I was looking at the road ahead and reflecting on months of physical therapy at home after months in rehab. I was thinking about caregiving and reflecting on Peapod (home delivery of food)! I was thinking about nurses and phlebotomists who go into homes.
I was trying to describe all she had accomplished (learning to walk, albeit slowly, again, learning to get up and down from a chair, albeit slowly, again, coming home, albeit with difficulty) but keenly aware that life, for all of us, was very different, now.
Today, like most days now, I stop by to check on her caregivers, therapies, and medications.
Today, like most days now, she had a distant look in her eyes, as if her mind had drifted elsewhere. Today, like most days now, she was quiet, engaging less in conversations.
Today, like most days now, it doesn't matter if the Yankees win or lose.
Today, like most days, my monologue garnered only smiles.
"I don't think I'll ever be like I was before I fell," she noted sadly, not looking at me, but off into the distance. "It's all fuzzy now," she said, "I'm fuzzy all the time! I just can't figure it out. It's like I'm not all here. I don't finish the crosswords. I can't stay awake. Maybe they took a part of my brain out when they fixed my hip?" she chuckled.
We both laughed. I was grateful that her wit and the ability to deliver a powerful one-liner returned, even if only for a moment. I finished doing pills. I picked up the Peabpod, Medco and Drugstore.com orders. I assured the caregivers I'd be back and reminded them to call if they needed me.
"I'm fuzzy," she said after a long silence, "but I'm fortunate."
I wondered if she felt fortunate because she was home, in her familiar surroundings or if she felt fortunate that I was managing her bills, now. I wondered if she felt fortunate because she had caregivers who cared. Yet, I knew enough not to ask right then as she stared at the blank TV screen, the empty stare of someone who was indeed fuzzy, once again.
I knew that I was fortunate, too. As I implored lots of CCD students (in their Confirmation classes) to do, I was using my own "gifts" to help others. That afternoon, as the sun set, in the moments before her bedtime and my trip home for dinner, we had a moment when the fuzziness receded and good fortune prevailed.