Veterans Day at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto: Saturday was very special for our family. We got to spend it together with Sam at the VA Hospital. I was so grateful that my other daughter (Allison) spent Thursday through Saturday with Erin and Sam. You have all heard how wonderful Erin is in dealing with Sam, but Allison also has a very special gift in the way she cares him.
Joey’s gift to Erin and Ali: Both Erin and Ali grew up babysitting a very special cousin named Joey who has Angelman Syndrome (AS). I know Joey’s parents adore my daughters and are very thankful that they have been a big part of Joey’s life. I can’t help but think that the love, understanding and acceptance they have for Joey has helped shape the beautiful and caring personalities they have today. In a very special way, Joey has taught Erin and Allison how to look beyond the surface of what they see and look into a person’s heart instead.
Remembering our fallen heroes on Veterans Day: Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Corporal James McRae, Corporal Matthew Zindars, Lance Corporal Robert Lynch and Hospitalman Daniel Noble who lost their lives on July 24, 2007 while on convoy duty with Sam in the Dilyala province of Iraq. I know it is especially painful for the Noble family as Daniel’s birthday falls on Veterans Day. The Marines of Kilo Battery wear a black Fallen Hero Bracelet (see graphic) with the names of their four buddies who died on July 24th.
Please take a few minutes to view their memorial page on this weblog and think about these men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. There is a special note from an Army officer who attended their memorial service in Iraq. He is the author of the weblog Badgers Forward. To the fallen Hero’s of Kilo Battery, Erin left you this note on October 23, 2007 after Kilo Battery returned from Iraq:
Your brothers are home safe with their families. Now you can rest.
Visit from Seniors 4 Soldiers: A special thanks to Amanda from Seniors 4 Soldiers who drove all the way down from Lincoln, Ca. to visit Sam and Erin. I am always amazed at the kindness and caring of people like Amanda who put so much time into helping others.
Sam’s medical status:
Friday November 9th, 2007: Erin said they had an exciting afternoon. Allison (Erin’s sister) is staying with her a few days. This afternoon Sam was being very animated. He was trying to sit up in the bed. He was being very animated with his mouth. Erin took the opportunity to have Sam brush his teeth (with a little help from Erin). He was also taking Erin and Ali’s picture with her camera (again with a little help from Erin). Sam also was able to move his arm all the way to the top of his head.
Saturday November 10th, 2007: Today my whole family spent the day with Sam. Sam’s father Eric was also visiting. It has been two weeks since I saw Sam and I really have noticed a positive change in him. The most dramatic change has been in his “look”, or the way he looks at people and objects. In the past, he has had (for lack of a better description) a sort of “start off into space” look about him. But I’ve noticed (as has Erin and others) he is becoming more focused—almost like he’s really concentrating on you and trying to figure you out.
Sunday November 11th, 2007: Sam is staying awake more through the afternoon. It looks like his new medicine is working well. This week the doctors will be working on getting his backside in shape so they can get him back up and into a wheel chair. I’m sure that getting him out of his room for a while each day will speed up his recovery. I can’t wait for the day when Erin can wheel him over to the Fisher house and they can spend some time together in her room.