Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tuesday Notes

When I called you this morning, I was surprised by the clarity of your conversation. You were really joyful and full of expectation, I heard the exuberance of someone who is getting ready for a graduation prom. You graduation from this hospital is tomorrow.

Then, I found you resting when I arrived in the afternoon. I went for my appointment with the social worker while you stayed in your room. You have two new neighbours, two oriental grandmas. I asked you what did you feel when you saw several of your previous roommates leaving and you stayed behind. You said that you had a feeling of dissapoinment of not healing fast enough so you could also leave. However, you realize the challenge that aphasia represents; you now well the frustration of not being able to communicate and the resulting loneliness and depression that can develop within these walls of limited expression. On the other hand, you also recognize the many friends that faithfully have continued coming to visit you. They have been very important in this struggle, and they will continue to be so.

We had dinner together by your bedside. You tasted my food, I tasted yours. It was a warm feeling of familiarity in a strange place. I have come to see this as a normal occurrence. It's been 110 days, almost four months since the last time you and I had dinner together at home. You felt nostalgic for those days and the sense of normalcy that has become a distant memory. While we ate, the other visitors and their relatives in the hospital also shared their meals. It was like being in a park sharing space with other people, all respecting the little privacy each can have and sharing the same feeling of gratitude mixed with the sadness that illness brings into our lives.

You helped me move to the car your plants and the extra clothes you had in your drawers. Everyone who saw you was ready to tell you farewell with a smile, then you corrected them by telling them that your last day is tomorrow. You were carrying your cloth bag and walking by yourself, while I was carrying several plants. You have progressed in your walking so much! I asked you what were you expecting the future, you said you wanted the functions of your R hand back as well as sight in the R eye. You are aware that your determination to "find" these functions in your brain are crucial, as well as you faith in the many words you have received that "all that is your will be restored"

I was very moved when I showed you the guest book where many people wrote messages for you. Tears were welling in your eyes when you read some of the messages. This is the first time you register in your memory these words, you had heard them before, but could not remember or understand them. You felt embraced and loved by the many who wrote some words in this book. For an instant, we felt back in the communities to which we belong.

You said you were ready to go home -and anxious because of the change-, a smaller paradox compared to what you have faced in the past few months. After the hygiene routine you got into bed and with a kiss, I left. There was an overwhelming sense of love and peace that neither of us can explain...



Anne from Lindsay said...

Dear Jan,
Today I came and had lunch with you, you ate your meal and I drank mine as I was on fluids that day. Then Anna the nurse came in and changed your bandage and then you talked about wanting to wash your hair. So I asked the nurse and she said that would be fine. We proceeded to go to the shower room and I managed to wash your hair and I got you wet, your bandage and myself soaking wet but we accomplished the job.
I then got you changed into dry clothes and you felt much better. We then brushed your hair and it looked shinny clean once again. Then we got Anna back to change the bandage one more time.
That was a very special moment for me to be able to help you in a way that I am more than capable of doing, so the Lord blessed me more than I can ever express to you.
Jan - you are a dear sweet friend and I love you whole heartedly.
Your friend always.

Ret said...

Welcome home Jan!

I want to come and visti you when I finish school at the end of this month. My last day is the 23rd and I will be resuming my volunteer duties at Kerry's Place in early July!

Remeber when we were living together back in Lindsay and one of your worksheets for your students had some pictures of people playing musical instruments with things missing for them to fill in? I remember making you laugh by doig some silly ones such as the violinist playing his violin with a fish and a guy playig the drums with chicken drumsticks as well as a harp with a spiderweb for strings and corn growing out of the top of the piano. I gues you could say I'm up to my ears in corny jokes. Oh no, here we go again!

We've had so many good times and happy memories over the years!

Do you kow when you're moving yet? All this moving and travelling makes me think of a song from that play you were in "Pack up the luggage, la-la-la, Unpack the luggage, la-la-la, pack up the luggage, la-la-la, I lead a glamorous life!"

That reminds me, I keep forgetting to call the Osahwa Little Theatre to find out when auditions are for their next show. That sure was a fun night when you and all my freinds came to see me in"Hello Dolly!"