Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday March 21 – Walking in Church

We all slept in! A sleepy Sunday! We planned on going to church this morning and as usual, you want to be there early. You want to get there an hour early! So I started the day rushing from task to task. I get you set up to shave yourself while I have a shower. When I get finished you had done a beautiful job with the week’s growth of hair on the right side of your face but the left was almost untouched. I attempted to shave the left side. We were down to one blade that didn’t appreciate the job I was asking it to do … it tried to plow through the week’s worth of hair. Needless, to say, the left side was looking a little raw, by the time I got finished with it.

I think that shaving could become a combined effort between you and Quinn. Some day he will have to shave. He is very fortunate to have a practice face that doesn’t have great sensation to hone his skills on. When I share this thought with you, you weren’t too thrilled.

As you finish off your bathroom stuff, I play a CD on the computer that Anne sent you. She and a group of musician friends, who she plays with recorded some songs. She thought that one song in particular would touch your heart. She was right. ‘Carrin’ On’ – brings you to tears. I print the words and you weep and ask me to play it again and again.

We get to the church with 15 minutes to spare. I am honestly impressed. You think we could do better next time. You brought along with you Anne’s CD to be played in the church some day during an offering. You want to share the gift of music with other people who you love.

Jay’s sermon today was ‘What is Your Name?’. It was a very appropriate sermon to hear. He discussed how we are named by our world around us. Sometimes we let these names define us rather then allowing us to define a name. We don’t name ourselves. You have been struggling with your identity and how you see yourself and others see you. Your most recent struggle is ‘Stroke survivor’ rather then ‘Stroke victim’.

After the church service you reconnect with many people from the church. You feel good. This is your home. You exchange greetings, well wishes and hugs. You want to show off what you can do. So, for a few of the congregation who lingered behind, you show them what you have learned at the NSRC. The PT’s words – “no recreational walking” - did pass through my mind but I figured what’s the harm, let’s try. You did. You walked a good 15 feet before seating down. They were all impressed. After you showed off you new skills, I circulated the pledge sheet for the March of Dimes. You got your first sponsors.

Later in the afternoon, you start to consider what you would want for a tattoo. “What about ‘The path of least resistance’ tattooed on my left arm?” You ask me. “You gotta do better then that!” I reply. I can think of so many great inspiring and thought provoking tattoos, but I don’t want my thoughts invade your thoughts. This is your idea, You need to run with it ... after all it is your left arm.

Chris G came to visit in the afternoon. The two of you talked about what you can do after Chris retires in June. He is interested in model planes. This is a passion you had many years ago. You even have a half-finished plane in the basement of the church. You think that your plane building and flying days are over – you need two hands to flight a model plane. You are more interested in model trains.

I think the two of you could pass many happy hours talking about planes and trains. Sounds like the two of you could have a happy marriage.

On the drive back to Hailfax, You are distressed. You want to be home for the children. I think this is an excellent example of your parenting instinct coming back. You say that if you aren’t home Quinn will miss bedtime stories. You won’t be here tonight but you will be here for the rest of Quinn’s childhood. To be present for emotional support and mental stimulation for the children is the real part of parenting. This was wonderful sight to see you reading to Quinn last night.

On the drive to the NSRC, we cruise by the new building across the road. It is going to be a research facility with the Brain Repair Center there. This is Dr Mendez’s baby. It is well placed. From your room window, you can look out at the building and watch the progress. I have noticed a lot of progress in just the last six weeks. When you first came to the NSRC, I thought it was going to be a parking garage because it had that open concrete look. Now windows have filled in the spaces and it is taking on the appearance of a high tech building. This building represents my future hope for your recovery. Brain Repair with stem cells.

On the drive home, I reflect on your first weekend home. You played all the important roles this weekend. Husband, father, friend to Donald, Marsha and Chris and to your extended family at the church. I think that this time spent with family and friends must have a healing effect.

There are still many more things to do to get the house ready for you. The overall disorganization at home is very noticeable this weekend. I finally had time to appreciate the clutter. I missed the annual fall purge and the pre-Christmas kid stuff purge and now it’s almost spring and time to purge again.

Spending more time at home enables me to see this clutter and it is starting to get to me. I want to get a handle on it before you get home. As things are right now, it is not wheelchair friendly or a safe walking environment. I know that Tara will give me resistance … she is such a collector. An organized collector. I will have to find the right motivation for her to purge. Thankfully, Quinn will be a little easier to convince. He would do anything to get you home. I start the process by making a purging plan.

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