One of the odd coincidences of the present situation is that you get to know people whom you only knew by name, (and according to some of Franks friends it's vice versa as wel), and they appear pleseant company (what else could they be, they're friends from Frank!!). And pleseant company is what Frank needs. One of the major problems right this moment is that Frank has managed to turn around his night and day rythym, which means that he sleeps a lot during the day and as a result of that is awake at night. So the actual goal is to get him out of his bed more often during the day, but that's not so easy because Frank is quite content laying in bed watching television. He isn't very keen, for instance, to go to the livingroom in his wheelchair (he comments on the other inhabitants in his own ironical way "they use oxigen"). It's hard for him, but this will be his home for the next six month so he has to adjust to it one way or another. (Oh how I whished all this was just a horrible nightmare). So just laying in his bed is not gonna help him to improve. This afternoon, when I arrived, my mother was there, Andre came in and Frank made clear he wanted to go to sleep, but we could persuade him to get out of his bed, into the wheelchair and we took him out, really out of the nursing home, into the garden. And I had the feeling that he enjoyed it. After about 20 min he told us that he wanted to go to bed again, and it is quite difficult not to respond to his plea if you see him sitting in his chair as a "bag of potatoes" as he calls it himself. You would do anything for him, sometimes it breaks my heart to see him like this, so dependent, so not the captain of his own ship. So we went inside, to his room and were preparing the transfer back to his bed when the catering lady brought Frank some applejuice. I gave him the cinnamon and he poured some over it himself and he managed to put two spoons with applejuice in his mouth. It was the first time since the stroke that I saw that, it took a lot of energy, but he did well. After that he handed over the spoon to me and I helped him with the rest when Walter and Matthieu came in. Now for everyone who never have met these two guys, if you see a very comic duo which has a perfect assist-and-score-act (aangeven afmaken) and the laughs are loud, the chance that it are Walter and Matthieu is fairly big. But now since that Frank has a roommate, Frank with four visitors and humor is not such a good combination if you need rest and sleep (as his roommate needs). So this was a perfect excuse for us to persuade Frank a second time to stay in the wheelchair and go to the balcony (thank you, thank you, thank you walther, matthieu and andre). So we sat there and although Frank didn't actively engaged in the conversation you could see that he enjoyed being part of it. We fantasized a little how it would be if there would appear a big moviescreen out of the ceiling and we could have a "afternoon of the horrible taste" (middag van de wansmaak), on which Walter commented "than you have a KaloDrama". A loud laughter waved over the balcony and I think everyone was glad that we were outsinde. So thanks to his friends, Frank was out his bed for over an hour which is very good, but after that there were no more excuses to find to keep him out of his bed any longer. So we helped Frank back in his bed and he didn't even wanted the headphones, he made clear he wanted his rest, so we all said goodbye and left.
Whatever tiny steps Frank has to make, he can be sure of incredible loyal and faithful friends and that's something to be very grateful for. And that, besides all the grief and sorrow, fills my heart with joy and keeps me going as well. Thx guys!!
Ps Walter I will never ever blame you of ..... (it begins with B and ends on rallen) again!! ;-))
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