Last week I attended the funeral of my Aunt Sue. Although funerals are always sad for me, the coming together of family helps us heal. One person that I got to see last week was my Aunt Betty – Sue’s older sister. I know she has not been feeling well and I wasn’t sure she was going to be able to make it to the funeral.
Aunt Betty, along with my Uncle Larry, made the trip to Richlands for the funeral. She looked great and I was very happy that she was there.
Today is her birthday and I wanted her to know that I was thinking about her.
I wanted you to know that I am thinking about you today on your birthday. Despite the circumstances, it was good to see you last week in Richlands. I know you have not been feeling well – I am glad you were able to make it. I hope you feel better and look forward to seeing you and Uncle Larry soon.
A week ago today my aunt died after declining significantly in health over the past two years. She was a very special person for me. Every time my mother went into the hospital, Aunt Sue was there. She’d show up the same day and stay as long as she was needed.
Aunt Sue’s health started to decline in recent years. After losing her son and her best friend, I noticed her attitude changing. She seemed alone in this world and would frequently tell me that she no longer wanted to live. Two years ago her health rapidly started to deteriorate. She started showing clear signs of dementia and became very frail.
Over the past two years I called her, visited her in Tennessee and of course wrote her handwritten letters. But she was no longer the person I once knew. For the past 18 months she was living at an assisted living center. The staff there took tremendous care of her and I wanted to thank them for everything they did for my aunt.
RIP Aunt Sue – I love you very much.
I wanted to send a note to thank everyone at Brookdale Kingsport for taking such wonderful care of my aunt: Sue Huels. She had not been well for some time. The woman that you knew was just a fraction of the woman she was. Every one of you showed so much kindness, compassion and respect toward her – even in her most difficult times. Thank you.
Jason Reed Sandridge
Dave and his daughter
I have never met Dave Samples, but he is a close friend of relatives of mine. They shared Dave’s story and I was compelled to help.
Dave needs a new heart. And if that wasn’t difficult enough, before he can get the new heart he needs a device called a Left Ventricular Assist Device. To get one of these he and his family will have to temporarily move to Nashville, TN for two to three months for him to have the surgery and recover.
As you can imagine, this means a lot of added expenses. He and his family live pay check to pay check. In order to help get Dave his new heart, a crowdfunding page was created and I’ve contributed to his campaign. I hope that you will consider making a donation as well, every little bit helps. Dave’s life truly depends on it.
Just a note to say hello to you and your family and let you know that I’ve made another donation to your Go Fund Me page. Also, I’ve linked your page on my Year of Letters blog and hopefully some of my followers will read about your story and consider making a donation. I wish you the best with the LVAD surgery.
Stay strong and stay in touch,
My friend Danielle’s mother suffered a terrible fall earlier this summer and was hospitalized until the insurance company stopped paying for her stay. I’ve heard Danielle talk about her mother several times over the years and know that she is a beloved dance instructor in Frederick, MD.
She’s improving, but it’s a very slow process and she still hasn’t regained use of the right side of her body. I thought a letter might brighten her day.
Jo Ann requires 24/7 care right now which is not being paid by insurance and a fundraising page has been set up to assist with expenses. If you would like to help, I know Jo Ann and her husband Bill would be very appreciative.
Dear Jo Ann,
I’m friends with Danielle – we used to work together at the American Heart Association. I am so sorry to hear about your fall. Danielle has been sharing your progress – I know it takes a long time, but hopefully it helps to know so many friends and family are thinking about you.
P.S. I love the Take Them a Meal app. If I lived closer, I’d make you something. Instead I made a small donation to your recovery fund.
Posted in Get Well
Tagged accidents, donate, embossed, friends, handwriting, handwritten letters, health, injuries, letter-writing, Paper Source, recovery fund, stationery, Year of Letters
You may remember earlier this summer (Day 160) a friend of mine suffered a severe stroke. Michael, a long-time community advocate here in DC, suffered a stroke in the brain stem and has been battling back ever since. He was finally discharged from the hospital and is now in an assisted living center up in Maryland.
I visited Michael last weekend. He looked a lot better than the last time I saw him, but he still couldn’t speak at all. Communicating with him was very frustrating – I just couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell me. It must be so hard for him.
I can’t visit him as much as I used to since he’s now much further away, so I thought I would send him a letter today.
It was great to see you last week. You looked great – you’ve improved a lot since I last saw you on the day that you were being released from GW.
As I was leaving I realized you were probably trying to signal me to give your roommate back his chair. I wasn’t really aware that he was using it, I thought it was for visitors. Sorry.
You’ve got some good strength in your right arm, that was impressive. I imagine they are providing you some physical therapy, which is good for you.
I stopped by the nurse’s station to try to get a little more information about your care. Unfortunately I had a hard time getting someone who know enough about your situation – several new people were on duty. I will be back to see you, it’s a little harder now given your new location.
Stay strong and keep working hard on your recovery. You can do it.