I just got home from California. My brother Jim and I were there visiting my sister Becky. She's had a second stroke. Strokes beget strokes that's the neurologist said. My heart hurts so much for my sister for the loss of her prior life, use of her left had, her brain and decision making function. So much loss. The first stroke was terrible, this stroke has made an even worse impact. After many conversations with nurses, the rehab director, social worker, neuro-psychologist, hope felt like it was slipping away each day.
Living without hope feels horrible. Jim and I did our best reframe the current state for Becky. She doesn't seem to be in pain anymore. She is no longer grieving her husband Jack, my Mom, my Dad. She believes her husband is outside puttering around on projects, or out driving around in his old 280Z. My Mom is visiting her and painting cards for her. All the anger she had after her first stroke has dissipated.
The brain is such a complex ruler. Her days are simple. She likes being encouraged, she loves hugs, to be touched, to touch you. She moves to music. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Enya, Daft Punk, Carole King. She sings all the words, moves her right hand and dances. It seems as the more complex, heavy, hard things become, if you just boil it down to the basics, all you really do need is love. Show up, be present, hold a hand, give a hug, sing and dance, just BE together.
What else is there?