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An Open Letter From Dave Kramer

June 11, 2013

To all who are involved in my care:

Last month when I received the "Heroes in Long Term Care" award, I was going to say something, but I chickened out. The truth is that I’ve always written better than I spoke (some would say that’s not much), and I have a message for all of you.

The truth is that I’ve been extremely happy since I moved into the Annex. I remember several years ago when my daughter Lisa and I came here to look it over, and Miranda gave us the tour. I had visited many times when my mother was here for about five years, in the ’90s, so I saw all the improvements that had been made since then, and I (we) liked it. Even so, I never really thought I would be living here. I guess I thought I would just fall over dead one day, and wouldn’t need a nursing home.

Anyway, after my wife, Norma, died in 2004 after our 55 years of marriage, and our three "kids" had moved away, I was left to live alone. I thought I was doing okay, but eventually realized I needed help, and employed Marcia Burke on a part-time basis. She did a good job but after about two years it became apparent that I needed full-time care. In fact, a cardiologist said if I continued to live alone I could expect to leave this world in a matter of months. Even as thick-headed as I was, I knew I had to make a change. The kids and I made the decision for me to move here and to sell our house (it was no longer a home after Norma died and the kids had moved).

So on June 2, 2012, I moved in here. Because of your care, it will remain my final home until they haul me out and shovel me into a furnace.

And here’s what all of the above leads to: I’ve rarely used the word "love" to anyone other than Norma, but I have to be honest and say I love you all for the great care I am receiving here at the Annex. I couldn’t be happier.

Everyone, from the Annex officers and nurses, aides and taskers, to the housekeepers, maintenance guys, laundry folks and even the dietary folks, have been great.

In return, I try to show my gratitude by trying always to be thankful and not taking more of your time than is necessary. I appreciate that you all work hard and well.

I couldn’t be happier unless I could turn the calendar back some years. Truly.

I just hope that when the day comes when they haul me out, there will be more who say "he was a pretty good guy" than that I was a pain in the ass.

If I had said this during the presentation, I might have cried and destroyed my image, which is why I’m writing to express my heartfelt appreciation to you all.

Thank you,

Dave Kramer

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