Now I'm getting the chance to read books I didn't have time for before. Think of me whenever you see the slogan "So many books, so little time!" Now I've got the time. Cheers, Fred.
3. MY POST-CHANGE BIOGRAPHY
Written on March 25, 2009
I have regained more arm strength and the ability to do more things with my hands (sometimes using my teeth as well). So now I am more "handy" around our home than I would have guessed back in 2002 when I wrote the letter in part (2). The therapists were clearly right in insisting that I keep trying to do "practical" things - that is, useful about-the-house exercises to either strengthen or learn new techniques for using my hands.
Two very important things - one emotional and one spiritual - have allowed me to survive the challenging events described in my 2002 letter of part 2. The emotional one is the great love, encouragement, and strong support of my family during the trying times in the hospital, as well as with the major readjustments I had to make upon returning home. Doris, Steve, Jennifer and Mark (Jennifer's husband) made it possible for me to face my changed future. The spiritual one is my rock-solid faith in God due to the religious experiences that have played a crucial part in making me who I am today. Today is March 25, 2009 - exactly ten years since Doris took me to the ER. Now I can celebrate this ten-year anniversary because of how far I've come since being nearly totally paralyzed. It's been a very long and often bumpy road from ten years ago to today!
In parts (4) and (5) I tell about the two most important of my religious experiences. With the strong encouragement of one of my pastors, I gained the composure to witness before the entire congregation the most recent of these religious experiences (in part 5) at both main services in my church - Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation of Ames, IA. Later I prepared brief written handouts of these two experiences and discussed them at one of our Spiritual Formation (Adult Sunday School) classes, as well as with others one-on-one on many occasions.