Sunday, January 27, 2013
When Mike left the house that sunny winter Sunday, he was going for a joy ride. With the real love of his life, a cherry colored Yamaha. He leaned across my desk (clad in his riding jacket and boots) and kissed me goodbye. “Good luck with your deadline, “he whispered.
Two hours later my phone rang. It was Mike. “I’m in,” I answered proudly. “Where are you?” But it was not Mike’s voice that answered. “Is this Karen?” asked the highway patrolman, hesitantly. In the background I heard my husband’s voice. “Tell her I’m okay,” he was saying. But he was not okay.
Over the next 52 weeks, life changed. Long days and nights at the hospital, fueled by prayers and surgery were sustained by the single thought that things would get better soon. But they didn’t. Not soon, anyway.
Not before I watched my strong, tough guy husband learn to walk again. Not before worry consumed my every thought. Not before we learned what it was like to live on a wing and a prayer.
The day Mike was released from the hospital; we told our .granddaughter (who this week chooses to be called Pinkie Gladys Gutzman, Yes, that one.) we were waiting for a wheelchair. “Really?” she asked. “Someone is going to push Papa around in a wheelchair?”
I said Papa would push himself, but Pinkie eagerly volunteered. When the physical therapist brought in the chair, Pinkie looked puzzled. “This is a wheelchair?” she asked. “I thought it was the thing we use in the garden.” We laughed out loud. We laughed till it hurt. We laughed till Pinkie told us to stop. We felt lighter than we had in weeks. The take away that day was not triumph, but learning to smile. Because happiness, like rotten luck, can sneak up on you when you least expect it.
Posted by Karen at 7:22 AM