Over the years, I’ve had many readers tell me how much they liked the columns and articles I’ve written for the Landmark. I’ve appreciated every single one of those compliments, and will always do so.

There was a time, on March 28, when I feared I might never write again, when the course of my life was changed by a brutal robbery attack. While recuperating from this, I received several well wishes from friends and readers of my work, in the forms of cards, e-mailed messages, and in person.

I found it impossible to keep track of all the wonderful people who hailed me on the street, or in stores, wanting to talk with me. But I’ve saved every single card and e-mail, and some I’d like to share with you.

But before I do that, I think an update is in order. The inner part of my nose was operated on, on April 12. The next day, the plastic surgeon, Dr. John Bulger of Hinsdale, examined the results of the operation, and pronounced everything going well.

As I said, the interior of my nose was changed around some, but you couldn’t tell I even had an operation, looking at it from the outside. Two weeks later, the doctor said things were looking even better than he expected. I can breathe fine out of my nose, now.

I still get a minor pain or two in my right side, but that hardly ever happens anymore. Every week that passes, the twinges fade more and more. The small scar to the right, above my right eye is healing rapidly. So now you know how I am, at present.

What did keep me cheerful were the kind comments I received. Ed Ackerman, of the Brookfield Fire Department, and a good friend, sent a nautical “Get Well Wish” card, and wrote that “I was really shocked to hear about your horrific encounter in LaGrange. I hope that your recovery is going well and that you will be back in the ‘swing of things’ real soon.”

Thanks, Ed. The sooner the better.

A “To Wish You Well” card, saying inside, “Our thoughts are with you for a complete and speedy recovery” was sent by my “faithful readers?”Richard and Ele Billik.”

Thanks to you both. I’m always glad to hear that you like my work.

Dick Dolezal, a longtime reader, sent a card with a letter inside. He speaks of how “our old neighborhood has changed in many ways,” and how values aren’t the same anymore. “Hang in there and get well soon. Keep up the good work.”

Thanks, Dick, I’ll do my best.

Evelyn and Mike Theis, who liked my bike trail articles last year, did more than wish me well. Their compliments truly warmed my heart.

“Words could never tell you how much we care. Your good heart and kindness shows through in your wonderful words in the Brookfield Landmark. We hope to see you again on the bike trail soon!”

Thanks, I’m working on that. I hope to see you, too.

Mr. and Mrs. Greg Fleishman surprised me with their grand card, enrolling me in the “Lourdes Prayer League,” remembering me “in Masses celebrated each month at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, and each day at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois.”

Thank you so much! I truly appreciate every prayer bestowed upon me.

Brookfield Village Trustee, Cathy Edwards, sent a card with a picture of a cat hanging on a treelimb, and the printed message was “Hang in there!”

She also wrote that “it’s a real shame that you had to suffer at the hands of such a jerk! My thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery.”

Thanks, Cathy, but I, personally, have thought of many more accurate things to call that guy. But “jerk” will do, for a start. Where’s my thesaurus?

Peg Blasage of the Brookfield Historical Society said I was looking “pretty good” by April 8, when I saw her. True, my puffy eye had healed, and my split lip was in good shape. “I’m so glad you’re okay?”rest up, will you?” Yes, Peg, I’ve been resting up. A lot. That’s why I need to get out on the bike more.

The last card I received was from fellow columnist, and current candidate for governor of the State of Illinois, Judy Baar Topinka. It was an official Illinois State Treasurer note card. Wouldn’t you think that a get well card from the state treasurer would have a little money in it? Oh, well. At least now I know Judy reads some of my articles and columns. Well, I hope she does, anyway. I always read hers. Fair is fair, right?

Paul and Penelope Straka sent me a complimentary letter, hoping for my “complete and speedy recovery, as he is truly a respected person and revered in our community.” Respected? Revered? Me? Aw, shucks. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that the Strakas knew me so very well. They are truly perceptive.

I received a great e-mail from Becky Davis, who has lived in Brookfield all her life, and hoped I was better, and “think[s] it is so cool I know so much about Brookfield.”

Thanks, Becky!

Another one came from Amanda and Bill Curry, of Brookfield, saying that “even the kids were shocked that someone would beat up ‘that nice Mr. Stach who rides his bike everywhere.’ Obviously, the perp didn’t know [he] was assaulting a world famous journalist. Otherwise, he would have simply asked for an autographed glossy that would have fetched more on eBay than the few paltry bucks you involuntarily surrendered. We all hope you’re restored to full health soon!”

Thanks, everyone! Your compliments and good wishes have truly helped me feel better. And now back to work (groan).