Dear Friends and Family,

As of Friday around 11AM, Mom began her rehab adventure at Chez Murray! The morning of her release from the hospital was exciting and a bit scary for everyone. All of her many fans at the hospital... doctors, nurses and yes, cleaning personnel, came to bid her farewell and good luck. Some were wary of her leaving earlier than THEY felt she was ready and others felt she was making a wise decision. Before leaving, she was given another "stairs" test, this time on the 6th floor where new hips and knees are "road tested" on a set of fake end very low steps and the other side, standards height. She did fine on the low steps...going up and down quite well and then the visiting PT decided to try her out on the steeper side. She got one foot up and then just crumbled to her knees...all the while suspended by her arms on the railings! It was very scary because the PT and I, together, couldn't lift her and she was in a lot of discomfort and her knees were all scraped up and bleeding. Thankfully, two EMTs were just going by and helped her to her shaky feet. She was soon cleaned up and calmed down but still, understandably shaken.

We were fitted out with the requested commode and walker before leaving and we had a wheel chair that was to arrive at the house when we got there. It never made it, but we had a back-up plan in place. I have (had) a wooden-armed, tuffed ladies chair on casters that I used for my computer chair (I'm now sitting in a kid's sized antique rocker that I can barely fit my derriere into!). Anyhow, I put a thick chair pad in the bottom to raise up the seat level and Pat and Dad got her into the chair, with the aid of the new walker and then just carried her into the house where I then, wheeled her into her new "digs". She enjoyed the ride from MMC so much. It was a lovely cold but crystal clear day and it didn't seem to tire her at all. When she got into the house, she took up residence in the modified recliner and just seems soooo happy and relieved to have made it and so did we!!! She soon was enjoying an egg-salad sandwich and Coke and seemed so happy to look around at all of the lovely things that you have all sent to her...stuffed animals, flowers, angels, quilts and afghans, Lee Bowman's beautiful photos, and her many, many cards. She was very weary but happy.

The first day, night and next day were hard as we all learned how to help turn her, lift her, clean her, etc. but as of today (Sunday), she is maneuvering so much better on her own. She ate a requested italian sandwich from Amato's for supper at the dining room table with us!!!! All day, after getting washed and dressed (with a little help) she took several tours of the house, round and round from room to room with her walker as one of us came directly behind her with the "computer chair" as a back-up. She didn't need it once!!! She also has graduated from the commode in the livingroom to it being used over the regular toilet and this is a big morale booster to her, as you might well imagine.

Tomorrow, the PT is going to pay her a visit. She was very "negative" over the phone as to what she had heard about Mom's condition and her desire to try rehab in a home environment but after hearing some of our trial-and-error methods of recovery, she decided everyone was on-board and it just might work! Dad and Pat went on a mission to the new Rite-Aid and bought a bed rail so she can grab it and turn over easily and alone. This is a big deal, as Dad is sometimes her only means of turning and he is often asleep on the couch or chair and being hard of hearing, doesn't wake when she calls him. I'm only a few steps away, but it's much more of a step at independence for her. They also bought her an "inner tube" for her bed-sored butt. Pat said Dad asked the lady in Rite-Aid if she had anything to cushion Mama's BUTTOCKS. Pat was still chuckling when they got back to the house. They have become even closer and real buddies since Mom's illness. They have always been close and enjoyed each other's company but they both have an even greater respect and love and closeness which is great to see.

Well, since starting this note, I've heard the sound of the walker wheels rolling up the hallway to the bathroom so I should go check out things.

Thank you so much for everything!! Please keep the prayers coming "OUR" way as we still need a couple more weeks of training before Mom can graduate to the island. Every day I see a stronger and more confident Mom and it's just so amazing to believe. I am sooooooo grateful and we all feel so very blessed. There's no money for many gifts this year but it will surely be the best Xmas ever in the Ross/ Murray/ Caldwell family.