A year ago my dad turned 90.  He had just survived a long session in the hospital, and then two months in rehab, coming home right before Thanksgiving.  He was wheelchair bound, but other than that he was feeling pretty good.  We threw a big party for him and invited all his friends, it was quite a night.

Since then, he's had a stroke that affected his ability to speak.  The man who made his living communicating and writing can't get more than two or three words out, on a good day.  Sometimes he can write on his whiteboard, more often he can't.

We had a much smaller party for his birthday last night.  Only about half the family was there, but we had a good time.  I couldn't help looking back a year ago and feeling sad for the turn his life has taken.

I was also so impressed with my daughter.  She and I were there for lunch a couple of weeks ago when the speech therapist came.  Emily watched what she did carefully, and now whenever she's there, she pulls out the whiteboard and does  a session with him.  He loves that she's focused on him, and she can get him to communicate better than anyone else.  She had him talking about techtonic plates yesterday.  It was pretty garbled but you could tell he was in there and knew what they were talking about.  She's going to be a fabulous teacher someday.

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