Thousend times thanks!

To all the followers of the blog, to anyone who has been supportive of Frank or us in the last months and especially after his untimely death we want to say thanks from the bottom of our hearts. In the week after his passing we received so much warmth, stories, care and love, hardly describable. To us it was a very precious and valuable week and it was so good to have Frank at home where so many of his friends could visit him. And all the help, stories and info shared in that week led to a beautiful goodbye ceremony on a beautiful sunny autumn day. For those of you who could not attend, or those of you who wish to reread the funeral speeches, we publice them here (in dutch and english) with some pictures in grateful memory of, and tributed to Frank.We will miss him dearly, thanks for being with him and with us, one way or another,

On behalf of my family and his closest friends, Esther

Foto's Frank

zaterdag 30 april 2011

Ipad update and highlights of today

The first thing I noticed today when I came in, was that Frank was not in the mood for a talk. And although Ruurd (one of his cousins) was with me, he would only 'talk' by waving his hand. Reason of all this, again another new feeding tube (damned!). When a tube is in a few days it becomes a bit more flexible, but on the first day it really aches in the back of your throat, so frank hates swallowing, talking, coughing on those days. Luckily for him I had found requested DVD's and although the remote control is now definitely out of business, operating the DVD player by hand still worked so he enjoyed an episode of one of his favorite cartoon movies. So I sat beside him, holding his hand (he always likes that), he with headphones on (which really makes him very withdrawn) and I making a phone call. He obviously enjoyed the movie, I could see that by a faint smile around his mouth. At that moment his boss from the liberation museum (Wiel) came in (visit their beautiful site! And than you see the next scene: Wiel asks Frank's help on a WW II helmet (pulls it out of a plastic bag), all of a sudden he is alert and answers to all the questions (it appeared that the museum crew had spend quite some time finding out what kind of helmet it was, but hadn't find the right answer); but as you all can guess, it is a piece of cake for Frank. And in spite of the new tube Franks starts talking ("it's not from Poland, it is Scottish, the sign on the helmet looks like poland signs on airplanes but"..... "there's documentation in the second cupboard..." etc. etc.), Wiel hands over his cellphone and one of the employees talks to Frank, it is obvious that Frank misses the museum and that the museum misses Frank (he really is their walking encyclopedia). It is so heartwarming to see how they keep Frank involved and informed, it is very special to witness such moments.
Another scene from tonight: Frank asks the nurse for a massage of his legs (he complains a bit about pain in his legs) but that's not part of their job. So I suggest to give him a little massage, and would you expect he declined the offer.... of course not, so I was massaging his legs, during which he had a little conversation with Wiel, and although you don't want to trade places, life wasn't bad for Frank in this moment! He was much more relaxed after that. 
And on top of that Andre entered the room (I wasn't the only one with the idea of a visit). But Frank was tired after the massage, the talk to Wiel and two episodes of his movie. So after a short while Andre and I left. But not after drinking a few cups of coffee in the living-room of the ward and had a really nice talk with one of the nurses. We read Frank's nursing chart and what I had already expected was written down there, the process of training the swallowing (which has to lead to eating) evolves so very slowly that they want to give Frank a PEG-catheter (it's a artificial feeding entry on his belly direct into his stomach. On the one hand this is a pity, it means that the recovery is progressing very slowly, on the other hand it will be a relief for Frank to get rid of the feeding tube. Well, we'll see, things will be communicated to us within short notice I expect.
And at last an update on the Ipad project: we are well over 400 euro's within one week, so if we will go on like this, the Ipad will be there sooner than later. And that's great. If you want to make a donation, look for details in the blog entry "market garden bicycle tour" it's all there.
As always, yours truly,

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