Saturday’s Child Must Work For A Living

October 15, 2011

Family, Mike

But a child that’s born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise and good and gay.  October 15, 1950 was a Sunday…and it’s the day Mike was born.  And oddly enough, all these characteristics of Sunday’s child are those that typify my husband.   Today’s his 61st Birthday.  The birthday that almost wasn’t.  I still can’t believe how close we came to losing Mike in February and March….and how truly blessed we’ve been.

I wish I could say Mike was looking forward to his birthday today with anticipation and excitement.  He’s indifferent.  He doesn’t believe it’s his birthday because he doesn’t believe it’s October.  No amount of proof or evidence, no calendars, planners, PDA’s or smartphones, no amount of logic or discussion can convince him it is October.   I guess the fact that he lost so many months coupled with the brain injury and its devastation on Mike’s fundamental cognition have made this the new normal for him.  To say it troubles him that he can’t get the day/date/time down is an understatement.   The fact remains, however, he can’t believe that it is his birthday.

We have a plan.  Today is an eventful day. Assuming the wind doesn’t pick up and it get too cold as they had predicted, my brother is picking him up and taking him up to the hunting land to just drive around and check things out.  Knowing Kim there will be controlled circumstance target shooting and archery.  Mike would LOVE that.  (He points out that instead of speech therapy he could be hunting or fishing and not wasting his time there where it is not doing a damn thing to help him.  He doesn’t realize how much progress he’s made.)  While he’s gone the household preparations begin. 

There is a giant chili cook going on.  Chili for an army.  Because all told, a virtual army will end up being here.  We thought it would be great to have all of us together at one time in one place for Mike’s cake and ice cream celebration.   There’s cheesy chili cornbread and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and ice cream.  Coffee.  Tea.  Crepe paper streamers, balloons, banners.  The usual.  But mostly there’s family…all of his family and the people that love him, some close friends, all gathered together to  make him smile and feel like the most important guy in our world.  Which he is…but definitely doesn’t realize any more. 

He’s getting a wallet (you have no idea how obsessed he is about his wallet!), a calendar, and my iPad2 all spiffed up for him (this was like cutting off my right arm…I’m still mourning its loss) and decked out with an otterbox case, the Orvis fly fishing app and an online subscription to Field and Stream.  I don’t know what the kids are doing for him.  Small things he can open.   He wants little and wants for nothing. 

I’m hoping this is not all going to be too much stimulation for him.  Too much stimulation makes Mike a very grumpy poo sometimes.  You just never know in advance how much is going to be too much on any given day.  Here’s to hoping this won’t be too much.  Here’s to hoping it is healing.  And that somehow the actual celebration, by so many people, coupled with the calendars, the newspaper, the planners, the smartphone etc. will all help to jolt him to at least today’s orientation.  If I can get him believing today is October 15 and remembering it, I have a shot at him remembering and believing tomorrow is October 16 and so on.  Keep your fingers crossed will you please?  It’s an important part of his recovery….

Watch for photos of the celebration on my Flickr and Facebook later….meanwhile,

Happy Birthday Mike!  I love you!!!   

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