Time, Bamboo and Belief

Again – Chapter 2 – JohnA Passaro


He who is impatient,
Waits twice.

Mark McGinnis


I am one of the most impatient people on this planet.

I don’t think I have ever put anything in the microwave that got fully cooked.

I have always had to take it out with at least :08 seconds left.

I just can’t wait.

That is just me.

The last 4 ¼ years of my daughter’s recovery has been a learning experience for me, a lesson in patience.

A lesson I have come to master.

I am now able to wait until there are :00 seconds left on the clock to take my meals out of the microwave.

I have learned that every moment of every day, you decide who you are and what you believe in.

I have learned that I am not able to speed up time by being impatient.

I have learned that sometimes, time just takes time.

I have come to realize that Jess’s recovery will not take days, weeks or months.

It is going to take years.

I really want to open up the microwave at :08 and speed up the process, but I know by doing so, it may make her recovery take even longer.

Whatever the length of time it is going to take, I have realized that my patience is going to be a major factor in her success.

Without it, success for Jess will not be possible.

So now, as much as it kills me, all of my meals come out of the microwave with :00 seconds on the clock.

I have learned to look at Jess’s recovery in the way a bamboo shoot grows.

At first, in order for the bamboo shoot to grow, it must be put in very fertile soil.

Then the bamboo shoot needs to have that soil patted down and cultivated.

Water and sunshine need to be provided on a daily basis.

After a year, there will be no signs of growth.

After four years, there still will be no signs of any growth.

At that time, doubt will start to set in and logic will present an almost convincing plea that you might as well give up.

You may even begin to believe that logic.

That would be a mistake.

During the first five years, while one is looking for the bamboo shoot to spring up through the soil, all of the bamboo shoots growth happens invisibly, underground.

During that time, unseen by the eye, the bamboo shoot is building a complex root system that will allow it to handle the massive growth that will soon occur.

A “bamboo shoot planter” can never lose hope.

In the fifth year, when the complex root system is strong enough, the bamboo shoot explodes out of the ground and grows over one hundred feet tall, and sometimes, growing nearly three feet per day.

I look at Jess’s recovery in the same light.

My wife and I have planted a bamboo shoot.

BettyJane and I, and Jess’s siblings, Maverick, Travis and Cassidy, have all provided a very fertile soil in which Jess can grow – a loving home.

BettyJane and I provide the water and sunshine daily through proper care and nutrition. We are always researching and experimenting with new vitamins, minerals, fats and oils that will aid in the healing process of Jess’s brain.

We have stayed the course.

It has been 4 1/4 years.

Jess’s growth has been barely visible to the naked eye, but we keep our faith, and believe that the growth is happening underneath, in the vast array of Jess’s brains neurological connections – Jess’s complex root system.

I believe that the intricate electrical connections in Jess’s brain are regenerating themselves through the phenomenon of neurogenesis, and when these connections become strong enough, Jess’s growth will become visible to all eyes.

That is what I believe.

And just like the case of the bamboo shoot, after 4 1/4 years, logic would say otherwise.

That is the beauty of living in the 10% – it is free of any and all logic.

In the 10%, logic is replaced with unconditional love and irrational belief.

These are the magic ingredients that make great things in life happen.

A month ago, while I was talking to Jess as she lies in her bed, I told her to concentrate on lifting up her legs.

Jess is non-mobile and non-verbal, so to ask this of her, was a tremendous request for me to make.

She had no immediate response.

A few weeks went by.

In the evening, between 6 and 9 pm, I work with Jess. It is my most patient time of the day. It is the time when I am able to talk with Jess without life pulling me in all different directions.

It is our time.

The other night during this time, as I sat watching TV from across the room, I saw Jess raise her left leg in the air.

Real high.

High enough to shock anyone who saw it, even me.

She repeated the lift a few times, just for validation.

Each time Jess’s straight leg rose in the air, she held it for a few seconds, and then she released the hold, and her leg came crashing down onto her bed.

Thump. Up, hold, and thump again.

Over and over again.

A clear breakthrough. I never felt so justified.

It has taken Jess 4 1/4 years, but Jess’s bamboo shoot has finally started to crack the soil and spring out of the ground.

Just a tremendous reimbursement of faith and belief was restored to my inner being that night.

For a few hours.

My great feeling of faith and belief was soon replaced with that nagging feeling that something was seriously wrong.

Soon, the nagging graduated to a knocking.

A knocking on my door of logic that I heard, but didn’t want to answer.


Read the next chapter – Double Confirmation


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