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
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.