Holiday Highlights and Reflections

Thanks for journeying with our family. Here are a few brief highlights and reflections from this holiday season.

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Pat and I enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving weekend with all four of our adult children. Photographer sessions always bring laughs as we try to get Zach to open his eyes! Some of our new pictures are now on the site. It was wonderful to all be together again.

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After Thanksgiving we visited Zach at Boston University at his school for young adults with aphasia. We were amazed as we watched researchers teach and quiz Zach. He did a fabulous job in his classes—Economics, U.S. History, Personal, Finance, Psychology, and Public Speaking.

The researchers keep detailed statistics for everything Zach does, and we just received a three-page report that shows that “he made consistent, strong progress across all cognitive-linguistic and swallowing domains.” We are encouraged at his progress in this research program and are inspired by the staff. If he continues to make gains he will likely be invited to continue in the program for the next four and a half years.

As we continue in this holiday season I am reminded that for many people this holiday season will not be jolly. Some have lost loved ones recently, and others have experienced ambiguous loss, as with our family. The holidays remind us of our losses. Also, for many families unresolved issues may linger, making the time together stressful and any real connecting difficult. Others are homeless, or without food, or incarcerated, or dealing with mental illness. The list goes on. To read more see my new Huffington Post article.

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Last, we are packing to go to S. Africa with Harvard, MIT, and Cornell students to work with 8th-12th grade students in a township in S. Africa. We are trying to help them pass the matric exam to get into college. Pat and I helped found the Mamelodi Initiative, and we will try to keep you abreast of what we are doing as we help lead this service learning project. We leave Dec. 28 and return Jan. 22, so we hope to communicate from Africa for the next month.

With love during this holiday season,
Tammy