From the mind of an observer, another featured guest post by my Dad, Joe Snyder.

Growing up in my family, little kids were welcomed to play board games with the adults, but they could expect no quarter from anyone at the table. Anybody of any age could sit up and play, but nobody was going to throw the game just because an opponent happened to be young, old or infirm. It was cutthroat for sure.bog1

So it was that I came to beat Erica at Boggle when she was a resident at the rehab facility and just starting to recover from NMDA encephalitis. I’m not proud of myself, okay, but after years of suffering defeat at her hands in any board game involving letters or words, I did (so help me) take this opportunity. A couple of weeks earlier when Erica had yet to turn around in her recovery, she might have feverishly chased people down the hall with that Boggle board. But now she was playing at approximately the level of a fourth-grader, making some pretty good choices again and finding complex words. After being in the hospital for four or five months, her treatments were beginning to pay off.

Seeing that she was finally coming back to us, I snatched the Boggle title before it was too late. I did play rather masterfully while she was out to lunch, I must say! “Enjoy yourself,” she told me, her humor returning as well, “because when I recover, you’ll never get another chance to beat me at Boggle.”

This disrespectful remark proved to be prophetic. Those games in the rehab lounge were my last Boggle victories against her. I hope family members of people going thru this disease take heart from this. Erica’s recovery seemed slow at the time, but seems fast now looking back on it. Over 6-12 months, she climbed steadily back from the bottom (getting her butt kicked in Boggle by the likes of me) to mastering her rehab, beginning to drive again, going back to work, and then regaining and, in many ways, improving her life from before.

I have fond memories of my brief albeit corrupt reign as Boggle Champion, when the glory was mine, all mine — bwa ha ha ha! — but also of watching Erica rebuild her life one letter and one word at a time.


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