Journal

Journal entry by sandi tomlinson

Tom’s loving parents lived in Houston, Texas. When they heard about Tom’s stroke they wanted desperately to be in Austin with him. But, because of their frail health they were only able to talk with him over the telephone. Tom treasured each conversation with them.

 

On December 13th Tom’s mom died. 

 

Tom’s medical team team suggested that he be notified at a later date so he could continue to focus on his rehabilitation and receive the cheerful support of friends during the holidays. 

 

After the burial of Tom’s mother in Austin, Tom’s dad developed pneumonia. He joined Tom’s mother on December 29. 

 

Diana, Tom’s sister, notified Tom of his parents’ death on Thursday, January 9. 

 

There will be a service on Monday, January 13 at 2:00 at Austin Memorial Park, Lot 113 in block 5B. Tom will be there to honor his parents. Your support during his time of grief is so appreciated.

 

The address for visiting and sending cards is:

 

Tom Spencer

C/O Neuro Restorative

5150 North A W Grimes Blvd.

Round Rock Tx 78665

 

Journal entry by sandi tomlinson

Bobbi Kaye, David and I visited Tom today. He proudly showed us a large box and basket of Christmas cards he received from friends. Thank you so much for showering him with care. He enjoyed listening to Bobbi Kaye read some of his beautiful poems. We sat outside and watched the golfers march around the golf course. We enjoyed an incredible photo book of his Facebook posts from 2018. He has moved to room 11. His heart is filled with gratitude for his progress and the support of friends and family.

Journal entry by Marianne Rochelle

It turns out, if properly supervised, little Jewish girls can be Christmas elves too!  Thank you Mike Blair for helping me decorate.  Special thanks to my good friend Janice Kolbe, who doesn’t even know Tom, who provided the bulk of these decorations to bring Tom some holiday cheer.  He was overjoyed! (I hope Carol McGuire, who gave Tom the lovely blue frog, doesn’t mind that it got lit up too!). Lynne, I delivered your gift from KMFA and it was playing music for him to enjoy when he finished speech therapy!  Thanks to all who have sent holiday cards!  Cheers....

Journal entry by Carol McGuire

Visited with Tom yesterday, Sunday afternoon. He laughed at the blue Bhudda frog I found for him at Shoal Creek nursery. We sat outside in the warm sunshine and then back inside, enjoyed reading Tom’s poetry in the notebook “What’s Poetry”. What improvement he has made in just a week. I love seeing his smiles. Says he is ready to go up those 16 steps to his condo by February!

Journal entry by sandi tomlinson

Today Tom said "I want a hamburger." I asked him if he wanted onions, cheese and catsup. He said "everything!"  

His speech is improving so hopefully he'll get that burger soon. 

There are 4 Christmas cards and a beautiful poinsettia on his dresser. He's so grateful for your care. Tears flow when he reflects on his caring community. 

Keep those cards and letters coming!
sandi

Journal entry by Marianne Rochelle

Today, at 2 pm when I got in my car to head to see Tom, I decided to call Neuro Restorative to let them know I was meeting our friend Sadia there and we would be there in 30 minutes.  They mentioned he was supposed to have Speech Therapy at 3, but could easily push it back so we could get in a nice visit.  I wanted to see if they could help Tom into his wheelchair so we could take him outside.  I’m so glad I called, because they were delighted to grab his jacket and have him in the lobby ready for us.  They are quite accommodating and seem to appreciate it when their patients have visitors.  



Tom told us which door he wanted to go out of and which direction he wanted to go!  We did 2 laps in the parking lot around the entire building and enjoyed the beautiful weather. You know, being able to be in control is something we all take for granted and it sure felt great that Tom could be in control of this outing, given he can’t control so many other things.  There’s so much he wants to say!  He’s working hard in his rehab, and it’s a long road ahead.  



Sadia showed Tom a ton of photographs and videos of the trip she and her husband took to New Zealand last month.  He loved seeing them, and at the end of our visit, the icing on the cake was a FaceTime chat with Diana!  I love enabling them to see each other.



If you’d like to call before visiting (and that is optional, of course), the number is  (512) 982-9929.  Choose the option for Case Manager, and in spite of the recording announcing her name, the case manager who answers is now Abbie.



The address for visiting and sending cards is:



Tom Spencer

C/O Neuro Restorative

5150 North A W Grimes Blvd.


Round Rock Tx 78665

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Journal entry by Diana Hoffman

Watched the sun set through the window in Tom Spencer’s room yesterday as we chatted about all things TreeFolks and beyond. Never have I felt more inspired and uplifted — Tom’s recovery from his stroke this past September is a dang bumpy road, but he has made tremendous progress and his consummate smile is the icing on the cake.

Please let me know if you need his address to add to your holiday card mailing list this upcoming season! 🎉❤️🙌 I second Richard Craig’s rally cry to flood Tom’s mailbox this Christmas!!


Mr. Tom Spencer
c/o Neuro Restorative
5150 North A.W. Grimes Blvd.
Round Rock, Texas 78665-3311




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Journal entry by Diana Hoffman

I visited my old friend and Austin icon Tom Spencer today. As most of you know, Tom had a serious stroke in September but he is a fighter and is on the recovery road, spurred on by his legion of friends and fans.
If you want to help make his day, please send Tom a Christmas card with your good wishes today! Let’s fill his mailbox!
His address is:
Mr. Tom Spencer
c/o Neuro Restorative
5150 North A.W. Grimes Blvd.
Round Rock, Texas 78665-3311
— with Tom Spencer.    Posted by Richard Craig

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Journal entry by Diana Hoffman

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Tom’s Story

Site created on October 2, 2019

TOM SPENCER

Last week when I was in Austin, several words stood out in many of the conversations that I had… Icon. Treasure. Institution. Gift. 

Words that were used to describe my brother Tom Spencer. 

Sure, I could elaborate on the many places that through his efforts and leadership made Austin a better place to live, however I am going to take another route. 

When JFK was assassinated, Tom, a grade school kid, wept on the bus. He already at a young age had a sense of the world and how that charismatic man had made the world a better place. 

That desire to make the world a better place is something that Tom did in many little ways, not just on the public stage.

Our younger brother, Jeff, would have said Tom was a champion. Not just a hero in all their stories but someone who literally took his hand and walked him through scary places. Tom did that for the last time when Jeff died of cancer. 

Tom was an exasperation to me. He was an unwelcome intruder of my perfect world when he was born. He teased me, taunted me, fought with me and finally somewhere along the line we became friends. He was a treasure that I had at last found and my gift.

Last month Tom suffered a massive stoke. The articulate man that we all knew is silenced for a while.
He is struggling to regain the ability to express himself and let the world know that he is still here….

He is here and he needs your good will, kindness, prayers and what ever you call it to come back.

Here at Caring Bridge is a place where we can all find ways to help Tom return to self and to all of us.



Thank you,
Diana Hoffman (Tom's sister)

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