Apr 3, 2013 12:06pm

This weekend we saw my brother Dominic off at the airport, for his flight home to Australia. He had been my coach, companion and strategist for 5 weeks and had helped me through a difficult transition period with his trademark humor and wisdom. I was very happy to send him back to his family and yet I am not ashamed to say that I cried like a child to see him go. I don’t get to see my family very often, and Dom, being a homebody, is probably the one I’ve seen the least over the years.

It is undeniable that Dom left me much stronger than he found me, as did Jo and Rob; the other brothers who’ve helped me through this sorry adventure so far. Each time another Baker brother shows up it’s a bit like getting a new Doctor Who; they are similar but vastly different in their way of doing things. I love each of them, and feel sorry to have them leave.

My progress through this disaster has been slow but I could not have gotten this far without the help of my family. We are separated by vast distances, and carry the scars from our share of family tragedies, but as a unit my family is surprisingly strong.

Ironically, my stroke is probably a consequence of my heredity (there have been strokes on both sides of the family tree) but my family will be a big part of how I get through this too. I still have some huge obstacles to overcome; physical, emotional, financial and bureaucratic, but I am so grateful that my family has been with me, so I do not face these daunting tasks alone.

14 thoughts on “Family”

  1. Dear Wonderous Jamie…
    Every time I go to this site, my eyes leak…You are so amazing!
    I love you so much…It hurts,Crozza
    — susan crossley, April 3, 2013

  2. Keep up your work Jamie. It is a difficult path, but you have what it takes to conquer it. You are blessed to have such a caring family, and it is a pleasure to hear about them.
    I am hoping for a brighter day each day for you.

    — Lou Toft, April 3, 2013

  3. I love you Jamie.
    No fart jokes. No poo stories. No swearing this time. Just love.
    — John Stevenson, April 3, 2013

  4. We’re all happy that you’ve got people like Julia and your family to take such good care of you during all of this. Big thumbs up to you all!
    — Anson Jew, April 3, 2013

  5. Jamie,
    Hope you’re getting better by the day, would love to visit if you are willing. -Fulpy
    — David Fulp, April 3, 2013

  6. Congrats on your first standing pee! (I’m still working on that one.)

    xox, i.
    — Isabel Samaras, April 3, 2013

  7. My strategy for your recovery (it is all about me, no?) is to regale you with stories. We just got back from Rio – amazing despite the very real possibility of kidnapping, armed robbery, assault, etc. Nothing like a little danger to heighten one’s vacation experience. In any case, really spectacular scenery – I don’t think I have seen a more visually appealing setting – fabulous wealth sandwiched between dire poverty – you have to wonder that those rich Brazilians don’t tire of the heart break around them. Nothing that a little sun, sand and alcohol of the tropical variety won’t cure. The city is “preparing” for next year’s World Cup and of course the 2016 Olympics – if the new airport terminal is any indication of best laid plans, well, there are just 2 bathrooms for all international flights, and half the stalls and lights are already broken. Still the city has a falling down, colonial charm, but I am very, very back to be back and safe in one piece.

    Alright friend, sending good thoughts. I am going to meet Colossal folk – Anne Ashby, Dave Wise and George Consagra, at the Ashland Film Festival where a film I edited plays. Kisses, beth
    — Beth Segal, April 3, 2013

  8. Hi there James,you sure have a wonderfully loving, caring and supportive family there. I would think that they are loving, caring and supportive not only because that’s the way they are and because of your situation, but because you are loveable, caring and supportive and you are worth every bit of it. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? I would also think that your mum parting your lives as early as she did, helped build all that strength, compassion and courage that you all share, that and the continuing love and support from your dad. What a gift. How blessed to be a part of such a family. You see their love and strength and compassion because they are a reflection of you.
    It feels that after all this, there is nothing you cannot do.Keep up all the great work you’re doing. Keep walking. Keep moving forward.
    It sounds like Strokes are very much in your family, but it needn’t define you, rather serve as a woomera to help you find new directions and new strengths and pathways you may not have ever had the chance to discover had you not gone through this.Perhaps this is where you are finding out that your path is not what you thought it might be, but so much more.Hard work yes, but worth it? very much so.Good on you James and keep going.Your wonderful family, extended family and a world full of friends are all by your side every slow and deliberate step of the way….and for myself, I can say that every time I read about you and your steps forward, I feel I also move a little further forward too. Thank you so much for that.
    ….with love.xoxoooo

    — Janine Dawson, April 4, 2013

  9. Hey Jamie,
    We think about you everyday, working hard at bringing the mind and body together again, don’t ever give up.Chris and i are both sitting here nursing headaches, we’ve spent a full day at Screen Australia assessing short animation film projects(they asked us to be consultants…) PLEASE WRITE FOR AUSTRALIAN ANIMATION DIRECTORS. YOU ARE AUSTRALIAN YOU QUALIFY!!!!! They need your writing skills desperately. Seriously, think about it.

    All our love and sunshine
    Lisa, Chris and the kidsxxxBIG HI to the lovely Juliaxxx
    — Lisa Hauge, April 4, 2013

  10. Hi Jamie,
    We think about you daily whilst freezing our collective tits off in the UK. It appears that the ice age is swinging back around faster than anticipated, but your updates and progress help to warm us up.

    Happy to hear that the stand up pee magic is beginning to manifest itself, so bravo. I have to keep practicing myself, if that helps. It seems that as I grow older I not only have less aiming ability, but now have the added Alan Partridge squeeze requirement to contend with, so, joy there.

    It’s strange. One of the strongest images I have in my head of you is from the party a few of us went to in Marin, for Delia and Amy’s collective 40th (I think – again, memory and aging don’t mix so well). You had bleached your hair blond, were dressed as a slimeball wall street mid-life-crises case, with a generous helping of (allegedly) talcum powder thrown over your face for that coked up vibe. I think I almost wet myself when I saw you, but again, that could be down to the age and bladder struggle. Regardless of the extremity of this image, you have always made us smile, and reading your updates I see that hasn’t changed. As you said, you are still you.

    We’re sending much love and strength your way. Keep fighting, keep writing, and stay positive my friend. Love Steve, Larissa & Zadie x
    — Steve Aplin, April 4, 2013

  11. i agree with stevo. no body orifice sarcasm here to obscure the true feeling that susan and i think you’re f**cking amazing for fighting the good fight. we can’t wait to come visit – we’re thinking sometime this summer. love ya man

    — david gordon, April 8, 2013

  12. Jamie,
    I am so glad that you have so many people to help you deal with this.
    — Brian McDonald, April 10, 2013

  13. JAMIE!!!We are an army of your loved ones out here.I speak for myself first of course, but what I am thinking now must be what many of your friends are thinking…..
    I will pay you cold hard cash for your ideas for short films.I will pay you cold hard cash for limericks and poems.I will pay you cold hard cash for kids’ books stories, no matter how short or for what age.
    And lastly, (don’t be cross or shy please), I will happily give you some cash that you never have to pay back ever!!!What has hit you, can hit all of us equally.I won’t be able to pay off your entire debt…..but hey, a few thousand dollars would be totally cool.Imagine a whole pile of us generous-loving-decent-willing-to-help- friends pitching in!!!! It will be very groovy!!
    Put your bank account details in an email or in the next missive and let’s get you feeling better bank account- wise!!Your physical healing is more the priority and you need all your energy for that!!
    Big loving hugsPhil and Lisa
    — Philip Vallentin, April 13, 2013


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