FALL 2016: THE BIG UPDATE!
Guess who’s walking!
That’s right. We were once told that Inara wouldn’t survive her first year. We were once told she would never stand. We were told she would never walk. She is now taking tentative unassisted steps and lots of assisted steps. Over a year seizure-free and ready to take on the world.
Here she is standing:
And, with a little help from her wheelchair, exploring the world. Girls in wheelchairs explore the world, too. Especially this one!
My Daughter, the Fierce-Hearted
Inara is partially blind, with scarring in her brain and a history of severe seizures. She is also one fierce, dragon-hearted little girl. She is named for a character from Firefly who approached all things in life with both grace and intensity; nothing keeps Inara down, and in our home, she is triumphant.
Readers who are new to my work have asked me lately about Inara, and I thought I would collect the pieces of her story here.
Woven into her story is the story of my books and how I came to bring them to you; the story of my wife and our love for each other and for our children; and even the quiet patience and exuberant big-sisterness and caring of River, my oldest daughter. You can read about Inara and her family here:
Inara and I cope with the more difficult moments by sharing stories:
A November, 2014 update:
A February, 2015 update:
A March, 2015 update:
March 26, 2015:
“Big Update About Inara!”
December 29, 2015 update:
Today, as I update this blog — today is December 29, 2015 — Inara is growing more able by the week. She has been seizure-free for some time; we hope to keep her so, though we know each month is a new creation. Yet we are so inspired by her. Though she isn’t speaking yet, she has developed a deep vocabulary of nonverbal communication — both gestures and sounds — and she can communicate her needs and feelings. She is artistic, painting with her hands and feet. She is standing (at one time we were told she would never stand) and taking a few assisted steps; we are confident that sometime in 2016, she will be able to do at least some walking. She has more fine motor and problem solving skills now. She is tempestuous, capable of fierce tantrums and fits of uncontrollable giggles. And she is smart. Dear readers, she is so smart. I am so proud of her.
As they say on Firefly: Inara has done the impossible, and that makes her mighty.
I am so proud of her and her sister. And also so grateful for all those — readers, friends, doctors, nurses, specialists, church members, fans and Patreon members — who gathered around us when things were touch-and-go. You all made an enormous difference.
Lives of Unstoppable Hope
I wrote down a lot of what I felt as a father during the dark season. In 2015, I released that memoir as Lives of Unstoppable Hope. I’ve been told that the book is inspiring; a pastor in Oklahoma ordered copies for his entire church. Though the framework for the book is a study of the Beatitudes in ancient Greek as a way to explore “hope,” I’ve been told by a diversity of readers — religious and atheist alike — that the book was inspiring and moving.
Lives of Unstoppable Hope is the story behind all the stories I have written.
If you would like to check it out, here it is:
Stant Litore and family