Some goodbyes are really, really hard

Chris Gulker and Heidi Engel

The DGs can not think of what their life would have been like the past three years if physical therapist extraordinaire Heidi Engel had not entered the picture. The summer of 2007 found the male DG swollen from steroids and nearly unable to walk. Rather than viewing him as a lost cause who was going to die anyway, Heidi put together a rigorous regimen of exercises, constantly tweaking the program as he met a previous milestone.

A year’s hard work later and the male DG was walking unaided – and enjoying his new twice a week morning outings with Scott and Lily. By early 2009 he was doing significant hill work and through May of that year, walking four miles at a time. In retrospect, the DGs agree the first five months of 2009 was the peak of his regained abilities, but even as his mobility began to slip and he added back a walking stick and then the hemi walker (naturally provided by Heidi!), it was always with Heidi in mind. “I would be so much worse without Heidi,” he’s said over and over.

Today Heidi made the trip down the Peninsula for what is likely the final goodbye. No surprise – there wasn’t a dry eye on the patio…



Filed under Brain cancer, Support angels

4 responses to “Some goodbyes are really, really hard

  1. What a wonderful friend you found in Heidi, what a loving person and what a gift also for her to have found you. Know you and Linda have been a gift and blessing to all of us at Trinity. You made the Taize service extra special and your spirit is part of that now. Chris we love you and continue to pray for you and Linda. God Bless may there be peace and grace in your journey. John & Lucy

  2. Bless you both and Heidi too. You continue to teach us all lessons in grace and goodness. We all wish this could be different. I want to see you both back at Hudson again in 2014. The world will be a lesser place if you’re not there/here.

    Love you….

  3. Alice Carrott

    Great post! The picture says it all! Mutual admiration. . . You both are so full of courage. I wish I were closer so I could chat, cook, and spend some time in the garden! Love, LPP

  4. Pingback: The arrival of Sister Morphine

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