Jen: a closed head injury. Comatose until she finally voluntarily moved a finger ... five long months after the accident. Eleven months later she could finally talk again, thanks to skillful therapists, doctors, nurses, and many other helping hands. All of you who have followed me during the past three years and/or read my memoir In the Mirror know the story.
So I have been full-time caregiver of Jen for almost twenty-six years. She spent a year and a half in rehab at Mt. Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. She went from here ...
to here (about nine years later) ....
And now today ... back to the world at age 47 ...
* * *
What an incredible journey the past twenty-seven years have been. Difficult, yes, and more of an uphill climb as we're both getting older. But I know life wasn't meant to be easy. If it were, if we never experienced trials and tribulations, we wouldn't learn what we need to about ourselves; wouldn't have opportunities to develop patience and endurance, and learn what compassion is as we help each other.
I'm grateful that I'm still strong and healthy ... I do all I can to stay this way so I can take care of Jen. I'm so glad that she too, despite the increasing pain in her bad left foot and her aging bones, can enjoy getting out, as we did this past weekend.
Mid-January I posted about my oldest grandson, a senior in high school. He had the lead in The Importance of Being Earnest. Two days ago, Saturday evening, he was Shakespeare's King Richard III. I'm not prejudiced when I say he was BRILLIANT. Died brilliantly too!
The evil King Richard dead at last!
My grandson Tom front & center with the ensemble.
The above pictures are at Fauquier High School Shakespeare Troupe on Facebook. (Tom's three older sisters were also in the troupe. I'm a proud grandmother!) If you click this link, you'll see my grandson (left) on bended knee, and his mother, my oldest daughter, on the front row (right).
There wasn't a matinee for this play, so it was a late night for me and Jen. Very late. Thank goodness they reduced the almost-five-hour play to three hours, including a fifteen-minute intermission.
But Jen's a night owl, and I didn't mind either. I love driving home in the dark, in this case through some snow flurries that weren't bad. And traffic was light ... not as many trucks as usual on I-81. Jen had her iPad on her lap and we listened to music, and sometimes reminisced about the evening that included ....
dinner before the play with my son, his wife, and my two youngest grandsons: six-month-old Gavin ... and very articulate, and talkative, three-year-old Connor who kept saying he wanted me to come to his house after dinner. He wanted me to play with him and his toys. We had trouble getting him to understand we had to go to the Shakespeare play. We kept saying we'd see him another day. But what's "future" to a three-year-old?!
I tried and tried to remove the red eyes.
They show gray on my desktop but insist on being red here.
Connor's dad warned him against emptying the salt shaker!
These little boys are so awesome. I just told Talli Roland, who was out for a London stroll with her new baby, to enjoy, enjoy. They grow up SO fast.