Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 7

your torso up and your legs off the bed and Those things were coming. shifted your hips toward me, bringing you to a sitting position on the edge of the bed. I bent low, “What kind of qualities are you looking for in a placed one knee between both of yours and drew caregiver?” he said. my upper body as close to you as possible while crouching. You put your arms around me. Another “Just someone competent,” I said. hug. When you weren’t able to put your arms around me anymore, I helped you do it. “Someone friendly?” “Chin on my shoulder,” I said. I pressed my fingers into the knots in my shoulders. Our faces close together, I pressed into my feet and up through my calves, thighs, hips, and then “Honestly, just someone competent.” we were chest to chest for a moment before rotating and lowering, as slowly as possible, into Pretty soon, you’d wake up from your nap and the wheelchair. Our bodies moved in graceful want to get out of bed. I moved my hands to my collaboration. Yours was the harder part. All I lower back and made small circles there with my really had to do was hang on. Whatever your fists. Somewhere out in front of me was a limit body needed from mine, I wanted to give. to what I could do. You were about 50 pounds heavier than me, then. All you wanted was to bear Therapists came to our home to help. your own weight. The month before, you’d wanted Occupational therapists. Physical therapists. to study orangutans in their natural habitat in Speech therapists. Borneo, to be like Jane Goodall with the chimps in Gombe. This month, you wanted to stand. To “Hey, how’s your day going?” you asked each one. walk. I measured my uselessness as the world contracted around us. I spun circles in our apartment, cleaning, cooking, asking questions, taking notes. The very next day, the man from DSHS called. “You might want to apply for a caregiver,” the “I found someone for you,” he said. “He’s very therapists said. competent. His name is Dwayne. He’ll be there tomorrow at nine a.m.” A man from DSHS came to interview us and find out what kind of care we needed. I put the phone down and smiled. Dwayne. Dwayne was coming. He was on his way. “Do you need help eating?” he asked. All day, I felt lighter. I imagined the tall, strong “No,” you said. man who would arrive in the morning. In my imagination, he wore a white uniform, like an “Swallowing?” old-fashioned orderly. He’d come in, assess the situation, and act. I thought about how easily he “No.” You answered all your own questions. would lift you. You could just throw your arms around his neck, and he’d leg press you right out “Taking your medicine?” of bed. He could take it. He wouldn’t get tired. He 7