Journal 1997


Candles burning in the window welcome guests in from the cold one winter evening.

Oct. 15, 1997
7 a.m.
Just listening to the kitchen chair scrape the floor for one full minute as Emil (age nine) struggles to situate it perfectly so he can get into it. Sitting down in a chair is something he has to work at — not like the rest of us, who manoeuvre without thinking.
It’s an every-day, every-meal occurrence around here. My little boy works to do things for himself, he doesn’t complain, he rarely asks for help. He takes his time, eating, washing, dressing.
I wish life could be easier for him, that he didn’t have to work so damn hard at every little thing. It takes him so long.
Oct. 27
Emil went to school today, left his crutches at the door, and walked everywhere. People were shocked or surprised all over the place. When I went back to get him at 3:00, his aide told me he’d had quite a day: he walked past Grade 6 students in the hall and got them all excited; then teachers started coming to their doors to see what all the commotion was about; his Grade 2 teacher cried when she saw him; students were encouraging him everywhere he went; he was so happy and excited himself that he was squeaking and shrieking as he walked.
I get teary myself, watching this dream come true, but I am too overjoyed to cry.
Oct. 28
Called Mom to report on Emil’s day ‑ she was happy and excited too ‑ and to check on Grandma’s progress. Aunt Reta is staying at the hospital with her. She has been moved out of intensive care and into a regular ward, but has some pneumonia and is still exhausted, though up and around. Apparently she was too tired to talk when the doctor said to her, “Smile! You’re doing much better!” and Mom thought it was a good thing because if looks could kill, that doctor would have lain dying on the floor.


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