We had seen Calvin's seizure coming for several days. At five o'clock yesterday morning it finally arrived with a godawful, blood-curdling shriek. I half expected it to last a long time considering it had been seventeen days since his last grand mal, but it was the usual ninety seconds. Afterwards, so as to monitor his breathing, I got in bed with him. Though still little for his age, he's big enough to spoon. For an hour, I held my boy as he shivered and twitched in the wake of the fit.
Thankfully, by late morning he seemed well enough to go for a car ride. I chose to drive the close-to-home loops in case his condition went south. At Simpson's Point, the bay was socked in by fog. Within minutes of our arrival, though, it began to lift. I took it as a good omen that things might be looking up.
Despite my son's chronic condition amid pandemic miseries, I've been heartened by other events of late: the ongoing efforts of some amazing people to get Calvin vaccinated sooner than later; vaccine appointments for me and Michael this coming Saturday; the promise of longer, warmer days for gardening and barbecuing; an offer by Calvin's already-vaccinated former aide to help take care of him in the coming weeks; a seeming decrease in Calvin's overall seizures; cardinals announcing themselves on the tops of trees; an unforeseen and out-of-context greeting with the Carhart three-dog walker smiling and bicycling past me and Smellie as we strolled down our street; a serendipitous and safely-distant yet close encounter with the runner as he rounded a sleepy backroad corner. With my window down and the heat on (an alternative version of underwater respite), he paused his workout and kindly asked how Calvin was doing (he has been reading the blog.) Calvin was in the backseat trying to eat his sock.
After my late-afternoon walk with Smellie, I sat on the front stoop for a spell to watch the world go by. I could hear Calvin stomping around inside the house with Michael; I was thankful to be off-duty for awhile. As cars and folks passed by, I found myself missing my old friend Woody. His porch—high, broad and covered—was so much better for people-watching than mine, plus it came with Woody. We'd sit there for the good part of an hour. Sometimes we'd say nothing at all. Mostly, we'd tease each other or talk about the mundane. Other times he'd listen to me grieve about my little Calvin, at times wiping my tears away. Once in a while, we'd grasp each other's hand from opposite sides of the Adirondack-style bench his son had built for him. He'd tell me that I was the best thing to happen to our street. I'd say the same thing about him. Sometimes his eyes got misty. He would have turned eighty-nine this July. It's heartening to think of him.
Sitting alone on my porch, I studied a slightly irksome, partially obstructed view of the street which I found strangely unfamiliar, considering it's my home. Feeling dissatisfied, I was about to retire indoors when I gazed upwards. There, in the clear blue, I saw the half moon, white as can be like an inverted cup in the sky. It was framed by thousands of little red buds fattening up on the branches of our maple tree. Yet again I felt heartened, this time by the unmistakable arrival of spring.