This is Karen Roekard's friend, David Cooper. I am going to maintain this site during Karen's surgery and recovery period. Here is what she has written to introduce this:
Dear family, friends and people I hold in my heart, whether or not we see each other regularly or only every now and then,
The Universe has thwacked me with an interesting challenge: I am losing my ability to walk (and hike and dance, etc.) because of a narrowing of my spinal canal (stenosis) and arthritic hips. The only things that might give me back the afore-mentioned capacities is some form of decompression surgery now and hip replacement in September-October.
Thus, this Thursday (5/23), I am willingly, though hesitantly and with extreme terror after the pre-op talk about everything that could go wrong, giving myself over to the skilled hands of Dr. Serena Hu and her staff at Stanford, so that, hopefully, with Divine guidance and a bit of mazal, I will be able to return to some form of the life I have been fortunate enough to live till now.
I will be sharing your email with my dear friend, Rabbi David J. Cooper, who has agreed to set up something that will provide information on my well-being and also a calendar or something that will make it easier for me to ask for help. I understand completely that many of us have physical, relational and/or time challenges, so apologies are never necessary if you are unavailable to offer help me.
One of the things I’m busy with preparatory to surgery, is completing my “Five Wishes.” There’s a section on “WHAT I WANT MY LOVED ONES TO KNOW,” so I’m including some of it here: - I wish to have my family and friends know that I love them. - I wish to be forgiven for the times I have hurt my family, friends or others. - I wish to have my family, friends, and others know that I forgive them for when they may have hurt me in my life. - I wish for my family and friends to think about what I was like before I became seriously challenged physically and always to remember me this way. - That’s it. May we meet again soon b’simcha, in joy.Much love,Gitel Chaye Etta bat Sara Laya (v’ Chaim Yakov)aka