I woke up yesterday feeling blue and angry. There had been enough time for me to start processing the baffling news about the legal case. It was literally an insult to injury… a big insult to a big injury. I felt deflated and let down by the justice system…as if we were being punished for someone else’s ‘legal’ mistake. (Legal, because he had bought the minimum of insurance.) But I won’t go on about it now. I just was tearful and depressed…everything seemed wrong in the world, or at least America.
I cried some more on the drive up to dialysis, expecting Vernon to be rolling around and clenched in his disturbing TBI manner, but I found him wide eyed and alert. My mood changed pretty quickly then. When I’m with him and he is loving and alert, all the other details of my life fade away somewhat. There is nothing I can do there but sit with him and keep him company. Some days that is a good thing.
Chicina, the social worker, came over for a little chat, so I told her about the latest developments in our situation, starting with the news from my attorney. I asked Vernon if he wanted to hear about it to. Of course he did—he always wants to know what is happening with him.
I didn’t say much before he got weepy and started to say:” I’m sorry. Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault.”
“What do you mean, Vernon? You have done nothing wrong.”
“Oh I have!” he moaned. “I’m the one who got in an accident.”
“Do you remember it?”
“No, but I’m sure its all my fault. I am so sorry I did this to you. Oh my…” and he cried some more.
My heart broke again. “NONE of it was your fault, Vernon. None of it was your fault.”
So we changed the subject. He helped me pick out the best pictures from a recent photo shoot I did. He wanted to look at his old facebook page to see pictures of himself and the kids. I’d brought his old laptop, because he keeps asking for it last week, but once he had it in front of him, he didn’t want to touch it. He seems to know that his eyes and fingers aren’t able to do what they used to, and avoids the frustration.
Then I started reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” (Click the link to read the whole novel online.) Just like the last book we read, Vernon was immediately rapt. We escaped into magical world where both children and animals speak with heart and intelligence. A place where it’s always snowing, but never Christmas. We met Tumnus the fawn and the White Witch. Even for me, it was good to escape in through the wardrobe from a world that doesn’t make much sense to me at the moment.
In the evening…when it was time to put Justine to bed, I opened up the book again and started over with her. Just like her dad, she became perfectly still under her blanket as I started reading.
“Do you understand what’s happening so far, Sweetie?”
“No, but keep reading.”
And then when it was time to stop… “Read a little more, please?”
I’ve been thinking that Vernon and Justine are emotionally the same age at the moment. And the way they respond to these books is almost exactly the same. It’s fascinating, especially since I am experiencing them in two different worlds: Mesa Verde and our own home. Now I can experience them through Narnia as well. That’s real enough, isn’t it? (It is when we are reading.)
On that note, I want to show off my Christmas pillows that I ordered from my friend Wendy in Washington. (She has also sent some adorable handmade hats for our fundraiser this weekend.)
Look: it’s the lamp-post! And Justine and Daddy…I mean Lucy and Tumnus.