Probably my favorite experience with Uncle Mike was a long phone conversation with him just after I graduated from UC San Diego in 1993. He called me as I was packing up my apartment and we chatted for over an hour. I learned so much about him and his brothers from that phone conversation!
I should probably add that he did try to help me with my math when he would visit us in the 70s and early 80s, but I am a bit of a hopeless case when it comes to numbers. I'm not sure that I was able to convince him that my degree in Linguistics was really "math with words"!
Mainly I set out to write to you to express my appreciation for all you have done for Uncle Mike and for sharing his story via the blog. You have allowed me to see facets of him that I never knew existed. It is particularly heartening to know that there are so many people who care about his well-being and are taking the time to visit and look after him.
My dad (Uncle Mike's cousin through their mothers somehow), has been widowed for 5 years and has had his share of medical issues, including a broken hip in 2011 and a hospitalization for cellulitis this past Spring. I know from personal experience what energy and vigilance it takes to be the watchdog and companion for a loved one during a medical crisis. I also know how quickly well-meaning people's energy fades or is diverted by the other distractions of daily life, so I see how truly blessed Uncle Mike is to have the sustained support of so many.
I only just found out about the seriousness of his case two days ago and got the link to your blog today, but oddly enough, thought about Uncle Mike, out of the blue, early this past Monday morning while at my dad's, during my daily visit to take care of him and his cats. I think maybe some of Uncle Mike's energy is still hanging around that kitchen he entertained us in so many years ago!
With sincere appreciation and a request that you pass long distance hugs and love from Roxanna in Santa Barbara on to him.
-Roxanna Stern Nocker