Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to celebrate a birthday?

Some of you may remember Brooke’s 40th birthday party, his 50th, his 60th, and you know he’d like nothing better than to hire a rock ’n roll blues band, pack a hundred people into his room, and get everybody dancing. I don’t think it’s quite possible this year, but you could do the next best thing: flood his room with a hundred cards, notes, whimsical little letters. The birthday date is March 25, just a week away:

Send them either to:
Brooke Hopkins
Room 222
South Davis Community Hospital
401 South 400 East
Bountiful, UT 84010

Or to our house:
307 M Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

You don’t need to buy a card—just scribble a little message on a sheet of paper and that will make him happy. Or post it on the blog. Or send me an e-mail at battin@utah.edu and I’ll print it out for him. He doesn’t need any presents, except maybe a poem or a wry limerick or even a picture of you.
Remember how whole audiences had to keep Tinker Bell’s light alive by lighting a match and making a wish? Brooke’s had some wonderful times recently (including a visit from two of his old college classmates, traveling in from Michigan and North Carolina), but there are some hard moments as well and it’s easy to get discouraged. The vent weaning is tough, and any recovery of sensation or movement glacially slow. We were talking a day ago about various treks and expeditions he’d done—the inner Himalayas, Argentina and Chile, western China, Venezuela, and he said this is the “hardest adventure I’ve ever been on.” This is where the Tinker Bell phenomenon might help: if you all help him celebrate his birthday, it’ll keep his light more brightly alive. There can’t be any matches on this birthday cake (oxygen in the room) and indeed the cake itself will have to remain largely virtual, but it would be wonderful if you’d help him celebrate by just dropping a note in the e- or snail-mail. There is, after all, quite a lot to celebrate—despite the terrific odds against it (how can one explain the flight nurse’s jogging along at exactly the right moment?), he’s here to celebrate another year.
Happy birthday Brooke.


ed ranney said...

Hi Brooke,

Great to know about the upcoming birthday - I know you'll honor it with all due "uproariousness" and affection from all those who care so much about you.
Just thought I'd let you and Peggy know Patrick and Mary stopped in today for a visit and lunch, such a pleasure to meet them and hear first hand accounts of your progress, AND how close you are getting to have the reading aids accessible for use on your own. Sounds great - that would be a wonderful birthday event!
Patrick told me of the Huck Finn studies, article you guys shared, what a great way to start a friendship, and how wonderful they have played music for you both! Many thanks, Peggy, for sending them our way, and I look forward to seeing them with you when I get up to Salt Lake. Melanie and I go to Boston soon for her dad's memorial service, and I hope to affirm the next step with Dumbarton Oaks archive agreement in DC shortly after. We'll see..

Thinking of you with great birthday wishes, much love from all in Santa Fe!

Meg said...

Happy, happy birthday, Brooke! I'm in Boston and sending you lots and lots of good wishes today (a card is in the mail)! I'll be up to see you next week and admire all your birthday greetings.