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Friday, March 9, 2012


Just picture me right between Stu and Shayna----someone had to take the picture:-)

So, the transition from nursing home to cottage turned out to be an all-consuming effort for the first ten days.  And why not?  I once read about an experiment in which people were given glasses that made everything appear upside down------after several days their eyes had adjusted and the world once again registered as right side up......until they removed the glasses.  Then their eyes had to do the same flip flop.  What I get out of that is that something in us is tuned to see things right side up, and even when turbulence seems to turn our world topsy turvy, given a little time, it will right itself.   And so I find it to be.   

Wed., Feb. 29 was the official day of discharge.  The plan was that the Translink van would pick us up at 11:00 a.m. and transport us to.....home!  I was skeptical-----I expected delays and glitches.  But I was wrong.  Everything went without a hitch.  Despite snow in the morning, storm warnings, and a million details that all needed to dovetail properly, Stu was actually wheeled into the transport van in his new power chair right on time.  I went ahead in our van, hoping I could get there with enough time to whip out my camera and catch his expression when he was escorted into the new place.   Sad to report, the video I tried to take did not turn out well:-(  You will have to let my words here paint the picture.

What stands out for me was the quiet.  Once the driver and the wheelchair technicians had departed, it was just Stu and me.  The caregiver was not scheduled to be there until 1:30, so we had almost two hours to just soak in the experience of once more being together under our own new roof (thanks, John!)  

Stu had no comment to make at first.  I wondered if he understood what had just taken place.  But as the minutes ticked by, his eyes started to take in old familiar objects, and bright new walls.  He started to warm up.  "This is beautiful, Sue.  It looks like a little gallery".   Well, yes, Stu, it does-----a little gallery full of your work.   We had a cup of coffee together.  I brought in the sandwiches I had made for our first meal together.  It was humble, and quiet, and homelike.  A sweet beginning to a whole new way of life.

The next few days were a whirlwind of new tasks, new people, new skills to master  (I am finally, after ten days, gaining some confidence in the art of changing an adult size brief------not a skill I had on my list of "want-to-learn-how-to-do-this!")  I am also getting very proficient in the complexities of getting a large man out of bed in a hoyer and into his power wheelchair.  Don't try this by yourself at home!  I'm blessed with some excellent caregivers, and with their help, good nature, and encouragement, I am coming along.   
Is it exhausting?  Yes, sometimes.  Is it overwhelming?  Yup.  Is it rewarding?  Absolutely.  Tonight, before turning out the lights in his room, I read a chapter out of one of his favorite books "I Promise You a Crown" by Julian of Norwich.  He soaked in every word-----somehow, at the nursing home, he just couldn't concentrate well.  I'm thinking that the steady flow of love, attention, good food, music, color, and visitors are steadying him slowly but surely.  He is still weak, sometimes fretful, insecure------but also more alert, funny, and more rested.  We'll see how this all shapes up.  For the time being, we are holding our own.  Thank you all for your prayers.  I hope to find time to blog more regularly-----living with a severely disabled person is a rich subject, I think.   For now, I'd better head to bed-------who knows when I'll be called on tonight?

Until next time

Blessings from the Cottage on Coutant!



  1. Thank you so much for sharing, Sue. You and Stu are in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord give you grace, comfort and endurance as you both settle in to your new way of life. Love you both.


  2. Amy!! So good to hear from you! Maybe when you're in town there will be time to visit. Your little guy looks like a very fun person to know:-) Blessings right back at you!

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