Yesterday morning Tom and I took a drive over to Hanover, New Hampshire to visit our friend and neighbor, Tom French. For those of you who don’t know (and quite honestly I cannot imagine how you couldn’t know Tom) he suffered a stroke in February, four months ago this week. We had been all set to visit him while he was at Dartmouth, but the day set for our visit was the day that they decided to move him down to Salem.

I must say that I was a little apprehensive, but he is still the same old Tom. His verbal ability is limited, but that doesn’t really stop him from getting his point across. He recognized us right away and was most happy to see us. Tim made a card for him with lots of pictures and he was thrilled, it found a place on his bulletin board. He was sure to give us his guestbook for our signature and to show us the scrapbook that Laura has started for him. We went through each page and he nodded and pointed to various things.

He also has a box of cards and photos that rivals the weight of a bag of feed. It is apparently only about one month’s worth, so I am sure that there must be a few more like it in Laura’s possession. He took us on a tour of his new facility, smiling and waving and saying hi to various people along the way. It was nice to see Tom being Tom, something that I thought might be gone forever as a result of the stroke.

He also kept pointing to the calendar and counting off 4. We were puzzled, but after stewing on it over the afternoon, it occurred to me that he was trying to tell us that it would be 4 months since the stroke today. Ah, Tom – so much smarter than I am, evidently.

We happy to see him in such good spirits and to see that he recognizes and remembers so much. We brought my laptop and went over pictures of my boys, the Hill, the snow, the goats and the dogs. He even recognized our friends and my brother and voiced his amazement at how big our niece had gotten when we got to those pictures. When Tom showed him the video camera view of his house he recognized it and shrugged and sighed indicating that he knew he couldn’t go back just yet.

I’m glad that we got to visit with him and we’re looking forward to taking the boys back when the weather is a little warmer so we can go for a stroll outdoors together.

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