A Moment Between

We sat in the cadmium yellow room after the endocrinologist had left to complete some paperwork.  On the counter stood large candy jars of cotton balls and tongue depressors.  Someone had crudely written "soap" with a sharpie on the soft soap dispenser mounted next to the stainless sink.  Fish and seaside scenes hung in frames around the walls.

I sat on a chair next to Savannah.  I'd locked her wheels and propped my right leg upon one of the tires.

"Your hair is so beautiful today," I said.

She smiled and drooled onto her bib.

"I put the blue clips in your hair today... the ones with bull dog puppies on them."

She smacked her lips.  Her tongue protruded thickly, slipping out and filling her mouth.  She often does this when she is feeling content and a bit drugged.

I wedged an index finger into her closed left hand.  She clamped down.  I rubbed the back of her hand with my thumb.

"Your hands are so soft, " I said.  "Do you like holding my hand?  I like holding yours.  We used to hold hands a lot when you were smaller."

She smiled again and searched for me with her big brown eyes.

Her other hand opened slowly, awkwardly.  A few minutes before, the Endocrinologist had asked if Savannah received Botox injections for spasticity, to get her to relax.

"No," I'd said, "she gets physical therapy and massage therapy, so there is no need."

"She's in such good health.  No problems?" the doctor asked.

"She is well loved and cared for."

"I can see that."

Savannah smacked and remained very calm.  She continued to hold my hand.

I said, "I see your other hand open.  Is that your cat petting hand?"  I reached over and caressed her right hand.  She kept it open.  When most people touch her hand, she retracts it, clenching it tightly.

"Do you like it when we make your cat work for his keep by letting you pet him?"

She smiled just short of a giggle.

I could hear the doctor's footsteps coming back up the hall toward our room.

"Thank you for being so good this morning.  I enjoyed just sitting with you."

The door opened.  The doctor came in. "Here are your forms all filled out.  Follow me down the hall, and I'll show you where to go for the blood draw."


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