Jane at war has a good influence on Frank; besides the content, most importantly because the book is very light weight (in spite of what you would expect given the format) so it's easy for him to handle. When I came in he was reading-sleeping-reading, and when he noticed my presence he complained a bit about his back/spine. So I helped him turn to his left a little and give him a bit of a massage on his lower back. It must be so hard, laying on your back almost the whole day. It helped him a little and he was grateful for it. We talked a bit and what bothers him enormously is what his perspective is. He wants to return to his appartment, wants to sleep in his own bed ("I'm so comfortable in it"), wants to escape from the given situation, all so understandable. And when I asked how he considered escaping he replied "with a little electric car". If only the continuity of his awareness would improve, then an electric device could be an option. I asked him how he experienced his condition from within, what he noticed from his hampered arousal and attention. Upon which he answered "I feel like being in a graduation parade, I constantly pass out". Now I don't know what he means with a graduation parade but I brings back a memory in my mind of a picture Frank showed me once, which was a photo of "the changing of the guards" parade at Buckingham Palace. The picture showed a perfectly straight line up from guards with big heavy hairy hats (Frank calles them beremutsen, I don't know the correct english noun for it) and one of the guards had passed out and lay on the ground. Frank thought it was a very funny picture, quit the contrary of his situation right now. If anyone has other associations with "the graduation parade", tell us, leave your message on the blog, it will help us to understand more precisely how Frank feels and experiences his situation.
Furthermore, I've read him the postcards that arrived and that pleased him so much, he wanted to held them one by one and the pile is growing day by day. Also Frank asked whether people from the GHS from germany had read or reacted to the blog (he finds it very special that he is the subject of a blog). Now I don't know anyone from the GHS but if you read this blog and want to leave a message behind for Frank, we'll convey it to him. We keep telling to him that there are so many people who appreciate Frank in so many ways, in the hope that he can keep up his fighting spirits, he really needs that very badly.
So on behalf of Frank, on his graduation parade, kind regards and thank you for being with Frank and us in any form or way, thanks!
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