At 9:00 am, you call me and ask me to bring a coffee. Your voice is strong – almost normal – it sounds good. Quinn knows that it’s you on the phone and practically rips the phone from my ear. “It’s snowing Daddy!” The two of you banter back and forth with crazy terms of endearment. You speak to Tara for a little while and ask us to hurry up and get to the hospital.
Quinn lost a tooth yesterday – but lost it at Granny’s house. I guess the tooth fairy is going to have to do some magic to find it.
I sense that you are a little more down today. As you sit in your chair, you talk to Steve (brother). You tell him “technically this leg and arm belong to me, so I am going to take them along with me. I may be handicapped the rest of my life.” As you talk your right foot tremors. The tremor shakes the table with your lunch. The physio people showed me how to stop it. One has to stretch the foot so that the heel is forced down and toes pointed up. This trick works well but the effects don’t last very long. I try to settle the tremor while you are on the phone.
You mention to Steve that the physio team is super sweet and great to work with. You want to find them a couple of nice bachelors for them.
When you talk to Chris from Ottawa, you mention that you want to walk. You want to walk and visit people and become the Truro version of the ‘King of Kensington’ and know everyone on the streets of Truro.
Once Juanita, Wayne and Maddie and Farley come to visit, I pop out to go see my Father. He knows of his cancer now and is starting to come to terms with it. He asks me how am I doing, and I fall apart. It’s hard holding it in all day in front of the children and you and yet still manage to be positive at all times. It’s exhausting. I have a good chat with Dad and promise that I’ll be back to visit soon.
You are showing symptoms of a possible UTI again. Andrew is going to let the doctor know in the morning.
We get you settled in bed so you can watch a Dallas Cowboys football game. You seem Ok at the time but I think you are on the edge.
I call you just as I’m getting the children into bed. I had thought a bedtime goodnight might be good, but you were feeling overwhelmed with sadness. You expressed concern that you are not worthy of the attention you need. I assure you that you are worthy, You are worthy of everything good that has happened since your stroke day.
You don’t believe in yourself. I tell you that we all believe in you and that there are many others who believe in you too. “We can’t all be wrong. You are capable of over coming this.” I remind you again of the progress you made so far.
I appeal to your strong sense of fatherhood. “There are two little people who need you and they are counting on you. They have believed in you right from the beginning. Please, don’t let them down. They deserve to have their Daddy and you deserve to be their Daddy. There is no one in the world who can do the job of Daddy for them like you can. This is going to be hard, but you have no choice. You have to start believing in yourself.”
Ironically, yesterday at the staff party, the staff got together and gave me a gift. It included a frame of a word the word was ‘BELIEVE’. When I was cleaning up this morning, I thought this is a word that you need to see and feel. There are so many things that the word believe pertain to. We need to believe that you can get better, believe in the health care team and their expertise, believe in the process of healing and most importantly – you must believe in yourself. I showed you the plaque this morning and I put it up in the window where you can see it from your bed.
You seem to settle after this talk. But I’m worried where these feelings are going to lead. I worry that this may spiral out of control. I can’t help but worry when I see that you don’t believe in yourself. I tell you “I’ll stop worrying about you when you start to believe in yourself.” I said.
Later in the evening, I called Martha and talked to her about your sadness. Since she lives west of us, the time change makes evening calls easier for her. I suggest that she and other Ottawa friends could call during the ‘witching hour’, as Martha refers to it. The time of day when one’s resolve to hold things together weakens and strong feelings take over.
Martha gives me a pep talk and acts as a sounding board to my worries and becomes the voice of reason. It seems my life is dominated by pep talks lately. I give them to you. Others give them to me. You give them to the children and I give them to my father. With all of this motivational speaking going on, you would think something really good is going to happen.
I realize that there is a key difference between the sadness that you are experiencing now and the signs of depression that I know of. You are not withdrawn. You are the opposite. You are trying very hard to reach out of a life saver. Today, you made several phone calls, sadly most of the people you called weren’t home. I hope this experience doesn’t teach you not to reach out