Running on the treadmill on Sunday trying to grind out the last 2 miles whining to myself about the cramps in my side and wanting so badly to stop when the elevator doors into the gym opened.
An older man got out with his daughter, him with a cane, moving slow, dragging his left leg, his left arm dangling. Daughter being watchful and careful for his safety ~ and moving ever so cautiously to a bike that was to my immediate left. Daughter helps dad onto the bike, sat on the floor, wrapped dads foot to the bike pedal, and stayed seated on the floor the entire time helping him work thru his PT for what appears to me to have been a stroke.
It was all I could do to not burst into tears from the moment I saw him. I am so deeply affected by people who struggle to make their bodies work again after an injury or whatever it is that life has handed them ~ it reminds me of all the long years it took Larkin to become stable, learn to walk and how hard she has had to fight to force her limbs to work together. First crawling, long hours on a treadmill and gait trainer, using a walker, to finally steps alone.
This same Sunday morning we had taken Larkin to the YMCA to see if there were any areas of glaring safety concern. I watched as she walked her frankenbaby walk thru the halls, dragging her right foot, an off center gait, limbs trying to work together. I watch her in utter amazement because she has come so far and while she can’t necessarily appreciate what she is doing …. I can. She can’t go for long periods of time because she simply doesn’t have the stamina but she can cover a lot of territory.
To Sunday afternoon dad & daughter working together to heal. I slowed the treadmill, pulled my earbuds out and leaned down with a smile, “you are an amazing caregiver” to her ~ turning to dad to say “and you are doing a lot of hard work and it will pay off”
I stood and told them both that they were a vision of beauty ~ both smiled at me and I turned back to the treadmill
I watched them leave and dad refused the elevator, instead wanting to try the stairs. Daughter holding onto him tight as he pulled his left side up each step trying to make the brain and body remember what it can do.
I ran those last 2 miles with tears in my eyes but without whining, stopping, or complaint.
I ran for Larkin and with her in my heart