Thursday, February 17, 2011

Social Media Makes a Difference

Wow, talk about being overwhelmed! Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for the way my family, friends, and total strangers have responded to the last blog that I wrote about my grandma and her recent fall. I am truly blessed with the people I’ve crossed paths with, but more on that later.

It was four weeks ago yesterday that I got the phone call telling me that Grandma had fallen. This story could have taken many different turns since then, but I am very pleased to report that things seem to be going as well as we could have hoped. Thank you so much to everyone who read the blog and passed it on to others. I am humbled by all of this.

Two Sundays ago, while most of America was making their last-minute Super Bowl party plans, I packed up the family and headed to Cincinnati to see how Grandma’s rehab process was going. It had been over two weeks since she had fallen and broken her right femur, and busy schedules and bad weather had kept me from making the two-and-a-half-hour trip to see her in person and relegated me to daily phone calls to check in.

Upon arrival, I have to say that I was impressed by the facility that Grandma is in. Chesterwood Village is one of three complexes in the Hillandale Family of Communities. When you walk into the very well-lit and extremely clean entrance, you come to a guest services desk to sign in and figure out where you are going. My two daughters were impressed with the movie theatre, root beer float pub, pet shop, ice cream store, and exercise room. In fact, Ashley (my 9-year-old) uttered this classic line: “Wow, these old people really know how to live, Dad!”

We met Grandma as she was getting out of her church service in the facility’s chapel. After we wheeled her to her room in the rehab area of the facility, she immediately wanted to show off her stash of letters, cards, and other goodies that had been pouring in.

For the next couple of hours while watching the Buckeyes beat Minnesota to remain the nation’s only unbeaten Division I hoops team still at that point, I read through the very thoughtful letters and cards that Grandma had received. Based on our daily conversations and messages that I received from those who had read my blog, I knew that quite a few had come or were coming, but to see them overflowing a basket and then to read through the heart-felt comments was a true joy.

Among the more than 150 cards and letters that she has received, she’s gotten mail from Curves members in 15 different states from coast to coast, Canada, and even England thanks to the fact that Curves posted the blog on their Facebook page. Your notes of encouragement and support have flattered Grandma and lifted her spirits more than you’ll ever know.

She’s also gotten lots of mail from the sports community. The Reds front office sent a card signed by numerous coaches, broadcasters, and players along with a yearbook and hat. Matt Maloney of the Reds sent a ball and his wife wrote a nice letter. Chris Sabo, one of her favorite players from the 1990 team, sent a signed photo. Jim Day, the host of Reds Live on Fox Sports Ohio, also sent a nice card. She got a letter from the Cleveland Indians and an invite to come to a game at Progressive Field when she gets better despite the “minor transgression that she roots for the other team in the state.” The Washington Nationals also sent a note and a blanket.

My sports information family has also done a great job of showering Grandma with cards. I need to especially thank my friend, Shelly Poe, at Ohio State for her help in getting the word out. Thanks to her work, Grandma received a letter from Jim Tressel and an invitation to attend the OSU spring game with a seat in the press box as an incentive to get better. She also got a note and signed book from Dick Vitale.

I know that by listing names of people who have sent cards and letters I run the risk of leaving someone out. My intent was to show how amazing the response has been. Grandma has enjoyed especially the homemade cards and drawings she’s received from children, some of whom she’s never even met. It really has been an amazing response and I know that she waits excitedly each day for the mail to come to see what surprise awaits her next.

Grandma has at least two more weeks to go in the rehab facility. She has been doing great with several hours of rehab each day and is looking forward to the day that she can walk back into her Curves again. She’s also looking forward to eating home-cooked food and drinking piping hot coffee. For those of you who get the opportunity to visit her, there’s nothing she would appreciate more than a hot cup of coffee and a chicken sandwich from the Chick fil-A across the street.

To everyone who has sent cards and letters, I send a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. For anyone who would still like to be a part of Grandma’s recovery and cheer her on from afar, here’s her address through at least the beginning of March:

Olive Mahaffey
Chesterwood Village
8073 Tylersville Road
West Chester, Ohio 45069


Rachel Humphrey said...

Amazing Dave!God's people can do amazing things when they get together! Praying for your grandmother that her recovery will be swift and easy!

Jennifer said...

Truly amazing! Thanks for the update. I really needed to believe in people again today and this certainly did it! I can't believe some of the responses she has received. Awesome. I had to chuckle when Melody made hers and it said, "To Grandma, Love, Melody" Best wishes and continued prayers to your grandmother and family.

Anonymous said...

Your Grandma is really great and I think of her when I get up in the morning and sometimes have to push my self to Curves. If Olive is 88 and can do it there is no excuse for me. Thank you for her story

MVNUSID said...

I need to add that since I posted this she's also gotten a card signed by Thad Matta and the entire OSU men's basketball team as well as a card and some goodies from the Cincinnati Bengals. On top of that, others continue to shower her with cards and letters. "Thank You" just doesn't seem adequate any more. You guys are awesome!

MVNUSID said...

Wow, the surprises just keep on coming! Grandma got a package today from the University of Tennessee and inside was a commemorative basketball signed to her by Pat Summitt. Very cool! I can't wait to see it in person.

Nibbles said...

Wow! Mail from Jim Tressel and Thad Matta--amazing! Your grandma is a special lady! So glad to hear she is doing well.

Christy Johnson