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YaHOO - great day



An incredible day. I am sure Nancy and Colleen will blog their takes on it when they get done vacationing - LOL. But right now I wish I was on the patio with them at the hotel - guys either asleep or watching a game and enjoying a drink and some chat.


This gathering took a lot of planning and we have Nancy to thank for that. I am sure she and Colleen did not need a side trip to Connecticut in the middle of their cruise, but I am so thankful that they thought of Bruce and I and were willing to set aside a day to meet up with us.


I can't tell you the last time I met and enjoyed time with six nicer people. Nancy's daughter, Beth and her boyfriend, Blaine. Teenagers like these two are very rare. Nancy, she is just beautiful and there is a lot of Dan in her. Like you, I hope he values that.


Now, Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world and it is daunting if you don't know how to get around it. Bruce and I could not come over from their motel with Bruce on the scooter, so I had them meet up with us in a small section that Bruce and I know well. By the way, they got great comps. Colleen mentioned that the trip from the boat to Foxwoods was much longer than to Mohegan. These casinos are seven miles apart, so shuttle company must have taken the longer route - stupid.


All three of these guys understand exactly what you are saying. Word finding is the issue. The pointing, gesturing is so common. Lots of reverse hand-shaking, many nods as to understanding. But they seemed comfortable. Nancy and Colleen will be blogging at some point. It will be interesting to see their take.


What I loved more than anything was the trust. I know Dan, Ray and Bruce have heard Nancy, Colleen and Debbie often over the years. But they do not know us. We girls speak Stroke. Doesn't matter the areas affected. Dan and Ray were comfortable getting their needs across to me. No, it is not Bruce-speak, but the manner of communication, how to get there, is now normal for Colleen, Nancy and I. I transferred both Dan and Ray, Bruce went off with Nancy and Colleen - no questions asked, no side-long glances. They were just comfortable. And that is amazing for three families who have never met each other.


Bruce was on his scooter for the first time. Did great in the casino, but ran Kamakazee through the Buffet. It is funny now to envision Colleen, running after him picking up tables and chairs in his wake. At the time, I was a mess. I wanted Bruce to back into the table to turn him around as was suggested, but he ended up crashing into another table. When I asked the gentleman if he was OK, could I replace his dessert, he just said "I think you should just shut up and let the man do the driving." LOL


I admit I am a control freak. I do not like my peeps scattered. Nancy took Bruce and Dan to an area while I tried to orient Beth and Blaine (they can not be in a gambling area). In the meantime I lose Ray and Colleen. Colleen explained later that this was their norm, but again this resort can be confusing.


We did all meet up for late lunch at the Buffet. Bruce and Ray were not pleased that they could not tour the choices. But Bruce had done enough damage and even managed to upturn our table, dirty plates and all, when we left. Colleen, Ray and Bruce took the most damage. Beth and Blaine, bless them, picked up most of the mess.


Ray decides he should play his free play. We get him set up, then Bruce to a Roulette table nearby. Young kid next to Bruce is helping him, so I go off to find poor Ray, his comp card not working in his machine and Colleen is at a machine that is hitting. LOL and she can't leave it.


So much fun and so many positives. Bruce tanked about 15 minutes later and it was time for us to go. An hour drive home and work here. Next time we will stay overnight with everyone. Get Bruce some reading material, into bed and then some quality girl time.


This is an incredible amount of work. I will blog our part later. Plus tips to making it easier, with Colleen and Nancy's input. But it was incredible to be with people who understood, had your back and very little stroke talk. Debbie


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Wow Debbie, thank you so much for your upbeat update, I was wondering if you did get to do the meet-up knowing that a lot had gone on before. And for Nancy, you and Colleen it was all so positive. What a fantastic treat to meet people you know here and now know in real, face-to-face life! Viva Strokenet!.


The gambling would leave me bored but buffet food I do understand. The misadventures of Bruce and the scooter will seem funny when you look back on it even if it was horrifying at the time. I know that "wanting to be in control and wanting our guys to perform well" feeling. But it is what it is.


I hope this is the start of some beautiful friendships.

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I have said many times it would be a good thing if survivors could somehow, someway get together and see how the others are coming along in their recovery process. I think it means a lot to see there are others struggling just like you and we are making the best of the situation as we can with what we got left after the stroke to work with.


Our veterans here are severely disabled as wounded warriors with missing limbs but daily they try to be all they can be with their families and the kids. I can almost feel how the three of you care givers had to feel getting a chance to meet and greet each other for a while.


The guys did really OK but Bruce needed a few more days of practice riding and handling his scooter in crowded places. Even so it still went well and no damage to report. It has to be the start of a beautiful relationship. "Who said women can't get along??"


That's the making of great days ahead no doubt. I felt that way when I got to stop in and visit Ruth and William at their house in Houston. I got to get back to see their little dog just like mine and they can meet too. Mine stays right by my feet all day long and watches my eyes to see if anything is wrong with me while her little owner is in school all day.


Hopefully Nance and Dan will still be able to make their planned Texas trip and we can meet them here in Killeen. I really want Dan to see all the wounded guys and gals and how jolly they seem to be every day. Hopefully we can make a trip to the VA in Temple to see other veterans making the most of a bad situation.


No casinos are close to me but my wife loves to go there and I'm right with her and we tend to have a great time and fun too win or lose. It's the comps my wife accumulates when she plays and at times she will win a little cash to bring back home.

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Debbie :


its so nice that you guys got to meet each other & spend time together & have fun together. I am J. Its nice to meet each other & build new friendship.



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Debbie makes it sound so much worse, the "table incident" wasn't catastrophic by any means. Just good fun really; another day in the life and so typical. Plus if not for the laughs afterwards, what would we have? She and Bruce were sweethearts, some of the nicest people we've ever met (in case you don't already know). She went way out of her way to guide us through Foxwoods, and I doubt she got much done for herself personally, even though Bruce was so excited to be there. She came to guide us. Yes Ray and I are wanderers, don't really gamble, just there for the atmosphere and we were soaking it up. Thank goodness for cell phones.


Meeting Debbie was just so natural, not just for me but also Ray (who is very picky about people in general). I thought when we met Nancy, it was a miracle, but it keeps expanding somehow. Ray instantly bonded with Debbie, as he had with Nancy last year. Debbie talked to Ray, not just politeness, but asking him so many questions that he just blossomed. So wonderful, I can see why she was born to be a nurse.



What Debbie mentioned about the guys being comfortable with each other instantly is so true. Ray and Dan have extended "conversations" with words like "Yeah" and Wow", and a few hand gestures. They are totally tuned in to each other. Best of all, they both comfort each other when the other is stressed, and try to make them smile again. You'd have to see it to believe it! Because these are not touchy/feely kind of guys usually.



The coolest thing was that Nancy's daughter Beth, and Debbie, and Nancy of course, were hands on helping me out, so I got to walk away for 15 or 20 minutes a few times with no worries. That means more than anything else I can imagine. When Nancy and I first met in person it was unbelievable, but it isn't over yet I guess! On to Bermuda,and meeting Nancy's daughter Erica too,. No worries!! As I told Debbie, we are the Three Musketeers. Nothing can stop us.

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Colleen thanks for posting the pic and sharing your adventure with us. It is amazing that you all got together. I hope the guys appreciate all the work you went through for this and enjoyed it as well. Have fun on your cruise and send more pictures.



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Ha, why didn't I get a picture of that! Or a video? Oh well, I'll be more on the alert next time! We were too busy having fun.......

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parting of the sea-- the tables - it was so much fun, we all know the feeling , and oh my gosh are colleen and i got stories to tell -- you are going to love it !! and we havent even made it to the ship...

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