Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 10

“Uh-huh,” I said. Sometimes it is useful to describe how things could be worse. The next day, the supervisor called me back to say Dwayne would be late. He’d locked his keys Jaylan wears diapers now, and he gets around in the car. An hour later he called back with a by wheelchair, even in the house. His left side is revised ETA. AAA was on its way. An hour later, so weak that he can’t blow his nose. He weighs I got another call. They were going to have to 175 pounds. His ribs are badly bruised from a few break in his window. serious falls this month, as is the rest of his body. The bruises discolor his arms, abdomen, hips, “Tell him not to come back,” I said. “Please tell him knees. His most recent fall led to a split lip on it’s nothing against him.” the bathroom floor, where he’d landed hard after ringing and ringing a bell that his grandmother, I researched the other agencies on the Medicaid- who was caring for him that day, couldn’t hear. approved list to eliminate the ones whose reviews were so terrible that I couldn’t trust them. One He cannot read. He mistakes common objects for by one, I called the remaining agencies. They dogs and cats or laundry drying on a line. His promised to try. The wait was long. Qualified own image is a dog, he thinks. He cannot use the candidates were few. One had a very nice young phone. He cannot, if asked, put pen to paper and woman who just arrived in America a few months sign his name in a fluid motion on an indicated ago and could start right away. line. “Has she ever worked with a patient before?” I All day, I walk around imagining deadness into said. my left side and alternately cataloging all that my left hand, foot, eye will do for me and entirely “She’s completed her five-hour safety training.” without my consciously asking. I walk slowly to work on a warm spring day. I hold a cup of coffee. We were on our own. I shower. I turn pages, type lesson plans, check appointment schedules, call government agencies. My Love, I confess, it was too much for me to bear. Your weight, I could hold, 30, 40 times a day I watched your body fail you. Still, we were if necessary, but even that, I tried to minimize. hopeful. Maybe it was just the meningitis. Maybe Were you sure you needed to go to the bathroom? you’d get better. I tried to encourage myself, What about the previous six trips we’d made in though you had always done a much better job of the last hour, when you hadn’t needed to go after it than I ever could. all? To all this we might add greater pain. Just when An edge crept into my voice and I hated myself it seems that all we need is a floor, I find that I for it. I didn’t want to condescend. I couldn’t seem am standing on one. Others, I remind myself, are to help it. I was so tired. not so lucky. There are worse things to bear, and people must bear them every day. So, I have a I took to writing myself notes just to keep track of kinfolk. They prove to me what a person can do, reality. if she must. I know it is possible that more will be required of me. Then, too, it will be possible to bear it. 10