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The Bad English Patient

By Belinda

I had gathered up my briefcase and turquoise lunch bag and was heading out the door, when I saw Paul heading gingerly but purposefully into the bathroom. I sensed a mission in process.

I'd been trying to anticipate his needs and keep him safe so I wondered what I could do to help.

"Paul, what are you doing?" I demanded, in my best ``she who must be obeyed`` voice.

"I was going to wash my hair," he said. And it turned out he had plans to kneel down and put his head under the tap in the shower.

``Oh, no,`` I said, ``You are not supposed to bend your back. I`ll turn on the shower and if you take off your t shirt I`ll shampoo your hair.``

So I turned on the shower to warm up the water, took off my coat, and with his head and my arms in the shower stall, I did the honours with the shampoo, as we both got a generous spraying of stray water.

"Ahh," he sighed, his eyes closed in ecstasy, "That feels so good."

I smiled, and thought, ``Yes, we have reached the age when it has come to this.``

When we were at the hospital on Monday, the nurse told Paul to make an appointment with his doctor after a couple of days to get his dressing changed. Originally he was going to wait until Thursday, but decided he would go a day earlier at about noon. I was concerned and Brenda was worried about him driving so soon, and she left for work hoping she could get the time off and come home and drive him.

``Make sure you leave your cell phone on, so I can reach you,`` were her parting words.

I left and drove north for my meeting and it was during a break that I turned on my cell phone to check for messages. There were two. One was from our pastor. He said he`d called to see how Paul was but couldn`t get him on the phone. The other was from Brenda. She wondered if I knew where her dad was as he wasn`t answering the phone.

I called home and Tori, who was home from school with a sore throat, answered the phone.

``Tori, do you know where Grandad is,`` I asked.

``No,`` she said, ``His car isn`t in the driveway.``

The eagle had not landed but had vanished. Brenda was on her way home to drive him, but he was long gone.

When I got home much later, Paul was safely back where he belonged, with a new dressing in place and looking much better--and taller. He had even been for a walk around the block! I can`t believe how much difference it makes now that he is standing erect. It`s amazing how much he had hunched over with the pain he was in.

We continue to thank God for gifted surgeon`s hands and release from pain for Paul.

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