Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day & Update on my Mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards

I have been neglecting the blog a bit in recent weeks. As some of the family already know, my ninety-one year old mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, has been quite ill and in a local hospital for about a month. The time and energy usually devoted to writing and research has given way to emotional stress and the need to focus on her recovery. Mother/Brenda has progressed through surgery, intensive care and the direct observation unit at a local hospital. As of yesterday, she has moved to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. We continue to see returning flashes of spirit and feistiness as she battles on through a very challenging ordeal. As I speak today, mom is doing as well as one can expect, but with a long ways yet to go before hopefully regaining a reasonable level of strength and independence. At ninety-one, we are always mindful that each day of quality time is a gift that can slip from our grasp in the flash of a moment. Please feel free to email me if you are a family member or friend and wish to have more specific information.

Today is of course Veterans Day. I had planned to review the history of another Steunenberg family Veteran but just haven't gotten there. As always, we must remind ourselves of their many past and present sacrifices. I continue to witness the still evident struggles of some of our Vietnam era vets that trickle in through my office door seeking rehabilitation services. No family is left untouched in some way by the consequences of war and conflict.

I am also reminded again of my Uncle Cal, Sargent Cal Steunenberg, U.S. Army Signal Corp., who served in the Pacific during WWII. You might recall that I had written about his military service and some sixty years as a Ham Radio Operator, W6WFV. At the time of that blog post, the memory of Uncle Cal had rekindled childhood interests in radio that he had sparked in me as a kid. Well, Uncle, perhaps a little late, but I finally made it. I past both the Technician and General class exams last week and currently await the Federal Communication Commission's assignment of my call letters. I am shopping for radios and will hopefully be on the air soon. W6WFV, please stand-by.

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