Friday, August 14, 2009


In the midst of all the sadness about Mom's prognosis, I should note that Mom took her first trip downstairs to our basement/family room since this whole mess started on April 16. The stairway is thirteen steps long; descending to the basement was the easy part. Mom made it down and looked around in wonder, probably noting what a mess everything still was, what with piles of boxes left over from the renovation which, technically speaking, still hasn't been completed.

Mom and I wandered over to the laundry room, which also houses two old refrigerators. Mom opened each fridge up, one door at a time, and examined the contents intently. She couldn't help rearranging the items inside one of the freezers, but I think her fingers became too cold for her to keep at it. She stopped herself after barely a minute.

Eventually, I suggested that we try going back upstairs. Mom nodded, her loose helmet bobbing precariously, and we began the ascent. I stood close behind while Mom trudged upward: step, step, step she went, one hand gripping the rail. Somehow, she made it to the top, even though it was obvious that her legs were close to giving out. It was quite the feat: up to now, Mom hasn't climbed more than five steps since mid-April. It'd be nice to see her do this more often to condition her legs. Today's stair-climbing session was also a reminder to me of how fleeting our bodily strength is, how easily we take our ability to do simple things for granted.

Perhaps for that reason, that we shouldn't take simple things for granted, today's athletic achievement was a proud moment for Mom, and for me. She made it up thirteen steps, and that's wonderful.


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