You are in a sour mood still. You want to smoke and you don’t want to take your pills. You don’t want to go to church. You just want to die.
I understand that this mood is a result for your lack of ability to make choices, even simple choices. My instinct is to keep pushing the logic behind getting up and taking your medication. I go against my instincts and back off. I should know this by now. Logic has no place in an injured brain … especially a brain with a right-sided injury. I need to communicate with feelings because that is what you think with.
Last night, Tara made me acutely aware that your health and attitude are constant concerns for her. I try to get you to look at your health from the children’s prospective. Although you said that you felt like I was parenting you, it still worked. The next thing I know, you are letting me tame your beard into a manageable shape and pick out clothes for church.
As we load into the car, I almost forgot to pack the wheelchair. “Forget it” you said. “I’ll want to walk into the church.” I suggest parking close to the door to let you out and the park the car elsewhere. “Nope, park here on the street and I’ll walk.” You did it. You walked down the street at a slow but steady pace and into the church.
Your stubborn determination made it happen and made my spirits soar.
As we look for a spot to sit, you start talking to a congregation member. While you stand there talking, applause starts from the choir section and spreads quickly to the whole room ... you are too busy talking to acknowledge the applause. You are an inspiration to the congregation. A loved inspiration.
Tara and Quinn notice – their spirits soar too.
Transformation is the topic of today’s sermon. This, of course, can be viewed in many ways but it seems very fitting to you. A metaphor of swinging from trapeze bar to trapeze bar was made to explain how transformation is both scary but exhilarating. If you don’t take a risk, transformation will not happen.
You have a big transformation to make. Many trapeze bars and many risks but the results will be worth it.
After church you talk with many of the congregation. You tell them that they are your heros. Rod Carew may have been one of your first un-related heros, but he is not your only hero. We all need heros …Today, you were surrounded by them.
Most of your heros don’t realize it, but they have super human strength and they unselfishly share their strength with you. Going to the church today was an antidote to your desire for self-destruction. Being around people you love and who love you makes a big difference.
When we get home, Tara is overwhelmed with sadness. She is angry and tired (not much sleep last night) and hungry. You kick into Dad mode while I get some food ready. By the time I have lunch on the table, you, Daddy the super hero, shared your strength with her. She was better.
You feel that you were ‘reborn’ to experience new life lessons and learn how to be a more ‘productive’ person. You are starting to explore ideas of things you can do once you get home. Everyone needs a passion to fulfill. Woodworking was one of your outlets, before the stroke. You think that with a vise, you could still carve with you right hand.(With a vice you may crave instead)
You can’t see how you would be able to use the shop we built a year and a half ago. Right now it sits with tons of equipment haphazardly piled in the building. It was going to be a great shop with a little organization. We had tossed about ideas. Ideas like, letting my brother, Bill, use it if he moves home. Today, You thought that you could loan it out to people who need access to the large variety of equipment that you have. “Why not make it a community workshop for the causal wood worker?”
This afternoon, Tara had her first audition. It’s for a summer theatre musical. She is very excited about being involved in the production ‘Suessical’. She practiced her song several times for us. Each time, fine tuning her performance of ‘Take me out to the Ball Game’. She sounded good and confident. As she waited for her name to be called, she didn’t want us to be there to support her. “Let her show her independence.” Helen, the lady at the sign in desk said. Oh Boy that’s hard. She is our baby, I’m not ready for her independence yet.
Thank God, independence happens in stages. After being a brain washed parent for ten years, I’m not ready yet to give up the notion that my children will grow up and not need us so much.
There has been a lot of discussion about a tattoo this weekend. You want a tattoo. A tattoo on your left arm. You have tossed about various ideas but the one that has stuck is a unicorn. You want a unicorn with your time at the Boston Marathon last year, 3:22:45. “Why a unicorn?” I ask. “That’s the logo of the Boston Marathon.” is your simple reply.
I was a little disappointed, I was expecting something with a little deeper meaning. Something like, ‘because a unicorn is magical and only exists if you believe.’ That works for me because so much of your recovery hinges on the principle of belief. If you believe that good things will happen … then they will.
Next week, I promise we can look at getting a tattoo.