Hi! The sun is finally shining outside this Friday afternoon following a week of almost continuous rain. We needed the moisture, and now the grass is bright green. At least, it looks really green from my hospital room.
I've had lots of visitors this week. My uncle, Bishop Tom, came to visit Monday through Wednesday. He flew all the way from Phoenix. It was great to see him and talk about books, movies, Ireland, the Church, and Notre Dame. He was able to stay at the St. Jude's rectory, where he met a couple of the African priests who live in our parish. A good friend of mine, Brendan Gardiner, also paid a visit on Tuesday. Brendan studied with me in Ireland, and it's always good to catch up with him. On Wednesday, my brother Pat and his wife Tracy came to Milwaukee directly from the Mediterranean, where they had just completed a cruise contract. My sister Michelle and her husband Jeff drove up from Branson on Thursday. My brother-in-law Bryan was also able to drive up that day to join us and see my sister (his wife) Mary Margaret, who has been here helping Dad and Mom most of the week. It's been so good to see them all, and I'm looking forward to visiting with them more this weekend. Of course, we're keeping them busy. Dad has been maintaining the yard; Mom and Mary Margaret have been babysitting nonstop; Mary Margaret and Tracy helped Regan buy treats and decorations for her birthday slumber party tonight; and Dad and Pat and Jeff are going to install some safety grab bars in our shower at home tomorrow so that they'll be in place when I need them. I've had several members of the family come along to observe my therapy sessions so that they can see what I go through each day. The therapists are very accommodating about having them there and sometimes even get them involved. Regan and Aubrey hit a balloon back and forth with me to help me with my balance, for instance, and I played shuffleboard with Mom during recreational therapy yesterday.
Therapy is going well. I have to have a therapist or nurse present whenever I get out of the wheelchair or bed, but I am now able to rise out of the chair, walk short distances, and sit back down using only a cane. My left arm is very functional and slowly getting stronger. My left leg is largely unresponsive, although there are a few hip and thigh muscles that are starting to show signs of life. I see progress every day, which continues to keep me encouraged.
Kelly is holding down the fort at home tonight, overseeing Regan's slumber party. I can't wait to hear how that goes. Aubrey is in Chicago with a friend, who invited her to see the Hillary Duff concert. Everyone else is coming to have dinner with me at the hospital. I think they're bringing guacamole. Yum! They know what I like. : )