Well, I've survived my first 24+ hours home by myself, although I confess to being a bit lonely in this big house without the daily presence of my Jim. It's funny how much I always have looked forward to the times when he's away hunting or fishing or pursuing some other such pleasure. It's always been a time for me to embrace my alone time and not have to think about anyone else. This time, though, all I think about is Jim.
My youngest son, Ben, ran all over Portland yesterday, gathering up all of the medical accouterments I thought I'd need for my convalescence - bath chair, cane, "grabbers," a new shower head, prescriptions - then picked me up from The Old Folks' Home and brought me back to my much-loved, but now quite lonely, home. He spent a couple of hours getting everything set up, and then kissed me goodbye to return to his wife and children. My sister stopped by last night and brought me some wine (yay!). I drank half a glass and then off to bed for me.
Although I'm technically not cleared to drive, the rehab center where Jim is currently staying is less than two miles away, and I was able to visit him twice today. It takes me almost as long to get into and out of the car as it does to drive there! And since I'm so close, wild horses couldn't keep me away. And it's become abundantly clear over these past two weeks that my presence is vital to Jim's recovery. He's surrounded and loved by our children, grandchildren, other family members, and many, many friends, but our connection to each other is strong. There is nothing that gives me quite the thrill as the joy I see in his face and hear in his voice when he sees me.
He's doing very well, though he has a way to go in rehab. For an impatient man, he's actually coping quite well. He wants very much to come home and would walk out tonight if I were to give him any indication that it would be okay. But we both know that he needs the physical therapy to regain control of his hand and his balance, and that we still have time to be together and to resume the life that we love and enjoy. Every day I realize anew just how blessed I am to have found this deep and abiding love at this stage of my life. Each day brings us closer to once again enjoying our morning ritual of coffee, newspaper, and local news; our afternoon ritual of wine on the deck, admiring our yard and the company of our neighbors; and just the simple pleasure of being together, taking care of things around the house, sharing mealtimes, and arguing politics.
Last July, when we were married, my middle son, Jason, read from I Corinthians. The final words of that reading keep coming to my mind:
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.