It’s been a while…

The Michigan Buddhist site has languished unattended for longer than I’d like to admit.

Initially, it was nothing more than laziness; learning to code websites from scratch was far more difficult than I’d bargained for. So, the process of hand coding each update and keeping track of all the revisions made me less eager to stick with the task.

Eventually, it became something I dreaded.

I was, frankly, ashamed. Here I had accepted this task of supporting other Dharma practitioners, and then went and allowed the site to languish, which was exactly what I had wanted to avoid having happen to the site when I volunteered to administer it.

Then, on Halloween night 2007, my 13-year-old daughter was struck by a motorist while trick or treating. She suffered a broken femur, kidney lacerations, a skull fracture and a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). She was airlifted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, where she stayed in PICU for 28 days. I cannot express how physically and emotionally draining it was to sit in her room for hours, waiting for signs of improvement; signs of survival.

We didn’t know for the first ten days or so if she would survive. Often, swelling of the brain after the fact, rather than immediate injuries from the accident, are what kills TBI patients. We were lucky. She did survive. Many, many generous people prayed for us, from all over the world. Without them, I don’t know what we could have done.

My daughter spent several months undergoing intensive inpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. We’re just finishing up a year of construction modifying our house to remove barriers and make it better meet her needs. Currently, she still uses a wheelchair and cannot yet speak. She undergoes therapy several days a week and has made marked improvement. Despite her physical limitations, it seems that her cognitive ability is largely intact; she sometimes makes little jokes, and exhibits many behaviors of typical teenagers: heavy sighs, eye-rolls, raspberries and what can only be described as “the stink eye” when she’s unhappy with us. Our hope is that someday she will be able to live on her own and meet her own needs.

I tell you all this not to make excuses. I should have delegated this responsibility to someone else. I sincerely apologize for any and all inconveniences my inaction has caused.

A few weeks ago, I realized that I was ready to dive in once again and administer the site. I’ve converted it over to WordPress, which should make administration simpler. I’m looking forward to providing a valuable resource. Please contact me and let me know what you’d like to see on the site, and please tell me what you think of what I’ve done so far.

Peace to you. Always.

Yours in the Dharma,

Jim.