Sundays are for Singing
Summertime

 

I came across this entry, posted two years ago yesterday. Vernon’s eyes were finally open after a month of coma, but it would be another couple of months before he could really get his eyes to track.  He would come up and down from the surface, like a whale (I believe I wrote about that analogy as well.) I had no idea how far we would have to go still. Little steps forward, little steps back. Coming up for the view before submerging again.

Here is another entry, nearly two months later, that I felt must finally be the real thing. He was finally waking up! Or wait, was it two months later than that, when the lights came on.

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I wrote all the above this morning, while collecting thoughts and dates, going through old blog posts to find specific information on Vernon’s residential history (more on that another time.) I’d been thinking about how when things are good, they seem great, like real breakthroughs. But when things shift backward, it’s harder to remember how to be hopeful that day. The past week, Vernon has been slumping, in my opinion…both with those people who watch him and check in with their observations and my own experience with him. He’s been okay lately: not highly agitated, but also not very communicative, not as present as he has been in the past month.

There have been whole sessions of dialysis where he doesn’t want to chat at all. Even with me, he has opted to listen to music on headphones and quietly chill out for much of the session. He’s rediscovered Beach House, a band that he initially turned me on to years ago. Who can resist relaxing to that dream-pop goodness? The nurses report him sleeping more than usual…this makes me nervous, of course, just because its not the norm I want.

So I didn’t expect much today. But he was great, maybe better than I’d seen him yet. There are layers of recovery…you don’t get the best of everything all at once. You do get good parts though—and if there were a graph, it would have shown him leaping forward today. The graph in my mind lit up when he spoke of missing his father, whom he has been speaking of more and more. His eyes were clear and his communication was connected. A nurse asked him about his arm and he said it was an old wound from when he’d broken it years ago and that they would be fixing it soon. He couldn’t remember where he had first broken it, but the recent information was correct.

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At his request, I read him one of his old letters to me. He lit up, and when I suggested that his younger self was reaching out by letter to his current, older self, he understood.

“What do you think of this younger you, Vernon?” I asked.

“I feel like that person. I felt like him then and I feel like him now. I really, really like him. I would like to walk up to him, shake his hand, hug him. (After a pause…) He needed someone to hug him and that person would have been me. That would have meant so much to him.”

Well, who needs a therapist, right? Isn’t this the whole point? To speak love into your younger self? Superpowers are being witnessed.

Vernon also managed a Skype phone-call with his sister, Vanessa. There wasn’t a lot of time, but this was good day to nab his attention. I overheard a little on how they would each vote on the British Referendum tomorrow. He retained enough (that either we had discussed together or he had heard on the TV news in his room) to claim the opposing view to hers. He would prefer that England would stay in Europe, as he had mostly always known things to be. I could only hear one side of the conversation, but I imagine she was relieved to hear that politically, he remains true to his Labor-leaning heart. Shades of the old Vernon are still prevalent.  He still votes with his heart, even if he’s not in his home country anymore. I find that endearing. (That said, he is not able to officially cast a vote.)

(Note to future Allison: If in a year from now, you do an update post of the high points, I hope you include this post. This was a good day.)

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

 

 

 

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Sundays are for Singing
Summertime