As Sue Vahlberg describes it, the members of her family have spent the last few years ”redefining“ their lives because of unanticipated changes — lay-offs, illness, foreclosure, and more.
They’re redefining once again.
Vahlberg’s husband, fantasy writer and poet David Vahlberg, 57, was visiting a friend in Washington recently when he fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs. He suffered multiple injuries, broken bones, and a fractured skull.
Sue Vahlberg, also 57, said he’s healing at the Elks Rehab Hospital in Boise. He’s developed pneumonia and faces months in the Elks brain injury treatment program. He is in and out of consciousness but is able to recognize family members.
”He’s a warrior. That’s why I know he’ll get through this,“ Vahlberg said. So strong is David Vahlberg’s ”warrior“ persona among his friends that they call him ”the Viking,“ Sue Vahlberg said.
In addition to his literary work, Vahlberg has worked as a lumber grader for 30 years at Plum Creek Timber in Meridian and has a black belt in karate.
”He’s 6’6.“ When he’s not here, we notice,“ said co-worker Marianne Watson, who used to type Vahlberg’s poetry.
A Renaissance man, Vahlberg also is a deacon. A month ago he officiated at Heather Jacoob’s wedding.
”I have known Dave since I was 5 or 6. He was the father I needed when I needed one the most,“ Jacoob said. ”He did everything, from keeping me from running away, to spending his last pennies when I had a birthday.“
David and Sue Vahlberg are raising David’s granddaughter, Alyssa, 6. The last years have been challenging for the family, even before the accident.
A decade ago, shortly before the Vahlbergs’ Renaissance-style wedding, David was diagnosed with, and survived, testicular cancer. The family faced more trials when Sue got laid off from Micron. Then they lost their house to foreclosure. Sue Vahlberg has since found another job as a hospital human resources manager.
Sue Vahlberg said she’s uncertain about the family’s financial future. She’s spreading the word about David’s literary output, which includes his first book, ”A Knight of Love,“ a collection of lyric poetry.
In September, just as the Vahlbergs were moving into a rented house, David’s third book, ”Robin Hood: The Forester of Sherwood,“ came out on Amazon.
”People can help Dave through buying his work, not through charity,“ Sue Vahlberg said.
David Vahlberg completed the sequel to ”Robin Hood“ before his accident. The plot has Robin Hood suspended between worlds in an ice cave. He slowly returns to reality, recognizing his old friends along the way.
Sue Vahlberg thinks her husband will make a similar journey in the coming months.
”Dave has an uncanny way of predicting things,“ she said.
Anna Webb: 377-6431
HELP THE VAHLBERG FAMILY
Books by David Vahlberg, available on Amazon:
Æ ”A Knight of Love“ (2002)
Æ ”The Winter Stag“ (2008)
Æ ”Robin Hood: The Forester of Sherwood“ (2010)
An account has been set up at US Bank for David Vahlberg.
Donations can be made through www.caringbridge.org. Type ”davidvahlberg“ under ”Visit a Website.“
8 VAHLBERG ON AMAZONIdahoStatesman.com