Sunday, September 27, 2009

9/27 Mum fest, West End hardware, K-mart. sign of the fish

We're having a blast taking trips into town and meeting friends everywhere we go. At West End Hardware, Frank and Cindy Wrobel greeted us with hugs, took us into their back room, served us coffee and fresh donuts, prayed with us, and refused to let us pay a penny for the paint and supplies we'd come by to purchase. "Please, call me Auburn," I said to Frank. "Okay, I'll do that," he replied, "...Mrs. Sandstrom." What wonderful hearts and down-to-earth folks!

At the Mum Fest around Lake Anna, when we went to pick up our mums, we saw Terry Avant, Jerry Pecko, John Hall, Sherry Sanchez and a number of other friends who greeted us with joy and words of encouragement.

I don't have to tell you that Chuck's got the electric cart at K-mart down to trim turns and precision handling.

It's a bit of a double-edged sword for Chuck. On the one hand, he gains energy as always from contact with people and their positive regard. On the other, he finds it painful not being able to make himself understood at this juncture. He said yesterday he felt the speech progress was going too slowly and that he's dealing with feelings of anger at times.

Home Speech Therapy moment:

A: Let's read these two sentences.
C: (reading) I feel we're making progress. I feel we're not making progress.
A: Which statement seems more true to you?
C: I feel we're not making progress.
A: Sometimes it feels that way to me to, but it's not the truth.

A. (prompting) I need Auburn to...
C: I need you to help me with anger management.
A: I'll help in any way I can, and you're managing it beautifully already.

I will add that the movie "Anger Management" was on the TV two days before and I had mentioned those two words. I sometimes think Chuck has to re-hear words in order to re-acquire them. I try to describe things in simple but rich language. "The mums look magnificent." "Superior walking, Chuck."

I've told Chuck part of the "work" is simply sleeping. We've gotten much more on-purpose with that. He's been in bed now for 13 hours, mostly sleeping, while I work quietly at the desk beside him, sorting files, paying bills, keeping up correspondence, praying.

We're having guests over for brunch today, neighbors Gary and Ruth. What a great feeling to be giver rather than receiver for a change. (I'm cheating on the cooking though and serving Jean Hamed's breakfast casserole and hash browns. Jean, you've given me the opportunity to be a hostess. Thank you!)

I have heard that the early, heavily-persecuted Christians put the sign of the fish on their homes to let other Christians know they were a safe house for believers. I have felt from day one that we have been continually visited by a secret, weird and exquisite fellowship of angels -- people of faith with open hearts (like Munchkins leading us to Oz or Heaven) sharing love, directions, money, protection, casseroles, phone numbers, counsel and encouragement. We're in the poppy field now, in view of the Emerald City. (Do I need counseling?)

Love to you all. We sure feel it surrounding us!

P.S. Just now, Chuck awakened, said, "Good morning," heartily and clearly, and, like any other dude in the morning, got up, strode over to the bathroom (unassisted), took care of his morning business (left the seat up as usual), strode back to bed and lay down again. Wives, I hope you will take the cue from me to celebrate and give thanks when your guy gets up to do the same!

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