The Online Newsletter of Stroke Life Society

"United In Pursuit Of Living And Helping Others"
October 2012
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Support, Support and More Support.................

Stroke Life Society currently has 8 support groups throughout Long Island, NY.  The furthest east and the first in Suffolk having successfully launched in West Islip over the summer. Support Groups are at the core of Stroke Life's activities and represent the very essence of its being. The tremendous therapeutic value of each one of our meetings is underscored by member-benefits such as those we have already realized at Our Lady of Consolation in West Islip. There, so much confidence is generated by communication with fellow-survivors on a regular basis that aphasics feel free to take their time to talk and the wheelchair-bound are determined to walk! Already, new members have been attracted by the West Islip group's reputation and achievements. The list of these accomplishments even includes sporting Stroke Life Society's latest master fisherman, Denis, who'd never previously caught even an itty-bitty tiddler. Great things happen to Stroke Life members!


Go West, Young Man................


No, not as far as California - New York City is near enough. A new Support Group location will soon be announced for Queens, NY. This will be our 9th ongoing monthly Support Group and sure to be a convenient location for our city folk, being an excellent transport hub. Queens' residents will have no problems with Access-A-Ride drop-offs and bus stops close by.  Everyone else "going west" need drive no further than Flushing. If you reach Fisherman's Wharf/Alcatraz, you've gone too far!

  Click here for current meeting schedule
 Fundraising's a Real Joke....................
It was like taking ice to the Eskimos. For the third time in little over a year, a bunch of jokers (our Stroke Life members!) spent the evening of September 27th at Governor's Comedy Club listening to comedians of the professional variety. Our thanks go to these jocular members, their guests and our loyal supporters who indulged in a whole gamut of fundraising activities. A top class raffle and 50/50 both gave another much-needed boost to our coffers. One of our (male) members won the Chanel perfume/jewelry combo prize. Now we can smell him before we see him in his glittering glory. Our gratitude to Governors and our headliner supporter, Chris Monty, for their continued support!
Please join us in supporting Chris Monty
You can vote every day until December 15th
 Website News................... 
Your website,, is becoming increasingly informative month by month. More of your questions are being answered in our Q&A Section and we have added new Member Stories written by our very own members.   Here are 2 most recent stories:

Caught In The Act!................

Our second nautical expedition of the year which embarked once again from Captree was a pleasant progression for pescatorians. This time, we actually landed and were permitted to keep more than just turtle grass and literally fished-up our supper. It must be said that some would have more to eat than others, and the disappointment on certain faces upon receipt of their miserably miniscule fish filets was a picture in itself. The willingness to help, and the kindness and fraternal goodwill of our members on board were in abundance throughout the afternoon. Stroke survivors are such an amiable crowd and full of bonhomie! Our enjoyment was greatly enhanced once again by the friendly attentiveness of the captain & crew of the JIB VI who even escorted our foremost fisherman shoulder-high off the vessel.  Click here to see photos.

                                   Strength From Adversity
                                              ~ Author Unknown


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.


Survivor Spotlight..................
A Co-Survivor's Story - Enid Merin
Enid and Murray Merin

Enid Rothman was a fifteen-year-old beauty who was not to be denied. What is more, this vivacious teen (somewhat more than a little extrovert) had set her sights on Murray Merin (a 19-year-old Adonis in a naval uniform) following their first encounter on Rockaway Beach. Three years later she married her beau at the tender age of eighteen. Murray considers himself to have been a cradle snatcher, but in truth the poor lad didn't stand a chance!


Sixty-one years later Enid reflects on the phases of their marriage, including the current one which so nearly didn't happen because of Murray's stroke. The initial, understandable, "couldn't keep their hands off one another" phase melded into the child-raising "love-bond" years. There then ensued a couple of divergent periods in the 'seventies through the 'nineties. It is quite understandable that Enid considers their lives changed when the three children (2 girls and a boy) left home. Now the post-stroke marriage has blossomed into the "can't keep their eyes off each other" present. In many ways, feels Enid, the past eleven retirement years are the closest together they have ever felt.


Murray worked hard as a provider and upon leaving the navy was the foreman of several lighting fixture plants; he also oversaw the manufacture of elevator cabs. Elevators were not the only things to go 'up in the world', for the family vacated Brooklyn for Long Island. Murray's spare time was often devoted to his second profession (and second love), baseball, which found him in demand as a junior high/junior varsity umpire. Enid equipped herself with real estate and insurance licenses and progressed from working part-time around children's hours to a full-blown, sophisticated, natural-born sales expert with excellent communication skills (she still has them!). Enid rose from selling Rosenthal china door-to-door to the zenith of her sales career - promoting The World Book Encyclopedia. She has even been highlighted in a sales techniques publication. Using the power of observation long before hitting the front door, Enid successfully identified her targets' wants, and converted them into needs to satisfy both their 'hidden agenda' and the values they held close. It helped that she strongly believed in her product and so fulfilled many parents' desire to provide their children with knowledge. When the home sales market faded, Enid was adept at turning her hand to alternatives, be it lecturing to five classes of fifty attendees weekly promoting a diet plan or leasing cars.


So it was that Enid and Murray spent most of their daily hours enwrapped in their own spheres. Two careers required two cars, and this was a situation which persisted far into retirement until one car 'died' in September 2010. Its insurance was never renewed as scheduled in 2/11 as Murray suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on 13th January of that year.


Retirement and the onset of the 'noughties' (2000-2009) saw a decade of mutual interests. Although still a paid part-time baseball umpire, Murray fully supported Enid's voluntary work with Senior America - particularly the Ms. NY Senior America pageant of which the still most-becoming Enid is a past finalist. Very much the 'groupie', Murray chauffeured the ladies, assisted with the setting-up and adopted the role of critic - to the director, not to Enid's colleagues in the Seasoned Steppers kick & tap line. Even post-stroke he accompanies Enid and does all but the driving.


Murray supports another of Enid's charitable projects, for Mental Health. Lectures to the mentally ill are somewhat ineffectual, so Enid is involved in a series of vignettes or 5-minute playlet scenarios which are then presented to the audience on an 'improv' basis. The plots are pre-determined (e.g. confiscating the keys to the car) and inspire lively conversation and audience participation.


But we must return to 13th January 2011. It was past suppertime and Murray didn't 'feel right'. Despite passing Enid's tests (tongue straight out; raise legs and arms, and so on) he couldn't follow the TV program and thought the single proffered glass of water was in fact two glasses. Negotiating the stairs to change clothes was a nightmare and he thankfully elected not to drive to the ER at St Joseph's. From there, the couple proceeded by ambulance to the ER at Mercy Hospital where Enid slept for two nights while Murray was kept in ICU. Supported by her son and daughters - whom Murray was unable to recognize - Enid returned home and visited Mercy daily. She was frightened at the recognition failure although it did not apply to herself and says she drove to and from the hospital in the snow-brightened darkness on sheer adrenalin.


Murray was not in pain. His disability was mental. He was disorientated. He wasn't rational. He'd suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. Enid attended to him through 3 days ICU, 3-4 days step-down and then 3 weeks resident rehab in Mercy (actively for 3 hours each day). Earning for himself the title "Mayor of Mercy", Murray considered that the staff treated him like a god; Enid maintains that even in adversity her partner never fails to exude his charm and charisma.


A delay in Murray's return home was a blessing for Enid, allowing more time for preparation. In spite of her initial shock and fear for the future, she had the foresight to initiate alterations to their two-story home which now has a fully-contained ground floor complete with walk-in/wheel-in shower. The delayed return home on February 13th was occasioned by the need to treat cellulitis and gout and the additional time allowed Murray to leave hospital without a walker or a cane, although his balance wasn't perfect. Even so, home care was needed for a couple of hours each day and the obvious stress Enid felt was exacerbated pending the completion of her home alterations.


Out of necessity the couple is now joined at the hip - and they like it that way. Enid says "we both felt a tremendous sense of loss. Everybody wants their old life back, but it's gone; it's gone." There is also a lasting deep disappointment that two lifelong friends were 'not there' for either of them. "This let-down initially provoked shock and anger, an emotion not felt even at the realization of the stroke." stated Enid. The 'Old' Murray's independent activities have changed. No more baseball umpiring or income from the same and no more avid reading. When 'Post-Stroke' Murray first opened the paper, he asked why it was in Spanish, seeing extra letters in the middle and end of words. This has improved with therapy and he is able to read slowly, especially the sports pages and stats he so loves. Balance has also slowly improved but isn't perfect; whereas he would walk 2 miles each day, Murray should now not walk alone. Driving is no more but

Murray doesn't need one of Enid's playlets or vignettes to nudge him into throwing-away the keys!


Enid too has accommodated her activities to secure more prime time together. Side by side they attend Stroke Life support group meetings, and enthusiastically involve themselves in fundraisers and social activities. Murray modestly allows his wife to "speak for me" at the meetings (which she does with her unique brand of lively humor), but when away from her on the Society's Friday beach walks, he's more forward than most in greeting passers-by.


Enid thinks Murray is incredible, "When things are nearly back to the 'new normal' there is a 'bummer' such as surgery for melanoma and basal cell to the eye and chest." Enid had five surgeries over the years and Murray was always there for her (however he was quite affected when he wasn't able to assume his usual helping role during her recent hospital emergency). Now it is her turn. "Paradoxically," she says, "Murray is always full of surprises. I never cease to be amazed at the pearls of wisdom which suddenly emanate from his lips." Stroke has brought them closer together physically and mentally so that they are observed to communicate quite admirably without talking. Enid considers Murray's post-stroke sense of humor to be far keener, "but a word of caution, he's now so honest and direct he may hurt the feelings of the unwary, which can be scary at times!


Murray was forced to forego his second love in the guise of baseball umpiring, but his first love remains by his side. As for Enid, she is still very much attached to that "cute sailor boy" she met on Rockaway Beach nearly 65 years ago.


When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.

~Author Unknown
In This Issue
Support, Support and More Support
Go West, Young Man
Fundraising's a Real Joke
Website News
Caught In The Act!
Survivor Spotlight
Featured Quote
Support Group Locations
Guest Speaker Schedule
Ongoing Beach Walk
*Meeting Cancelation*
Prayer Requests
Halloween Jokes
Featured Quote....

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly..."

               ~ Proverb



Stroke Life Support Group Meeting Locations:


Nassau County:


Hicksville, NY

Levittown, NY

New Hyde Park, NY

Plainview, NY

Seaford, NY

Wantagh, NY


Suffolk County: 


West Islip, NY 



Guest Speakers will be giving presentations on stroke related topics at our Hicksville location every second Thursday of each month at 2:30pm

William Bennet Community Center
28 Carl Street
Hicksville, NY 11801

All are Welcome!
Click here for Guest Speaker schedule and topics

 dancing smiley 

Join us every Friday for our weekly stroll on the boardwalk.

11am at Jones Beach, Field 6 



Don't forget your jacket
Don't forget your jacket!




Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.


           ~Melody Beattie




Please note there will be NO Support Meeting on Thanksgiving Day

(November 22nd)

at Plainview Hospital.


Meeting will resume in December.





Let's pray for each other.


Click here to view all prayer requests


Click here to submit your prayer request



Why don't skeletons like parties?  

They have no body to dance with.


What does a vampire fear the most?  

Tooth decay.


 What do Italians eat on Halloween?  

Fettucinni Afraid-o.


Who did Frankenstein take to the prom?  

His ghoul friend.


Why did the ghost go into the bar?  

For the Boos.


Where do ghosts go shopping?



Why carry a clock and bird on Halloween?

So you can Tick or Tweet.