Well, folks, after four days in the Pembroke Hospital Rehab unit, I’ve finally been discharged. I wanted to take this opportunity to say a few things now that I’ve come home.
First off, many thanks to the folks who came to my aid during last Sunday’s Mass in Chapeau. It was a terrifying experience to look at the written page and realize that I couldn’t read the words before me – something that was all too evident to those who saw me dissolve into tears and sobs. And even though I didn’t want you to call the ambulance and certainly didn’t want to go to the hospital, it was the right thing to do. The medication and treatment I received right away in the Emergency Department as well the care I received in the days that followed in Rehab were necessary to ensure that what began as a transitory event didn’t devolve into something much dire. Your kindness, insistence, and care was and is greatly appreciated.
I wish to thank Marc Deslaurier and his paramedic partner ‘Frank’ for their kind and gentle care of a pretty resistance and uncooperative patient – although I still think that Marc believes that the name ‘Ferrari’ is stamped somewhere on the frame of that ambulance. It felt like we went around some of those corners on two wheels – and yet you both kept me calm and safe for that trip to the hospital. Thank you.
I also want to offer something of an apology to those who witnessed my behavior. I know that many people have told me I have nothing to apologize for, but I feel the need to do so anyway. It must have been very uncomfortable to see me collapse the way that I did and it has always been important for me to not ever be an embarrassment to you when I am wearing my vestments. The sobs and cries I let loose were a sign of the fear that gripped me at that moment, and I hope that those present understand what provoked them. But it runs against everything I believe in to have acted that way in Church. I sincerely apologize if I made anyone in attendance uncomfortable. Yet I’ve got to admit, if there was one place where people will be understanding, it’s among the great people of the Upper Pontiac Parishes, and I am grateful for the outpouring of love and support I felt from all of you as I finally regained my senses in the Church and in the many calls and visits I received in the hospital.
So now it’s time to face a period of rest and recuperation. I’ve informed Bishop Mulhall that I will resume my duties as of August 1st when my driver’s license is reinstated. (It apparently gets suspended for 30 days after being discharged from the hospital for a stroke… even a minor one, so I’m kind of grounded until then.) At that time I’ll begin to say the weekend masses, weddings, and funerals once again, but I’ll hold off on restarting the weekday masses until the start of September. I trust that no one will be offended by my taking that time to get my feet solidly underneath me again – something that I know I need to do so as to make certain not to subject anyone to a repeat of last Sunday’s fiasco in the future.
I always knew that I was blessed to be able to serve here on the Island (and Sheenboro too!). Your kindness, love, prayers, and support this past week serves to prove that to me yet again. Thank you, one and all!