It was a late morning this morning. The children were hard to get out of bed and I found it hard to get going too. It’s the weather I think. Last week seemed surreal with the great weather now a gray wet day seems disappointing. We walk to the school knowing that ‘late slips’ are a given. Tara tells us about the best dream she ever had. You were in it of course. No wonder she did not want to wake up. “I want Daddy to come home … I miss him.” She says.
I notice that the crocuses are coming up that Paula planted in the garden last fall. When the bulbs had arrived in the mail, I was in a frenzy. I felt overwhelmed. Everything seemed out of control and just as I was starting to think I couldn’t do any more things, the bulb order that I made before your stroke came in the mail. I couldn’t imagine when I’d find time to plant the bulbs. Then Paula, a fellow parent from the school, offered to do some gardening for me. Now the fruits for her labours are emerging through the soil and will be blooming within the month!
I find it so exciting and comforting to see a plant make it through the winter. When I see the crocuses emerge through the soil, I think about the miracle of life and it gives me hope.
On the walk to work, Annie and I got behind a smoker. The smell made me gag. How could I not notice that you smoked? The smell is so strong. Maybe I am just extra sensitive to it now since your confession and my subconscious amplifies the smell.
A long-term client, Margo, brought in her new puppy today. She and her husband have always been cat people. Margo lost her husband, Gordie, a few years ago. Now she still has cats but she has also gone to the dogs.
Gordie had a stroke too. He survived the stroke only to be taken by cancer a few years later. She shares with me her experiences. “Cherish the memories that you had before the stroke. They were a gift and now you have a new gift. A gift of a second chance.”
Your PT was sick today. She had come to work but you told her that she should go home and look after herself first so that she would be able to help you and other patients later. After your session with her she went home. You want to get her a special present for your graduation day from the NSRC. “Devil sticks!” You exclaim. “I want to get her devil sticks.” Your PT seemed to really enjoy playing with Quinn’s devil sticks last week.
We had gotten the devil sticks in Newfoundland last summer. Erik had taught the children the basics of the craft and Quinn has been perfecting and experimenting with them ever since. Your PT seemed fascinated with them. She started twirling the flower stick right away like she had been doing it all her life. I think she must have been a majorette in a past life.
Devil sticks would the perfect present for her.
You sound good tonight. You seem strong and positive about the future. I love talking to you when you are like this. Your strength is contagious. When I called Fran shortly afterwards and Luiz answered. He said “Your voice sounds strong and good.” I guess that your strength is contagious.
When you have a good day … my day is great.
I am falling for you all over again. Where have you been for the last few years. I had lost track of the great guy that you are. This stroke has brought you back to me. Your positive energy is spilling over to the future. “I want to work on who I am now and get better.” You said. “I need to find myself and my place in our family when I get home.”
You had a dog visitor today. A Lab. He was a nice dog and you enjoyed seeing him.
Whenever you met a new dog, your first gesture to make friends with the dog was to put your two hands together and make a squeaky noise with the palms of your hands pushing together. This seemed to always interest the dog and fast tracked your friendship with any canine.
You can’t make those sounds anymore. “I need two hands to make the sound.” But rather then dwell on it, you simply say. “We should get another dog. One that I can train.”
We talk about the spring and summer that we are looking forward to. The Cabot Trail Relay is on the last weekend of May. We are all very excited about going to Cape Breton or ‘Cate Brookin’ … as the children used to call it. Probably because we would always visit our friends Kate and Brook and their family. This year Annie will get to visit with her sister and two brothers and her mother. It will be a great time.
As we talk about this I realize that Tara’s dance recital is on the same weekend. “Oh no” I gasp. “How am I going to tell Tara?” You jump right into parent damage control mode. “Let her know and let her make the decision of what to do. I know if she is prepared for the choice, she will decide that she would rather see her special friend, Linnaea, more then dance at the recital.” I know that you are right. Your parenting intuition is right on.
Tonight Quinn and I put up the last handrail to your room. Now the whole house is assessable to you. Tomorrow, I am going to get a bath bench, shower attachment and install small posts in the bathrooms by the toilets to make getting seated on the toilet a little easier. Then, all we need to make is a hand rail to the garage and all the significantly big things will be done.
At bedtime Quinn started the counting again. Counting to the weekend. Three days. Counting to Easter. Twelve Days. Counting to the days until you come home. Thirty days. And finally counting to his birthday. Forty-six days. I think this is his newest stalling tactic to prevent an early lights out.
Tara decides to compose a song for your. As she lay in her bed, she hummed a tune while searching of the right words in her head. This song is for you and she wants to call it ‘Together Forever’.
Paula planted bulbs last fall and they will bloom soon. HOPE. Last fall, I planted my love and time with you and it is starting to bloom too. More HOPE.