something we can try to fix’ and we let that sideline the TBI issues -- and it all came to a head yesterday.
Sam had the mother of all brain injury moments. The week before his brain was basically telling him that right was wrong and wrong was right. The brain would not turn the switch back either, no matter what we had said or did. His brain told him yesterday morning that no one cared about him and he was better off going... so he left.
I don’t know what we can do in these situations other than let him go and watch from a safe distance for him to realize his brain is lying to him. 
We explained it to Josh, Hannah and Isaac as if he had had a seizure but without the shaking. His brain rewired itself and he had to fight to get it straightened out. I told them that they know how they struggle with everyday issues and growing up -- well Sam does that too but he also has his brain fighting him AND he is on a lot of medicines for his epilepsy. It is work for him to get thru each day and none of us can even begin to know how he struggles to stay ‘normal’.
I am not sure if we handled it right or not. I do know that my heart broke as I watched him pack his bag, as he told me no one cares about him, how he cried as he left. I sobbed when he hugged me and told me goodbye and I held him tight -- then I let him go. I knew what was going on and I knew there was not a thing we could do for him but pray.... 
so I texted and called a few friends to pray for him and I sat and prayed 
His brain is working the way it should... for now. 
But it will happen again and again thru out his life. His brain will rewire itself and wrong will be right and right will be wrong. 
I just pray that we find the tools for him to use to do his own ‘rewiring’ before it gets to this point again. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

This guy is on a roll!!!

Local student illustrates book
Isaac Ginter with his favourite illustration from 
Liam’s Magic Rocket, a book he illustrated.

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson
The Neepawa Banner
Fourteen-year-old Isaac Ginter has always loved to draw and now, he has added an illustration credit to his name.  The Grade 9 NACI student from Riding Mountain illustrated Liam’s Magic Rocket, a story written by Daniela Aum  of Etobicoke, Ont. about Liam, a boy who builds a rocket to fly to space hoping to find God. The book aims to introduce the concept of meditation to young children and as Liam completes his journey, he meets some friendly aliens that explain that God is already within and stillness of mind is how you connect. 
Ginter and Aum connected through a Facebook group started by Isaac’s mom Jodi for those who have been impacted by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Aum explains that she put a post up looking for illustrations for the book and said, “At first I wanted illustrations from several children but the results were dismal. It was clear the kids just had fun but didn’t ‘feel’ the project.”
Ginter’s illustration was different and Aum said, “Isaac seemed to hold a genuine interest in the book beyond that of a “project”. There was a commitment to the message and its depth. Once I saw his first picture I laughed and cried at the same time and so did my team.”  
After seeing his illustration, Aum asked Ginter to illustrate the entire book and explains why his work appealed to her, “I was sold in an instant. It was clear that Isaac was the only one for the job. His work has a sweet innocence with a clever, almost comedic undertone. It’s moving, touching and easy to understand.” Ginter said that being chosen to illustrate the whole book was the neatest part of working on the project.
In total, Ginter drew 14 illustrations for the book and it took him three weeks, beginning in late November, to complete his work. For each good copy, Ginter says that he did many rough copies.
He used a special art marker and said his biggest challenge was running out of marker ink on the sixth good copy. 
Drawing is clearly something that interests Ginter and he says, “I’m always drawing,” and adds that it’s something he wants to stay with. 
The book can be found at where an electronic copy can be downloaded for free or a hard copy version purchased. Jodi says that they plan to donate a hard copy version of the book to the Neepawa Public Library as well as one to the library at HMK.
photo by kate jackman-atkinson

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is that Isaac Ginter on page 3!?

Kaiten Critchlow/Neepawa Press 
Kelwood resident and NACI Grade 9 student Isaac Ginter peruses “Liam's Magic Rocket”, a recently published book featuring his illustrations. The Ginter family connected with the book's author through an internet group for Canadians who have been affected by traumatic brain injuries.
Kelwood youth has illustrations published 
By Kaiten Critchlow 
Neepawa Press
A Kelwood youngster with dreams of getting into the graphic arts industry is getting an early start in his illustration career.
Isaac Ginter, a Kelwood resident and Grade 9 student at NACI, has had his illustrations published in a book being sold worldwide titled “Liam’s Magic Rocket”. The book is inspired by a child’s questions about God and was written by Daniela Aum, a Toronto-based author.
Aum initially wrote the book after being “stumped” by a child’s questions about God. Shortly after putting her thoughts on paper, Aum decided illustrations would add to her story and sent out an open invitation to youth to enter their drawings.
In the meantime, Isaac’s mother Jodi had been talking with Aum through a web-based group for Canadians affected by traumatic brain injury. Isaac’s younger brother Sam is a traumatic brain injury survivor, just as Aum is.
Aum passed on the invitation to Isaac and he decided to enter an illustration for one page of the book. After Aum saw it she opted to ask Isaac for a few more of his drawings.
“At first I wanted this book’s illustrations to be a compilation of several children’s illustrations but there was no cohesiveness and it just didn’t work,” Aum said in an e-mail interview.
“Isaac stood out for several reasons. Besides having great technical skill, his work has a clever, sometimes comedic innocence to it that really melted my heart. 
“The way he visually translated the message was sweet, touching and a few images made me laugh and tear up at the same time.”
When Isaac got word he had been chosen as the sole illustrator for the project he couldn’t believe it.
“I was excited but kind of stunned at the same time because I didn’t think what I drew was that good,” a humble Isaac said.
The young illustrator spent his spare time over a three-week period putting together more illustrations to complement Aum’s story. In the end, the author said Isaac’s final pieces were even better than she anticipated.
“He did a fabulous job and with practically no direction from me,” Aum said.
Isaac’s mom Jodi is just as elated about her son having his work published and the proud mom has already purchased seven copies of the book. Jodi said she hopes to donate copies of the book to Neepawa’s public library and H.M.K.’s library as well.
For anyone wanting to see Isaac’s work in print, a free online version of the book is available for viewing at The hard copy of the book can also be purchased from the site at-cost.
Jodi also keeps a blog at about her family’s journey with brain injury since her son Sam’s accident.
Isaac plans to become a graphic artist specializing in video games after high school.