I haven’t written a post lately. Nick has been in a low place physically and my mood has matched. It makes me sad to see him struggle to move from his wheelchair to another chair, etc. and I just haven’t known what to share.
Well, yesterday started out the same as all the rest of our days for the past two months. Arden and I struggled to get Nick ready to go. We were heading to church. We were later than we wanted to be and the Bishop was waiting to start the meeting until we got Nick settled into the pew and we sat down. Lately, Nick is having more absence and partial seizures. To an observer, it looks like he is just sitting there spacing out. I don’t know when he is aware of what is happening and when he is seizing.
After church we watched the NFL playoffs, although the Seahawks lost to GreenBay last week. Again Nick didn’t seem aware of much during the game. I was a little reactive (as usual) when something exciting happened, but Nick would slowly look from the TV to my face, almost as if he didn’t exactly understand what happened. It broke my heart a little.
We had some friends coming over for dinner, so we got Nick back downstairs before they arrived. They have five kids and Nick brightened up a bit when we started to eat dinner, but he was really focused on eating and took a long time to finish. The rest of us were sitting around chatting and as usual for us, Arden began to tell jokes. Our friends’ six-year-old son asked if he could tell a joke. We said sure. He began. “Knock Knock” I said “Who’s there” he said “Banana” I said “Banana Who.” If you don’t know the rest of this joke, ask a six-year-old. He struggled a bit with the punch line, but he got there and we all laughed.
Then he had a second joke. His older sisters rolled their eyes, but Arden was excited about encouraging this future comedian, so we said, “Let’s hear it.” The young man said, “It’s a joke for Nick.” I was worried because Nick was still really focused on finishing what was on his plate and I wasn’t even sure that he was aware of what was going on. But this young man wanted to engage with Nick, so I was thinking that I would try and help.
“What do you call cheese that’s not your cheese?” He looked at Nick with anticipation. I held my breath and made eye contact with Arden. I was just about to answer, when I heard this low growling mumble from Nick, “Nacho Cheese.” The young man was so excited and the rest of us were completely astounded. It was an incredible moment of connection and amazement combined.
We all underestimate others; it is a common human experience. But it is significant and awesome when we have these brief yet pure connections with others. I won’t forget it.
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