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The World Is Right Again

I can only start this post with three words:

Dale is home.

On Friday I was in despair, full of self pity and missing our Friday night routine. I think it felt even worse because it was a beautiful evening, the Friday night we’d been waiting for since the stay at home advisory began in March.

In the midst of this, Dale’s sister Lisa called me to check in. She’s a nurse and as I explained to her that the hospital didn’t seem to be making maneuvers to get Dale able to come home she said, give me the number of the phone in his room, I want to talk to him. I had a phone call from her a little bit later and then one from Dale a little after that. And he was fired up and sounded, for the first time, like he was really ready to come home.

On Saturday morning I called Dale’s nurse and said, he wants to come home, what needs to happen for him to be able to do that? She said she would push for physical therapy to work with him and see what she could do. Dale and I exchanged a few phone calls back and forth and things started moving rapidly. At 4pm I got a text from Dale and it was a video. I guess you’d call it a selfie video and it showed him first giving me a thumb’s up and then he crooked his finger at me and said, come get me. Perhaps the best 3 words he’s ever said to me other than I love you.

With some help from others, I was able to pick him up and he was home by 7pm. His hair was a mess, he hadn’t shaved, and he smelled like a hospital, but I didn’t care because he was home.

Yesterday was a new day for us, a day where we learned how to maneuver him through the house, a day where I learned to wash his hair and help him in and out of clothing, a day where we tried lots of different pillows and props to keep him comfortable, and a day that ended in the most fabulous and epic car parade ever.

It was Hannah’s idea to set up this pandemic style car parade and it all fell together remarkably easily and quickly. Somewhere around 100 cars, along with a fire truck, several police cruisers, a few motorcycles, and a school bus filled the parking lot at the school near our home at 5pm. The kids helped and I pushed Dale in his wheelchair out to our corner, the corner where 6 days earlier he had been struck by a car. And as the vehicles started streaming out of the parking lot, as families and friends and coworkers drove by beeping and shouting, waving signs and cheering, playing music from Dale’s band, and dropping gifts, I felt a different kind of healing begin. A healing that had little to do with physical pain and everything to do with overcoming mental trauma. I was flooded with emotions and the horror that had hung over that corner for the past week was replaced with joy.

Thank you all for your comments and emails, your love and prayers, your concern and well wishes. We are buoyed up by all of it and, while we know there’s a lot to come, we also know it’s going to be okay because we are handling it together and we have all of you to help us.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Such great news. I was concerned when there wasn’t a blog post at your regular morning time. Good to see your all recovering. And the school bus was a perfect parade participant. Wishing you all a fast recovery.

  2. I’m so glad Dale is back where he belongs, with a parade to welcome him! I’m glad that corner now holds some happiness and healing. XO

  3. Every morning I’ve checked for a post from you. I held my breath when I opened this and I’m crying happy, joyful, lump in my throat tears for you. This is everything. Congratulations on having Dale home and having a community to join you in welcoming him back! <3

  4. So happy to see this post and know that Dale is making progress. Stay strong and take care of yourself. Just like with babies, rest when he rests and forget the housework! Hugs.

  5. How wonderful! All of it! So cool to have a car parade which only goes to shows that Dale is THE MAN! I love the sign that says “The Man, The Myth, The Legend! SO COOL!! Smith and I send our best to you!

  6. I’m so glad to hear he’s home with you, and that your community has your back! Sending lots of love, and hoping for a smooth recovery!

  7. I’ve been checking daily for a post and update. So happy for you both that your happiness has returned!

  8. Oh my goodness what am amazing post for a Monday morning. First, I’m so glad he’s home. Second, that parade! If you ever doubt that you are loved, all you have to do is look at this post.

    I hope his healing goes quickly!

    Many warm wishes to both of you!

  9. So glad to read that Dale is home. I’ve been checking back to see how you both were doing. Wishing you good health and happiness.

  10. I don’t know what has been recommended, but if you are told to ice on a regular basis do yourself a favor and get an ice machine (I picked one up on FB marketplace for under $50). Don’t use ice, use frozen waterbottles (they last longer and are more manageable).
    I did this for my recent knee surgery and it was a godsend! no messing around with stuff all the time, I left the cuff on my leg all the time and just unhooked it from the machine. If i were still a MA dweller I’d drive it down to you, unfortunately I am now far far away.

    Best of luck, this will be quite a rollercoaster, but I know you guys will ride it out better than it feels

  11. Fabulous news! There’s no place like home, especially when you need to heal. All best wishes to you both, and Hannah did a wonderful thing for you all.

  12. OH, I should have said something about your SIL being the person who got everything going to get Dale home. Sometimes that is what it takes, a nudge from someone knowledgeable. We nurses have to stick together. Good going, Lisa!

  13. Welcome home Dale! I know how much Carole missed you. What a wonderful treat to come home to such a loving and supportive community!

  14. That is great news!!! Welcome home to Dale! I’m sure you are so happy to have him home.

  15. This is the BEST news we have heard in days!!! So happy that you’re home together again.

  16. Welcome home, Dale! Carole – what a week! I’m glad you’re settling in and figuring things out. I’m glad you have Dale with you! Thank you for writing this post and keeping everyone up to date. You’re both still in my thoughts!

  17. Such wonderful news! I am glad he is home where he should be — I’m sure his recovery will only be helped by being home and with you!

  18. Sending healing thoughts to both of you and so glad Dale is home. I was concerned when you stopped blog posting but totally understand.

  19. I’m so happy to hear that Dale is home! I hope that the healing continues to go well.

  20. OMG. The Man, The Myth, The Legend!! That says it all right there. I’m so happy that he’s home and I hope the healing is good & quick!! Love to you both.

  21. absolutely FABULOUS news!! I know having Dale home is going to speed the healing for everyone. xxoo.

  22. What great news! I’m sure the day to day will still have challenges and it’s going to be ok! Thinking of you both xox

  23. A piece of PJ’s writing that we found had this ending phrase- Seems to me there ain’t but three things; that’s love, music and joy. So glad you have found real joy despite the circumstance. Hoping and praying that Dale will be back to vacuuming again REAL soon ;-)!

  24. I’m so glad to read that Dale is home! I hope he continues to have a good recovery and wish you both all the best!

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