Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Katie and I have been exchanging voice mails but it sounds like Dave had a good Father's day.  Katie and Maura took him to his favorite Chinese restaurant in Richmond where he got the first class treatment.  On the way home they stopped and picked up the puppies - Scarlet and Velvet for a little visit.  Back at Martha T. they had chocolate cake that Katie made.  Sounded like a pretty good evening.  Thought I would share.

This is one of the only pictures of all of us.  Christmas 2004.  Me, Bernie, Katie, Maura with her new puppy Velvet, Dad and Scarlet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Dad!!!

Worst daughter ever didn't buy a card yet.  I've had a reminder on my desk and on my computer for two weeks.  But hey, I can at least write a blog post!  Here is one of my favorite pics of me and my dad.  We're on Korneffel's Island and that is our cottage and Chris Craft in the background.  I've seen a few versions of it but this one I ripped out of my baby book to find the following in my mom's hand writing on the back:
First sucker July (I assume 75?) Mom was away (but of course).  Given by Joyce Rosou.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

May Visit & a trip to Carrabbas

It had been way too long since my last visit to Michigan so I decided the perfect time was never going to come and I just headed out there for a weekend.  I have been traveling a lot for work and it is hard to come home and then jump on another airplane.  Such is life.  Hopefully a longer trip will happen this summer and maybe I'll get to visit the cottage too - it's been a couple of years.  Can you imagine me away from the cottage for that long?  It's unbelievable to me.  I remember being there from the last day of school to the first day of school - every year until I graduated.  With no phones.  No computers.  I don't know if email even existed back then.  The good old days for certain.

I landed Friday night and went right to Martha T to see Dad.  He was very happy to see me.  We chatted for awhile until Katie and Maura came - all of us were going to go out to dinner.  Dad got some nice clothes on and we hit the road.  Now, I can't describe this well without using my hands but Dad asked where we were going, and used his hands to describe the route.  We were a little confused at what he was saying and we started to head to Brio.  When we started to make the Michigan left to the restaurant Dad put up a big protest so Katie turned around and he directed us about 5 miles down the road to Carrabbas where his friend Laura Tucker works.  His earlier hand signals made perfect sense in hindsight.  Can you believe that?  I was awestruck.  He can understand everything you are saying, he knows exactly what he wants to say, he knows where he is and where he wants to go and how to get there, he just can't get all of the words out.  It must be frustrating to be locked inside your head like that.  We had a great dinner and got to see Laura.  He looked so good in his pink polo and khakis I wish I had brought my camera.  Katie mentioned awhile back he directed her all the way to Richmond to his favorite Chinese restaurant.  Big Dave, always in charge.

Saturday Barb Korneffel and I came for a few hours to visit.  Everyone who knows my dad knows how he loves Barbie.  She told him a story about Tommy trying to kill a mole this spring and my dad laughed harder than I had seen in a long time.  When Dave asks you when you are going to leave, he's not trying to ask you to leave he is trying to see if you have time for him to get in his chair and go for a walk.  He can pretty much get in and out of his chair all by himself.  He likes to peek in on the common areas on the second floor and the first floor before heading out to the courtyard.  It's a beautiful place, and a good place to have your visit.  Also, if he's not in his room when you come to visit you might find him in one of these areas.  He likes to check out all the action.  Dave also likes to walk you to the main door when you are ready to leave.  Forever the gentleman.

On Sunday Tanya came with me for a visit.  We hung out outside in the courtyard and Tanya told Dad all about her recent boat issues which of course were of great interest to him. 

Excellent news on the physical therapy front.  After 5 months of fighting the system, Katie finally got authorization for more physical therapy.  Anything that can help Dad gain some more strength and independence is welcome.  I just finished reading My Stroke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.  Jill was a leading brain scientist at Harvard who had a massive stroke and was able to tell her story about the day of her stroke and her 8 years to full recovery.  Doctors will tell you stroke victims only recover for the first 6 months or so but Jill proved that wrong.  Thanks to Dennis for the book.  I passed it to Barb who will give it to Katie when she is done.  I hope Dad will get some more speech therapy too.  He will do anything a therapist asks but is not so willing with his friends or family.  He can say "No" pretty clearly.

I NEED YOUR HELP  I'm going to be making a photo album for my dad - simple pictures of people he knows.  I'll put their first names under each picture.  Maybe it will help him put names to faces.  Maybe it won't help - but he seems to like to look at pictures so it can't hurt.  If you have any pictures of yourself or any of Dave's close friends or family please email one to me at

DAVE NEEDS YOUR HELP Visitors are getting few and far between so please take a moment to pop in and visit with Dave, you both will be better for it.  Thank you to all his friends and family that make the time to visit, we all very much appreciate it.  Information on location is posted along the left side of this blog.

As always, if you have a story you would like to share from a recent visit please email it to me. 


Thursday, June 3, 2010

An email from Katie to one of David's Friends

More to come soon on my recent visit, but I wanted to get this out ASAP so folks can hear how my dad is doing and hopefully get out to visit soon - you'll love the walk out to the gardens he'll take you on! - keri

David is doing well. It's hard to explain...he still has trouble with getting the right words out but he now not only understands, but can reason. I am always telling him what is going on with work, the house, the cottage, Maura, her boat and anything I can think to talk about when I visit him. I now ask his opinion about some things and although he doesn't have the words, I give him a choice of what he thinks I should do and it always seems true to what he would have answered before his stroke. It also seems he likes to be involved in the decisions I make. He also likes to decide where he wants to eat {Carrabba’s and a Chinese restaurant} when we take him out to dinner by directing me where to turn until I figure out what restaurant he is taking me to. He still makes me laugh. His overall health is good as are his spirits!

I also run into many people that ask me how David is doing. I update them but always say "go visit him, he would love to see you". At this point he does not get many visitors. I visit him every day with a few exceptions. Just like always, he is so happy to see me. …. When I have to go out of town for work I line people up to visit so he has at least has one visitor a day. Thanks for continuing to encourage people to visit, it really means a lot. - Katie