If the terrorists who took over a federal building had brown skin & weird names they'd already be dead. #OregonUnderAttack
#whatlucictoldweise A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.
Now that the day is over and I successfully avoided the hospital, I can reflect back on my 40th birthday. I did not think I would see 40. Just over five years ago I was in a hospital bed at Massachusetts General staring the reality of death squarely in the face. The doctor's assistant told me that if the blood vessel in my brain hadn't popped and the tumor had gone undiscovered, I would have been dead by the new year. Of course, if I hadn't gone into Parkview that Monday morning I might've been dead that night. However, thanks in no small part to my mother, Joan and Andy Labrie, Shirley Searles, Sarah Gutherz and a whole army of well-wishers out there, I made it through. My medical team was brilliant, from Fred Barker to my PCP Stacia Baker. Then there were the unsung heroes: my nurses. Always there when they were needed, always smiling but never thanked enough for all that they did. My first nurse took a scared young man and revitalized him with two actions I will never forget. The first was writing "TEAM BARKER" at the foot of my bed, invoking memories of past teams at UMaine and North Yarmouth Academy and making me realize this wasn't something happening TO me, but rather that I was an active participant and this was just another game I was going to have to win. Then she came to my side and said, "There are many places to mend a broken arm or to have a child, but for what you need there is only one place for you - and you're already here." I don't know why, but those words put me at peace. It was five years ago today that I came home from rehab. I could still barely walk (that's gotten better) and my memory had more holes than a leaky sieve (that hasn't) but I was back home. I remember when I had my stroke I thought I would return to my work at Delorme by Christmas. How naive I was. It wasn't until almost Memorial Day of 2009 when I was able to walk (somewhat) on my own and by chance it was at our family's grave. It occurred to me then that were it not for the hard work and dedication of countless others I would be buried under the very ground where I was walking. So thank you to all for the birthday wishes yesterday, thank you for the support five years ago and here's hoping the future isn't nearly as eventful as the past!
#askneal if you could go back in time and end the career of any player in NHL history who would you choose?