Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Out of a hat


He says we'll look back on today and remember it for braving the bus system to go see Inside Out, for the turkey sandwich he ordered from Which Wich with lite mayo and bacon because he wanted to both avoid a gallbladder attack and also eat a Turkey Club. And he's right. The three and a half hours we spent out on the town, alone, celebrating will definitely be a happy recall. 

But I will remember this day best for the text that came in at 2:15 p.m.:

Did you hear my voicemail? I walked!!!
30feet!!!
really!!

I will remember 2:53 p.m. when I finally checked my messages and placed the call to my husband from the Art City splash pad where B— was having a playdate with his best pal from school. I will remember trying to contain my heart within my chest as I left my son in the care of his friend's mother, sprinting in flip-flops across the soggy grass to my car, and speeding the five miles to the nursing home. I will recall trying to mask my impatience as I helped my husband urinate into a handheld urinal, before calling for an aide to assist me in transferring him into his wheelchair, and then wheeling him as quickly as I could to the physical therapy gym. I will remember the heavy anxiety in the silent minutes we waited together for our turn with Tina as she finished with her last patient.

And I will never forget the stupid grin on my face, knowing that I was being filmed, as I walked behind my husband for the first time in 13 weeks and 2 days. For the camera I stuck to that smile, because I was ugly crying—sobbing really—with snot running down my face. I'm usually cheering and calling commands in the gym, but today I've found myself repeatedly dumbstruck. My husband offered interpretive dance, his latest soft shoe routine; an improvised thirty feet across the length of the gym floor. One who struggles with something out of nothing might call it the "Miracle Hat Dance."

No one forgets a performance like that.

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