An Unplanned Day Together

Around 8:30 a.m. I started to wonder if the attendant was going to show up.  I'd pulled out my backpack and sketching gear, hiking boots, and was looking forward to a day of getting lost in one of the many urban wildernesses in Austin.

At 9:00 I texted Tamara, who had taken Ruby to visit her grandparents.  She texted back with the number for the attendant service.

By 9:30 the service had confirmed that our scheduled attendant was no where to be found, and no one else was available.

Crap.

I'd wanted to get out of the house, take advantage of my vacation to relax, sketch, do nothing.  I let myself slide into a funk.  I could feel the anger bubbling inside... the frustration... I just wanted some time alone... time for me, away from this "in-home health job" that is my life.  Is that so much to ask for?

I closed my eyes and took a long breath.

"I guess it is just the two of us today," I said to Savannah.  She smiled at me.  I stroked her forehead and her soft brown hair.  She giggled.  She loves this.

I sighed.

Savannah going for a walk"I'm happy to spend my day with you, too," I said, feeling guilty.  "Come on, let's get dressed."

After her mid-morning feeding, we went for a stroll through the neighborhood, which is one of her favorite activities.  Some bluejays squawked at each other by the greenbelt.  Savannah's ears perked up at their fussing; she laughed her joyful, horsey laugh.  About halfway through the walk something startled her, a sharp noise, a sudden movement, a pain, sometimes it is hard to tell, and she seized for the rest of our journey-- a herky-jerky spasm of a seizure.

Few people were out. One woman thought Savannah was waving to her and gleefully waved a return, not realizing the gesture was the result of a seizure.

Smiling at the thought of reading a book.
At the thought of a story
Back at the house she slowly calmed. I sat on the couch and opened a chapter book.  "How about I read to you for a bit?"

Her eyes got big and searched around the room as she does when she is interested in something.

I cleared my throat.  I hadn't finished reading the first paragraph when she burst into hearty laughter. About three chapters in, she grew too quiet. I looked up and her chin had drooped onto her chest.

"A nap sounds like a good idea."  I lay down under a blanket and drifted away into tranquil dreams.

In the late afternoon, we went for another walk after her medicine had time to kick in.  She stared blankly at the scenery through her drug haze.  The day had grown colder and grayer.

Back in the house, we warmed up by singing a few songs.

"Hey, let's have dinner and a movie... like a date."

I hooked up her feeding pump.  I  got her a fresh bib.  I heated some leftovers for me.  We watched "The Fox and the Hound"

"I haven't seen this movie in a long time," I said.

Periodically, she glanced over at me on the sofa.  "I'm still here with you."  I said.

She smiled.

"We'll always have each other, you and me.  And as much as I hate to admit it, we're perfect for each other."

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