We are at the pool.
A couple of days ago I told Chico I'd pretty much stopped blogging-as if he didn't know. Maybe it's time I said. I was surprised by his response.
"Really? Just like that? You are stopping? Don't you think you should kind of ease out of it or let people know or something?" I didn't want to say that there really isn't any news anymore because as soon as the thought formed, I realized how much news there is every day with him. So what is it?
"Well, I don't know. Maybe I just have been negligent. It feels indulgent....Anyway, people don't read it anymore."
"Yes they do! I just got a text yesterday congratulating me on walking...It's important...Maybe you should just phase it into something else, some other topic merged in."
"Who? Who is texting you about blog news?" and so on. So, here we go.
This year we have lots of Snow Angels. Corny as it sounds, I couldn't help thinking that as I shoveled very little of the ten or so inches of fresh, wet, heavy snow that we got over the last 30 hours. Actually, the wet stuff had been moved by the SAs but then the weather got cold and it snowed some more so I got to move about 4-6 inches. Our Snow Angels are Kit, Bobby, John, Gary, Reinhold and Edgar and probably others...Maybe even strangers. Thank you.
I like shoveling ok. For one thing, it is a defined, discrete task. Even when it just keeps snowing, as it has this winter, I feel like I've gotten something taken care of when I shovel out the driveway. I like the feeling of completion. It's concrete rather than conceptual, this task. Well sometimes I make it conceptual but it doesn't have to be. It just has to be done. At any rate, it has been luxurious to have assistance with the chore of it from time to time.
We returned the wheel chair to The Medicine Chest today. Chico hasn't used it in a couple of weeks. He doesn't use the walker anymore either. He is sometimes resistant to using crutches too. He uses one, or both outside the house but often only one or none in the house. The walking is painful and slow but the progress is steady. The people at the medical supply store seemed happy to finally meet him. I guess they'd gotten used to my comings and goings. I'd thought I was anonymous. Chico needed a new (smaller) brace and a few other things. It was a uniquely attentive staff on this shopping excursion. Twice I heard the young attendant say, "I remember I brought the stuff to your house. That one on the corner. I remember your face."
"Yeah, October 8th."
"Long time ago. He looks good. Hurts to walk, huh? Reminds me of when I got my ACL fixed. Then I whacked out my hip, and my back got crooked. You have to to walk. You compensate to protect. You let the strong leg do more. You twist around. Then you do all this work to realign after. He's doing...has to do that. It's good." Seems so.
Tuesday we went to Chico's GP, in Burlington. This doctor and his nurse have had countless conversations with Chico and with me since August 20th-usually when we are in a panic of one form or other. Now it was time for a full check up and an exploration of some side effects we are seeing-sores, bulbous masses, bruises. These guys-I don't know if they'd spent the morning steeling themselves for the worst but they were so obviously pleased with the state of Chico's recovery. They could not believe his mobility, his strength, good spirits, and general health. We left elated. They really care about him, and know where he's been and what it has taken (must've taken, from their viewpoint) to come this far.
Chico has reinvented himself to no small degree. [He's jogging in the pool right now. Looks excruciating. But he's doing it.] The hard workouts aren't new. The ability to endure and enjoy the focus people place on him which includes the appreciation of his experience and the participation in his recovery (blog readers, friends, neighbors, new acquaintences)...the appreciation of his joy, and his challenges. The way he lets people in is lovely to witness.
Now we know kindness. Now we know generosity. Now we know gratitude, again.