Bonus Birthday

This past week Bob marked the fourth birthday since his stroke. I call these Bonus Birthdays and for good reason. In Semper Avanti we celebrate his first birthday in a dreary nursing home about ten weeks after he was found in that Virginia hotel room. He can barely talk, he is learning how to feed himself again and is stuck in a wheelchair, paralyzed on his right side. But despite the circumstance and in every way that counts it is the best birthday ever. This birthday, light years away from that dreary nursing home, we relished the idea of having a normal birthday, just like everyone else. We did what Bob wanted to do, because, well, that’s what birthdays are for. We spent family time

The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

Watching Bob’s determination to participate in our daughter’s move this weekend called to mind Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech on July 4, 1939 as he bid farewell to baseball. It was Gehrig’s courage and strength during his battle with ALS that Bob drew on during that first year of his recovery and Bob shared that inspiration in his first public speech just one year after his stroke. Bob's speech is recalled in its entirety in Semper Avanti, and was a key milestone in Bob’s early progress. I was reminded of all this over the weekend while Bob and I spent it in Pittsburgh, helping our daughter move into her new apartment. The first day of moving boxes and furniture down two flights of st

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