Today when we came in Frank started to talk immediately; about what a hell it is in Kalorama, that the nurses are strict and don't do enough for him, that they keep him sitting in his chair for hours without anything to do. And that they refuse to put him to bed when he asks for it. All true, but also all so necessary to enhance his recovery. So we talked a little bit about it and then one of the nurses came in. I started a conversation with her about Frank's annoyance and she was so understanding, she told him he was so right to be upset sometimes, that there is not very attractive company for Frank on the ward (almost all above 65 and with main characteristic "silence") and that it was perfectly allright to be grumpy to the staff at times, they understand his agony. They understand what it means when your autonomy is close to zero and the only way you can resist is refusing to get out of bed, and that's why Frank sometimes is permitted a pyamaday, just laying in bed, reading a little, retreated in his own world. It was so comforting for Frank, but also for us to talk this way. Hell can be endurable when there are angles like this, despite the fact that they are dressed as "demons". And the nurse also acknowledged that they don't have as much time as they used to have for instance to take a patient out for a walk. Financial cutbacks are the main reason for this, they feel the same pressure and stress that they can't give the care they would. And I sympathize with them, it is difficult and a heavy job to work in the healthcare sector right now.
Frank also told us that he is very curious about the Maartenskliniek. He's very interested in the possibilities there (but I assured him that they probably will be more firm and demanding with him there.....). Anyway, Frank understands that he has to work very very hard and that this fact competes with his other most desired way of living: just reading books, laying in his bed, without disturbance and left to peace.
After listening to his agony he showed us a card he received from ducosim (some sort of gamecard), he is very pleased with these kind of handmade, personalized cards, it makes him laugh, and althoug I don't understand any of the humor I witness the effect of the cards and it is so supportive! And that's what he can use like no other right now. So a little plea to all you creative gameplayers, sent him weird-ironic-sarcastic-humor-game-cards he'll love it!! Thanks so very much for everything you've all been doing up till now, it is appreciated very very much (and not only by Frank!).
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