Saturday, September 22, 2012


     Today is a day of giving thanks for me. True, it is not the end of November but, I feel the need to let some very special people know how much I appreciate what amazing lengths they have gone to in their assistance for me and my family during our particular crisis. And for those of you who do not know or have not read my previous two blogs, here is a quick review…
     Five weeks ago my wife suffered the first of a series of five strokes. She is home now but unable to work for the next couple of months. It has been a stressful, nerve wracking and frightening experience for us all. And during all of this my family has received a massive outpouring of support, well wishes, kind thoughts and prayers to a multitude of deities. (I say this because not everyone I know worships the same God(s) and some don’t even believe in a divine deity. How’s that for a melting pot of chums and pals in a life filled with insanity?)
     So, on with the show.
     Brian and Kelly, thank you for being there, offering support, guidance and friendship outside of your profession and calling. I don’t know what my family would have done if you had not been there to guide me through my temporary shock on concern over my wife. You did not allow the mundane daily tasks of life slip through my fingers. Also, Brian, you are an excellent Heavy when needed. Your friendship has truly become one which I will cherish into my feeble age.
     Josh and Hope, your spiritual leadership for my wife has been invaluable to her and me. You have set an example for all within your church and you both are a true blessing to mankind.
     Angie and Earl, I don’t know where to begin with you two. You were there for Sue and Madison when I couldn’t be. You did your best to get me to rest and be healthy for my family as well as fill in for me when I wasn’t there. God bless the two of you and your family.
     Stacy and Kelly S. you guys helped out so much around my home and made sure everything was ready for Sue when  she came home, something I was unable to do in my state of mind, both of you have been fantastic friends to Sue over the years I don’t even know how to begin to thank you. Also, Kelly, you are welcome to raid my library anytime, you are my sister in Horror!
     Tennessee, although I doubt you will read this, our phone conversations have meant the world to me these past two weeks. Thank you.
     Mike and Allison, your gift was more then I could have ever expected.
     Chuck and Lara, thank you for the cigars and providing me with a temporary distraction from the endless minutes in the hospital and rehab center. My porch will always be open to you two.
     Michael and Israel, you guys getting the hand-railings on the porch have meant the world to my wife. And Mike, your loyalty to your sister has truly enriched her life more than you will know.
     Amy and David, you guys taking care of all the food and endless smiles gave us all an optimistic outlook on the easily fallen into trappings of depression when things look bleak.
     Zelda, your hugs have been refreshing and always welcome. You are a WARRIOR!
     The Pennsylvania Crew!!!! You guys are awesome… let’s see if I can thank you all even though some of you are Canadian… Brian, my old shipmate, Thank you. Bob and Kelli, light and a dark, you two crazy kids mean more to me than you will ever know. Dickie and Mandy… you two took care of something for me that gave me a welcome distraction in the dark hours of the day. Jeff (Bamfer) our conversation was much needed and a welcome outlet. May all your Disney dreams come true. Malfi for the great story. Qweequeg, your awesomeness never fails to astonish me. Thank you for rallying the troops!
     My family, both sides, Michigan and Wisconsin, our conversations were heartfelt, open and enlightening. Through this tragedy there was healing on many levels. And while we all have our own lives, differences and issues, you managed to put those aside for a greater good. Kudos!
     My work family, Pat, Tim, Tad, Nancy, M.F., Diane, Liona, Corey, Dan and all you others, thank you for expressing concern and taking care of things I couldn’t while I was gone. (Yes, I still worry about the trains.)
     The Lobscouser, Bobby, talking with you about the pain you and your family went through in a similar situation was enlightening and helpful. Thank you for your understanding during the past few weeks and the prayers.
     Delane, thank you for fixing Trainman. Plugs are always good, but I am still going to call you “The Appliance.” Safe travels brother.
     Babs, driving three hours each way… are you nuts? But it was great to see you and your visits meant the world to Sue… you ROCK!
     And to all the folks I am forgetting, Thank you. Your outpouring of love is what this world should be about.
     Have a great week!
From the Heart of the South,

Skip Novak

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