I continue to fret about how the stroke affects my nieces' and nephew's perception of me. Above is a page from one niece's kindergarten journal after Thanksgiving last year. The two of us stand in my backyard. There's the hot tub, the patio table and…
"Abigail, what's that?”
"A trash can."
I'm more recognizable: There's my cane, my glasses, and a pizza on my head. (Oh, sorry – that's a hat.) What puzzles me most is why I'm dressed for a funeral. Really? Of all the crayons she reached for black? I look like an old lady with both feet in the grave.
I suppose I should focus on the fact that of everything my niece did during that four-day weekend, she chose to document the afternoon spent at my house.
My favorite memory of that afternoon is of Abigail and me walking up the drive. I felt a strange sensation in my stroke-numbed palm, looked down and saw her little hand in mine. She had slid it easily between my clawed fingers. I was amazed. She hadn't given it a thought – as if I was completely normal.
Which makes me think: Perhaps my concern about the children's perception is more a problem of how I see myself.
As if to underline that idea, here's the card Abigail made for me at Thanksgiving this year:
I'm trying not to let it go to my head.