photo c.LA-G 2009

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas.

To say that it's difficult without Ken is an understatement. So we've changed things around a bit. We have been keeping busy. The headstone came in a few weeks ago and looks very nice. Peonies on the upper corners. Those who knew Ken at work were privy to our peonies from our garden, which came from his parents' yard on Long Island. Although with the drought this summer, I don't know how they've survived. We shall see.

The Bob Wolf Tournament at the club right now has been renamed in Ken's honor. Serge is anxious to play, but has been sick all night, poor guy. I pray his tummy gets back into shape very soon.

The photo above must've been taken in 1987, with Alex.

Hope you all have had/will have Blessed Holidays.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5 Months Yesterday

So it is almost a year from the anniversary of his massive stroke. If seeing what happened to Ken doesn't make you stop smoking ,(for those who do), then I don't know what would.

Life goes on.It is not easy for anyone in the family, and certainly harder for others.

Be well. Make good from the bad. Always find the open window. xoxoxo

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the little details of life

We spent time talking, we spent time honoring & respecting one another, we worked hard at life, we worked hard for our family. We lost much time to work.Is that the way of the world for everyone?So as life became more hectic & full, life between us,(between our family members) became more about the details, the details of life & living.It's those little details I miss the most.
The not being able to call him after show to tell him how it went,
and what time we'd be home.
The not being able to have him come and help me set up or break down.
The 'not' hearing him come in the front door, because he always closed the front door so silently that I barely knew when he came & went, & would say,"Oh,you're home,Hi!" and give him a kiss.
The goodnight kisses, no matter what, which will no longer be.
Even having him home, but not well, trying like heck to find a piece of him
that was his old self, but accepting the new person developing,
taking whatever we could.
We never gave up. We were exhausted, we felt like we couldn't go on, but we never,ever, ever gave up.
You don't do that when you love someone to the ends of the earth, and they're suffering big time.
You somehow find it within, and keep on going. I just wished sometimes that we weren't so tough, that we didn't tolerate so much, that we didn't always go beyond what
normal people could--- But , then I don't --- I don't not wish it,
because it gave him to us for longer than others had.
I think that is because we were, it seemed, almost indefatigable, even though we didn't want such. In retrospect, I respect BIG TIME what we went through, how we did it, how organic and right the whole process was.
And I am amazed at the strength of my children.
To describe the details would be far too painful, I think, more so for the reader. And truly, unless others witnessed, it is probably incomprehensible to many how time- how this great time of pain and suffering , (and I mean more mental than physical suffering), and utter and irrevocable exhaustion, felt indefinite.
The thought occurred that it could go on for 10 years in this state! The baby steps of recovery & growth in a positive direction seemed to be so long in coming,because of the extremely small size of those baby steps.
To see a vibrant man, involved in his life, in his work---turned NOT into a vegetable, for he was living, breathing, thinking, speaking,eating, drinking, and moving, but to be lost in the complexity of his debilitation of his brain & hence, body, and realizing such, was so very heart wrenching, that it tore at the soul of one watching and involved, tempting utter collapse and disarray, but, holding on by the grace of God....
...on a thread that had been split 1000x's over,yet was still, even so very weak in its 1/1000th the size of the slpit thread, holding on so strong, by the Grace of God, and nothing else.... Nada, Nichevo,zilch, zero.
And so, life preservers were sent in daily, hourly, minute by minute, second by second...
a phone call here, a knock at the door there, an answered prayer from the sweet lady above, a moment of cognizance. These all... held us up.........................
... as if we were so lightweight as the lightest feather,
because, remember, it was a 1000th of a thread, and yet, the load was so very, very, very, very heavy.
The amazing event, the stamina of all involved, was do-able, only by God's embrace.

(...the lady in the tree)..........................................Good night. 7/27/10

PS: Ken would have been 56 on the 29th of July. Happy Birthday Baby.xoxoxoxoxo

Monday, July 5, 2010

40 Days... to see him off

In the Orthodox faith, there are memorial services for those who have passed. 9 days, 40 days, 1 year, on their day of death, or their this weekend marked the 40 days for Ken's passing.

In many cultures mourners would be hired to help the remaining grieve, because it is not considered a good thing to continue to hold on to the one who has passed. We must let them go and move on. Now, anyone who has lost a loved one knows that you cannot 'get over' their death in 40 days. But, it is important to not drag them down to remain here on earth. They are on to another journey beyond what we have here on earth. Usually & hopefully, a good 1 1/2 -3 years takes away the initial great difficulties, and leads to an acceptance of some kind, making life easier to handle without the loved one.

Time heals all wounds, but never forgets. Memory Eternal KG!

so.....(this one is long,.....Ken's final days)

Ken had gotten rid of hematuria(70 days of blood in the urine), and 2 colds (he never let anything get on his chest, ever, since I'd known him),and was starting to gain weight, ounce by ounce (we could not weigh him, but we could see the indentations in his forehead from the brain surgery in 2006, fill in), and so a good friend recommended trying Marinol (medicated marih-a), to increase his appetite. I thought that was worth a try.

The first day on the stuff, I thought that he was having a bad reaction to it, but was told that this could happen 'til the body became acquainted with the medicine.So we persevered. He would usually have a short time during the day of very lucid moments. During these short times he seemed to understand all, and could communicate remarkably well. But , then later on in the day he would get extremely ornery, moving and thrashing around and not cooperating much with the nurse's aid, us, taking medicine, or just about anything. I was told to try the medicine for at least a week or so. Someone else said that you had to be on it for at least 2 weeks.

Well, by the end of the week, he got the hematuria back, after about 64 days of NO hematuria. Of course, I pulled him from it immediately, and prayed that this hematuria was just from the medicine. My son, after about 4 days asked me to stop the medicine because of his orneriness. In retrospect, of course, I wish I had. And we did not even give the full dosage. We were told to work up to the 3x a day.We never did. After pulling him from the medicine, within about 3 1/2 days the hematuria went away.

His voice had become very low and light sounding, not strong. And after pulling the medicine, it remained light. He continued to eat and drink fine for his circumstance the whole time, but we saw NO increase in appetite from the medicine.

Everything for a reason......

The Saturday before my sweet hubby passed away, he drastically changed. His movements became so very slow, his arm trailing off into the air. He suddenly only spoke 3-5 words or so a day---very, very few. Hospice came at 1:30 in the morning, and I decided to ask for a nurse every day, instead of the once a week normality.

The nurse's aid, a wonderful and dear person, came during the weekdays. Our nurse helped to get her in the beginning when we did all ourselves for the first couple of weeks during the huge snowstorms. Inevitably, we would have to do all on so many days, but having her come still made things easier, even if we worked our bu-s off, which we did so many days. We did everything for Ken. He was a mover, (and never once got any bedsores), just like he was when he was a little baby/toddler. But, that made helping him very difficult at times.

He would crush our hands with his legs or squeeze us so hard, helping him with his daily needs.He got so confused over what we had to do for him. I , of course, did everything, and my children helped out when I would be just drained at times. But, it was amazing how they did everything for their father. The 2nd day that he was home in Hospice, I went to take a shower. When I came down they had him in the wheelchair, and were sanitizing the bed, changing the sheets, etc.. Later on Ken wouldn't even be able to sit in the wheelchair. As he got weaker, he could only sit up for about 15-30 seconds without passing out. I think, actually, in the end, that it may have been the Lyme that got him, on top of the cancer,as his last scans in Feb continued to show the cancer not present in some areas where they had once been. The cancerous areas were decreasing.

He also developed a bulge in his right jaw, that no one could figure out. It did not act or look like cancer, and our chiropractor thought that perhaps a nodule or muscle had gotten stuck somehow in an unusual location. He contorted his body like a pretzel , sleeping between the 2 railings at night. We stretched him daily, so that he would not get stuck in such a position permanently, which often happened with people in his situation.

We were so diligent, that the day he died, there was no contortion whatsoever. It was such very hard work, as he sometimes thought that we were doing this to harm him. (It was mentally and physically grueling at times for us). But, most times, he would release plenty of "ahs" as he stretched out his muscles, multiple times a day, sometimes even exercising them himself. He was so cute, trying so hard to exercise 'til just about the end.

His temperature that last Sunday was 96.7 . A nurse came on Sunday as well, we were not sure if he had aspirated some medicine. But, his lungs were fine.

I have to tell you here, that my husband was raised Catholic. He was not much in terms of a practicing Catholic, although the last couple of years he attended Easter services at a local church. Throughout the years he came to church with us for important and various services. Parishioners in our little church, Russian Orthodox/Eastern Orthodox, had become acquainted with him, some more than others, throughout the years, no matter where we lived. Our last priest knew him fairly well after 13 years.

The Hospice chaplain, a lovely man, came regularly as well. He is a Catholic priest who studied/participated a bit with the Eastern rite and was quite familiar with the Orthodox church as well.

Well, Ken had told me that he would love to be buried Orthodox, because of their beautiful, all encompassing services for funerals. Now, that in itself is not necessarily reason for becoming Orthodox, but we spoke of it while he was ill. He first said that we would talk about it "later". Then he started to say that yes he would like it. I/we never pushed, because Orthodox do not as a rule do that. No doubt there are those who do, but overall, that is not the Eastern Orthodox way. It is more by example, and not preaching to those of other faiths. Ken had also said that he would like to be cremated, but I told him that if he became Orthodox, that this would not happen, as it is against the faith.

Monday rolled around and I drove out to where we used to live for my dental appointment. The Hospice nurse told my daughter that his temperature read 88 degrees! We all thought that her thermometer was broken. He had his massage therapist, a volunteer in Hospice, come. Ken brought her to him to hug her a couple of times. She, a dear, dear soul, was touched.

We called our priest, who earlier in the year, when Ken was in the hospital, would not really consider a Chrismation, without classes.We called one of the retired priests who attends our church---the nicest man. A truly lovely soul. But, he said that he did not want to 'step on Father's toes', so we called our priest again, and under the circumstances he agreed. Father was so very kind.

Father asked Ken if this was his want, to become Orthodox, "Yes," was most definitely his response,in his now whispery voice for all to hear. I was so very careful, as I never wanted to push. It had to be Ken's wish, and it was.

My aunt and uncle said that they had never gotten dressed so quickly and rushed over to our home. They had been in their pajamas, settling in for the evening. They had no idea that Ken was even considering a Chrismation. (Baptism is
for those not having been baptized before, chrismation for those already baptized elsewhere). My good friend and her husband came, brought a cross, and her husband was the sponsor. All of us were there.

You have to understand that Ken hardly spoke, moved, looked at us, or anything since that last Saturday. For the Chrismation, he was so animated, smiling ear to ear, more than he'd smiled almost the whole previous year. To this point it had been a few days short of 6 months since he had the massive stroke, multiple bad seizures, and blood clot in the lung, the day after Thanksgiving last year,(all this on top of stage IV lung cancer, whole brain radiation, chemo 2x's, a clinical trial, chest radiation, brain surgery, and a bad virus that he contracted in his last chemo last fall,while his oncologist had the swine flu, and then the subsequent vomiting and his kidneys working at 20 or so percent because of the virus and vomiting) poor baby, my sweet, sweet hubby.

He was so very animated and excited, and loved when we all laughed with him, laughing and smiling more. I felt a lightness on my shoulders right after the chrismation. Everyone could not stop smiling . Everyone there was touched and felt the blessedness of the event. It was amazing.

Everyone left, and we stayed with Ken 'til late. He kept drawing us to him to hug and to kiss us, staring deeply into our eyes. This after not even being able to get his attention since Saturday, waving our hands in front of him to see if he knew we were there, if he would flinch his eyes. He stared so intently, telling us how much he loved us with his strokes, hand squeezes, pulling us to him.

Alex and Serge finally went to bed. Larissa stayed on the couch as she usually did, and I stayed on the chair by his side, laying my head next to his a lot. He wanted us near him always.We kept putting the blanket on him, fixing his sheets, etc, as he moved all night long. Larissa told him she loved him, and he said 'I love you' back at one point. Three of the very few words that he spoke all day/night. He finally settled down to sleep about 5:30 in the morning.

Tuesday morning, 25 May, 2010 Ken awoke after just a couple of hours sleep, as well as I and Larissa. Alex was not going in to work, in order to stay w/Ken. Serge had intended to go to school, but I told him to stay home for his dad. I called the Hospice nurse, and luckily our nurse was available and came shortly. We were all with him. He did not move, did not look at us staring off, was so very silent and still, breathing very slowly. His body temperature was now 87 degrees.

We told him how much we loved him, what a great husband and father he was, and all the people who loved him. I asked him to forgive me for anything that I'd ever done or said that upset him in any way. We called his mother . She spoke to him, and 2 tears dropped from his right eye. Hearing is the last sense to leave. All four of his sisters spoke to him by phone, 2 from Hawaii at 3am Hawaii time. My sister, who had not been able to visit him yet, called and spoke to him as well, and his good wheelchair bound friend, who he had coached since he was about 13 years old after he was shot by a crazy man- now a thirty-something year old doctor.

The time between his breaths became longer, as the kids cried out , "Breathe, Dad, breathe!" We were all around him, the breaths taking up to 30-45 seconds it seemed, they cried a few more times for him to breathe, he did, and then he took his last breathe. He passed away at 9:16 am. I noticed the clock on the phone, and the hospice nurse in the other room heard our wails, and sobs, and angst in tears- and logged the time of death from our wails.

He died so peacefully, needing no medicines of any kind. In the Orthodox faith this is considered a true blessing , and there are those that consider it a miracle. The night before, I asked God to heal Ken completely, but that if it was not in his plan, to please keep him from this mental suffering that Ken was going through in this state.

Ken did not want to leave us. My sister said that he had one foot in heaven, and three here on earth. I am reminded of the movie Princess Bride, when mad Max(?-Billy Crystal) says that the main character(Elwes-I am forgetting his character's name right now) is almost dead, but not quite. He asks him, what is so worth living for/for hanging around, and he replies faintly, "True Love". Again he asks, and again he replies, "True love". Only the week before, Ken told me that he was scared of dying. He came to a peace on that Tuesday.

We kept him with us for a few hours, not wanting to let him go. Puma, my little kitty who loved sleeping with him, and by his head so many times, slept with Ken until the funeral parlor came for him. Kiska was scared of everyone coming, and when they had taken him, and everyone else had gone, he came upstairs looking for Ken and was upset. But, of course he knew, as animals can smell death .

The house was quiet, but then it filled up again with friends and neighbors, bringing food and flowers, hugs and kisses, and tears. We got tons of chicken that day.haha

There have been some blessings, as does occur when loved ones leave us. We are always looking for the blessings, especially when they stare you in the eye. A neighbor friend and their family, having been estranged w/one another since a death in the family, became reunited that very day in front of our home. Blessings. A cousin visits another after 25 years of not having travelled before. Life just never gave the chance to visit. Blessings....there are many more.

The next day we visited 2 local cemeteries. I had previously thought about where in the world would he be buried if he left us. I tried talking w/him about this , but his answer was always, "I don't know". We decided on the one hidden more from the road in the neighboring town. But, when we got there the next day to speak with the caretaker, they only allowed markers in the ground, which upset me, because it made me feel as if it was in a military cemetery. The monuments in this cemetery date back to the 1700's with beautiful carved angels hovering above throughout.

I made an appointment with the cemetery in our town , 2 minutes away. It also is from the 1700's, but is more simple overall. When we drove in, the gentleman, Eric, stated that the spaces available were in the front by the road. I had told my kids that I didn't want anything by the road. I started to cry that nothing was working out right. Eric said,"Wait.Wait. We have other areas, on the side by the trees". I asked if there was anything to the back overlooking a beautiful, old farmette. He answered that there was. He broke up a 4 top plot to make a 2 person plot, and it was under a tree overlooking the farmette. And so, Ken has the most beautiful spot in the cemetery under a cedar tree on top of a tiny hill, overlooking the serene farmette. Everyone who sees it remarks, "How did you find such a spot??? It is just wonderful!"

My good friend and her husband have planted wonderful flowers beneath the tree and around. Technically we are not able to plant anything, but I told the caretaker that my husband loved gardening, and that I would have to plant a little something. He was not upset. He buried his young son there 2 years ago. He had just graduated college, and was in a car accident. The loveliest man. He even stopped by the house to drop of the deed to the plot. That's what living in the country is like.

My brother and his wife had the reception catered at our home, following the burial, by our favorite local bakery & cafe. The food was amazing. The people were extraordinary.The house was filled with laughter, and stories, and much love, 'til late at night, with a few young friends overnighting as guests. Someone even left a pair of black, men's loafers by the front door (Do you know whose they are??haha) Ken's blown up pictures, from the surprise 55th birthday party last July were spread throughout the home(and still are). Flowers were everywhere for the longest time, and I talk to Ken at the drop of a hat.

Larissa and I have had dreams about him. I saw 2 flashes of something to the sides of me, at 2 different times, while crying and talking to him. Years ago we promised one another to communicate to the other whenever the time came. I don't even know if he'd remembered that . One day while thinking about him on my bed, his eyes came to my mind's vision, off to the side. They stayed there for a minute or so.

At times it feels as if the family is falling apart, in order to regroup and become the new entity that it will be. I remember that happening after my father died, and again after my Mom died. And good things came from both sad events. They always do.

May you find the good in the bad, the open window after the closed door, may you accept God's guidance in the little and big ways that unfold. I am trying hard to remember that all is in God's hands and that there is a reason for this all, and to trust in the 'master plan' as I choose the details of my new life. Be blessed.

We miss you big time.
xo Lydia

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Music, New Words, New Life...

Ken in Moscow in '80s.
Right before our wedding in the US, taken in Ecuador. ('83)

Picture of Ken from '79 or '80, taken in Virginia Beach.
Please know that we are all so very grateful for all your emails, cards, flowers, gifts, kind words, hugs, kisses, hand squeezes, and prayers. I will write more when I am ready. Please come back and visit. I will be changing the banner words, and want to tell you about his last days here with us.

Many of you know how Ken interviewed tennis players and wrote articles in tennis publications. After my Mom's funeral in '99 he started to interview the elders in his family. He would then reproduce these and pass them out as gifts to family members.

As one might imagine, no one was able to interview Ken. So, I have decided to interview him through his family and friends. If anyone cares to send in stories, memories, thoughts, conversations, that they would like to share, please email me at, or stop anything off to Alex at the club. Of course, there is always snail mail. Just drop a note or comment if you need particulars.

Two things:

1) Ken and I always wanted to have tennis parties here. Think next May, 2011, and of course, you do not have to be a tennis friend to be included. Anyone who knows us, knows that all family and friends are always invited. There is always room for one more.

2)Now this one I have not run past any family members yet, but, as you may know, Ken was Leo Kottke's biggest fan. He loved inviting people to Leo concerts, which are fairly intimate, and very entertaining. So stay tuned to an invite to see Leo in concert, in memory of Ken. His birthday is 7/29. Will have to check the schedule and plan ahead.

I'd always thought of having Leo come and play at KG's funeral if he ever passed before me. hahaha..if I couldn't get Leo here, maybe we could go to Leo.

PS-New Leo Kottke music just found on playlist. There was only 1 song before. So enjoy the musical memories, if you were privy to such, or enjoy as a newbie if you are meeting the music for the first time, courtesy of Ken.

****It would be an understatement to state that we are miserable without him. Please forgive us any lapses, as we find our way without him. This road is so very difficult to travel.

xo Lydia

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My kenny...9:16 am today peacefully passed away after a drastic change on Sat..

Memory Eternal. xo I love you my honey.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ken's Grandmother, May she rest in Peace

So we did not post, because we have barely been posting. But, recently, Ken's grandmother passed away. She was 98!

She was a lovely woman, so sweet and gentle, like Ken's Mom. I still remember her painting Larissa's nails years ago on the patio, when Lara was about 4 years old. It was such a neat memory. Great Grandma putting nail polish on little Larissa's nails:)

Vechnaya Pamyat'!...Memory Eternal!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We LOVE our Chiropractor!

Getting ready for a local show. Ken seems to be doing better. Baby steps. 3 days of really trying hard to work with us, most of the time. Also, where he had his brain surgery in 2006 , the lines that evolved as he lost weight- well, they are filling in!

But, overall we are seeing tiny weight gain and clarity of mind a bit more.

When the choice is to be hopeful, or to expect the worst, sorry folks, but we choose the former. He has gotten rid of the hematuria, 2 colds, and is starting to gain weight. And remember, that his cancer scans before he left the hospital showed the cancer gone in a couple of areas. God still has plans for this puppy. And the Hospice nurse is certainly confounded, as his metabolism becomes more regular. A very good sign.

Oh, yes, have we told you how we love our chiropractor? He came all the way out to our house on Sunday, and all of us were adjusted! What a caring individual. We have known him for almost 12 years now, and can only speak well of him. A wonderful person, and a fabulous chiropractor! Dr. Michael Moskowitz .

Have a great day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

17 April---Our 27th Anniversary

So yesterday was our 27th Anniversary. It was not a very good day. There is not much of the 'old' Ken that is with him today. Yes, some of his mannerisms, sometimes his voice, and definitely when he is angry.

It was a hard working day with Ken, physically. That can always make it rough. When I look at his picture on one of the posters from the 'Poach for the Coach', I remember him walking over to me from the courts at the club to say hello, when I would be picking up or dropping off the kids to tennis camp. One of the reasons I married Ken was for his legs, his fabulous legs. haha To see his legs now will make anyone cry.

So the tears just drip down like a waterfall with just one look or remembrance of his quiet, solid ways. This is not much of a quality life for anyone.

But we plug away. That is when I look at the good, even though it is so very hard to find some days. He is alive. He is moving all parts of his body, seeing, talking, hearing, thinking. He moves so much that he has no bed sores. That is a very good thing. He had hematuria for 70 days, and now has been without it for about 37. That is a very good thing.For about the last 3 weeks he takes an iron supplement every other day. His bowels are working better all the time, and he is rectifying his second cold. Doesn't sound like someone leaving this earth yet, does it?

We had take out for our anniversary dinner. A gift from a friend. Then we had Dulce de Leche ice cream for dessert. He never says 'No' to ice cream. He is practically surviving on shakes, yogurt, some rice pudding, and a few morsels here and there of 'other' food. Also the occasional chocolate and the ice cream with whipped cream. We give him anything he will take. It is so very hard to get food into him, although he most definitely has been eating and drinking more lately. He can chug the ice water, and be very pleased with such. He also pronounces his great satisfaction for the shakes. This is a good thing.

And last night we watched 10, the movie.There was a face of a pretty girl in one of the shots and he most definitely raised his eyebrows in satisfaction over her looks, and with a smile. We haven't seen anything like that ever. As himself, before this all happened, he hardly ever did do such a thing. If he noticed, he usually kept it to himself. So this was a funny thing to see. His 'guttural' part of his brain is much more pronounced since the stroke.

So today is a much more quiet day. The kids' fighting has quieted down- hallelujah! They are kinder today. That makes the day easier- much easier.

My 96 year old Aunt Betty says that it is good to be able to vent with others close to you in your home. She said that now she has no-one to vent with....meaning, she wishes that she had. Think of it, not having anyone to fight with or to vent with when your frustrations mount up. Not that we should be fighting or venting all the time or with or on anyone constantly, but it is this letting off of steam that can help us to survive. Because we are after all, humans. I personally like less venting, but I have had my share of doing so, right up there with anyone else.

I hope you have a little venting, when you need it. I hope you smile at the good things in life, even when there may not seem like much to be smiling about in your day. And I hope that the day after a bad day, you have a quiet good one, or a laughing good one- whichever fits the bill.

Thank you for all the Happy Anniversary messages coming into my phone. They bring a smile to my face. And after all of yesterday's tears, a need about a few thousand more smiles to lift up my soul. That's why I force myself to wear one. To unwrinkle the frowns.

He sure does seem to be improving. But, the road seems like such a long, arduous one at times. All in God's plan. That can be more than a bit difficult at times to comprehend. That's when we look toward the hopefulness of a more peaceful future. Gratitude changes your Attitude.

I miss my Ken.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You don't look older than 39!

Amazing, said Kiska the kitty, flabbergasted by the news of the birthday gal who takes care of her hubby at home. And with Lara's help he made a birthday card!

Bleeding hearts, a luncheon at the local Crawfords-Confectionary, guns, and ammo- I kid you not:). (We live in the country , folks).

Then off to check out a new book, but alas it was not my cup of tea. Still nice to be out while Lara kept watch over her Papa.

Hope you enjoyed the gorgeous weather. xo

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sorry for not posting recently...

Flowers from Pat and Dennis. They lasted for so very long. What a delight! Just beautiful!
Spring creeping in. Buds upon the trees.Doesn't everyone sleep with a kitty at their head? Cats are supposed to be good especially for healing bones,etc.. Guess he is helping heal Ken's brain and what not.:)

So Ken certainly has his ups and downs. He caught the kids' colds last week and was extremely grumpy and tired, that I cancelled his PT and OT for the week. Now he's cutting off circulation in one leg. No blood clot. He scrunches up holding his legs with his hands. What a pretzel! we constantly stretch him out.

It has been about 31 days without hematuria. Yeah!!! And the color of things looks VERY good!!! OK, so I'm talking in code to not be too graphic...hehe

I took him off the Protocel for about 5 days to give him the CoQ10(as it would negate the Protocel). What a difference cognitively. Will do it again soon. Put him back on the Protocel when we realized that his deep voice was actually congestion. But he is so good at getting the nasty stuff off his chest. Always has been. Lungs are good and clear.

So he asked how he was doing today. He is Getting Better---looks that way to us all. It sure is a slow process, but we revel in the baby steps. Don't like the swelling in the foot,etc. Will ask for the massage therapist again, so that the flow can start going the right way again.

Jeff, Emma, and Sarah came over on Sunday. Jeff heard that Ken loves to garden, and has been talking about gardening, so he went and picked up an indoor garden with about 14 varieties of flowers and herbs. It has heating pads, and a lid to keep the moisture in. Ken liked putting his fingers in the soil. Trying to motivate him to work hard at getting better.

It must be such a battle in his head, as the right brain is so comfy and cozy, and a nice place to hang out. He also likes hearing about Serge's exploits on his local tennis team as the #1 boys singles player. So far he is 5 and 2. Yoo Hoo! He does NOT like me telling anyone about how he is doing....oops! sorry Serge...slyly she said.:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some Cool Pics from the past, ..and now..............

So this is a recent picture. Alex likes to snuggle in bed with Ken. She says that the air mattress that keeps fluctuating the circulation in different places, is comfy. Ken's face looks so peaceful here, not many wrinkles. When he is tired, he has many wrinkles. So this is such a sweet shot. Don't you think?
Last year pictures , I beleive, from in the garden. Maybe a couple of years ago?? Ken loves gardening and always wanted to retire doing the gardening for a place like the Biltmore. One of his goals now , is to look at the garden from the front of the house. Then he wants to make it outside to see, and after that, to actually get his hands in the dirt:)

Larissa now is the main gardener, clearing out the beds...
Since we live in an area with lots of slate, Ken loves to collect the slate and build walls around the gardens, and pathways here and there. Maybe he will still continue to do this, if he can continue to build up his strength.
Our soil is so fertile, and flowers grow profusely. The challenge is the weeding, to keep things from becoming overgrown, shoving out the beautiful zinneas that I love to line the gardens with. His famous last words,"I'll move it before it gets too big". :)
His Mom looking on.
I love the designing of the outside, but not the work in the hot sun. Not after getting multiple tick bites causing horrible Lyme disease symptoms. I don't mind a little work, but do not like an overgrown garden. I like a lot more space.

What do you like to do?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

5 Days no hematuria...and counting

Ken with his Mom in Hawaii a few years back.

Ken had a great occupational therapy day, and he is starting on low dosage iron. He has been rallying for about a week now. The lack of internal bleeding is very nice, and we hope that it continues. It certainly inspires the Hospice people.

I knew when I heard her voice on the telephone, that he would like her- the occupational therapist, that is. And she knows my dear friend, Sevan. Small world.There are so many nice people that we have encountered, but some have a very sweet and gentle, yet lilting voice. He responds extremely well for them. Everyone in ICU  in NC was amazing, yet there was this one blondie- well he just smiled the moment she would enter the room!

At NRH there were sooo many nice people also, (and a few you might want to teach a good work ethic to, but we'll not go there), but some had the same lilting, sweet voice, and whamo- he worked for them and responded every time!

If he could regain his strength and health, then the long road to recovery with his brain and being cognizant of his world, would be made a bit easier. I pray that he makes leaps and bounds in his cognitive functioning. Ken is a good man, but he is a different person today than he has ever been. The work ahead may be truly monumental, if recovery is the path that God chooses for him.

He received a couple of very nice, cheering emails today from important people from his past. He was touched, and their words meant a lot to him. What an amazing community of family and friends. A good friend , after one of our parties, commented about those in attendance. He said they were such wonderful people, the salt of the earth. (Of course, that friend is one of them, as well). Thank you to all our salty friends and family...hahaha... old or new, from the past or present, each and every one of you.:)

We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gorgeous Peach Roses 5 days fresh from Ecuador...

Go to to snag these gorgeous roses. These amazing flowers are cut fresh from the farms in Ecuador, hydrated, and shipped to you within 5 days! Pat and Sam Succar, who donated these beautiful roses for the fundraiser, generously gifted us the same. The Succars are the sweetest couple, and I dare say that they are sweeter than these gorgeous flowers, and well, you can see that these flowers are tremendously SWEET!

Thank you Pat and Sam...and it was so nice meeting you at AHC. Our kitchen smells wonderful, and Ken can see and appreciate them daily!

Our flowers sit beautifully in the crystal vase that Ken was given with the Courage Award just 2 1/2 weeks ago by the Mid-Atlantic Tennis and Education Foundation.

People are amazing, and we truly are blessed in so many ways. Thank you all.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Poach for the Coach

UPDATE: Click HERE for a link to much better pictures of the event. (courtesy of Anh Vu)

This past Saturday, March 6, a FUN-draiser was held at the Aspen Hill Club, by the AMAZING tennis memers/friends we have at the Club. All of the proceeds benefit our family. I cannot tell you how much time and energy and love all of the volunteers of the event put in, it was simply amazing!

Here are a few pictures, more pictures and some videos will be coming soon!

Set up in the Main Lobby.

Silent Auction Area

More Silent Auction

On the right, Bev who organized the Silent Auction.

Sol and Stephanie

It's starting to get crowded.

Greg and Barb Dawson a.k.a. the Masterminds of the entire event.

Little Ellie!

Ardi, Elena and Ellie came all the way up from Virginia, with Lydia and Aunt June and Uncle Gene.

Our form of a Mulligan.

More set up.

One of the cute centerpieces.

Lots of people!


KG's BFF Jeff and Alex

Write a Note to KG-this was filled by the end of the night. He has enjoyed reading what everyone wrote.

Serge testing out the Speed Gun.

Greg Dawson testing out the Speed Gun.

On court, getting directions from Geoff.


more drills

drills in the bubble

A big THANK YOU to everyone who was involved in organizing the event, the pros who helped to run it and all of the friends and family who came out to support KEN!

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