Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Time for Tears

I sit at the dining room window every day at 5:30 in the evening and cry the pain into a manageable presence. Every day he causally walks up to the window and says “Hi Pennie, is he home?”

He is one of my grandson’s best friends. The first time that he saw that I had been crying I was extremely embarrassed. I felt like I had been caught in an act of weakness. I tried to explain my tears. He stood there and listened to my words and I could see in his eyes that he was a bit lost and uncomfortable. But young people are resilient and as he struggled to find the right thing to say in an unexpected situation I managed to smile and tell him that my grandson was in his bedroom. As he walked away he stopped for a bit and turned around with a scowl on his face and said, “Don’t feel bad about crying. It makes me want to cry just looking at it.” And for some silly reason that made both of us laugh.

I have no idea why I chose 5:00 p.m. as the time to wash and change the dressing on my leg. What I do know is, washing that 26” x 18” wound with a terry cloth washrag and soap and then spraying it for 5 minutes with the shower nozzle is one of the most painful things that I have ever had to do. And after I have gritted my teeth and done what needs to be done all I want to do is scream, throw things, or a tantrum, and yell for the world to hear that I HURT. Instead I go to the dining room window, where I have set up the myriad layers of dressings and sit with my leg straight out in front of me and I cry until I have the pain back in control. Basically it’s a trade-off. Crying is better then throwing things or becoming a ranting harridan. And crying at the dining room window would normally be a place of privacy, that is until he started coming over exactly at 5:30 every day.

When I asked him why he has started coming over at the same time every day he shook his head and said he had no idea.

But I know ... his 5:30 arrival tickles me so much that the tears always turn into laughter and the laughter gives me the courage to face another day at 5:00 pm.

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