Barney’s departure went smoothly, although door to door he said it took him 24 hours! Now that is one good friend, eh? Barney’s stay was full and at the same time we both struggled with the shameless human condition of wanting more…..oh so much more. With Todd so sleepy from the heavy dosage of meds for his epilepsy. Patience is the single, most fundamental ingredient to this equation, and at times I have to search for mine.

The time between Barney’s departure and Johnny’s arrival was not without amusement. Todd was able to laugh, at bit of a foolish mishap on my part….more than once I might add! The best of all was being greeted with the warmest of smiles. I have been missing those, lately. It was great to see Todd laughing at me, not just with me. It is odd to say that I am pleased to see him laughing at me but it is a nice and simple new and old piece of Todd emerging. The weekend here was oddly quiet with Tuti and his family (including MC and wife Mayra), on a weekend furlough from our ward. Honestly I was a bit jealous, but it gives me something to look forward to…..our first weekend furlough. While that is most likely months away, you never know. Johnny thinks we are going to pick up some momentum around the corner………now that would be just the sweetest truth ever. Love love love that guy Todd! We don’t spend our time together focused on our return home, rather we focus on getting stronger which brings the other closer to an eventual reality. ( We have our team set up through the month for our support, with next month on standby.)

There is a little café around the corner called Hein. I love to go there for lunch on my way to the hospital. When I walk in the two Dutch women tell me right away if there is no POM, I sit down either way. You walk through the kitchen to the back where there are about 8 tables, these two women cook and serve and do it all themselves. It is a simple and wonderful place to be. So that is where I took Johnny for his first Amsterdam meal shortly after he put his feet on the ground. We arrived to receive Todd as he returned from his PEG tube procedure. Todd’s nose and throat are now free and clear of any obstructions and we expect this to influence both speech and eating…. Cannot wait to return to him!

Well Johnny will not be the only one here to brighten up Todd’s spirits, his mum arrives on Friday for a couple of weeks. The last time she was here was a heavy transition time for us all, (with Todd in a coma at the time and then slowly out) so I have high hopes for laughing, eating, and general lovely conversations to surround Todd’s bed.

And now “HERE’S JOHNNY!”…………..
It’s another sunny Oakland morning here in my studio — wait a minute Toto, we are definitely not in Kansas any longer!! I’m waking up slowly in our wonderful accommodations (a thousand thank yous, to our hosts). Yesterday started off pretty slowly, with Todd a little extra drowsy from the sleeping meds given to him for his procedure. As Alex said, the new tube, going straight into the stomach, leaves Todds throat free of annoyance for the first time in months. So despite the Dormicum (I love the names they give these things), he was soon more alert, and we had some really wonderful moments, just sitting and talking with our eyes. I cracked a couple of jokes, and could feel more than see a smile come from his tired face (we later did get a couple of little grins – – petty good for being Dormicated). The general sleepiness is an understandable part of a process wherein the folks here are trying to get Todd stabilized for the long trip home. They feel like a temporarily dopey Todd is a small price to pay for the ability to return (time still undetermined), and the fine tuning of medications can be done once we get our dear friend stateside.
I must wrap up at this point, as we are about to embark upon another culinary adventure, which I think will be a continuing theme this week (Surinamese lunch today with Toetsie). We hope to perk Mr T up a bit with a thick book of horse images from Eric, a nice card and CD from Liisa, mouth care products galore from Sister Carol of the Order of the Phoenix, and more treats. So more words later.
Love and hugs and I am finally here!!
Johnny

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