Saturday morning at 8:30a I am going to be on my back deck enjoying a beautiful Colorado morning, much as I was five-years ago. I'll have my coffee, and my paper, and Diane will be nearby. I suspect we'll both have tears in our eyes as we look at each other for that will mark the exact moment five-years ago that Diane had her stroke, in that very spot. In a split second we went from enjoying a rare moment of time alone to having our world turned upside down and our lives changed forever. From the frantic ride to the hospital, to the zillions of questions and tests and then finally a bed in the critical care wing of Aurora South Medical Center we were, for a time, no longer in control of our own lives and that ended up being a good thing because we were placed in the loving and caring hands of people who knew better than us at that moment. I know without hesitation that we would be living much more difficult lives if it were not for the amazing people at Aurora South Medical Center who responded immediately upon our arrival and seemed to always be there right before we needed them. They didn't just treat Diane, they cared for her and one special angel on their staff, Dawn, was always there to make the dark moments brighter. And then there's Cindy's amazing team at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. I'm only half kidding when I say they not only restored Diane's speech, they made it better than before the stroke. It was at Spalding one day that Diane realized she had been blessed with a second chance. I'll never forget that moment. I'll also never forget the moment in her hospital room when she recited the Lords Prayer word for word. They were the first complete sentences she spoke. Father Steve still talks about it being one of the most powerful moments of prayer he's ever experienced.
I will also never forget the incredible outpouring of support we received from KEZW listeners. When I first went on the air I never said where Diane was hospitalized and I asked my staff not to release that information. And yet somehow people found out and soon Diane's room had more flowers than the Rose Garden. And the cards came by the hundreds. Please know she draws strength to this day from your kindness.
I must say that I don't know anyone stronger on this Earth than my wife. Five-years after she couldn't put two words together in a sentence she's managing the Colorado Freedom Memorial project, acting as part time room mother for Larissa, babysitting all three grandkids a couple days a week, taking care of me and being the best friend a person could have. I am inspired by her strength, her generosity for others and the determination she showed to recover. There was a bit of luck in it as well, but it was love from family and friends, faith and sheer willpower that helped her recover.
And so this Saturday morning we'll hold hands a little longer, smile a little wider, and have the peace that comes in knowing each day is a gift. Happy Anniversary Di.