2011 Christmas Letter

Greetings to all my online friends!

Here’s my Christmas Letter for this year. Imagine, if you will, the list from my last post as a sidebar, Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Youth Services Librarian at Heart.

With My Boys, Tim and Josh

Merry Christmas, my Friends!

Yes, I’m a librarian again and loving it! (For 6 months of 2010, I had to work at another agency due to library budget cuts.) At the City of Fairfax Regional Library, where I work now, I’ve also had the chance to learn about doing genealogical research in the Virginia Room.

Tim’s a Senior in high school this year! How did that happen? He’s doing a Research Seminar in Computer Science, taking plenty of AP classes, and has almost finished his college applications. This summer, we got really hooked on playing Dominion together – a deck-building game with lots of expansions. I am not looking forward to an empty nest next year!

I’m afraid the big event of 2011 was that I had a stroke! On the flight to ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, I slept for awhile with my neck at a bad angle, and had a consistent low-grade headache for a month after. Then, out of the blue, sitting at the reference desk, the room started spinning. It turned out I’d had a cerebellar stroke (balance center of the brain) caused by a vertebral artery dissection (neck injury). Blood rushed to the injury and clotted, and then a piece of the clot broke off and caused a stroke.

They didn’t catch the stroke when I first went to the ER, but I had another episode a couple days later, and that time they found it, and I spent 10 days in the hospital. I feel tremendously blessed to be alive and kicking! I have no permanent disability, though I’m definitely still recovering, and have ongoing trouble with low-grade dizziness. I’m hoping that will leave when the vertebral artery dissection finishes healing (can take 6 months), and in the meantime I’m on blood thinners to keep from having another stroke.

I definitely learned that I have many people around me who love and care for me! Church friends helped in many different ways, and Library co-workers donated lots of leave, so I didn’t have to skip my paycheck. A really lovely side effect was that I spent lots of the summer at home with Tim – for his last summer before graduating from high school.

Just as I was recovering enough to go back to work, my brother Robert got married in Oregon. Tim and I spent a week staying with my Auntie Sue in my grandma’s old house in Salem, and I also got to see Josh, who had recently moved to Portland. All 12 of my brothers and sisters made it to the wedding, and it was a truly wonderful and memorable week.

Here I am with ALL my sisters and brothers!

I do feel very blessed and have so many reasons to rejoice! May you also have a joyful and blessed Christmas!

Much Love,

Sondy Eklund

PS After I wrote this letter, my neurologist did an exam and told me I may have had another stroke, a mini-stroke this time. My eyes don’t track together if I look up and to the right. I’ll have an MRI done next week to find out. So my healing journey isn’t done yet, and that’s my excuse for being so late on my Christmas gifts and cards and letters. But I figure this means that THREE times now, something much much worse could have happened. (The initial stroke was two episodes, with two visits to the hospital, not caught until the second time.) So I am either incredibly lucky or incredibly protected. With all the prayers I know have been offered for me, I’m going to consider myself incredibly protected!


  1. Sondy,

    So glad you are getting good care! And I have to ask – did these folks get married dressed as pirates???

    Nancy Bronez

  2. Hello Dear Sondy,

    Wow.. (and I imagine if we were face to face you would say the same thing to me!) except I would follow with “You had a stroke? and you would repeat yourself “Your married?” LOL

  3. Dear Sondy,
    Thanks for sending the greeting, I’m glad you are fine now. I wish you and your boys a Happy New year and very very healthy!

  4. @Nancy, LOL! They got married dressed as a Disney prince & princess. And though it could have been hokey, it came off just gorgeous! Robert’s prince costume was the nicest groom outfit I’ve ever seen. And the boots!

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