I flew into Boston on a midnight flight. Home at almost 2 am.
I sat in the quiet with him and sipped a bourbon.
I feel like I've been gone all summer, I said.
You have, he answered.
The next morning the youngest two each awoke surprised to see me here. It was the best day all summer. Both of them squealed and hugged me as tightly as they could, at my hip and under my feet the whole next day. It was beautiful.
These last four weeks were long. More than long, really. Things are heading in a good direction, my mom is healing and recovering slowly. The effects from the brain injury are small.... she has regained balance and mobility, is talking, reading & writing. There are things to work on.... but we do expect her to make a full recovery in the next year. The doctors tell us spontaneous recovery from brain injury occurs in the first 3-6 months (think of this as regenerative or healing recovery) and the remainder of the year is recovery through therapies (speech, physical, occupational). As a daughter, I can tell you the most important part is that she is herself. I cried when I saw a picture of her holding my new nephew, born just 2 days after I left, looking into his face with the same look I've seen when my own each arrived. We are so lucky.
It feels good to be home with my family, but things are not the same.... I don't suppose they ever can be. I think it's impossible to sit so closely to death, day after day.... sleepless, praying, wondering, hoping, without it all leaving some indelible mark on your spirit. And while the mark may not be bad, it is still heavy..... at least for now.
I feel grateful for where we are today, but rattled for the journey that got us here. I need some time to walk softly in-between then and now. It may be quiet here, I'm not sure really...... but in time things will feel normal again, I'm sure.
Thank you all for the comments, emails, and facebook messages during these last few weeks. The thoughts, love & prayers helped us all more than I can say. I have always hoped that sending light and love to people in need lifted their spirits in the hardest of times, now I know it can.