Friday, October 13, 2006


Thank you again to those who continue to write in.  Your comments are encouraging and a reminder that Mike is being prayed for and thought of often.  

Mike has his own wheelchair!  Though its arrival was much anticipated, Mike had gotten used to his loaner chair and had to adjust to a “new” chair all over again.  This chair has two sets of wheels.  One set has a smoother tread and is great for smooth surfaces and the other wheels are more like bicycle tires and great for outdoors.  Imagine my surprise the other day when Mike changed his wheels while still in his wheelchair! He held on to the couch and balanced the wheelchair while changing the wheel…takes guts and a good sense of balance!

Next on the agenda is taking his driver’s test.  Somehow we thought this was going to be a quick and easy process but the delays continue.  Sometime next week, Mike hopes to test drive an Uplander.  Because Mike will also have a power chair, the vehicle will have to have a ramp so he can wheel into the vehicle.  He will lock his wheelchair in and then transfer to a swivel driver’s seat.  One observation – I’ve mentioned before that we now pay much more attention to wheelchair parking!  When you have a vehicle that has a side ramp, you need at least 10 feet beside your vehicle.  Most handicapped parking stalls are not wide enough and if someone parks too close to your vehicle, you are stuck waiting for that person to leave before you can get into your van!  

We have been trying to speed up Mike’s morning routine.  Some things can’t be rushed but others will get easier over time.  Once we get possession of the new house, we will be renovating his bathroom.  We plan to put in a wheel-in shower so that he will not have to transfer to a tub bench.  It will be a “major” reno but worth it!

Things are settling into a comfortable routine.  Though the days are relatively quiet, most evenings and weekends are spent getting Matthew’s house ready for the market and once we get possession of the new house, we will be madly getting that house ready for Mike.  I’m starting to wonder if there is life beyond house renovations!!


nancy fish said...

It's nice to hear an update - thank you!

AndreaJ said...

Thank you Brenda! Your updates are much appreciated!

You, Mike and the rest of the family continue to hold a place in my heart as well as on my prayer list.

I can't wait to hear more about the driving adventures Mike will have.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there guys!!!
I know renovations are not as fun as they sound. They are so much time and work! We are praying for your family. Mike we are happy you finally got your new chair. Good luck on the driving test.

C.Peters said...

Hey Mike, it's not difficult to picture you hanging on to the couch while 'changing your wheels'. You have such determination..! I know that every day that you face challenges and conquer them, you become stronger. You are a tough act to follow....and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Cindy P.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda and family. Thanks sooooo much for keeping us informed about your lives. Sooooo much more interesting than ours:) !
But we each have our own lives to live and living them well is the challenge for us all. Geoff's dad broke his leg and is needing to use a wheelchair right now so of course the rest of us get to try it out and found it's harder than we thought. Changing a tire - hmmm - now that stretched my imagination. Way to go Mike! Any other tricks we should try? Praying for your driving adventure as well and are very confident that you will amaze us as always.
Brenda, I'd love to chat with you but can't figure out where you're living. Same number? I'll try again soon.
Love you guys. Keep holding on to our amazing God and to each other. You're an awesome family that we treasure as friends.

Anonymous said...

i'm certain you never dreamed of a mini van mike; neither did i! =0

but, i too have purchased into the mini van family ... now that i'm here, i'm enjoying it. i simply don't get as many 'looks' at the lights!! =) that however, won't change for you ... you chick magnet you!

take care y'all!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for kepping us informed, it is inspiring to hear your challenges and how you overcome them.I will forever be more careful when I park beside a handicap spot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, and hang in there!! House renos seem to be taking over everywhere. :)


Detroit, Michigan, home of the Detroit Tigers, on their way to the World Series!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Barker Family,
Great to hear of all the progress Mike has been making! *Changing wheels while in the chair, can't quite picture it. It's the balance thing. I know I don't have it!*
Good luck on the driving test when it happens. You are a determined young man and I am sure you will have no problems with the test. Keep us posted on the outcome.
Still in my thoughts and prayers.
Debbie T

Anonymous said...

Good Morning! Glad that things seem to be going well. We have snow in Lac La Biche, hopefully it is not here to stay. I had a great holiday with my sister and Christy and Jodi in Vegas over the Thanksgiving weekend. Well that is about it. Take care Terry Hannan

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the updates. Though we dont write, we do check in quite often.

You take everything in such stride, it must be such a blessing to have a family with as much love and compassion as you do.

Continue to heal Mike, and your family heals with you.

With love and care.

Anonymous said...

I never thought about needing the extra room when parking, for a wheel chair lift to actually be feasible. Your posts have provided insight and lightened my ignorance to life in a different fashion.

Glad that you find comfort in your 'new times - like old times'.

Good vibes,

Anonymous said...

Hey Barker family. I just wanted to say that you're such an impressive group of people. A tragedy took place in your family and you've shown such faith and perserverance. It's only October and Mike's already test-driving cars. That's amazing!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates. Mike and family you are always in my prayers. You will be needing SNOW tires on your chair sooner than later. Had to laugh when I read that you can change tires while still sitting in your chair.(Only Michael would figure this out so quickly) Take care Brenda

Anonymous said...


I just have to say thank- you for blessing all of us. Mike, as hard as this whole experience has been (and I'm not saying this to make it easier), a lot of people have been blessed and honored to read and hear and see your strength and dependence on God. I've really had to stop and question my way of life at times, because I read of what you're going through, and think, Wow, I take so much for granted. Thank you for making us all see life in a different way. And keep hangin' in there (I wish I could pop a wheelie and change a tire :) Britney in MI

christy Ward said...

hey mike and family
i hope your renovations go smoothly! they are such a task. you guys are still in my prayers.
good luck with the driving test Mike

Anonymous said...

yesterday i was in the hospotal cause me and taylor were wrestling and he fliped me and i got a little fractrue in one of me vertabray. i made me think about how anoying it was for u to be in the hospital cause when i was in the hospital i had to wear a neck thing and i could only move my legs and arms and i couldn't really see anything. it was so boring and i was only there for 3 hours. then i thought if mike can be in the hospital for that long i can do this.

its good u got your chair. when we were out there you hated your chair so much and u couldn't wait to get your new chair.that sucks about how u have to have ten feet to get out and in your van.


mitch said...

i am going to write this again cause i don't think the first one worked.

mike, last night i was in the hospital and i made me think of u. i was in the hospital because me and taylor were wrestling and taylor fractured one of my vertabray. it wasn't that bad it was very small and i can still walk around but it hurts so i'm tylenal 3.when i was in the hospital they had a colar on me and i was in a strecher so i was getting very boared. after about 2 hours i thought " if mike could be in the hospital and have a weight on his neck i could do it to".

its good you got your chair. when we were there you wanted it so bad. that sucks that u have to have that ramp thing. is it weird driving. how do u do the gas and stuff?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
It has been quite the week - Mitchell and I have talked about you lots, with his back injury, and today Taylor and I talked about you while we sat in emergency for a suspected concussion. I have thought much about the essence of humanity, and the spirit of God with us and in us in the midst of all things. We see that in you. You are a gift!! You know, Mike, this week we feel very close to you!! We trust that all is well in your house, and within your spirit and body.
Aunt mary

Julie-Anne said...

Wow... Have read in a little while but it sounds likes things are really going well for your family. I am glad that you are going strong dispite all the renos.

All the best with the place.


Laurie McDonald said...

Hey Barkers!
I haven't written for a while, but do check up and am so thankful for your updates. It somehow keeps us connected and we continue to pray for all progress. Sounds like you've conquered many, many obstacles, bit by bit. That's an awesome accomplishment, one that we all need to be reminded of daily as we all think things are going to get where we want them in lickity-split fashion. But thankfully God is still patient with us and will always help us learn sooooo much along the way before we get to where we are going. You guys take care and keep "rolling". Brenda, we miss you, but always so thankful the impact you've had in our lives. Everything has a time and a place.

Love you lots,