Today was a good day for Jason, and also a little sad. He got up in his chair this morning, a short while after breakfast and wanted to go visit Main Street (an area in the hospital that has different types of retail, restaurant, and service businesses), as he wanted to go do something different. It started out a little bumpy, as the chair didn't want to function properly, but once we figured it out we were off to the elevator. He made his way through the crowds - well, okay, there weren't that many people there today, so it was a good day to venture out - and looked around. We stopped at the post office again and picked up some mail and then headed back.
On the ride back we got into the elevator with a couple of gentlemen from the security detail for Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense) as he was coming to the hospital to visit with some folks. I'm not sure if Jason recognized them or what, but he just started talking to them, about the detail he was on, for when President Obama was inaugurated. They didn't talk much, but I think they enjoyed Jason talking. Anyway we got back off the elevator, on the 5th floor and went back to the room. A short while later there was a knock on the door, and a young man came in and announced Mr. Robert Gates would like to come in and visit. Jason said to come in, please.
The visit was very nice, and even though I am sure Mr. Gates is a busy guy he took the time to talk with all of us, and we even talked about Boy Scouts, since many years ago he was head of Eagle Projects for all of Scouting, and Jason IS an Eagle. We asked him to sign the Red Book and we got some pictures, and it was a very nice visit. There was a general with him as well, and I found out later, another general standing outside Jason's room door (not sure why he didn't come in, other than it might have started to get a bit crowded). The general spoke with Jason, too, and I am a little embarrassed that I don't remember his name (though it is written in the book, and the book is with Jason).
After that visit we took the time to eat our lunch, and the Occupational Therapist (O.T.) came in to work with Jason. Right now she is the one who makes him do exercises, and Jason is getting better for it. Then it started to get close to the time that Larry (Jason's Uncle - Linda's brother) had to get going (this is the sad part of the day). Jason has enjoyed having him here, as did all of us, but with Jason it gave him another level of confidence and motivation. Larry was able to encourage Jason to do more of his breathing exercises, which is not one of Jason's favorite things to do.
Jason has another day tomorrow, without any visit to the O.R. Then on Wednesday he will be going back in. Once again I am thanking everyone for all your support and for all the prayers you've been sending. Jason can now open and hold and read his cards and letters; this alone is a big milestone for him. I will continue to thank you, and ask you to keep them coming, for as long as it takes.