06:59:01 am on
Tuesday 22 Sep 2020

Pure Joy
AJ Robinson

These days, given all the troubles in life, both local and global, having a moment of pure joy has become a bit rare. If I’m not worried for me, Jo Ann, Alexa or some other family member I’m saddened at the events I see unfolding on the nightly news. From corona to dismantling the US Post Office to police shooting another unarmed black man, it truly seems as if things keep getting worse.

Mom walked.

Well, just this past weekend I got a tiny tidbit of most excellent good news. I wept to hear the details. My mom walked, after months recuperating from an accident.

It wasn’t much. It was barely a dozen steps and only with her walker. Yet, for her it was winning the hundred-yard dash at the Olympics®.

This is a significant step forward, no pun intended, in her recovery. This week, just today, in fact, my brother Greg signed the contract for her to move back into Aston Gardens. Now, he must arrange for the movers to put her furniture in her rooms and then arrange for her transfer.

Mom needs a new bed. She needs one bigger than a twin, but not so large that she and her nurse can’t stand next to it and the head needs to be adjustable. Given how much time she now spends in bed, she must be able to sit up comfortably, too.

Greg plans to measure the spot for the bed to ensure he gets exactly the correct one. We want no missteps here. We’re worried for her health and state of mind, thus, these actions are significant.

Greg also said that Mom is still depressed. She doesn’t think she has much time left. She is looking forward to seeing her old friends again, which is cause for celebration.

We learned over time how her state of mind is an important gauge as to her overall health. That she is feeling even a little encouraged about her life, she is in a state of anticipation over her future means more to me than anything. Well, anything except one other piece of news Greg imparted on me, and this item is a bit of a double-edged sword, as the old saying goes.

Visitor protocol in place.

We’re going to be able to visit mom. Aston Gardens has a protocol in place to allow visitors. On arrival at the entrance, a guard will take the temperature of the visitor and ask a series of pertinent questions.

If the visitor clears screening, she or he gets full access to the facility. That means we can visit mom. On hearing this news, I truly wept for joy.

Yet, concern tempered my glee. Although Aston Gardens is doing something to protect its residents, I had to wonder just how good a process were they using? They are testing all staff weekly, but allowing this level of access has the potential to be dangerous.

Still, I take solace in the words of my wife Jo Ann. She pointed out that my mom already had Corona and beaten it; so, we hope, she built up some immunity to it. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.

For now, we’ll take things one step at a time, again, no pun intended. First, we get Mom into her new home, we get her settled and make sure she’s as healthy as possible. Then we see if we visit.

Greg told us the wing mom will be living in has a full-time nurse on duty, an assistant to help mom with anything she needs and they can use a wheelchair to take her to and from the dining hall and Rec Room. That final piece is the important one.

If mom can play cards and mahjong, visit her friends and eat in a familiar place will go a long way to boosting her spirits. After that, Jo Ann and I will see about coming for a visit. We’re hoping.

Holding her hand in mine.

I think seeing the family will be the single biggest enhancement to her mood since her accident and that was nearly seven months ago. Just the thought of once more holding her hand in mine is enough to send my heart into the clouds and bring still more tears to my eyes. Let’s see what the next few months bring us.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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