Steph with her brothers...
Stephanie with her brothers…


My Daughter Is Enjoying…

Stephanie seems to relish the time spent with her mother and step brothers, in New York this time around.  She was there once before, but only for a week in 2011.

Brother and sister - shopping
Brother Joey, stepsister Stephanie – shopping

She was ten in April and is only one and a half years younger than her older brother Joey (his name while we lived in the Philippines) Rhedlee now, but at times he is also called Francis. He will be twelve in November, so the two of them relate to each other.  She gets to be an assistant to her mother while they watch the baby step brother, Gabriel.

Then last weekend Stephanie’s mom took the kids to Playland in Westchester County, New York, about eleven miles from the Bronx.   The kids went on rides of all kinds but I think Stephanie’s favorite were the bumper cars!  Her mom even text me that, “Stephanie knows how to steer better than Rhed,” Paz was impressed!

Bumper car wizard
Bumper car wizard – Steph

Stephanie got a pet that her mother hadn’t intended on and not from a pet store either; they were at a store or market

Look - it's a crab!
Look – it’s a crab!

and Stephanie fell for a crab.  Paz allowed it and when they got home set the

crab up in an aquarium. I guess the crab was eaten, of course, that is what they are for – they are food.

I talked with Stephanie again this evening, the 28th of July, and I mentioned that she looked tired.

This is what she told me, “I’m tired from too much walking, we went to Lego Land Dad.”  Well I had no idea the amount of walking involved but exercise is always good for her; exercise is good for everybody.

I said, “Wow,” but also told her the walking was good for her and that I was glad she’s getting in some physical activity.  I changed the subject abruptly because that’s when I thought of it and with a brain injury the moment I think of something that thought gets blurted out, right or wrong, “When do you want me to pick you up?”

She said the tenth of August right away before I had even got the other date typed, the seventeenth.  Well she was given the choice and I am glad she chose the earlier one because I miss her mightily and am so excited to be with her again.

Though we drove to New York via the fast interstate I 80, we will be returning on a non-rushed highway and take-in the many small town flavors on our way home.

A day at, Playland
A day at, Playland

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Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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