I’m still working on the story of my accident and its aftermath, but before its ready to post here, I want to stay connected. So I’m posting today the short,short story I’m including in a local anthology. It’s based on an event of some 15 years ago, though it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.
I made it in time, half way across the country.
“Mom’s waiting for you.” Eddie gestured toward my lifelong friend, seemingly comatose on the Hospice bed. I held her hand. I think she squeezed mine a little.
“She had some prune juice for breakfast this morning,” he said. “And she asked when you would be coming.”
My last chance to talk with the person who held so much of my life in her hands, from the time we were in our carriages, I think. Certainly from tricycle days.
“Remember riding down our hill tilting your tricycle to make it a two-wheeler? With me following cautiously behind on three wheels?” I asked. Her eyes fluttered slightly open, then closed. Hallie was always good at eye-fluttering.
I think a little smile played on her lips as I went on. “Playing marbles for keepsies? The only game I was good at. You even picked more violets for Mother’s Day. Boyfriends at BayView beach? Spotting for enemy planes during the war? I couldn’t tell a plane from a mosquito. Giggling at your wedding; crying at my college graduation? Oh, and always protecting me from the scary neighborhood dogs?”
Hallie laughed, full-bellied as she used to, and drifted away to the end of her journey.
I’d love to see you there on Saturday if you live nearby. Besides the items of direct concern to me, there will be much of beauty and interest to see, ponder, and enjoy.
The theme of the current gallery display is “Back Stories.” The story of the cover of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” will include the original art work by Marilyn Brown along with a step by step display of the graphic art enhancement by Jenny Janson of Janson Graphics.
Copies of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” (and its predecessor “Mrs. Job.”) will be available for sale.
There will also be on display a photo print by Doug Affinito with its backstory.
Doug and Lisa and I will be there for the opening, arriving sometime around 7:15 or 7:30 p.m. Jenny will also be there, and, I hope, Marilyn.
The location is given on the attached brochure designed by Jenny.
It has taken time to let go of the symbols of care from the days following my April 15, 2015 accident. About a month ago I finally deposited my brace into recycling – the brace from which I was set free on July 17th. I’m not too sure why I kept it hanging around so long. Maybe a symbol of my survival of the accident? Maybe fear that I might need it again? Certainly that would be irrational, given that I’d need to be refitted if I were to create another situation where I needed it. Maybe a symbol of the care I received? Maybe a sign that I was ready to move past identifying myself as an accident survivor? Maybe something else I can’t recognize because I’m too close to the situation?
So now, about the walker. When I came home from rehab at the beginning of June to continue my recovery I had a walker on each of the three levels of my townhome. There were only a few days that I needed them to get around, but it was a long time before I folded up two of them – one to return to the church from which it had been borrowed, and the other to contribute to “His House” charity. The third one has remained in my master (mistress?) bathroom until this morning. I’ve been using it to continue the exercises they taught me in rehab. Truth be told, however, all I really need is a doorjamb to hold while doing them. There’s just something about not parting with those symbols.
I think it’s really a declaration of independence. Maybe today I’ll dig in more deeply to the writing I’ve been planning to transfer from my head to my laptop. One thing I want to finish up is the story of what I experienced and learned as an accident victim/causer. My plan is to present it here in short segments – so it won’t be so boring. And maybe I won’t need that long restorative nap every day.
Funny how the things I was so anxious to leave behind apparently became the last rails to hang on to before dropping back to normalcy — a new normal.