Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Nancy had her surgery Monday around noon and came home Tuesday around 5:00 P.M. I spent all of Monday in waiting rooms and the like, came home and immediately went to bed for 12 hours. Then up and back at it yesterday. Waiting wears me out. Quite frankly I wish she had stayed in the hospital overnight; for I need the rest. But, she is home and doing well. She slept in the bed last night and requires help getting up and down. Since she cannot bend more than 90 degrees without doing potential damage to the incision (a “t” shape about 3 inches tall and across, remarkably small); she does need me to do her socks, shoes, pull up her pants so she can reach them and the like. I follow her around when she moves and make sure she is not hurt (bent more than 90 degrees). She moved to the lift chair she bought for the occasion around 4:00 this morning. That is a lot easier for her to get in and out of. When she is up, she uses the walker. That will begin to cease over the next few days to a week.
Now her ordeal of being house bound for a fortnight to a month begins. I do think she will follow instructions well, and I will watch her. So far, she has been very light on requesting pain killers. Since they make her nauseous, we have an anti-nausea medication she takes just before the pain killers. I think she will we switching to Tylenol completely very shortly if history (her two knee replacements) is any indication.
Ironically her digital devices finally come in handy. We both have cell phones, so, if I am in the other room she can call and get my attention—remember, I am a bit hard of hearing.
I am appending the third story of Amanda’s Christmas Eve below.
Warmest regards, Ed
Brice Becomes a Father
Fiction in 1048 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
Amanda and Brice sat in her car across the street from the little park in the 1200 block on Mission Boulevard. It was 3:59 in the afternoon. The sun was scheduled to go down around 4:20. She and Brice had been there for 30 minutes.
Brice was getting antsy. “I don’t see nothing.”
Amanda replied, “If it is going to happen it will happen at five to ten minutes after the hour. I don’t know the exact time; and, I can’t be sure of the exact minute. If nothing happens by 4:15 we can leave.”
Brice groaned and thought to himself ‘This is a hell of a way to spend Christmas Eve.’
Amanda chided him, “Don’t be a baby, either she will show up near the swings or she won’t. If she gets here, we need to be ready for we won’t have much time.
Brice groaned again, “It’s killing my neck to watch those swings. Couldn’t we back up a bit so I don’t have to twist to see the swings?” He muttered under his breath, “besides we could use the heat on.”
“We have to park here as it is the only legal spot on this side of the street.” With that, Amanda turned the ignition and the heater started blowing cold air.
Brice, said, “That’s colder; turn the blower off.”
Amanda turned the blower off and said “We’ll turn it back on when the engine warms up. Keep watching the swings.”
The was silence in the car for several minutes when Brice exclaimed “My God, where did she come from?”
A little girl had flown off the swing seat near the top of its arc and ran several steps forward, but did not fall. The swing behind her was still going through the ever-reducing arc of its pendulum motion; yet, moments before it was empty and not moving at all.
Amanda shushed him and said, “My goodness, I had forgotten about swinging. If this goes the way it did, there will be a cop here any second. There” she pointed.
A patrolman pulled up and got out of his patrol car within seconds of the little girl materializing. Amanda and Brice watched as the patrolman talked to the little girl and then took her away in his patrol car.
As the patrol car turned the corner at the end of the block Amanda and Brice got out of their car, absentmindedly leaving it running. The quickly went to the swings. Amanda stood behind the swings and Brice pushed the swing toward Amanda.
“Higher and harder” Amanda said. The swing seat did not quite reach her.
Brice pushed again, harder this time. As the swing got the bottom of its motion Amanda stepped forward a step and just before the swing reached it apogee, Amanda moved closer and the swing seat caught her on the left side of her forehead at the hairline. Amanda fell back, arms spread as children do when making a snow angel and landed on her back in mud. She rolled a bit and got up.
Brice running toward her, “That must have hurt.” He stopped and looked at her in the fading light, “My, my, did you have to roll in it.?”
Amanda, laughed, “Yes, I did; and, it hurts like hell, now let’s go.”
It took several minutes for Amanda to drive to the Precinct House. Once there she looked at her watch and said. “This is the tricky part. I need the patrolman to at least get his incident report started before I go in to claim her. But, if I wait too long Child Protective Services will get her first, then all bets are off.”
Brice knew the plan. But, until the little girl materialized out of thin air and flew off the swing, he never though they would actually carry it out. In all five practice runs he had only been going through the motions to placate his wife. She was so certain what happened would happen that he was begging to worry about her sanity. Now that it happened, it was his sanity he was questioning. He said, “How in the hell did you know she was going to be there.”
His wife said, “Because I was some 20 years ago.” She looked at her watch again, “Time to go in. With luck, you are about to become a papa.”
Brice watched his wife climb the stairs to the precinct house. She had told him it would take up to an hour to convince the cops to let her and the girl go. He looked around and decided to try to do something about the mud on the driver’s seat and floor boards. While not dry, he was able to scrape some off with the old credit card he used to scrape ice and frost off the car’s windows on frosty mornings. Yesterday’s Times, served as a receptacle for the mud. While the seat was still dirty and slick, it at least no longer had chunks of mud. ‘This is going to be a bear to clean.” He thought.
Losing interest in the mud, he checked his watch for third time. Sixteen minutes had passed. He thought ‘So this is why they say, so whose counting. Damn, I am. He looked at the precinct doors just as they opened. In step his wife and the little girl, walked down the steps. At the bottom, his wife bent over said something to the girl and pointed in this direction. Then his wife took the little girl’s hand and walked across the street, looking both ways first, to the car.
Brice opened the car door and got out.
When his wife reached the car, she stopped an looked at the little girl, “Amanda, that,” she said pointing to Brice, “is the father Santa brought you for Christmas.” Then turning to Brice, she competed the introductions, “Brice, meet your daughter. We call her Mandy.”
There was an awkward silence until Brice’s wife said, “It is customary for you to hug each other.”
Brice leaned over and said to his new daughter, “Mandy, may I pick you up and hug you?”
Before, he could, however, Mandy leaped into his arms and hugged him so tight that at that moment he became her real father.