Looking Forward, Standing Tall
Maintenance Pt 2

 

You may be able to tell from the tone of the last couple of posts that I’m pretty fed-up with the status quo. I’ve never been the kind of person who can handle sameness for long…even when its good. So this has been a true stretch in patience for my personality. Without going into it, I’ve been feeling a little depressed and also worried about the kids’ state of mind…but then I might have been projecting a little, as they keep proving themselves to be the most resilient and open-hearted humans I know at the moment.

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Here are the kiddos today, keeping watch over their dad like little shepherds at at nativity scene.  Apparently, Vernon had moved himself upside down on the bed a couple of times today so he could stretch his legs against the wall. Makes sense to me..I can see how that would be more comfortable. You can see from this photo how skinny he’s gotten. When you don’t use your muscles, you either swell up or shrink. Vernon went the latter route.

Maki hadn’t shown much interest in visiting today. As I mentioned, he is showing sign of separating himself from the pain of the whole thing. I had been ready to respect that, but due to scheduling issues this morning, I told him it was important for him to go. He hadn’t seen his dad in two weeks, but even though it was hard for him, it would be good for Vernon, who needs loving reminders of his the life he belongs to.

“Why not bring your guitar? You know he’d appreciate it.”

I was surprised when he shrugged and tossed it in the car, along with his sneakers and half-finished toast.

Vernon continues to be volatile (not violent, just sometimes lashing out in frustration and confusion) so I realized early on in our visit today that I should guard Justine from her dad . Personally, I have always taken issue with people swearing around young kids. He doesn’t swear much, but then it doesn’t take much to confused a 4 year old. So I was so thankful that there was another young girl running around the courtyard today. Instant BFFs. That’s just how it is when you are 3 and 4. The BEST.

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So while the two girls held hands and ran and tried to play hide and seek amidst the wheelchairs and tables, Maki brought out his guitar and played a few things he knew. “That’s BEAUTIFUL,” said Vernon every time. I could see him relaxing rapidly with the music. In fact when I would try to butt in with conversation (as I most often do) he got angry at me and told me to arrange the ride home. He just wanted to listen to Maki play.

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I was so proud of Maki for not only taking the initiative to play his guitar (I never asked him to get it OUT of the car, after all!) but he also put it in his dad’s hands. Vernon seemed to remember /figure out a bass line. (He used to play bass, as a teenager himself.) That’s got to be something.

Here’s the post script: Maki trying to duplicate what Vernon played.

I’ve always known music would be a connector for Vernon. We had a lot of visiting musicians in the early coma-days, but since it’s been such a long journey and he lives further away, that wasn’t sustainable for any of them in the long run. It is wonderful for Maki to be picking things up now, even with his lack of experience. It’s good for both of them.

“One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain.” —Bob Marley

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Looking Forward, Standing Tall
Maintenance Pt 2