Early this morning I was half dreaming and for the first time, I was thinking about the ‘what if’ game. What if we had got to you sooner on your stroke day. What if, I was there when you felt odd and took you to the hospital right away, would your injuries be as bad as they are now.
It seems crazy that I’m playing the ‘what if’ game now after 3 months. Immediately after your surgery, I played a version of the ‘what if’ game. But this version had a different twist. That ‘what if’ game involved thoughts like: what if you were found too late and you aspirated, what if you hadn’t donated your organs, what if you were in the shower when it happened. At the time I felt lucky. I felt gratitude.
I concentrated on how much worse the situation would have been. Not how much better it could have been. Because, at the time, the only alternative scenario, was for you to die. Living, even with deficits, was infinitely better then dying.
Now, I am playing the ‘what if’ game again. I am playing it with an alternate scenario of a full and speedy recovery. I don’t like this game but my mind is doing it anyway. As a result, I feel less gratitude.
This change in perspective bothers me. Why do I feel less gratitude? Is this part of my grief. Maybe it’s anger. Maybe I’m bargaining. I do not like this feeling. I do not like these thoughts.
In an odd way, I worry that these thoughts will somehow jinx your progress. I want to hide my thoughts from you until you are ready for them. I don’t want you to dwell on the negative, because your attitude is instrumental to your recovery. I don’t want your attitude ambushed.
The dietician has been consulted about your diet to see if tweaking your night feeding will help your gut motility. She wants to keep track of your intake for the next few days and if it is adequate, she will change how you get your nighttime feedings.
Today you had a special visitor. Richard (fellow runner and Tidal Boar teammate – the ‘Iceman’) came to the hospital to see you and show you the Olympic torch that he carried last night in the relay through Truro. The two of you caused quite a stir. Pictures were taken for the hospital newsletter. It sounds like it was a good moment … I wish I was there but I was at work.
While I was at work, I got a call from Tara’s teacher at school. Today, one of Tara’s classmates brought in a CD with photos that their grade 1 teacher had taken. He wanted to show the class how everyone had changed in 3 years. It was a good exercise. The slide show was good. Tara said it was interesting to see how friends were growing up. It was interesting … until a photo came up with you in it. You were volunteering with the class when the camera caught you helping the children.
This caught Tara off-guard. She started to weep at the sight of you. Her teacher took her aside and asked what was the matter. Tara explained that she is worried that you may never be able to do things like that anymore and she is worried about how you will be a Dad again. She is scared.
I talk to her about it before bed. She seems better now. Back in control – ‘Tara- Control’. I make a note to talk to you tomorrow about it.
Today seems like one big race. Most Mondays and Wednesdays seem this way. It’s a race from the moment the clock goes off in the morning. We have the rush to get to school and work. I have the get though work in a timely fashion so Annie and I can walk home and pick up the car and pick up Tara from ballet then I have to pick up Quinn from gymnastics. Then, it’s a race to eat dinner and do homework and get to bed.
There seems to be no time for a hiccup in the day. This pace is tiring. I am looking forward to a break, from all the activities the children do, at Christmas time. Of course, we still have to get past the Christmas concerts and special Christmas activities between now and then.
A break would be nice. Whether it will really be a break, remains to be seen. Perhaps I would prefer the normalcy of a routine then the spontaneity of change.
The race continues.