To The Daily Sun,
About seven months ago, someone very dear to me suffered a stroke. This is the first time in my life I've encountered someone that has been affected by this medical condition.
Even though my friend only suffered a mild stroke I cannot begin to imagine how it felt or how it feels to live with the changes this has caused. We've talked a little about what's different and what I hear most is that he doesn't feel like the same person he was before the stroke. One big complaint is his lack of short-term memory. Because of this I thought I would write a little note to explain what I and anyone who has ever crossed paths with him sees. And maybe this will help other stroke victims who might feel the same.
Who cares if you can't tell me who the president of the Untied States is? (Russ Wiles likes you already.) Who cares if you put dirty dishes in the refrigerator instead of the dishwasher? Who cares if you repeat the same thing or ask me the same question 10 times in 10 minutes? Most people who haven't suffered from anything are capable of this.
When I look at you I see the same man I've been seeing for the last 47 years. You know my name. You know who my children are. You know who all the people in your life are. You still have that amazing sense of humor. You can still hold a conversation with the best of them.
You may see differently, but we don't. We still see the person we've been in love with from day one. A stroke is a devastating thing, and like I said, I cannot even begin to understand what it feels like. This I have no knowledge of at all. But what I do know is that even though you think that this cruel experience has taken things from you, everyone in your life still sees that whole person, who we love and respect just as much now as we did before.
Someone said to me that I'm trying to make you the person that you were. I'm not, because nothing has changed. I'm just trying to convince you of that. It's like having an amazingly reliable car with a radio. All of a sudden you take the radio out. You may not be listening to music any more but you still have an amazingly reliable car. You're still amazing, and very reliable, and that's all we see.
I've always said when it's your time to move on there will be 5,000 people there to say goodbye. This says so much to the person you've been and the man you are today. And we won't be saying goodbye to the person who answers the TV remote when the phone rings. We'll be saying goodbye to you.
So don't get so discouraged. You've still got many years ahead of you and we want to make them the best yet.
- Category: Letters
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