Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank You

Hello everyone-

I wonder if there will ever be a day when I won’t “notice” that I’m paralyzed.  I’m fairly confident that someday that day will come. But until then I continue to take this one day at a time.  And today I have gone back to the early days just after the accident and read emails and blogs from all of you.  So I just wanted to say thank you.  We were completely overwhelmed with the tremendous amount of love and support that we received.  

I also am curious to know how everyone found out about our accident.  The networking was incredible. So if you’re still reading this blog, can you either comment or send an email to let us know how you found out.

Thanks so much.  We love you all!



Anonymous said...

Hi Kari. In response to your inquiry, my family and I have been keeping in touch with your updates since day one. We know who you are from Sky Lodge Camp. My kids and I have always gone to Jr., Young Teen, and Family Camp up there. We always admired you and Aaron's spirit and love for the Lord then and now. We all wish you continued health,happiness, and positive attitude. Keep the updates coming. We love to hear how you are growing in your new life.

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron,

This may be hard...

You know I have to come home from church and praise band, have a cup of coffee, and nap... Derin called while I had the coffee going...

He had enough information at that point to know what hospital you, at that point, either were "in route to" by air, or already "at".

I don't know what we decided his responsibilities were, but I got on the phone first, and went after the hospital switchboard, probably relatively forcefully, that a "very special pastor" was being flown in, and I wanted to make sure the Chaplin was with her. So, after a few transfers, I was satisfied "whatever was appropriate" was taking place.

Now, you "being" a pastor, would know, that a Chaplin someplace there had you in prayer. And, again, that is what would be appropriate. At that point, quite certainly, we would have found out later, you went right into surgery...

"False" information was released. It always is in such circumstance. We were told, and even Aaron must have been told, "things were worse". You had "spearheads" in California and St. Charles getting the prayers going instantly. And, giving thanks for email networks, phones, cell phones, by the time, I can only speak for our church, we had an evening prayer session for you, which continued at least all week, we were quite thankful to be getting more correct information...

For me, God has taught me part of prayer is "giving thanks". I was very thankful for "two things". 1) You were alive. 2) The prayer gave us "back" things that were "taken away" from you in the false information.

Honestly, at some point, I said to Derin, "My prayers this week are 70% thanksgiving and praise and 30% begging for more. The rest of you, go for 70% begging for more, and 30% thanksgiving and praise".

Due to limitations I have which you would understand, I could not attend prayer sessions in the evening at church. Still, later in the that afternoon, or sooner, I was in touch with Chuck to start burning Moose Show 2002 CD's to first have available to "play" that first night, and then, really, my concern, "spread your voice" everywhere. Oh, yes, in time, it was appropriate to make it a minor fund raiser.

In my circumstance, I do a lot of things with my informal ministry on the Internet. That made it possible for me to make your voice available "immediately" to hundreds of friends, who, of course, also were praying for you. Transferring the CD through a wire, John would confirm, takes some time, but, it did go to Europe, too, a little at a time. Actually, there really isn't any way to know how many "seeds were scattered". I can track what I sent, but not what was passed on further...

One time you preached long ago, you asked me to do "special music", I don't if someone canceled, or what...

I am Here, For My Heart to Fly... I will Never Let My Soul to Die...


Charlie +

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari,May the Lord Bless you today.
Excuse me but I am using this opportunity to ask you if you are coinsidering coming to our house on Sat. June 10th when Peggy and Norm are here.We sure want you to come and we will have a barbecue in the big house yard so it will be easier(and it is looking pretty nice since Steve has done so much work.) Please come and please let me know. Love to you both,Aunt Jinny

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari,

We've never met formally but I am David Thompson (from Greenville's) wife, I believe that he heard the news first from Virginia Patton (a good friend from DC)...

We pray for you & Aaron every day. Where in CA do you live? Dave's sister Jill who worked at Greenville for a few years now is working at Azusa Pacific and she mentioned that she'd love to be in touch with you...her husband is also named Aaron. :)
Natalie & Dave

Kimberly Blevins said...


You ask how so many of us heard of the accident you and Aaron were involved in. You must know by now that the Gage family is very close. My 2 children know Aaron well, though neither of them are (or were) in band/orchestra. They happened to use their voices as their instruments. Your husband touches so many lives at that school and is such a positive influence. I loved watching the support and words of encouragement travel through everyone during Spirit Day. If anyone wasn't aware when they came to get their schedules, pick up books, or buy gym clothes, they were sure to know by the time they left. Cards were being signed at my table sending prayers your way. What a wonderful sight!

Your strength, belief, and committment to each other and God is a lesson for all to be learned. You both have so much to offer those around you and you have shown nothing will stop you from doing what you both do best.

God indeed works in mysterious ways. I am sure you have found some answers and are still looking for many more. What can not be questioned is the fact that you both are amazing people: not just for what you have been through, but for who you both are.

I recently subbed at an elementary school in Riverside. A gentleman (paraplegic) came to give a speech to all the kids entitled "Yes, You Can!" His talk was wonderful and very motivational (even touched my first graders) Yes, he has been through struggles in his life and told of how he had dealt with them. Something he said just really stuck with me though, and really made a difference to me and the kids. He stated that he did not like the term "handicapped" due to the way the name was developed - holding out a cap for money since no one would hire someone that was different. He then proceeded to say that a new name was developed, but he really didn't like that one very much either. "Disabled": he felt it still made it sound like someone who is different is not able to do anything. He decided to come up with his own name which I really embraced: "Differently abled". You are now differently abled than you were before. Your body doesn't work in the same manner that it once did, but your mind is raring to go. You still touch not only Aaron's life, your family's lives, but many many others that you come in contact with. You go about things differently and seem to be accomplishing more and more each day.

The strength, perserverance, and committment that you and Aaron show to each other and those around you is incredible! May God continue to guide you down the new road he has placed before you. You are indeed very abled, just in a different way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari,
Everyone at Sky Lodge is still keeping up with your website and praying for you. We heard about the accident from Derin.

Anonymous said...

pretty safe to say how i got to know you and be blessed by you. I miss you and look forward to seeing you this summer.

Blessings to you! I'd love to hear your sermon.

- Candi at Craig

Kari Dunaway said...

Hi Kari-
I learned of your accident from Franki...she emailed me soon after and let me know they were taking you to Swedish Hospital in Denver (where I live). I never actually saw you but was able to meet your husband, Aaron, and also saw Daleasha and Cyndi in the days following the accident. It's always good to "hear" from you via this blog. Blessings -
Kari Dunaway

Patricia Folger said...

We found out while on vacation in Canada through our email. Pretty much once one GAGE band member found out, they all found out. Emails, phone calls, cell phones, and instant messaging were the main ways the kids all communicated with each other. The prayers started at that point and have not stopped.

Anonymous said...

A friend of a friend of a friend is indeed a very large population, especially when your "friend base" was so large to begin with! Consider yourself blessed in this!

Anonymous said...

Hi--I found your blog purely by chance, what an amazing story you both have. What survivors you both are, so glad you found an ADA apartment, that must be a real challenge. Sounds like the typing software works well, thank goodness for adaptive technology. Blessings to you both.

Our Family said...

Hi Kari! I found out through a friend (Eva Burford) at church. My husband is Robert Davis he went to APU with you. We checked your progress through the first few months but I have to admit I haven't been on for quite a while. I was very excited to see that it is you up and writing now. God bless you! We will continue to keep you in our prayers.
Robert and Amy Davis

Alix Henninger said...

I found out because my dad is great friends with the principal of Gage and the principal called my dad the day after the accident. Then, by the day after the accident, every sudent who knew about the accident had called, texted, or e-mailed every other student about the accident so everyone knew. We started praying for you and have never stopped! Keep posting blogs and keep us updated! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I found out from my brother John who called me on Monday night about 6:30 ish Central time. He said Franki had called him after she found his number from googling my other brother Tom.
I was getting ready to teach a class at 7pm and we all said a prayer for you. Many of my students still ask about you and pray for you!!!
I talked to Daleasha and Cyndi the next morning. It's hard to remember this b/c it was so emotional. I'll call you soon.

pam engel said...

Blake called us. We were devastated. I remember I called Aaron right after I found out (I got his cell phone number from Libby, Rob's sister) and he was at the hospital waiting for news about you. I doubt he remembers that call but I felt better hearing his voice. We can't wait to see you at Rob's wedding!

Brian T. Hartley said...

Hi, Kari. Darlene and I are on our way today to Sky Lodge to make a presentation for Greenville College. So, we have been thinking about you. I am so glad you got to go to the "Come to the Water" Conference and see old friends--including several of the GC Connection.
I think we first heard about the accident through the GC connection in California--perhaps Denny Wayman. I alerted the college community to prayer, as well as talking individually with departmental colleagues. From that day till this, you have continued to be in our prayers.

Franki said...

Hey, chica!
How did I find out about your accident? Dewayne and I came home from running around town...and I checked our voicemail. There was a message from Dali...she was trying to sound upbeat but there was a quiver in her voice. She simply said, "Hey, this is Daleasha. Call me back!" I knew immediately that something terrible had happened to you. I couldn't get ahold of, I just prayed. I didn't really know what I was praying for...but that is all I knew to do.
As soon as I starting getting details from Dali, I didn't leave the computer or phone (well, except to occasionally feed and change the baby, you know!)...I emailed everyone and anyone! You and Aaron were immediately being added to prayer chains throughout the Free Methodist denomination and the Greenville College network...all through the click of the FW: button! :)
My mom told me just the other day that her Sunday School class still prays for you EVERY single Sunday morning! And many more prayers are still being said for you both!
Love you...I'll email soon!

cousin in Idaho said...

Kari, I found out about your accident and blog through our family. I've been following your story since then and have been blessed and inspired by you and what God has done in your life.

Band Mom-Jan Barrett said...

Of course, Kari, we heard about the accident from the NNHS Band Grapevine! You have been in the prayers of our family members from one coast to the other and all the way to Hawaii and Japan.
Your name has been lifted in our little church in the UP with 23 members and in churches around the globe. GOD BLESS YOU TWO IN YOUR CONTINUED JOURNEY.
Love, Mom Barrett

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari. I found out about your accident in the Riverside Press-Enterprise article. Aaron said he needed people committed to praying for you long-term. I love reading your updates to see how God continues to work in your life, and in the lives that have been touched through your experience.
Still praying,
Diane Brodeen

Tamara said...

Hello. I've been keeping up to date on your progress since close to day one. I was a student at Desiree's, Rick's wife, school. She was my resident counselor and we became very close. I also know Rick and his parents but I've never met you or Aaron. I went to church with Rick and Desiree and visited with them. One day we were on route to somewhere and Desiree told me what happened in a 'prayer request' type of way. Ever since I've been reading and praying and seeing what amazing miracles God was performing. I love to hear updates and see the amazing power of God working through you and for you! God Bless

Travis and Sheri Ferris and family said...

My college roommate told me about the accident, I'm not sure where she had first heard about it. Since then, Travis and I have tried to check in from time to time. We continue to keep you and Aaron in our prayers.

Travis, Sheri, Cooper, and Nelson Ferris

Joy said...

Sweet Kari,

Good to see the posts still! Emily called us to tell us that you had been in a terrible accident, thought you "broke your neck" but they didn't have a clue as to the severity. Nate and I spent a lot of time together in prayer for the both of you - then we kept getting constant updates from her and Nate's parents. We were just so thankful at that point that you were alive and kept praying for the doctor's hands. How are you coping now? We LOVE you!!! You're still constantly in our thoughts and prayers - can't wait to talk to you again! Much love, Joy (and Nate!)

Diana Temple said...

I had left my job at St. Mark's in Geneva at the time, and had just accepted my new job in Naperville when someone from your church remembered that I had been at your Bridial shower and knew I went to St. Mark's. She called my old church, and they didn't give her my phone #, but they did call me to tell me to call her that one of my friends had been in a terrible car acciednt. I called. #1 I was thankful you were alive! #2 wishing I was closer. - Diana

Diana Temple said...

Hi Kari,
A friend from your church remembered me from your bridial shower, and tracked me down. It took about a week or two before we connected.
Love - diana

Katie (Bost) Heuer said...

Hi Kari,
Aaron left us a message shortly after the accident. I hadn't heard from him in quite some time and was shocked to hear of the accident. We feel very blessed that we could visit with you and Aaron while at Craig and thank God for the love and friendship we share with both of you!
Keeping you always in our prayers!

Katie and Ty

Anonymous said...

Hey Kari!

I am typing this from Pam and Marshal's house in Minnesota. I am now on vacation (yay!), and I have a few minutes to say "Hey." Thanks so much for taking the time and energy to write some blog entries for us. It just helps to know some of the daily details that illustrate how much stronger you are than the last time I saw you. Go, girl!

Are you and Aaron going to do any vacationing while he is off this summer? Or does he do band summer camp during the off months? Let us know if you will be visiting the Walnut Street Church :-) any time soon. If so, I'm all over it!

Take care, my friend.

Susan (and Scout)

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron, & friends,

Actually, Kari called my home tonight to talk to my wife. Quick thinking on my part early this morning to fly my wife to Boston for our daughter's program graduation...

Our Kari's voice is "all there..." Sounds no different to those who haven't heard it recently. And such a delight not to have to share Kari, though I didn't keep her that long. I also gave her a cell number to talk to my wife...

We will hear hear sing again...


Charlie +

Marijo Gosselink said...


I learned about your Web site from Julie Phend, a longtime member of my church, First Congregational Church of Naperville. I've known Julie and Jack for about 17 of the 19 years that I've been a member there.

Much love to you and Aaron as your condition continues to improve.

Heleina Haskins said...

Dear Kari,

I wanted to let you know that I've been checking the site every month. I work for Bishop Roger of FMCNA and we have been updating the people on his prayer list of your progress and prayer requests. You have personally been an encouragement for me as I struggle with some health issues over the past year.- Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari. Still checking your website for updates and praying for you and Aaron. Smiles to you!

alicia from naperville said...

Hi Kari,

As far as how we came to see your web-site...a friend of mine, Heather Wiggins, from church is the sister of one of your friends/acquantainces. She sent out an email requesting prayer for you guys. Once I came to the web-site I felt burdened to continue praying. My 5 yo daughter still requests to pray for Kari at bedtime.

I pray God showers on you his peace, strength, grace and hope.

Lots of love,
Alicia from Naperville

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kari and Aaron. We are still watching for your posts and praying for your endurance in the long haul. You are so often in our thoughts and conversations.

Jan and Bob Hirschy
Richland Center, WI

Jack Kelly said...

Hello, Kari. I learned of your existance and of your injuries shortly after your crash from Alice Guzman, a friend of mine. She wanted to talk to me because of my 27 years of experience with quadriplegia. I have been praying for you since. I give thanks for your progress. I look forward to hearing of the work God does in you and through you. Shalom.

Morphea said...

Hello, Kari.

I'm not sure if you'll remember me (how many, many times have you heard that?) but I was in the Greenville College Choir with you for a while and remember you and Cyndi very fondly. Ramon (also in the choir) and I are married for nearly 9 years and living in Seattle. I found out about your accident exactly two days ago, when I was reunited with Mindy Grieser Cromwell, who was in town to officiate for Beth Plett's wedding. Ramon, me, Matt Markell and his new wife Kara did some of the music.

You can imagine that I've run through the gamut after hearing about your injury; alarm, grief, fond memories and then I came to your blog and found out that you're still the Kari I remember. And now I'm getting updated on your life and am prouder of you and your beautiful husband than I can say.

Much, much love to you,

Cerissa (Thompson) Deslauriers