Today, with anxious trepidation, I took Kirsten on a “day pass” from the New England Rehabilitation Hospital to visit Bug Light Park. It was a gorgeous autumn Maine day with temperatures in the cool 60 ºF range, mostly clear skies, and a slight breeze.
I signed Kirsten out of the hospital just after noon, and drove ever-so-carefully to South Portland. Soni and Skye took Kirsten’s Volkswagon. When we got to the park, I took out the wheelchair and walker and helped Kirsten get out, just like I was trained. The single step up the curb was a bit of a challenge, but after that it was a nice walk. We stopped about half way to the lighthouse so Kirsten could rest in the wheelchair.
We had a nice conversation while enjoying the sounds of the sea birds, watching various working and pleasure vessels in the harbor, and inhaling the cool salty air. I always love to be at the shore, but this was especially nice for Kirsten. She has barely seen the sun for several weeks, and getting out in public made her feel like normal was just a few figurative and literal steps ahead. She seemed to really enjoy each minute we were away.
After a couple hours, it was obvious Kirsten was getting tired. I didn’t want to overdo it and make the next few days of therapy more difficult than necessary, so we ended our little field trip and headed back to the hospital. Shortly after returning, the Otto Pizza delivery driver brought two fresh pies, sent with love from my TEDxDirigo friend, Justin. They were wicked delish!
Last night we celebrated Skye’s thirteenth birthday. We had brought Kirsten a piece of the “Better Than Sex” cake Soni had made (Skye’s request), and later sang “Happy Birthday” while on a FaceTime chat with Kirsten. It was nice to have the technology to enable Kirsten to share in the special family moment.