Well, here it is. This is going to be my first and last entry on this blog. Actually, I am writing this probably around 30 thousand feet in the air! Matt is passed out beside me (I am sure that won't surprise any of you who know him!). We were bumped up to first class so that it would be more convenient for me (oh the hardships of being in a wheelchair! Ha!). Steve and Lori's church flew me and Matt down to surprise the two of them for Christmas and it couldn't have worked out better! The two of them were definitely surprised! (Watch the video) We had an amazing time. We left Mom and Dad home alone for Christmas, but they claim that they behaved themselves the whole time. Somehow I find that hard to believe...
One of the best parts of Detroit was the total lack of snow! It rained once or twice while we were there but I didn't mind because I will take anything over snow! I might just have to take another vacation to get a break from this weather before winter is over...
I really wanted to take Kilian (Steve and Lori's dog) home with me but I wasn't up to attempting to fit a dog that weighs more than I do in my bag! I was starting to get used to having a dog who can just lay his head on my lap though! Maybe that will be something for me to take a look at when I get back...
Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who wrote comments and well wishes on this here. I still can't believe how many people showed their support through this blog. I can still remember having my Mom sitting beside my bed reading everything people wrote, while I laid there in traction. That seems like it was ages ago! Luckily life is now basically back to normal. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support you gave throughout my recovery. I wish you all the best in 2007!
P.S. A special thanks to my brothers who came up with this blog (I would have never thought of that!) and for all of the entries them and my Mom threw on there!
P.P.S (From Mom)
Yes, that was Mike's final post to the blog but I thought I might add a
postscript to update you on what was happening in the Barker household.
January, we moved into our house in Sherwood Park amidst the flurry of construction and ongoing unpacking. In spite of the fact that Mike had only a shower and toilet in his bathroom at first, he patiently waited for us to continue tiling, painting, and, thanks to Grandpa Dickau, install a custom-made cabinet. We needed a vanity that was high and wide enough for Mike to get his chair under, yet still have drawers on either side for storage. Thankfully Grandpa and Grandma came to our rescue because we had very specific needs! Not only did Grandpa build the bathroom vanity, he also built Mike a night stand, complete with drawers made to measure for his supplies, a slide out board to extend the surface area when needed and even a shelf which sits above the night stand but will swing out over his bed. Grandpa builds the furniture and Grandma stains and paints. Needless to say their "workshop" was busy!
The elevator has worked wonderfully although we still have some cosmetic things to finish i.e. trim and thresholds. Mike enters through the garage and can either come up a few feet to the main floor or go down to the basement to his bedroom, bathroom and rumpus room. The whole basement is laminate flooring which makes wheeling easy. I'd like to say that Mike's room is kept clean but he promises to do it….tomorrow!
Mike got his van, a Buick Terazza, a few weeks ago and takes full advantage of his independence. He drives up the ramp out the side door, "ties" in his wheelchair, transfers to a 6-way power chair which swings around and then forward to the steering wheel. He is making up for months of not going shopping by going to West Edmonton Mall numerous times on his own. Nice to see he hasn't lost his shopping skills! He still drives to the Steadward Centre at the University three times a week to work out and use the FES rowing machine. There is talk of a summer job and Mike plans to go back to university in the fall.
Neil and I went to Detroit in February. Neil was able to stay for one week but Steve and Lori managed to put up with me for three weeks. Von (the most beautiful, contented grandchild in the world…unbiased opinion) and I had lots of time to bond! Mike stayed home alone and managed just fine.
Life has returned to 'normal' and we are enjoying being settled. Steve, Lori and Von came for a short visit and, due to the fact that Matt moved home, we were all under one roof again. Could it get any better?
Mike and I were talking this morning. One of the guys staying at the Glenrose while Mike was here became a paraplegic while doing a "jump" on his quad. I commented on the fact that this fellow had such a positive attitude saying he'd had his accident while doing something that he loved. Mike replied, "Me, too! I had my accident doing something I love and am good at….sleeping!" Yep, some things never change!!