Friday, September 4, 2009

Salt Lake Tribune story, Part II

Here's the link to the second part of the story the Salt Lake Tribune is doing. I haven't read it yet; I'm waiting to read it with Brooke, tomorrow. What I know about this piece is that it's based on 75 pages of interviews, and that the person who posted the multimedia piece that goes with the print story cried.

The piece is scheduled to appear in the Trib on Sunday, Sept. 8.


Brett said...

I recently spent4 months in the hospital in Anchorage,Alaska. I work remotely at USAF radar sites and got what they call flesh eating bacteria. I live in Ogden,Utah with my wife and she came to my side and was my savior through all of this. She stopped aides and nurses from doing the wrong things and she assisted specialists with their tasks when they had their hands full. I believe she should have been getting paid. Time passes slowly in there and you two are truly an inspiration to me. There are periods that you just can't stand to even look at each other, but when you experience progress and success it makes it all worth it. You have the most amazing support system that I feel is due to your huge spirit. It has been a magnet for many years and now it is giving back to you. I just got back to work and I am writing this from my room in a place called Cape Romanzof. It is on the southern coast of Alaska and about 130 miles SW of Bethel,Alaska. I was having a bad day and was going to stay in and be lazy. Your story has helped me greatly and I just wanted to tell you. Stay positive and keep on working I feel your power in your spirit.
Brett frasier

Anonymous said...

Brooke and Peggy,

I am heartbroken. There are no words to describe how much this news has affected me. I owe so much to Brooke and you for helping me, a novice teacher, bring the words of Homer, Plato and Augustine to life for our students. You were the core of my second faculty, the parents of my academic home within a home.

I am also hopeful. The new path that has emerged for you both is the one we must all follow eventually. Your preparations for a spiritual life have accelerated exponentially. You are using the opportunity well.

Keep writing. Keep writing. You are the voices of thousands.

At hospice bedsides I have now played native american flute for dozens of people. Know that whenever the flute plays the sound increases the circle of healing and comfort throughout the world we share. I hope you both can hear the song.

I have posted this message on the Tribune page as well.

Christine Oravec

Greg said...

My mother came into my room Sunday morning with a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune. She had a tear in her eye when she told me about this great article that was on the front page. We fully understand what you are going through. You see, I am a quadriplegic and I have been living with my parents, who are my primary caregivers and my best friends, for the last 20 years. Later that day I read the three full pages in the article describing the daily life of Brooke. It reminded me of the Time magazine article several years ago about Christopher Reeve and his daily routine. It didn't leave out any of the dirty details. I would like to say to you Brooke and Peggy that you are fortunate to have each other for support. Please don't ever shut the other one out. I have met many people with spinal cord injuries who stayed in the anger stage for much too long. It will eat away any relationship and it doesn't stop at just the loved ones who were pushed away. If you stay angry it will soon consume your relationship with everyone you come in contact with including aides and techs who do much of your personal care.

I couldn't have survived this long without my parents. It's not just about what they physically do for me it's also about our ever evolving and strong relationship with each other. I went through the same 5-step stages Peggy wrote about. Some were not easy, some passed without me realizing until years later. It's different for each person. My sister gave me a plaque to hang on the wall that says "Attitude Is Everything". It is a cliché but this one has its merit. I may not be able to do 90% of what I used to but I try to concentrate mainly on the 10% I can control. There are many more challenges that lie ahead and if you maintain a positive attitude it will help you through them.

I am happy to have found your blog. You truly can convey to the "laymen" what it is like to be paralyzed with all the subtle joys and not-so-subtle frustrations that come with it. Keep up the fight.

Greg Killpack

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

Brooke and Peggy,
I just found out what happened last weekend. My mom saved the Tribune article for me and asked me, "Isn't this your favorite professor?" I cried and cried when I read of the struggles and challenges that both of you are facing. Brooke, my memories of college and graduate work are so incredibly bright and happy because of all that I gained from your classes and friendship. I often think about the semester we spent studying Proust together - I can honestly say that experience, more than any other in my U of U education, has stuck with me and shaped who I am today. Thank you for being the wonderful, inspiring person you are!

Kelly Wakefield

Mr. Baird said...

Hi. My name is Jeff and I had Professor Hopkins about 15 years ago in a Jane Austen course at the U. I now teach a high school world literature course, and I don't mean so sound trite, but I truly think we use a book that you would understand better than most, Professor Hopkins. It is called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and I thought of it as I read the story about you in the Tribune. You spoke about the transcendent power of the mind and the spirit, its ability to rise above the fragile and transitory body, and this book speaks to that notion beautifully. I am very inspired by your outlook, and I will continue to think of you and pray for your strength.