Monday, April 16, 2012

Emancipation Day

Seth and new PT Kyla
If you're wondering why your federal income taxes aren't due until Tuesday, the 17th, it's because today is D.C. Emancipation Day--a holiday to celebrate slave emancipation that began in 1862 and was celebrated until 1901 and was revived in 2002.

It seems a fitting name for the day for Seth and I are leaving the D.C. area--me for good and Seth for two weeks of convalescent leave.

It is with mixed feelings that I leave. It is beautiful here right now--in the 60s and 70s with azaleas in bloom everywhere. It would be easier to leave, I'm sure, in January or July.

We have had a busy week of appointments and activities. Seth hopes to get his running leg when he returns, so he had to have a bone density scan. He continues with daily PT and other niggling appointments like getting his immunizations up to date. On Friday night, I attended my last Friday night dinner; this one was held at the American Enterprise Institute, and it was lovely. It was on the 12th and top floor of their office building downtown, so the view was as impressive as the food and the company. That night, Seth and Chang went to hear Tim Fite at the U Street Music Hall, so we all got to do something we enjoyed before we headed out.

On Saturday, I did my last D.C. thing--attended the Cherry Blossom Parade downtown with friends. It was a perfect day to sit outside and watch bands, balloons, baton twirlers, and overly botoxed celebrities (yes, I'm talking about you, Marie Osmond).

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and packing. In the evening we went to dinner with my cousins whom it has been a delight to get to know better since being here. Sunday we ended with dinner at the Evans', and it warm enough to eat outside. As we visited around the table, 7-year-old Zoe observed that we all have something broken--her elbow, which she had hurt earlier in the week; Chang's arm; Seth's leg; Sylvia's eyes (I had two black eyes once from a car accident); Billy's head because of frequent migraines; and Sally's back. I was moved by her early realization that we all have "stuff."

Fluff and Mumbo Jumbo
In a post not too long ago, I mentioned some things I saw that moved me to tears--in a good way. There are also plenty of things that just make me want to throw up (sorry, I couldn't think of another way to say it). On Tuesday and Fridays, the wounded are brought from Andrew AFB to WRNMMC in a big ambulance, specially equipped to that each warrior has a full team of ICU nurses and doctors and so that they do not feel one bump or jolt on the ride over. I have not seen it very often, but when I do I want to barf. I don't want anyone else to go through what we have and are going through. I want it to stop.

Going to the MATC is usually an inspiring experience as I see guys overcoming great odds to walk again, but once in a while, I just don't want to see any more. A couple of times a week, we see a new guy come in for his first PT in the MATC. We know he's new because he's in a power chair, he still has wound VACs attached and is followed by an IV tower and usually one or two parents looking shell-shocked. Sometimes the shell-shocked look turns hopeful as they see what the guys around them are accomplishing.

Last week I took some unopened medical supplies back up to the inpatient ward. I did not expect returning there to make me sick to my stomach--but it did. It gave me new appreciation for all those who visit the inpatients on the ward and all those who come back to the ward to visit newcomers.

On Leaving
Things I will not miss
  • the traffic
  • the wind
  • the cost of groceries
  • having to show my ID at the gate
Things I will miss
  • the Metro
  • the azaleas
  • free meals at the cafeteria
  • all the great restaurants
  • free museums
  • not having to get in my car to go to the gym, post office, Red Box, McDonald's and the convenience store
  • the washer and dryer off the kitchen
  • Turkey Hill brand Double Dunk ice cream
  • the trail system (it is AMAZING!!!)
  • many, many people
  • Seth
With a few exceptions, I have refrained from naming people who have served us in the blog. I have reserved naming names for the non-profits. I did this because I figured people weren't serving us to get their name posted on the blog and because I would probably forget someone. But I want to thank you all--and you know who you are: those who wrote letters and cards, sent packages, called, brought a meal or goodies, visited from far or near, brought games, gave hugs, lent a guitar, taught a spiritual lesson, gave a blessing, picked us up at the airport, e-mailed, texted, walked dogs, rescued dogs, donated to non-profits that serve wounded warriors, wrote about us and raised awareness, ate at Bombay Grill, and more. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Sylvia,
    As you close this chapter in your life I want to express to you how much I have enjoyed reading each of your posts. There has been 114 in all. Each leaving an impression on my life forever. I will be forever grateful that I was able to share this journey with you and your remarkable family.
    Pat and I have prayed everyday for Seth's recovery and for the day you could come home and be back in your environment.
    Thanks for the tremendous example and your courage to do what was right and be with your son. Your are my nomination for "Mother of the Year."
    Kindest regards,
    Scott & Pat Handy