Saturday, March 20, 2010

"And You?"

posted by Mary Lello, Saturday, March 20, 2010, 5:30 AM

Next weekend is the fundraiser and we’re very excited about it. I’m amazed at the energy and organizational skills of Nance. She’s doing a great job.

Many, or most of you, have not seen Jim for an entire year. If you are reading this then I suspect you have kept up with the goings on through this site so have somewhat of a clue. Still I need to offer some understandings as to what to expect when you see Jim.

First off, you will SEE Jim. He is coming back more and more. His sense of humor is coming back and you can see Jim Daniels in those gorgeous blue eyes again. When he’s tired – which I’m sure he will be by the end of this night – those eyes go a little vacant and look more like a deer in the headlights but he’s still in there.

He’s disabled with his right side but getting stronger every day. He’ll be dancing that night, a beautiful but odd little shuffle and swinging of his cane or twirling whomever he’s dancing with. And pure joy shines on his face when he dances.

He has a dozen words that he can say and he uses these words a lot, “and you?, “yes, yes, yes,”, “that’s alright”, “thank you”, “shit, shit, shit”.

“Thank you” gets used for a lot of different things – he says it when he means “Hi” or “Bye” or “please”. He’ll probably be saying it as we walk into the room “yes, yes, yes, thank you, thank you, thank you” … which always has me feeling like a celebrity even when the room is not erupting into standing ovations. This is all what the speech therapists call “preservative language”, words that he has retained and can say. It’s interesting how the phrases of this preservative speak have changed with time. It use to be “how long….” Which sometimes didn’t make much sense but it was always entertaining to watch people try to figure out what “how long” meant to them. He hasn’t used this one for months now. And “shit,shit,shit” gets used in extreme frustration. Again, interesting how swear words are retained across the board with any brain trauma. We can all be thankful it’s not me in this condition as I have favorite, but far more offensive, expletive.

You may want to say your name to Jim when you come up and say hello. He will remember you but he probably won’t remember your name so offering this right away to him will take away the stress he may feel in trying to remember a name.

And be prepared to do more of the talking and not asking too many questions. Questions, after all, require an answer … and Jim can’t do this right now.

He will be thrilled to see each and every one of you. This is a man who loves openly and deeply and you are coming because you have shared this love of each other in this life.

For anyone who is coming who does not know Jim but is coming because you know someone else at this gathering then all I can say is, you will be glad you got to meet Jim Daniels. Even in this incredibly compromised state you will feel the wonderful energy of this man and be glad that you now know him.

Loving you all back,


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