The New Normal for Now


Harbor in Dingle

Harbor in Dingle

The new normal…is that what this is?  Honestly, I feel so LAZY.  I not comfortable leaving Jerry yet, so I’m not jumping out of bed, grabbing a water and some coffee and heading out to yoga or turtle patrol in the morning.  Instead, unless we have an early appointment I lie in bed (and we have the most comfortable bed in the world), stretch, read my email and the NY Times and then when I’m good and ready get up and make a cup of coffee…I could definitely get into the life of a slug, trust me.  Three is something so luxurious about not leaping out of bed.  Now if I could get someone to bring me my coffee (Jerry are you reading this?) I’d be all set.

We’re doing okay.  As the speech therapist explained it, some things will come back on their own as the brain “rights itself” and the blood that flooded areas of the brain recede.  Other things will need work and Jerry will have to train his brain to use other parts to take over for the part that was lost.  Makes sense.  It’s amazing what has come back already.  The road is long (too damn long in my opinion) but at least I think we’re on the road and not wandering around in the dark.

In the meantime, since I’m stuck at home, cabinets are getting cleaned out.  That’s a good thing, right?  But I DO miss yoga.  We might both go on Friday…we’ll see.

Kate’s funeral was Monday.   Her sister, Frani, called early that morning to read her eulogy to me…had me laughing and crying at the same time.  Kate and I had a lot in common…oldest of a bunch of kids, convent days, Pittsfield, bossy, loved the beach, loved the same colors….Kate’s the one who helped me find the dress for Sean’s wedding.  I’m grateful to her for many things…that one, though, sticks out at the moment.

When Kate turned 70 last year (before the brain tumor hit) her sister, Frani, surprised her on her birthday…just showed up at her door in Venice to celebrate.  Frani was so sick at the time but somehow knew this was what she wanted to do.

You are amazing, I told her.  I can’t believe you did that.

Kate would have done that for me, she said.  She does things like that all the time.

And she did.

I would have loved to be at that funeral but it wasn’t meant to be.  Instead I sat by the pool and talked with her best friend in Wisconsin who also couldn’t go.  We had our own private funeral…just perfect.

Thrilling day ahead for us…speech therapy, stop at the hospital to get Jerry’s medical records that I still haven’t managed to get, another stop for a prescription and then nothing…Pool?  More cabinets?  Maybe we’ll play cards…Gin Rummy.  After a few lucky breaks, he’s killing me.

Read a good book…Poor Your Soul (thanks, Anne)  Beautiful and honestly written.  Loved it.  And I’m reading Everyone Brave is Forgiven…fabulous.  And I reread My Stroke of Insight…excellent and am reading The Brain’s Way of Healing (thanks, Paula) excellent and also rereading Being Mortal (because I’m leading the discussion at book club next month.  Plenty of time to read and so much to read…

Jerry continues to be an 8 on a continuum from 1-10. I’e moved from a 4 to a 5 or 6.  That’s progress.  For me, anyway.  For him…well, I honestly would like to see him a little lower…I figure his 8 shows he still has no real awareness of what’s happened to him but what do I know?

Love to all…



4 thoughts on “The New Normal for Now

  1. Hang in there. Everyone is wishing the best for both of you.

  2. I think the private funeral for Kate was probably more cathartic and more of a tribute from the two of you than the real funeral would have been. Kate knew how much you loved her, so you can rest easy on that score.

    Glad Jerry’s improving. Looks better to an outsider than to you, who’s living with the stroke moment to moment.

  3. It’s good that your new normal is also allowing you to get above a 5 as you and Jerry work through this time. That he is making so much progress in just days is comforting knowing he will continue to show great improvements over time. Maybe Jerry remains an 8 because his brain is letting him feel optimistic which is a wonderful condition to be in for learning. Don’t you think? Thanks for the book titles.

  4. Wendie Highsmith

    Oh, my-change of pace for thee, but it will change and improve.


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