Another Drive for Patrick and Ivonne

Sent just after midnight on 15 Apr ’17.

Today Patrick and Ivonne went for another drive. He said that his back hurts whether sitting in the car sitting at home so he might as well get out and enjoy the countryside.

Unfortunately this is a religious holiday coming up and many of the small towns that they went through were crowded and sometimes even had streets closed off for townspeople to dress up like a  son of a god and parade through the streets.

There’s not much else to report. We just had a nice long chat and “talked story” (as we say in Hawai’i.)

Next week Ivonne will not be able to spend as much time with him because of family obligations, but she’ll make sure that he’s squared away with food and everything while he’s alone so he’ll be fine.

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Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse brevity and typos.

Today I Talked with Patrick Twice

Sent 13 Apr ’17 5:17 PM

Today I talked with Patrick twice.

Initially he said that he’s not doing very well and wouldn’t be much fun for conversation. However he did eat some breakfast in the morning and said that he had a pretty good night last night. He’s fighting both back pain and that intestinal pain with the nausea.

I called again a couple of hours later and he sounded much more upbeat. Ivonne was taking him for a drive out to the country, just to get out and in the fresh air. He said that maybe the jostling would help his back a little. He gave me a brief tour of the island as a narrative from the passenger seat, pointing out a finca he’d like to buy (but couldn’t afford), Queen Anne’s Lace on the right side of the road, sheep bleating in the fields, and the mountains in the distance. Ivonne said they’re small mountains, but pretty.

In general he seemed in good spirits and said he’d had a nice lunch of meatballs and pasta that Ivonne made, though he declared he was the better cook.  I asked where they were going to have dinner, to which he replied “probably mi casa!”

He acknowledged and appreciated the kind notes that some of you sent. He didn’t say it, but I think he found them warming. On the medical front, both Carol and Rumiko recommended the same acupuncturist. Patrick has an appointment next Tuesday.

Ivonne has been giving him wonderful care and he said he might not have made it this far without her help. It’s such a delight for me to hear them laughing in the car together, or at the house. She really is a great person and he knows that he’s lucky to have her in his life, just as he acknowledges how good it is to have all his other family and friends sending healing thoughts and other sorts of prayer to him on his little island.

The body needs fuel to heal, so it’s reassuring to hear that he’s finally able to eat a bit. It’s also good to hear that he’s getting out and about and enjoying the beautiful Spanish afternoons.  It takes time to recover from surgery and medicines. I’m glad he’s able to pass that time in good company and a lovely environment.

As I hear more I will share it.


Bug Whacking

JP Sent to Patrick on 13 Apr ’17 at 9:30 AM

Thought you’d find this memory amusing. Perhaps you can work it into one of your next stories.

Donna and I went up to Buttonwillow one weekend and stayed at what was then called Motel 6 South.

There were tons of bugs everywhere, probably from the nearby fields, and the door was absolutely crawling with little flying critters. Inside there were hundreds of these little pests all over the walls. Continue reading “Bug Whacking”

Such an Inspiration

Found this in Patrick’s inbox, from Alison. It’s dated 13 Apr ’17 6:44 AM

Dear Patrick,

I’m so very grateful for you!  You and Stephanie have been such an inspiration in my life to pursue my artistic calling.  Your passion to follow your dreams has given me courage to follow my own.

I am so grateful to God for you both.  You and Stephanie breathed life into so much great music, allowing your audiences to hear it afresh and as a result, you have brought so much joy and beauty into the world.

I believe that your time on earth isn’t over and that you still have many stories that need to be told.

I am praying for you and love you very much!


Today’s Activities (19 March 2017)

Here’s a summary I wrote for family and friends on 19 March 2017.

Today Patrick and I agreed to drive out to Carol’s place for lunch at the big estate she’s house-sitting. The trip started off badly with a dead car battery that delayed us at least an hour, which carved into Patrick’s “limited back time.” Eventually RACC (similar to AAA) gave us a jump start and we were on our way.

While I was with the tow truck driver, Patrick’s walker escaped him and rolled down the steps. Fortunately there was a couple nearby that rescued it for him.

When we finally reached Pollenca, we enjoyed our time together even though his back was already in agony. The lunch was superb (Carol used to have a gourmet shop) although the large number of large dogs was a bit problematic as they kept trying to get us to play with them. He also fell when sitting on the walker from the wrong side and had it tip over.

The drive home was okay but Patrick’s back was in quite a bit of pain. He was able to lie down for a few minutes before Ivonne and 11-year-old-daughter Aina came over to visit. Ivonne helped me drop off the car at a repair shop for a new battery tomorrow, while Patrick and Aina entertained one another. After we got back, Aina insisted on playing chess with me. I’ve not played in years, but it was fun and I got to learn the names of the pieces in Spanish.

After they left, Barry came over to drink wine and catch up with Patrick and me. Barry is about my age, an exceptional violinist, and is a very good friend of Patrick’s. Although the pain made it hard to hold focus, my dad and Barry spent a fair amount of time talking together, which was nice to watch. Finally Barry took his leave, but we plan to see him again on Wednesday with his son Yoji in tow.

Ivonne had left us some ‘German hamburgers’ for dinner, so I offered to heat one up for Patrick. He suggested a bit more complicated approach so, even though I don’t cook at all, I agreed to follow his guidance and make them even more appealing. I started out with olive oil and butter in a frying pan (I couldn’t find cream), then saute’d some mushrooms, then cooked the patties. Meanwhile we also toasted some bread, put it on top of a small bed of lettuce, then placed the burger, mushrooms, and some sliced cherry tomatoes on top of the mix. It actually came out quite tasty. Of course, like I said, I don’t cook, but he had the expertise and the materials in the kitchen and I was just a remote control food wrangler and it all came out okay.

Tomorrow’s day will be slightly less complicated, with two trips to the nearby hospital (one for ‘rehabilitation’ and the other for a ‘traumatoligist’) and whatever food we decide to conjure up. Tuesday will be less active, and on Wednesday we should have lunch with Barry and Yoji.

The biggest challenge is the pain. Yes, his spine is out of alignment and has four cracked vertebrae and weak muscles, but before you can get all that healing complete, they need to somehow manage the pain. It’s so distracting that it’s hard to function, to think, to eat, to walk, to do anything except want to curl up and croak. We don’t want that to happen, but we understand how that can feel. Hopefully the traumatologist can figure out something tomorrow.

I’ll write about Saturday’s adventure (a bit of walking and a restaurant mix-up) another time.