Blue Suede Shoes
Moving Day

Good news of great joy. A very special baby arrived on this day (1 am.)

Welcome to our world, Miss Maisy Imogen Adams! Isn’t she lovely?

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I feel she deserves a special mention on this blog because she belongs to Chris and Erin Adams, who have been such a close part of Vernon’s recovery journey from Day One. You will all remember Chris Adams, Vernon’s friend and small-business partner. (Check out the Stamp Foundry here.) We must have found out that Erin was pregnant shortly before the accident, and now she has got a BABY. Not a day too soon…in fact she was two weeks late, rising up to a healthy 9 lb 14oz!  What a wonderful symbol of life going on, full of potential and goodness.

Chris sent the above photo.  I have yet to meet Maisy, but I love her already! And Erin, you are a superstar for carrying that baby so long…then giving birth at home! Congratulations, Erin, Chris, and little Zephyr. We are so glad you are all in our lives.

‘A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.’  Carl Sandburg

 

On another note, I want to write down this story from today before I forget it.

I brought my lunch with me today so I could eat with Vernon, and in doing so I got to share a table with some other patients. I could be wrong, but it seems that people are more or less arranged at tables according to their ability to feed themselves, and it was the first time I saw Vernon doing better than his lunch-mates. He fed himself a few bites on his own before saying he was “about to burst.” I was still impressed.  There was another very slim lady at my side who wouldn’t touch her food at all. I was afraid she couldn’t even talk, as many stroke victims there cannot.  But after showing off the fresh picture of Baby Maisy on my phone, I asked her if she had children, and she said she has two, now in their twenties. I had to listen close to hear her, she was so week, but I felt it was good to include her. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how lonely and/or boring it must get for people too long in a convalescent home.

There was larger table with more dining patients nearby, and I overheard one of the aides asking an elderly lady if she could actually speak five languages. Nosy me, I turned around and asked her which languages she knew. With some help, she smilingly expressed: English, French, Italian, Arabic, Spanish.  I think there was a dialect I had never heard of on that list too…so maybe she spoke more than five. Impressive indeed. She is from Morocco.

There is another lady across the hall from Vernon who is from Lebanon, but grew up in Paris, with a Yugoslavian mother. I hear her speaking Arabic with the Egyptian nurse, Joseph, from time to time. It must be so good to be stimulated by native language in these quiet days. It must feel more like home when speaks the language of your childhood in a place where one can feel so lost.

Back to the lunchroom: I started asking my frail table-mate if she spoke any other languages, and she said three: English, French, German. She said she had only learned them in school, so didn’t speak them well, but Vernon perked up at that. “I speak German too…just enough to get by,” he said.

I almost reprimanded him for making things up again, when I remembered he had indeed lived in Dusseldorf  when he was a young painter.  I guess he was telling the truth.  “How many languages can you speak, Vernon?”

“English, French, German, Norwegian, and Latin,” he listed, very matter-of-factly, before adding: “Well, I don’t actually speak Latin, but I can read it.”

It was not lost on me that I was in the company of some great brains, linguistically-speaking. Here was capable, youngish me, knowing only one useful language (and some remnants of Spanish that I’m too embarrassed to actually use) and yet every day, I am active in the world.  And here were all these intelligent minds trapped indoors, unable to be a part of the bigger world, just sitting in their chairs and lying in their beds, waiting for mealtime and hopefully, visitors.  It was truly humbling.

It turned out that the quiet lady at our table was born in London and had moved here when she was five, but had just the slightest trace of an accent left.  It was nice to see Vernon share a moment with her, reminiscing a little about the rain and the streets of London.  People (yes, even those in Nursing Homes) are so much more interesting than their appearances, you just have to get them to open up a little… in any language you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blue Suede Shoes
Moving Day