So apparently Todd’s new year’s resolution is to kick some ass! Today was the kind of day that washed away my doubts and put the biggest damn smile on my face ( and Mary is also wearing one of course). I kid you not we were so caught off guard, that the first hour totally choked us up and we had to reach for the tissue box! Not just once either. As you all know the seizures were the most painful setback and poisonous really….. because they allowed a deep seeded doubt to take hold, while we watched and wait for Todd to reemerge. Well folks, you cannot keep that guy down! Literally! Today as Mary and I walked in Todd was being lifted into his nifty chair………from that moment on we were on the edge of our seats! Todd’s legs were moving up and down, both arms and hands grabbing and holding….he was wiping the sweat off his face (or making every effort to himself)….ate and swallowed applesauce. Did I mention the sentences? ( he is still quiet and we can get the whole line yet…but so soon!) I am telling you we went from 0 to 60 overnight. The guy was lifting himself off the bed in what you could imagine as stomach crunches. I have my guesses as to why, one of which without a doubt is time. For Christmas I gave Todd a special present, an amazing masseuse came in and worked him over yesterday for 2 hours. Sure I massage him, but not in the way Fokelein can! That and the fact that we are coming home and he wants you all to see his best side, of course. Curious what tomorrow will bring…. I expect a tired Todd. One thing is for sure. One day is never like the next, you can never be fully prepared. We look forward to be home…..soon, all in good time. Tomorrow the nurses have allowed us to stay until one in the a.m………then we come home and put Mary (aka the cockroach) on a plane. This weekend Yuksel and Zander return to say their goodbyes to Todd, we have been spending the last few days and evening packing preparing and saying our goodbyes to all the wonderful people here who have become our friends. We were planning to make a nice meal as a thank you for the nurses and our neighbors but that has turned out to be a bit of a pipedream to actually pull off. It is the thought that counts right?
Wow, what a day. From the moment we walked into the room, I could tell something was different. Todd’s face looked different…more expressive, more vibrant, a full range of expressions. As soon as he saw us, he started trembling, his entire body quaking with little tremors. We panicked a bit, wondering what was happening, thinking maybe he was having a seizure or was racked with pain…until his arm moved across his chest and he lifted his foot. His body was straining with such concentrated effort that sweat poured down his face. He grabbed for a towel to wipe the sweat from his face himself. We whooped. We cried. We hung on the side of chair and watched for any signs of movement in his body. A few minutes later, he did it again and again and again…until we left for the night. Being able to see and discern the expressions on his face was so telling. It was a beautiful and complex mixture of glee, joy and determination. Everyone in the room was watching Todd work and cheering him on. The nurse came by every so often to tell Todd to rest a bit, to take a break but that only made him work harder. He willfully ignored her orders and would cheekily move something else to spite her. He talked a lot, though we had difficulty understanding his soft words, we both thought we heard him say, “I can’t stop moving.” He checked every limb as though going down the list to make sure things worked…hands, then legs, then feet, then neck. The visible progress he made with each and every effort was riveting…every limb moved and turned and twisted and retracted and raised a little higher or wider or with more precision each time he moved it. He went systematically down his body with these self-tests, pushing a little further each time.
His expression was so intensely joyous, his body was finally moving again under his command…it was like watching Pinocchio come to life. I realized what an incredible moment I was witnessing and how lucky I was to see such a gorgeous sight as someone reintroducing body and brain to one another again after a long separation. Todd Blair had decided it was time to move and Goddamnit, he was gonna move. Every time Alex reclined the bed to get him to relax and rest for a moment, he pulled himself halfway up. At one point, he tried to swing his legs to the side of the bed as though he were planning to leave it. At every turn, his expression was one of joyful defiance…against the odds, against the nurse’s advice, against our expectations.
After a couple of hours of this, both Alex and I needed to go to the bathroom, but neither of us could leave for fear of missing one of these incredible moments. Alex’s grin was so huge and so frozen, I teased her about it, but little could I say when I went through a box of Kleenex myself. Alex had taken off her ring in order to give Todd a massage and as we were leaving, gave it to him to put back on her finger. As I watched him struggle (and ultimately succeed) in putting it on, I felt I should turn away and give them privacy but the moment was so Goddamn beautiful and precious, I hope they will forgive me for watching. Then I really blubbered. We told Todd to try and get some rest tonight, that we couldn’t wait to see what he had in store for tomorrow, but the look in eyes said he was planning otherwise. I imagine him doing crunches in his bed as soon as the nurses leave.
Quote from the room while we were writing: “You know you are in trouble when your make yourself cry ….. reading the entry you just wrote!”
From both of us: This should get a response out of your guys!!!!!