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Dear Friends,

I am writing this the day after Christmas with my daughter, Bethany.  It has been a long time since either of us have written an entry so we thought we would bring you up to date.

I just spent a wonderful Christmas with Bethany and Mike.  The previous weekend, Jon and Anne were here and Anne prepared a Christmas dinner for members of her family and Mary Kay and me.  Bethany prepared a delicious Christmas dinner yesterday.  It seemed strange to not be involved in the cooking.

I have been home since mid-September.  Prior to that, I spent 5 weeks at Froedtert in Milwaukee with a surgery to repair a pressure sore that I'd had since last December.  The surgery was very successful and so was my recovery at home.

I have accomplished much since then.  The list includes attending my first Packers game since the accident.  Although the Pack lost to Miami, Jon and I had a great time together.  I have also taken a couple of trips to our house on the river and even celebrated Thanksgiving there.  I am certainly glad that Mary Kay and I have been able to keep the place up until now.  The kids are learning of the peace that the place has to offer and if I can recover somewhat, we will be able to enjoy it together.

As for my progress at home, I am meeting regularily with an occupational therapist.  I have gained some strength and control in my biceps and triceps and I am able to push a rollerboard across my desk with minimal assistance.  In addition, I have not experienced any problems with my lungs during this time.  I have also been UTI-free (as far as I know!) during this period.  I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed the time since I have been home.

Mary Kay and I have developed good support from some of our friends.  They have provided companionship for me and an opportunity for Mary Kay to experience some independance away from me.  That's good, because as nice as I am, I am sure that I would have driven her crazy by now if she was with me all of the time!  I also have a retired nurse whose son used to play football for me at Newman who comes and visits regularily so Mary Kay can enjoy Church.  Our new church will not be done until next fall.  Until then, I am unable to attend.  Of course, our biggest help has come from our kids.  There is a danger in thanking people, because so many of you have participated in this journey with me.  I will try to continue informing you of my progress periodically.  I hope that all of you had as enjoyable a holiday as I experienced.

In closing, I would like to say Go Packers!  Go Badgers!

Sincerely,

JDB (with help from Bethany! :)