We said goodbye to Vernon’s parents today. Well, I did. Mum told him we were all going to lunch so he wouldn’t be too upset about the fact he might not see them again for a little while. He is still pretty confused about time, so for all I know, the next time he sees them, he might say: “Oh how was your lunch?”
But what a lovely time it was with them here. They stayed close to the care home for most of their stay, but I got to spend some quality time with them on my visits. They also had their grandkids, my parents, and other friends (new and old) to break up their hospital time. As we discussed today, even though the time went by so quickly, they got a good idea of Vernon’s state and recovery process—from that first day when he was taken to the hospital (and his intense illness and confusion) to the gradual build- up to a communicative, humorous person with memories to share. They left on a strong note, after seeing for themselves that even though there are back-and-forth steps, Vernon’s momentum is still forward.
This is one of the unexpected problems that can come up in international-families. It isn’t easy for those who live so far away. The distance complicates things. I like to think of it as a bonus: Vernon is well-loved by people all over the world!
Here they are on a mat next to the bed so that they could be closer to their son.
As I’ve stated, the first week of their visit was much harder. But the second week, Vernon took a turn and became much more alert. His body still doesn’t seem connected to his mind…and I’ll ask for prayers for that, please. I believe the consistent dose (he has just had an increase) of Omega-3 oils is helping with his rapid mental recovery. But his body is still very agitated and even spastic at times. It really seems to depend on the day…or even what time of day (unfortunately, there is nothing consistent about this yet…if you are a visitor/nurse/therapist, you get what you get.)
Still, it is wonderful to be able to engage with him again.
He seems to want to go home most of the time, which makes it difficult to leave him. He often tried to climb out of his bed, especially when people tell him they are leaving for the day. But then, we went through this months ago. In a way, I feel we are picking up where we left off in the Autumn. What’s a lost 6 months in the big scheme of things, right? It’s much easier to say that on this end.
The truth is…as hard as it is to tell him he has to stay there when everyone else is going home, I prefer the sadness and anger he expresses that he can’t go with us to his rolling over and accepting it. The former is the sign of a man who doesn’t belong there. It hurts to leave him, but its GOOD that he knows that it isn’t his long term home.
Don’t forget that, Vernon. You won’t be there forever.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” —A.A. Milne