Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There's no place like home

Finally coming home was wonderful. It took a few days to adjust, but I am so glad to be here with Barbie, Rebecca and Caitlin. It has been busy trying to clean up the loose ends that have built up over two months, but I enjoy it thoroughly. I just have to careful that I don't over-exert myself. I really missed my backyard. Those of you who have been to New England will remember that it is one giant forest. Trees everywhere, whose canopy rises 40 to 60 feet above the ground. Coming back to California, I wanted to be somewhere where I could look out of my window and see trees. Barbie found the perfect spot. The trees here, however, are quite different. The live oaks are shorter, rising 20 - 30 feet, and generally stand alone or in sparse clumps. They don't like to be crowded. They are beautiful in there own way. Since the branches don't blend with the other trees, you can appreciate them in their fullness. The ground-cover is the opposite of New England, In Connecticut, the ground cover remained green from May to October, while here, in California, the green begins in late fall and lasts till May. I love the contrast.
I have always been enamored with trees, This may stem from the fact that a tree saved my life when I was seven. I almost drowned in a river, only to pull myself out by grabbing onto a submerged root of a tree, an oak tree. That was the first time that my life was saved, but that is another story (someday, I may share it). Since then, for me, trees symbolize life. I have spent a lot of time in the last few days just sitting and admiring the trees. They are beautiful. When I was in the hospital in Santa Clara waiting for my new heart, I was not allowed to leave the cardiac ward at all. twice a day I would stand by the window looking out at the corner of Homestead Ave. and Lawrence Expy. The only glimpse of greenery was the neighbors' yards and Kaiser's landscaping. I really missed being outside.

Barbie and I try daily to keep our commitment to each other. Real life is rapidly encroaching, as is expected, but we make sure we don't lose our moments together. Physically, I feel wonderful. In our daily walks, my pace and endurance are improving. I am ready for the next phase of my treatment.

It is impossible to adequately thank all of the many friends and friends of friends that have remembered us in their thoughts and prayers. Your combined faith has wrought miracles in our lives. Barbie and I wanted to open our home on October 5th, 2008 and invite all of those who would like to visit. We realize that many are far away, but if you live in the vicinity, we'd love to see you.

We live in Lincoln, CA, just off Twelve Bridges near Sierra College Blvd. at 1720 Bella Cir.
Our phone number is 916-543-3299

Every once in a while it is valuable to stop and reflect upon how every person you meet, every sincere human contact, changes you. I have known thousands of people in my life. Each one has their own voice and their own story. Each one has something to teach me, as long as I am open to learn.



Mindy said...

I love you Kevin! I am glad you're going to be around a while. Love, your little sis

Anonymous said...

Kevin, When my dad was in the hospital before he came home, each
person he encounter he would ask their name and try to remember it.
It reminds me daily to try to call
each person by their name and what you just shared about each person
we meet can and does make a differece in our life. Thank you and Barbie for keeeping us all in the lope, it is a blessing to know you are doing so well. Take Care. Hopefully I'll see you on the at the open house.

Anonymous said...

dear kevin and barbie, well i'm here in the hospital, now waiting as a 1B for a new heart. i'm feeling pretty good as you said. Just a bit anxious waiting, but like you have told me "patience is very important now". Tippy, john and phil (all heart transplant recipients)came by to visit yesterday. it was so wonderful and i can't wait to see you and barbie on thursday. i'm so glad you are feeling good, can't wait to walk 3 miles again. Oh and you were right the vegetables are horrible. One thing i miss is my two or three cups of coffee in the morning. Thanks for being there for me. i'm not scared of what we will face in the future and hopefully soon i will be on my way to recovery too! see you thursday unless i have a ride coming to stanford. I'm so blessed to have you both in my life at this time.
god bless love debbie douglas

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that your home with your family and feeling better. My thoughts are with you!

Sam S.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin and Barbie,
Liz Mostoller sent me your web page and as I read over all that has been happening to you my heart went out to you both. What amazingly strong and wonderful people you are. You were always so wonderful to our family. You were always such an inspiration to our family. I am so happy to hear that your surgery and recovery are going well. You are dear people and we will pray for you and your family. The pictures are so touching and I can't believe how everyone has changed and grown up!! What a great family! You all deserve the best.
Sincerely ,
Wendy Conner