Greetings to all from Hartford, Connecticut!

Lea has had another good day today! So good, in fact, her
every-other-day surgery was cancelled! Another day of rest is going to
be a welcome change. Her next surgery may be tomorrow, the surgeons
will decide during morning rounds tomorrow. In any case, they will do
surgery Tuesday, if not tomorrow.

She had a little bit of a fever again today, and still has the swollen
legs and redness that usually accompanies the medications she is
allergic to. She had the fan blowing on her all day today again. I
have to smile, because she has never liked having a fan blowing
directly on her. All you have to do is knock her out, and she doesn’t
seem to mind at all.

She is making good progress currently, and we pray for each little
baby step of recovery that we can get. The treatment is still going to
take another four to six months, and rehabilitation will last a few
months after that. Hopefully, we will be able to transfer home some
time between recovery and rehabilitation. We’ll see.

Lea is still sedated to the point that she can’t respond much at all.
There are moments, but usually she is too far under to be able to do
anything but doze. She is likely to receive numerous surgeries before
she is closed up, and will be sedated for at least two weeks after the
final surgery, allowing the incision in her stomach to start healing.
What a long time it is going to be before she can communicate with me!

And, when she wakes up, she will have a “sounder” in her throat to
talk with for some months while her voice box recovers from having the
tube in her throat for so long. We will have a lot of adjustments to
make, and we will need your support through prayer as we take on this

What a wonderful experience it has been to receive your well wishes
and continuing prayers on Lea’s behalf. I read every single email and
eGreeting to her, and I can’t help but be deeply touched by your love
and affection formy favorite girl.

I would like to share with you just some of the thoughts that have
been special to me, as I read to Lea each day. These are excerpts from
some of the emails sent to us, and I hope no one is offended that I am
sharing this . . . it’s just that these are SO touching, and helps us
all understand how this wonderful woman has touched so many lives. I
also have eGreetings from many others, and will try to get those
posted in the near future so you can see those as well.

For now, here are just a few of the notes that I would like to share,
so you can see how she has touched so many:

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It’s funny I have a TON of memories with your family, but the one I have
found most comforting in the past few days is one from the day of my
grandpa’s funeral. Your mom saw how much I was hurting, and came over to
give me a hug & assure me that grandpa loved me. It meant the world to me
then, and still does. Everytime I think about it I get tears. She gave me
one great thing to hold onto on what was probably the worst day of my
life, and I could never thank her enough for that. So please let her know
I am thinking about her, praying for her & that I love her for the kind
wonderful person she is.

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You are so right when you say that many of us will receive lessons
from this ordeal with Lea and all will be different. I know in talking
with her sister, Kathy, yesterday that lessons are being taught. The
two of us talked about God’s beautiful world that surrounds us each
day and how much we need to show those we care about that we love them
and to take nothing for granted. Life is uncertain, but the power of
God and His love is always certain. Each day all of us touch lives at
work, at home, at church, all around. We all need to do that with
God’s love in our heart.

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Janie and I only met you and Lea the one time in Hawaii, but we
absolutely fell in love with the whole family. Lea, Janie and Dottie
spent a lot of time together, while the guys did the fishing (sort of)
thing. Lea is one of the most tender and kind people we have had the
pleasure to meet, although I do personally blame her for Janie’s
extraneous spending while in Hawaii. We continue to pray for Lea’s
full recovery, and for the continued strength of the whole family.

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Dearest Lea,

You are constantly on my mind and in my prayers. You are a strong,
vital part of our family and we need you to continue to fight to get
well. God is awesome and is helping you to endure all that you must
go through at this time and will always be by your side.

I love you so very much and see your bright smiling face as I think of
you when you visited in Florida with us on a Sunday afternoon a couple
of months ago. You have such a wealth of stories and the best sense
of humor and I loved having lunch with you that day.
I love being your cousin but have always felt a little bit closer than
that– you are the almost “big sister” that I never had. I remember
so many great and funny times that we have shared through the years.
I still hear you telling about one of my not so great moments when you
said I got mad playing “spoons”!! I also remember a time when my mom
was very sick and in the hospital and you made candy cane cookies with
me. What a precious memory that is that comes to light when I think
of you. Remember the crazy days that we have had at camp–swimming in
the river, cooking that huge skillet of fried potatoes, walking to the
spring, trying to find just the “right spot” to potty so as not to get
poison ivy in the wrong spot!!, riding in the old Model T and the time
we painted it and all signed our names to it——-so many memories
that you are part of!

You are in my heart and soul and I love you!

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I was deeply saddened to learn of her illness and pray most earnestly
and sincerely for her full recovery. I always considered Lea one of
our finest employees and one of the loveliest persons I have ever
known. She was always kind and friendly not only to me but also to all
the other folks with whom she worked. It was a joy to see her at the
office and be the recipient of her glowing and affectionate smile.
When she regains consciousness, please give her my love and best
wishes. Meanwhile, I want you to know I greatly admire your courage
and positive attitude during this difficult time and that my prayers
are for you and your family as well.

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I have been praying for you, and asking others to pray for you as
well. I put you on the prayer chain at our church. Believe me, there
is power in prayer – and you are living proof of it! We love you –
and are thinking of you constantly.

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Remember I love you and will keep writing and keeping you informed
about our family and what’s going on. You keep working hard to get
well. You are so strong and I admire you so much!

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I know a soul I never met. Her lovely spirit touches me . . . yet,
She is a soul I never met

Many the times I’ve heard of her ways,
the way she treats others with special days

Her zest for life and just for being that lovely
someone who’s well worth meeting

Does she know she’s loved by many?
Her gifts unlimited she slights not any.

Yes, my heart’s been touched, my soul’s been blessed,
by the loveliness of Lea, though we’ve never met.

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Thank you, each and every one. I’ve attached a picture of my “lobster
girl” taken just a couple of days before she became deathly ill.

Ya gotta love that smile!!