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 (). 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 . 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 () and () 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 ) 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.