Don’t hesitate to tell your loved ones you care

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It seems I have been writing about my family a lot recently, but there have been so many things going on that have my mind preoccupied.

This time it isn’t my immediate family here in Albert Lea, but my parents back on the East Coast in Virginia.

On Sunday at 6 a.m. I received a phone call from my mother.

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At that time of day, I knew she had either accidentally dialed me or that something bad must have happened.

It turned out it was the latter.

My father, who is in his early 60s, had suffered a stroke a few hours earlier and had been taken to the hospital by ambulance.

My dad was being admitted to the hospital and was set to undergo several tests to determine what exactly caused the stroke.

At first, my mother said, he could not talk or walk, as he had lost control over his right side.

By the time I talked to my mother, it appeared that some of that was starting to come back.

While his gross motor skills have returned, more of the fine motor skills are still missing.

His doctor Monday morning told him he has verbal apraxia as he is having difficulty producing certain speech sounds. From what I can tell, people with this know what they want to say, but their brains have trouble coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say all of the sounds in the words.

It’s crazy how things can change in just a matter of a moment.

My dad is one of the most hardworking people I know, and because of that I know he will work diligently in his recovery and hopefully see success.

Having said that, I know it will still be a challenge, simply because he will have to slow down a little.

He has always been so dedicated to doing things for others — whether it’s my mother, our family, his neighbors or our church family.

Now, it’s our turn to help him.

As he begins this next phase in life, I just wanted to take a quick minute to thank him for all he has done for me and for the example he has always set for me.

(He gets these newspapers in the mail and religiously reads them.)

No matter how much you have going on at work, home or wherever, take the time to tell your loved ones you care. Things can change in just a matter of a moment.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column appears each Tuesday.