GINIEMIE   67,711
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Student chauffer/companion for Erik

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sarah is not a caregiver, she is a student wanting in on sports medicine-physical therapy will be her focus in grad school Meanwhile starting Friday, August 1st I have some relief until she begins her program probably in May, then I'll start a search all over again.
Thank you for your prayers my friends.
Praise God!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILLISMA 7/28/2014 9:23PM

    So glad to hear you have someone until May and sounds good. Big hugs to you and Erik!

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    I'm glad you found someone. I hope she works out!

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MARTYLYNN1 7/28/2014 11:48AM

    I hope things work out well with Sarah.

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PGHP31CK 7/28/2014 11:40AM


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BUSYGRANNY5 7/28/2014 8:12AM

    It sounds like Sarah may be just what Erik needs! Hope all goes well!!!! Keep on keeping on!!!

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GABY1948 7/28/2014 8:07AM

    emoticon emoticon I am so glad you found her...

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HOLLYM48 7/28/2014 7:12AM

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JANET552 7/28/2014 7:07AM

    I hope Sarah works out for you. How did you find her?

Hang in there Ginie!! emoticon

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Trying to catch my breath and get back on track :(

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Okay my sparking days have been splotchy at best. I'm like the heat rash that comes and goes...
Since our trip to Europe I've struggled with trying to get my new windows in-not yet completed; make my dress for my nieces wedding-finished; and get a new care-giver for Erik-have an interview Sunday afternoon, please pray that this is the one. I'm ready to toss the company that we've dealt with for about three years. They don't respect Erik and I enough to let us know when someone is leaving; we had Franklin for over 13 months and he had given them a months notice and would let him tell us he was leaving-they told us on his last day. I was furious, that is no way to treat a person with a brain injury and aphasia... On top of that we've met two people since the end of June, the first one worked one day and quit, the second one said she'd see us Friday and called in and said she WOULD NOT BE WORKING FOR US. The office manager said she was interviewing new employees and I told her I was exploring other options too. I've taken Erik to his transitional therapy twice this week and will do it three times a week until we get someone-he usually goes four. We will also cut out volunteering till I am able to get the situation resolved. I've had no extended free time since July 1st, I need a break. My eldest son and his wife are dealing -long distance-with her dad who has Alzheimer and prostate cancer and is suicidal-prayers needed here too that he not suffer much more.
I'm praying with all my heart that this young college student will work out for us.
Oh and all these pesky problems has helped me fall off the wagon of eating properly, walking and logging....I need a caregiver soon.
Today we have a party for Natalie's 6th birthday (July 22) She is grandchild number 3 in my life and has been inviting me to her party since February.
Natalie dancing at cousin Cristal's wedding.

emoticon for hearing me out and your support.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I feel for you. We went through this with my grandpa, my grandma, and my mom. Good help is so hard to find. We were lucky my MIL could take care of herself - she was so strong. The best person we ever was the first person we hired. She was an older woman who did everything perfectly but she has to quit to take care of her husband. We sure missed her. I know how tired you must be as for a long time I had a full time job and had to go bathe my grandma and take care of her before I went to work. I hope you get some relief soon. I'm praying for you and your entire family! emoticon

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JANET552 7/28/2014 7:12AM

    Now I know the back story, I am so sorry for your troubles with the caregiver company. I can't imagine where they are coming from with a business model like they seem to have. I hope Sarah works out for you so that you can get back to caring for you too. Sending prayers.

Love Natalie's dress. I hope her birthday party was all she hoped it would be. You must be very special to her to be invited for months!!


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LIVINGFREE19 7/27/2014 11:14PM

    I am praying for you, my friend, you sound terribly stressed. I hope the new college student works out for you.

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HOLLYM48 7/27/2014 10:08AM

    Prayers for all of you. Good luck with finding the right person to care for your son!

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MILLISMA 7/26/2014 10:04PM

    Ginie, it just never seems to end. So sorry for all that you are going through. Can't believe the way the company has treated you and that you have to look for a new caretaker again. Wish there was something I could do to help. Please take care. Thinking of you and sending prayers.

hugs....Mary Anne

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BUTTONPOPPER1 7/26/2014 9:02PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about this difficult situation. All your blogs show what a loving mother you are, and it must be so frustrating when you can't control these upsetting things happening to your child, whom you love so much. I will pray for you to have the strength to carry on as you always have. I really hope the caregiver situation is resolved soon!

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PGHP31CK 7/26/2014 2:09PM

    Praying that the Lord sends you the right care giver!! Ginie, you HAVE to take care of yourself, too. It's like making sure that your oxygen mask is on first on the plane. You can't take care of your Eric if you aren't taking care of YOU. I'm speaking from experience--praying for YOU for strength & peace.


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GABY1948 7/26/2014 2:01PM

    Things will get better, Ginie. I always pray for you but this situation will be added. It is SO hard finding good caregivers...I had to with my mother and that was years ago!

SO glad you came back blogging!

It will be okay, Ginie! emoticon emoticon

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MARTYLYNN1 7/26/2014 12:23PM

    Will be praying that you find just the right care giver for Erik soon. Hopefully things will slow down for you soon.

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BUSYGRANNY5 7/26/2014 8:48AM

    Prayers that this caregiver is the right one; how aggravating that the company doesn't consider the families involved when making their decisions....

Your plate is full... you are strong... keep on keeping on...

Blessings to you and yours

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June flew and July entered and I'm scrambling

Monday, July 07, 2014

I started back to tracking several weeks ago and had hoped to stick with it, well I have to start again.
On June 28th I was to have new windows installed so I had to have the alarm disconnected from all of the windows, and remove all of the drapes/curtains and blinds. Some of my new windows actually were installed. But there was an error in the measurement for one, someone transposed 57" and got 75"-which of course won't fit. In addition to that the double window for my kitchen was broken at the warehouse. So now I'm waiting for the windows to be installed, so that the alarm can be re-installed and I can go to my niece's wedding in Ohio.
Yep another niece is getting married and I'm so excited for her. Cristal is very special to us, she is the eldest of my husband's brother's children and had to have a bi-lateral mastectomy 7 months before Erik's accident. She had reconstructive surgery but is unable to have children. She is marrying a seemingly wonderful man with a 10 year old daughter, whom my niece adores. Erik is anxious to see his special cousin-they were close when we lived in Ohio.
I'm trying to make my dress for the wedding, I've altered my DIL's dress and am knitting a prayer shawl for my 82 year old cousin who is struggling with health issues. Once again I've created a monster of a list of tasks for myself. In addition to those tasks I helped my youngest DIL on Sunday the 29th, watched my two grand-daughters Natalie (almost 6) & Abigail (3 1/2) on the 30th of June and had them for an overnight the 1st through the second. I had also gotten my 10 year old grand-daughter to come over to help keep the girls entertained. This was the first time I was allowed to have Natalie & Abigail-funny what mommy getting a full time job will change. The girls and I had a blast, we played in the pool, made bell bracelets for the wedding, played with legos and watched some Disney movies during the heat of the day.
According to my middle DIL-"the girls had a blast". Thank goodness, but bonne maman was tired and had to host the 4th of July because Kim & Steven just got new furniture and couldn't get their home pulled together in time. HAhahaha-I'm still missing curtains and shades and am still waiting for windows and my alarm....Wonders what age will do-I didn't care what wasn't done, I enjoyed the children and grandchildren-missing the youngest's family but he was still away on guard duty and his wife hasn't figured out how to travel with a 1 & a 3 year old.
No care giver today, remember the saga of issues...well we are back to having issues. I'm really perturbed this time...I'm looking for a new company when we come home.
I still haven't posted my pics from Austria-and I'm leaving for the wedding Wednesday....oh well more to do when I get back.
I'm off to work on my dress and Barbie's prayer shawl.
God bless you all and keep you safe. Thanks Janet, Char, Lisa, Mary Anne and several others for checking on me on my impromptu hiatus.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 7/24/2014 3:03PM

    Enjoy the wedding!

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JANET552 7/19/2014 5:36AM

    Oh my, I need a rest just reading that. I hope the wedding and your travels went well. All the family time sounds wonderful!!

Take care Ginie and know that I'm thinking of you. I hope you can get back on track soon...or already have.

We have a funeral today -- about two hours away since we will be picking my folks up to take them with us. An uncle of mine has died. He is the last of my mother's siblings so it is an end of an era in a way.

Take care!

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    I think I start over every week. LOL.

We need new windows too according to my hubby. I dread it.

Your niece sound like she found a wonderful guy. I hope they have a great wedding.

You are super busy as usual. Your time with the girls sounded fun.

Have a safe trip!!

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LISALOSING52 7/8/2014 3:36PM

    You are so busy. Have a safe trip and enjoy your nieces wedding and more family time and memories being made.
Sorry you're still having trouble with the care givers. I hope when you get home your search goes smoothly and You find someone wonderful.
HUGS my Friend!

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MARTYLYNN1 7/8/2014 12:10PM

    Life has been hectic for us too and I need to get back on track. Our daughter & 2 of the grandkids have been here since the 30th so we have been busy doing things with them. They leave tomorrow and our house is going to be so quiet. Then next month we have a granddaughter over on the coast getting married and then more grandchildren coming to stay.
Wishing you safe travel and an enjoyable visit while in Ohio.

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GABY1948 7/8/2014 10:08AM

    You are one busy lady and though I love reading about your activities I am SO glad I don't have to DO them!


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LIVINGFREE19 7/8/2014 12:18AM

    It looks like I am in the same boat that you are, we are getting farther and farther behind!
Life just needs to slow down for awhile!

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MILLISMA 7/7/2014 10:41PM

    Ginie, you still have you hands full. Seems like it never ends. Hope your windows get resolved. That has to be very frustrating. And it's funny how as we age some things just don't seem to matter any more. Glad you had your family together and bet you all had a great time. Make sure that you try and get some rest if you can. Safe travels and have a fantastic time.

big hugs to you and Erik!!!!

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BUTTONPOPPER1 7/7/2014 9:10PM

    Browsing new blogs, I clicked on yours, and I'm glad I did, because after reading this one about the everyday stresses you're facing at the moment, I went back and read some of your earlier blogs. All I can say is that I'm so amazed at all you've been through, and I admire your courage and strength in handling it all. You are so alive! What an inspiration! Thank you for this and all your other blogs.

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RAPUNZEL53 7/7/2014 8:01PM

  Good Luck!

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Europe part III (Belgium & France)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Okay, I have to finish this up. I've left my dear friends hanging. First of all on Monday, May 12th we left my cousins in Vervier, Belgium and I drove to Torgny, a little village at the Belgian/French border-not too far from Luxembourg.
Torgny is nestled in hills and has an old church and a real old Chapel, which is where my 93 year old aunt lives. She has a room above the chapel which she can no longer use, and two very small rooms and a tiny cellar behind. I didn't take many pictures of the chapel this year just of us visiting my aunt for her 93rd birthday. Here is a picture of my aunt, the Hermit wearing the prayer shawl I made her, didn't Erik take a great picture.

My aunt, my cousin-who lives in Austria-Marie-Thérèse and with whom we shared a Gîte/ a house, and of course me. We are in her main room where she sleeps and receives guests(family, friends and villagers seeking prayers or bringing supplies for her).

This is Erik sleeping on a little bench across from her chair.

my indoor pictures are a little yellow, but you can see that to the left is a doorway, which is where there is a kitchen with a shower stall.
The next few pictures were taken in 2011 when I went for 8 days for my aunts 70th anniversary in the religious life. This way you get to get a better view of the area in and around the chapel-my camera was younger back then, like me. We were in the back garden enjoying tartes and the sun.

This is a picture of her room upstairs-very simple with a single bed, which is where I slept in 2011, the stairs were curved and uneven, I'm really glad she had a bed put in her room downstairs.

I saw Marie-Thérèse and my cousins who live in France that year too. Here is Philippe, he's 10 years my senior-he wasn't in Belgium this spring.

Philippe's wife, Anne-Marie and Marie-Thérèse sitting across the tiny table from him.
Here is a picture inside the Chapel, I was actually photographing the floral arrangements that day for the lady making them.

OKAY back to 2014's trip, Marie-Thérèse her husband Johann, Erik and I stayed in a Gîte-Le Mont d'OR for two nights. From there I took pictures of the gardens, the church steeple and some of the area.

Looking out the back deck.

To the right of the first pic there was a pool. It was too cold and rainy to enjoy, we'll have to go back in the summer.

Marie-Thérèse standing in the doorway off the dining/family room.

Here are three pictures inside that room:

A built in that I absolutely loved. Found a book on Belgian Beers for Erik to drool over.

Marie-Thérèse and Erik enjoying a moment of quiet while Johann went to pick up our aunt.

Marie-Thérèse & Johann showing tante Pigette some pictures on the i-pad.

my room

Coming down stairs from my room

More outside:

Place de Petanque, Boule, kind of like Bocce ball...

Tuesday afternoon we left our aunt to rest and went for a drive into France it was raining so we did not get out of the car, besides Erik's foot was hurting and it was too slippery on the pavés for him.

We were headed to Montmédy

a auberge in ruins.

Okay, I'm sorry but I have to get my haircut and my tires rotated.
I'll do Austria and Hungary later and edit this since I don't know what happened with the pictures.
Love and prayers
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISALOSING52 6/28/2014 6:16AM

    I really enjoyed the meeting of your family and I love the pictures and the tour my friend. Probably the only way I'll ever see this part of the world. Thanks for sharing.
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CLAIREINPARIS 6/24/2014 4:59PM

    Another lovely blog about your trip, Ginie! Thank you very much for sharing it with us. I really enjoyed seeing the chapel where your aunt lives. And the gîte you stayed in looked just wonderful! I am so happy for you that it was such a special time!

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HOLLYM48 6/21/2014 8:50PM

    Thank you for sharing this lovely trip with us! I really enjoyed seeing this part of the world!

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LIVINGFREE19 6/21/2014 8:16PM

    I love these pictures! Thank you for posting them!

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GABY1948 6/21/2014 10:02AM

    WHAT GORGEOUS pictures of a gorgeous place! I have never been out of this country (other than Canada) you were so blessed to be able to go and have Erik with you! emoticon

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MILLISMA 6/20/2014 7:30PM


Trying to catch up on blogs....what beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.


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    I loved the pictures!!!

The architecture and country side are so beautiful. Very different from most of the U.S. Serene.

You aunt certainly doesn't look in her 90s. I love the prayer shawl!

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MARTYLYNN1 6/20/2014 1:10PM

    Thank you so much for sharing. I can see a family resemblance between your aunt, cousin & you.

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WIFE48 6/20/2014 12:10PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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BUSYGRANNY5 6/20/2014 12:03PM

    Love the pictures! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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PGHP31CK 6/20/2014 10:14AM

    Just lovely! Erik did a great job with the photo. Thank you for sharing your family and your trip with us!

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CARAFAE37 6/20/2014 9:39AM

    Lovely pictures! Makes me miss Europe! :D Glad you enjoyed yourself.

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NORASPAT 6/20/2014 9:38AM

    I am honored to be your first comment. It was so very interesting meeting some of your family. It was so well done. I liked the reference back to 2011 it was a good point of reference. Well done it is so very interesting. Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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June 17th!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today is the 4 year anniversary of Erik's brush with death.
This is the way he looked June 17, 2010 after his motorcycle accident. Erik was driving to work, doing the speed limit and was cut off by someone who turned left in front of them. Although he tried to stop he was unable to.

After several surgeries to relieve the pressure on his brain and to fuse his burst T-6 vertebrae it was determined that he had Aphasia and was partially paralyzed on the right side.
So he went to Glancy Rehab in Duluth, GA. He had to learn to be mobile, to shave, to bathe.
After 6 weeks there he was making progress, he was actually there about two months.

Erik has made remarkable progress, it hasn't been easy for either of us. I lost 30 pounds that summer swimming every morning to destress, and eating peanut butter banana sandwiches on whole wheat-high fiber bread. I had tried to continue working but that proved to be terrible stressful as caregivers-look at my old blogs-were not always up to par. I started regaining some of my weight and was falling apart at the seams, so in May of 2012 I retired from teaching 2 full years before I was able to get full benefits. I don't regret it. me at the retirement luncheon for the county, I'm with one of our custodians and our Principal.

There are days I whine and complain, being an almost full time caregiver ( I usually get 16-24 hours of free time) is not easy especially with a headstrong young man who is a bit OCD.

This is a picture of my children at Thanksgiving in 2012, we finally could see the happier person Erik used to be.

And this is Erik and I in a Harley shop in Brussels Belgium in early May of this year.

I thank God daily that he is still with me, from my MIL, cousins, and some friends I'm aware of the forever pain a death of a child brings to parents.

So today I thank God again for Erik-stubborn, OCD and sometimes inconsiderate as he can be-HE'S ALIVE and his humor love of people and children shines through. He's taught me things, wow he even taught Janet something.

So everyday tell the ones in your family how much you love and appreciate what they bring to your life-even trials.
Thanks for the brief walk down memory lane today-I have to take Erik to get his leg brace adjusted again.
Love and prayers,

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 6/20/2014 9:47AM

    GINIE, I missed this but I love that now I know your story. You are an excellent caregiver but happily ERIK gives back so much love. He has come a very long way from that awful accident both of you are strong and loving and really making such a wonderful life together.
Well done and many thanks you really are a BEAUTIFUL Lady.

HUGS Pat in Maine emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon .

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GABY1948 6/18/2014 10:03AM

    Oh, Ginie....I had NO idea of the story behind Erik! What a blessing you are and what a blessing Erik has become to you. God makes all things good. I am SO proud of you, such a loving person you are and I bet you have the patience of a saint.

God Bless you and Erik and your whole family!!!

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LIVINGFREE19 6/17/2014 10:24PM

    You have a lot of stress with this situation, but it looks like you are dealing with it really well. You are a very strong person!

You are so lucky to still have Erik, and you appreciate him, even with his 'issues'!

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LISALOSING52 6/17/2014 6:17PM

    Such a beautiful post Ginie. It's hard to believe it's been 4 years. I know it was a hard road but God has blessed you both. Ya'll have come so far and Such love between you both. emoticon

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JANET552 6/17/2014 1:35PM

    What a beautiful post, Ginie!! Erik has come far and, although he still faces challenges (as do you), you've managed them well. I know it's stressful though.

And, yes, Erik did teach me something and I'm glad I accepted the lesson. It has really helped me curb evening eating. Which means I'm glad Erik is still around too.

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WIFE48 6/17/2014 1:16PM

    emoticon Sounds like you are an awesome caregiver. Glad your hubby is doing well.

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PGHP31CK 6/17/2014 12:29PM

    Celebrating with you!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/17/2014 12:14PM

    As I'm sure you realize that I took care of people like Erik the first picture you showed when I worked in a neuro intensive care unit. By the time patients left they had been extubated and were no longer critical but I seldom if ever got to see someone when the recovery process was in progress or complete. It has been very interesting to me and rewarding as well to see that all the hard work I started on someone like Erik paid off years later down the road. You have been an inspiration to me - you are one of the chief reasons that Erik is where he is today. You have been his advocate and his support. You have both suffered a lot and it's great to see where you are at today!! That's for telling this story. emoticon

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MARTYLYNN1 6/17/2014 11:57AM

    Erik is so fortunate to have you there to care for him. So glad you still have Erik with you.

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