Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friday January 29 - Recharge and Re-focus

What has amazed me about this journey to date is how timely things are. The timing of so many aspects of your stroke has been good. By having the stroke in August meant you got to come home for Christmas, You get into rehab and get settled by the time I go back to work full time. Visits from family and friends have been well timed to help you in your recovery.

The school got cancelled part way through the day. I picked Tara and Quinn early from Karen’s house. We talk about your progress and the gut feeling crystal ball prognosis given to us. Talking it out helped me realize that I have to live in two camps at the same time. I need to look at the present as the reality of the day. Nothing is going to change your condition substantially in the short term. I must live there and plan for it and live with it. At the same time, I must keep my eyes open and on the horizon to look for the possibilities of the future. This is going to be an acquired skill. I am starting to practice today. This is what will maintain my sanity.

Two of your roommates are going home this week. You have a new roommate today. You get to show the ropes to him. You are not the new kid on the block anymore. Maybe by caring for someone else, you can expand beyond your self-pity.

Yesterday I got a card to thank the Millbrook Youth Group for their generous donation that they gave us at Christmas time. You composed a message to write in the card. We had decided that a copy of the movie ‘Pay it Forward’ would represent a small token of our gratitude. In the card you wrote: “It always amazes me to see the depth of generosity in this world we live in, when we strive to care more for others than ourselves. Thank you guys for your incredible depth of caring. Keep Paying it forward! Chris.”

There is nothing wrong with your ability to put words together. I would had to look up to see if ‘than’ is than or then. I’ve always had trouble with that word.

Martha, your best friend from Ottawa, came today for the weekend. Her visit is perfectly timed. She has a calm and levelheaded way about her. She can help you through this time. I am nearly exhausted trying to keep you up emotionally so you can come to terms with your short-term future. I try to hide my fears and worries from you, but I’m not good at it and you are very perceptive. You can read me like a billboard sign. I worry that my feelings are going to drag you down. I need a little break from being your primary cheerleader. I need to recharge and refocus.

We get home just before dark. I started to shovel out the driveway. I had just got a thin strip just wide enough to accommodate the Honda, when a neighbor drove home and saw me. The next thing I know, he is riding down the street on his four-wheeler with a plow on the front and a scrapper on the back. In minutes, my knight in shining armor had the entire driveway done. “We have a snow fairy” I tell the children.

Slowly the children and I reclaim the house back from Christmas. This is a record. I have always been slow to move away from Christmas mode other years. This year the reason for being slow is different. It isn’t that I’m too busy, although I am busy, or that I’m too lazy, sometimes I’m that too. The reason that I have been slow this year to move on from Christmas is because Christmas represented a cherished family time and a time where I still had a strong feeling of potential recovery for you – I didn’t want to let go of that feeling.

I’m ready to let go now. Not because I don’t see potential for more recovery but because I can see the next step to that potential. As with most things in my life, if I can see it, I can work at making it happen. I just need to recharge and re-focus on the next step.

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