Tuesday, June 22, 2010

i'm writing right now from my dad's new room in Mayo Hospital. actually, at this moment, Clara has her guitar pulled out and is about to perform for us . . . some of my dad's favorite songs:) we all just ate lunch together (granted, my dad ate pureed hospital food, and we ordered Chipotle), and my dad is happily reclined in his chair.
he was transported yesterday morning from North Memorial by ambulance. my mom got to ride in the ambulance with him, and they arrived a little after one. we like being here at Mayo, and we have some absolutely WONDERFUL family members who work here at the hospital who have been so supportive and helped accommodate us here in Rochester. my dad is getting wonderful care, and therapists have been coming in and out all morning, evaluating his speech and right arm movement.
he is on the neurology floor right now to be evaluated before moving him on to therapy, but we're hoping that within the next couple of days he'll be ready to move out of neurology -- we want to get him into rehabilitation!
something so exciting happened today. the speech therapist came in to check up on him, and at first he was not very responsive, he could only make one word sound ('you') and didn't quite seem to follow with what she was asking of him. but finally, she said, "Geoff, let's sing together, okay?" and she started singing Happy Birthday . . . and just like that, my dad opened his mouth and started singing along with her . . . soft words, but he sang right along, and it was just so beautiful to sit there with my mom and watch him sing. they sang the song twice together.
he continues to do better day by day . . . he is much more peaceful and not nearly as sleepy as he was earlier. his brain swelling continues to improve each day, and we love just sitting and interacting with him. earlier today my mom and i looked through Sam and Joanna's wedding album that we had brought, and he loved that.


  1. Your Dad is SO lucky to have such a wonderful family...I know he will take credit for making it so! :)

    I guess we can be the Singing Surety.....

    Thanks for sharing such good news.

  2. Oops...forgot to sign that - It's Ronae Rose again.

  3. I completely agree with the comment above. What a wonderful gift to give back to a wonderful Dad....all the love he has showered on his family all these years!

    Love....and music....the best possible therapy in the world!

  4. We are rejoicing with each step forward Geoff takes! We continue to pray for you all! Love, The Braces

  5. Hi Hathaways,
    So glad you're settling in at Mayo. The art work in different parts of the hospital is so beautiful. Heard any piano players yet on the first floor? You will enjoy that!
    Our prayers are for daily progress however small-blessings to you all,
    love, Jill and Steve

  6. Hip, hip, hooray! What a wonderful testament to the power of music to heal and comfort. Keep at it Geoff and we'll have you solo at the next MMB Annual Meeting. Do you know "How Can I Keep from Singing?"---"I lift my eyes, the cloud grows thin, I see the blue above it. And day by day this pathway clears, since first I learned to love it. The peace of God restores my soul, a fountain ever springing. All things are mine since I am loved, how can I keep from singing?"
    Ellen Moore

  7. Ahh! The power of song! I've been thinking the last few days that he needed music in his room and someone reading to him. He would love both of these things! The two things the Hathaways love the most!

    Clearly at some point in rehabilitation I can hear Geoff ask the question, "So will I be able to sing arias when I'm done? Good, because I couldn't sing them before!"

    Please know that the Olsons pray for the Hathaways daily, and we are so thankful for the progress!

  8. Maggie--thank you so much for this update. I am so glad to read this. I am moved nearly to tears, that he is singing. I have heard there are studies being done regarding why people seem to be able to SING, when speaking is a challenge. Perhaps it's just what's in one's soul. I'm glad you are all together there. I am sending all of you huge hugs and all my love.
    Thinking of all of you every day. XO Julie K.

  9. Wonderful news...family is so important and there is nothing more theraputic then being surrounded by loving family and friends. Wishing continuing progress for Geoff!