well, we're into the holiday season now, and our last couple of weeks here in Chicago.
we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Plainfield with family and friends. some of Geoff's family came down for the holiday, and Sam and Etty were able to fly down for the weekend as well. thanks to the generous, kind friends who hosted us, we enjoyed not one, but two freshly cooked turkeys! we spent the holiday weekend together as family by spending a night in downtown Chicago and watching a Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre.
my dad checked out his first book at a library since the stroke, one called "American Moments," in his attempts to further improve his reading/comprehension abilities. his mind continues to feel 'foggy' at times, but we've found that his memory and comprehension is still sharp and in tact, he often just needs us to slow down when we communicate with him or even write down ideas for him, often the visual aid is helpful. he admits that although it feels frustrating, he's coming around . . . it's just a part of the healing process.
his physical rehabilitation is going well. his balance continues to improve -- at rehab now he can keep a balloon in the air by hitting it back and forth without any reliance on his cane. they're also putting him on a bike machine and having him pedal backwards in order to get strength back in his hamstring (on his right leg). the grip in his right hand is quite strong now, so the big challenge is getting him to be able to release and relax it.
and the words keep coming! today at therapy they are taking him out to Baker's Square. i asked him yesterday evening what kind of pie he was planning on ordering when he went, and he said, "peach! or blueberry! or cherry!" his accuracy with word use is really getting much better, he doesn't struggle so much with trying to find the right response. for instance, the other night we were watching a TV show and my mom thought perhaps we should stop the show early so that we could all go to bed. so Clara turned around and asked dad if he wanted to stop or keep watching the show, and he thought for a minute and then said, "WATCH IT!" (so of course we finished the show, no more questions asked!) anyway, that kind of response is amazing, because he was able to vocalize exactly what he was thinking, whereas a couple of months ago he would not have been able to come up with the right words at all.
soon we had back to snowy MN! dad has less than two weeks here and then we'll drive back to St. Paul. he'll meet with a rehabilitation doctor at Sister Kenny at that point, and start therapy again soon after.
P.S. i've posted an updated family picture! it was taken in downtown Chicago just a couple of weeks ago.
"now FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen."
-- Hebrews 11:1